April 2 - The Supreme Court's Gift to Plutocrats; The "Corporate Consumption Complex"; Pollard as a Bargaining Chip in the Israeli - Palestinian Peace Talks

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Full Program

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Part 1

We begin with the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon versus the Federal Election Commission that, according to an impassioned dissent from Justice Stephen Breyer, “eviscerates our nation’s campaign finance laws”. Robert Weissman, the President of Public Citizen, joins us to discuss the ruling that expands the conservative majority on the Supreme Court’s doctrine that money equals free speech, removing a limit of $123,000 to the point where now a wealthy individual can write a single check for $5.9 million to candidates, a political party or political committee. Since there are only a few hundred people in America who will benefit from this ruling, we examine what it means for the rest of us.

 

robert weissman

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Part 2

Then we look into the hypocrisy on display in a House hearing where Republican champions of deregulation who cut the budget for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration by 10% in 2014, castigated the new female head of GM for lax oversight of safety in the manufacture of their cars which resulted in 13 deaths from a faulty ignition switch that would have cost one dollar to replace. Nicholas Freudenberg, a Distinguished Professor of Public Health at City University of New York and Hunter College and the author of “Lethal but Legal: Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health” joins us to discuss the capture by corporations of government oversight over public health and safety by what he calls the “corporate consumption complex”. 

nicholas

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Part 3

Then finally we go to Israel to speak with the former spokesman for Shimon Peres, Gideon Levy, who is a columnist for Ha’aretz and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. With the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks faltering, we will discuss the apparent inclusion of Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel, as a bargaining chip in the Israeli/Palestinian negotiations which has in turn prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to ask for reciprocal concessions. 

gideon levy