Program Notes for Left Out April 19, 2005

Left Out is a public affairs program produced by WRCT 88.3FM that discusses the news from a perspective left out of the mainstream media. Left Out is co-hosted by Bob Harper and Danny Sleator. Today's program is produced by Alberto Guzman. Listeners are welcome to call us at (412) 268-WRCT (9728), or send us email.


Be sure to listen to Democracy Now every weekday morning at 8am on WRCT.

Left Out co-host Robert Harper will be a guest on WQED-TV's Off Q program on April 22, 2005.


Listen to the broadcast (requires MP3 player).

Track 1: Intro, Jobs, Taxes (Streaming, Download)
Track 2: Social Security, etc.(Streaming, Download)

Guest: Christian Weller (Center for American Progress)

Dr. Christian Weller is a senior economist from the Center for American Progress, a progressive Washington think tank. We will discuss various economic issues from a reality-based perspective, including:

-- The current state of the economy, including the sluggishness in the stock market and the softness in the employment statistics. Weren't Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy supposed to have trickled down by now?

-- The truth about the Social Security system, including the alleged worthlessness of its Treasury Bills, and the proposed privatization scheme.

-- The plan to eliminate the estate tax. What does it cost the government, and who does it really benefit?

-- The fall of the US dollar against the Euro and other foreign currencies. What is driving this, and what is the long-term outlook?

-- The recently passed bankruptcy bill, and the provisions in some states to permit the wealthy to shelter their assets from bankruptcy proceedings.

-- The economic benefits of outsourcing jobs are often overstated, particularly if it's your job that's been outsourced. What can and should be done about it?

-- A Whiff of Stagflation in yesterday's NY Times by Paul Krugman.

John Bolton

At air time it seems likely that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will soon vote to approve John Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Apart from his well-publicized opposition to the U.N., and to multilateralism in general, Bolton is alleged to have a history of intimidation of people over whom he exercises authority to suppress dissent and impose foregone conclusions. A segment on Democracy Now this morning featuring Steven Clemons (New America Foundation) and John Nichols (The Nation) details some of the more recent allegations about Bolton's behavior.

Melody Townsel was stationed in Kyrgyzstan on a US AID project. During her stay there, she became embroiled in a controversy in which John Bolton was a key player. She described the incident in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee members who are reviewing the Bolton nomination. Here is her letter.

Tort Reform Is For Little People

Rick Santorum is, true to form, a champion of "tort reform" to restrict the ability of average citizens to seek redress from large companies and health care providers. But only for little people. He himself may seek, and obtain, damages for pain and suffering due to medical negligence, just not you.

Sanchez is a Liar

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who testified before Congress that he never ordered any form of torture in the Iraq war, is a liar.

But lying to Congress is OK, as long as you're a Republican liar. Ask Ollie North or John Poindexter.

On a similar note, check out this article by Robert Parry 'Failing Up' in the Iraq War, which points out that it is precisely the ones who are most responsible for the most atrocious lies, and planning failures about the Iraq war are the ones who have been promoted. (Rice, Wolfowitz) While the ones who tried to stop it, or pointed out problems are all gone.

Tom Delay's House of Scandal

It's difficult to keep track of the multifarious scandals involving House Majority Leader Tom Delay's money machine. The Delay House of Scandal web site (sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) provides a useful summary of the latest allegations and of Delay's many connections with big money interests.


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Last modified: Wed Apr 20 18:14:42 2005