Glenn Greenwald Leaves The Guardian
Abu Anas al-Libi Kidnapping Update
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers Marches on Union Square for Wendy’s Fair Food Campaign
We hear the voices of marchers involved in supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to urge Wendy’s to join its four fast food competitors in the award-winning social responsibility program that’s putting an end to decades of abuse in the fields. Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonald’s and others have come to the table to dialogue with farm workers to improve wages and working conditions in their supply chains. This demonstration was held on the eve of the CIW winning the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom from Want Medal.
Handschu Hearing on NYPD Muslim Surveillance
Earlier this month, the federal district court in Manhattan required the New York City Police Department to defend its Muslim spying program. The hearing lasted several hours and revealed what many listeners to this show may already know, that the NYPD Muslim spying program has been found by the Associated Press to target innocent Muslims based on nothing more than their faith. The fallout from these spying programs is revealed in the stories related by today’s guest.
- DRUM stands for Desis Rising Up and Moving. It’s a community organization of low-income South Asians, organizing for workers rights, immigrant rights, racial justice.
- We’re a membership-based organization of about 2000 low-income South Asians. So they’re directly effected by these issues.
- About 2 years ago the Associated Press started releasing a series of articles that essentially confirmed what people in our communities had been feeling for years, that the NYPD has an extensive network spying on the New York City Muslim community, from their houses of worship to their work sites, to their social networks.
- The way that they accomplish this is through the use of undercover officers, through the use of informants, many of whom are paid money for their services, and also through the use of surveillance equipment.
- We have members in our organization that have been directly targeted by the NYPD over the last 8-9 years.
- Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, this program is very bad for you.
- On the day the first AP report came out, we had launched a survey project to collect data.
- An Arab cab driver who cooperated with the police–he was an eyewitness to a person conducting a robbery–he testified in court. The person was convicted. The NYPD then approached him several months later and said we’d like to talk with you about that case.
- They tell him, we want you to become an informant for us. When he declines, for the next two weeks he ends up being followed in dark unmarked cars.
- We do believe its about a few hundred in the police department in terms of intelligence.
Guest – Fahd Ahmed came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant from Pakistan in 1991, and went on to attend Vanderbilt University and CUNY School of Law. Fahd joined DRUM in 2000 when he had family members facing deportations. Within DRUM, Fahd led work with Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrant detainees before and immediately after 9/11, by coordinating the detainee visitation program. Fahd was a recipient of the Haywood Burns Fellowship from the National Lawyers Guild, served as an Ella Baker intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), as a legal consultant with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and as a lecturer and researcher on Islamophobia, national security, and social movements at the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.
Two-and-a-Half-Party System Debt Ceiling Crisis
Today we’ll examine in depth how the United States reached the recent crisis with regard to debt ceiling. If you think it’s just the Tea Party that wants to cut current government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare, you’d be wrong. It’s also the Obama administration.
- The Republicans’ strategic focus since 2011 has been to cut the deficit at the expense of discretionary spending, and in particular to target social security and Medicare and Medicaid.
- In the “fiscal cliff” deal of last year, they succeeded in pushing through most of the Bush tax cuts, $4 trillion in tax cuts.
- The Republicans in the last two years have cut $2.2 trillion in government spending.
- They’re going to use the debt ceiling in order to extract more spending cuts–this time, social security and Medicare, and probably more tax cuts.
- Obama has already called for $630 billion in social security and Medicare cuts. That’s a starting point, a beginning of negotiating.
- What’s happened is that the Tea Party have injected themselves into this thing. We’ve got two and a half parties in Congress now. The Tea Party is a faction of the Republican Party and it’s terrorizing the Republican Party even though it’s a minority in the House.
- The Tea Partiers are grandstanding for elections. This is all about mid-term elections next year.
- As far as the shutdown is concerned, that is a Tea Party problem.
- They have Republicans worried that they’re going to lose primaries.
- There’s another group within the Tea Party that are opportunists, they’re riding the crest.
- The people behind the Tea Party–you know, the billionaires are funding it and the Heritage Action Group–I think there are opportunists and confused ideologues.
- What you’re going to see is Obama cooperating with corporate pressure on the leadership of the Republicans, and all of them then giving the Tea Party a choice.
- Last year, unions lost 500,000 members, even as a million and a half new jobs were created.
- Something really dangerous is going on with the labor movement.
- There is a nationwide formation called the Emergency Labor Network.
- Obama has been in favor of cutting Social Security for quite some time. He’s also been in favor of cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 28 percent. That doesn’t sound like the Democratic Party of years past.
Guest – Professor Jack Rasmus, Ph.D Political Economy, teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author and producer of the various nonfiction and fictional works, including the books Obama’s Economy: Recovery for the Few, Pluto Press, 2012, Epic Recession: Prelude to Global Depression, Pluto Press, 2010, and The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, Kyklos Productions, 2006.