January 12 - 300,000 West Virginians Still Without Safe Water; Homophobia and Racism Empowered in Putin's Russia; More Than Half of Congress Not Only Represent the 1%, They are the 1%

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Full Program

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Part 1

We begin with the chemical spill into the Elk River just north of Charleston, West Virginia that has resulted in 300,000 local residents not having access to safe water to drink or bathe in for four days. David Gutman, a staff reporter with the Charleston Gazette, joins us to discuss the role of the company  that has existed in its current form for less than two weeks, responsible for the contamination, Freedom Industries, one of whose founders was charged in 2005 for failing to pay more than $200,000 in income tax, and who in 1987 pleaded guilty to selling between 10 and 12 ounces of cocaine.

charleston gazette

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Part 2

Then we speak with Russian/American journalist Masha Gessen, who wrote the searing expose of Russia’s president “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin”. We discuss her latest book “Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot” and Putin’s recent gestures of magnanimity in releasing Mikhail Khodorkovsky from prison after 10 years then on December 23, two of the members of Pussy Riot who were given two-year prison sentences, from a Soviet gulag, ahead of Putin’s showcase event, the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.

masha geseen

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the just-released report from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, “Millionaires’ Club: For the First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 million Plus”. An author of the report, Sarah Bryner, the Research Director at the Center for Responsive Politics, joins us to discuss how the median net worth of our current 530 lawmakers as of May 2013 is $1,008,767, meaning that for the first time in our history, half of our representatives in Congress, not only represent the 1% , they are the 1%.

sarah bryner