National Issues

  • A primer on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    3 March 2014

    This excerpt from the 2/21/14 edition of Counterspin features Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. Wallach provides a sort of citizen's guide to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, and urges listeners to join in a "public Dracula strategy." Length 8.5 minutes.

    Standard audio:

  • Mayor Emanuel swears he's not interested in running for president

    31 January 2013

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the impact of Rahm Emanuel's aspirations on how Chicago government operates, and more.

  • Thoughts on the Presidential Debates

    18 October 2012
    People keep asking me: "What did you think of the debate(s)?"
        My standard response: "I didn't watch it/them."
        Why? If you think of the breadth of possible discourse as a mile-wide landscape, the two parties "debate" in an area about a block wide.
        I recently listened to journalist Arun Gupta on Black Agenda Radio, and I think he summarized well:
    • Both presidential candidates have energy polices that conform to this slogan: "Drill, baby, drill!"
    • Neither party will cut the $1 trillion the U.S. spends annually on the military.
    • Despite the health-care hyperbole sounded by Republicans, the fact remains: Both Gov. Romney's Massachusetts health-care program and Pres. Obama's Affordable Care Act have their basis in a plan created by a health insurance-funded economist.
    • Obama has said that he and Romney agree on "what to do" with Social Security—namely, cuts or privatization, not something simple like an increase in the payroll tax cap.
    • Neither talks about the crisis in civil liberties. Two examples: the unprecedented prosecution of government whistleblowers, and the massive gathering of citizens' personal data by the National Security Agency.
    • We don't hear anything from either candidate about dealing with the ongoing home-foreclosure crisis, or any of the continued abuses by the banking and financial services industries ("Wall Street")—such as the refusal to renegotiate homeowners' underwater loans, despite record profits on the heels of a huge government bailout.
    • Speaking of records, what do the candidates have to say about addressing a record level of poverty? What do they say about a structural unemployment crisis? What solutions—beyond tax cuts (or repealing tax cuts), which won't even begin to solve the problem—do they propose?
        Enjoy the show.
  • David Sirota on Obama's Record

    5 September 2012

    Journalist David Sirota on the record of President Barack Obama: Sirota contrasted Obama's campaign commitments with his actions while in office. This excerpt comes from the 8/26/12 interview program Media Matters with Bob McChesney.

    David Sirota clip:

  • How Congress Caused Postal Service Financial Problems

    10 August 2012

    In 2006, Congress passed a law requiring the US Postal Service (USPS) to make annual $5.5 billion payments to a future-retiree healthcare fund—something no other government agency or private corporation must do. Two recent radio pieces nicely summarize how this act of Congress got USPS into its current financial mess, and how Congress refuses to take the simple step that would solve the problem:

    An 8/1/12 Democracy Now piece:


    An 8/10/12 Counterspin piece:

  • How Chicago Said Yes to Pot

    5 July 2012

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on whether Chicago police will start ticketing more white marijuana users, and more.

  • More Olympic Games

    4 December 2008

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on how Chicago's economy resembles that of Russia, and more.

  • Yes, He Can

    13 November 2008

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on the only time a politician has outgrown Mayor Daley, and more.

  • Is Obama a Chicago Politician?

    12 June 2008

    Interview with the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky on whether Obama needs Mayor Daley to win Chicago, and more.

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