Monday, January 25, 2010

Lila Garrett: Connect the Dots, Bob Herbert: They Still Don't Get It

Hi. Connect the Dots goes on at 7am today and few of you will even
see this before it airs. I send it ou for its remarkable outline of many
of our problems. It also provides a fitting introduction to Bob Herbert's
essay. The program is usually worth getting up for. -Ed

Sent: Sunday, January 24, 2010 11:59 AM
Subject: CONNECT THE DOTS, Monday 7 to 8AM ob KPFK

Monday morning at 7 on CONNECT THE DOTS the one year anniversary of Obama'
election tune in or use this link as we talk with:

TIM CARPENTER Exec Dir. Of PDA, who lives in Mass about why the Dems. lost
Ted Kennedy's seat to a right wing Republican whose hero is Dick Cheney. Is
this vote a referendum on Barack Obama's first year? Carpenter talks
about how we can use this warning to turn the political climate around. In
some states we already have.

ACLU Foundation Chair STEPHEN RHODE reports on what the Obama
administration has and has not done to repair the damage Bush and Cheney
did to our Constitution. Does the U.S. still torture? Do we still
practice warrant less wire tapping? How does the ACLU decide which cases
to take on and which to leave alone. We bring up their refusal to defend
former Gov. Don Siegelman who was framed by the Christian right and Carl
Rove. Rhode considers this question.

And Congresswoman MAXINE WATERS reports on the realities of what's happening
in Haiti. Waters discusses her resolutions to relieve Haiti of their debts
to us including the 600 million they owe…(obviously chicken feed compared to
13 trillion we threw at the AIG, Morgan Stanley, the Banks and Wall Street.)
Also helpful is the decision by The international Monetary Fund (IMF) who
decided to give Haiti 100 million as a grant instead of a loan. And , when
it comes to actual food, water and shelter congratulations to the first
responders and countries like Cuba, Israel, Venezuela, dozens of others.
See for a list of reliable places to contribute.

As to the official US position who is calling the shots for Obama on Haiti.
Is it the right wing think tank, the Heritage foundation??? They laid out
the following program:

First: send in 5000 armed marines. Obama did it.

Second: Make Bush co partner with Clinton as chief fund raiser for Haiti.
Obama did it…thereby changing Bush's legacy from a mean spirited corporate
whore to a hero. (Let's remember Bush did nothing to help the people of New
Orleans with food, water or shelter. Instead he sent in Backwater and
other armed "security" contractors to quell non existent "violence" instead
of saving, healing or even feeding the people.)

Third: Forbid Haitians from seeking shelter in the United States. Obama
did it, through Sec of State Hilary Clinton who made a speech to in Haiti
warning the earthquake victims not to attempt to emigrate here.

Fourth: Demand political compliance with our agenda before any supplies are
provided. Still pending.
Big show this Monday morning at 7 on Connect the Dots.

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)
KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.
To pod cast or download the broadcast just use this link:
Each show is on line for three months.


They Still Don't Get It

NY Times Op-Ed: January 22, 2010

How loud do the alarms have to get? There is an economic emergency in the
country with millions upon millions of Americans riddled with fear and
anxiety as they struggle with long-term joblessness, home foreclosures,
personal bankruptcies and dwindling opportunities for themselves and their

The door is being slammed on the American dream and the politicians,
including the president and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill, seem not
just helpless to deal with the crisis, but completely out of touch with the
hardships that have fallen on so many.

While the nation was suffering through the worst economy since the
Depression, the Democrats wasted a year squabbling like unruly toddlers over
health insurance legislation. No one in his or her right mind could have
believed that a workable, efficient, cost-effective system could come out of
the monstrously ugly plan that finally emerged from the Senate after long
months of shady alliances, disgraceful back-room deals, outlandish payoffs
and abject capitulation to the insurance companies and giant pharmaceutical

The public interest? Forget about it.

With the power elite consumed with its incessant, discordant fiddling over
health care, the economic plight of ordinary Americans, from the middle
class to the very poor, got pathetically short shrift. And there is no
evidence, even now, that leaders of either party fully grasp the depth of
the crisis, which began long before the official start of the Great
Recession in December 2007.

A new study from the Brookings Institution tells us that the largest and
fastest-growing population of poor people in the U.S. is in the suburbs. You
don't hear about this from the politicians who are always so anxious to tell
you, in between fund-raisers and photo-ops, what a great job they're doing.
From 2000 to 2008, the number of poor people in the U.S. grew by 5.2
million, reaching nearly 40 million. That represented an increase of 15.4
percent in the poor population, which was more than twice the increase in
the population as a whole during that period.

The study does not include data from 2009, when so many millions of families
were just hammered by the recession. So the reality is worse than the
Brookings figures would indicate.

Job losses, stagnant or reduced wages over the past decade, and the loss of
home equity when the housing bubble burst have combined to take a horrendous
toll on families who thought they had done all the right things and were
living the dream. A great deal of that bleeding is in the suburbs. The
study, compiled by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, said, "Suburbs
gained more than 2.5 million poor individuals, accounting for almost half of
the total increase in the nation's poor population since 2000."

Democrats in search of clues as to why voters are unhappy may want to take a
look at the report. In 2008, a startling 91.6 million people - more than 30
percent of the entire U.S. population - fell below 200 percent of the
federal poverty line, which is a meager $21,834 for a family of four.

The question for Democrats is whether there is anything that will wake them
up to their obligation to extend a powerful hand to ordinary Americans and
help them take the government, including the Supreme Court, back from the
big banks, the giant corporations and the myriad other predatory interests
that put the value of a dollar high above the value of human beings.

The Democrats still hold the presidency and large majorities in both houses
of Congress. The idea that they are not spending every waking hour trying to
fix the broken economic system and put suffering Americans back to work is
beyond pathetic. Deficit reduction is now the mantra in Washington, which
means that new large-scale investments in infrastructure and other measures
to ease the employment crisis and jump-start the most promising industries
of the 21st century are highly unlikely.

What we'll get instead is rhetoric. It's cheap, so we can expect a lot of

Those at the bottom of the economic heap seem all but doomed in this
environment. The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University
in Boston put the matter in stark perspective after analyzing the employment
challenges facing young people in Chicago: "Labor market conditions for
16-19 and 20-24-year-olds in the city of Chicago in 2009 are the equivalent
of a Great Depression-era, especially for young black men."

The Republican Party has abandoned any serious approach to the nation's
biggest problems, economic or otherwise. It may be resurgent, but it's not a
serious party. That leaves only the Democrats, a party that once championed
working people and the poor, but has long since lost its way.

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