Background Briefing - Sunday October 3, 2010

Adam Green is cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), dedicated to helping progressive candidates run progressive campaigns and win. He recently finished a stint as interim CEO of Change Congress, a reform group formed by Harvard Prof. Lawrence Lessig to reform congressional elections and special-interest influence on Congress. He formerly served as Director of Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for

Dr. Frank Schaeffer is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction, and a documentary and feature film director. By the time he was nineteen, Frank Schaeffer’s parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, had achieved global fame as bestselling evangelical authors and speakers, and Frank had joined his father on the evangelical circuit. He would go on to speak before thousands in arenas around America, publish his own evangelical bestseller, and work with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson. But, Schaeffer felt increasingly alienated, precipitating a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure from political evangelicals. Mr. Schaeffer is the author of several novels and such nonfiction books as Crazy for God and, most recently, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).

 Dr. Steven Vogt is Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz. He built both the Hamilton spectrometer at Lick (with which most of the first extrasolar planets were discovered) and HIRES, the world's most powerful spectrometer on the Keck Ten-meter telescope in Hawaii. He is currently a member of the California-Carnegie Planet Search Team, which just announced the first discovery of a potentially habitable planet other than Earth. Call: 831 662-3647

Daily Briefing - Wednesday September 29, 2010

JR Ross has spent the last decade covering Wisconsin politics. Fort the past four years, he has been the editor of, the state’s premier political news service. Prior to that, he spent a decade with The Associated Press, including six years as the statehouse correspondent.

Joyce Battle is the Director of Publications and Senior Analyst on South Asia and the Middle East at the National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at the George Washington University. She directed the Archive’s project on Iraq and edited the set Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. Policy, and the Prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980-1994. Much of that work is available on the Internet at the National Security Archive’s website.

Christine Fair is a professor in the Center for Peace and Security Studies within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, she has served as a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation, a political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and as a senior research associate in USIP’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. She is also a senior fellow with the Counter Terrorism Center at West Point. She has authored, co-authored and co-edited several books including Treading Softly on Sacred Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations on Sacred Space, The Madrassah Challenge: Militancy and Religious Education in Pakistan, and Fortifying Pakistan: The Role of U.S. Internal Security Assistance.

Les Radke is the Local Election Supervisor here at KPFK. For the past ten years, he has been a member of Californians for Electoral Reform, a group that fights to replace the winner-take-all system in the US with a proportional representation system used in most industrialized countries. He helped write the Pacifica Bylaws, particularly the section on elections. He was a Local Election Supervisor at KPFA in 2003, and a National Election Supervisor in 2006 and 2009.

Daily Briefing - Monday September 27, 2010

Wendell Potter is a senior fellow on health care at the Center for Media and Democracy. He has been outspoken on both the need for a fundamental overhaul of the American health care system and on the failures of American media as a watchdog for democracy. Potter moved to the Center for Media and Democracy after a long career as a corporate public relations executive for one of the nation's largest health insurers, CIGNA Corporation, where he was the company’s chief corporate spokesman. Prior to joining CIGNA, Potter headed corporate communications at Humana Inc., another large for-profit health insurer. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio has represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District since 1987. A US Air Force veteran who has worked as a gerontologist in his professional life, DeFazio has developed a reputation for standing up against corporate interests and for personal integrity. He voted against both NAFTA and GATT, and has refused to accept pay raises while the government is in deficit spending. He has linked his take-home pay to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, and has donated the rest, $320,000 all told, to reducing the national debt and funding scholarships at five southwestern Oregon community colleges. DeFazio has recently been under attack by the Astroturf front group “Concerned Citizens of America.” On Friday, he went to the group’s Washington DC headquarters in an effort to determine exactly who has been funding those attacks in an attempt to buy his Republican opponent a seat in Congress. 

Graham E. Fuller is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA. He also served as the CIA’s Kabul station chief and as a senior political scientist at RAND. Currently an adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University, he has lived and worked in the Muslim world for nearly two decades and is the author of numerous books about the Middle East, including The Future of Political Islam and most recently A World Without Islam. He will be speaking at the Los Angeles Public Library downtown tomorrow, Tuesday, at 7:00 PM.