Daily Briefing - Thursday August 26, 2010

Kate Zernike is a national correspondent for the New York Times. She came to the Times as an education reporter in 2000 and has since worked for the paper’s investigations team, as a criminal justice reporter, and in the Washington bureau as a Congressional correspondent. She was a member of the team that shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for a series of stories about the Sept. 11 attacks. She was among the paper’s lead reporters covering the Abu Ghraib scandal and Hurricane Katrina, and covered the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, and the midterm elections of 2006. She has been covering the Tea Party since Fall 2009, and her book about the phenomenon, Boiling Mad, will be out in a couple weeks. 

Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons is a professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her research focuses on Shari’ah law and its impact on Muslim women, and she teaches courses in Islamic Studies, women and religion, and African-America religious traditions. She has studied and practiced in the Sufi Islamic tradition since the 1970s. 

Dr. Dan Johnson +is the senior pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida, where he has served for more than a decade an a half. He holds doctorates from Asbury Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, and has written extensively on theological issues. Trinity United Methodist in Gainesville will be hosting the Gainesville Interfaith Forum’s “Gathering for Peace, Understanding, and Hope” on September 11th.

Kirby Dick is an Academy Award-nominated documentary film director whose works include "This Film is Not Yet Rated," "Twist of Faith," and "Derrida." His most recent film, "Outrage," focuses on closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records, examining the harm they have inflicted on millions of American and the media's complicity in keeping their secrets. 

Daily Briefing - Wednesday August 25, 2010

Sherle Schwenninger directs the New America Foundation's Economic Growth Program, and the Global Middle Class Initiative. He was Founding Editor of World Policy Journal, and he served as Director of the World Policy Institute at The New School. Mr. Schwenninger also was Senior Program Coordinator for the Project on Development, Trade, and International Finance at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is the author, with Walter Russell Mead, of A Financial Architecture for Middle-Class-Oriented Development.

Dr. John Mueller is a political scientist in the field of international relations as well as an award-winning scholar of the history of dance. He is recognized for his ideas concerning "the banality of ethnic war" and the theory that major world conflicts are quickly becoming obsolete. His books include Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them and Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda. He currently is the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and a professor of both political scienceand dance at The Ohio State University.

Jaydee Hanson is senior policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety, a non-profit organization that has called for stronger food regulations and an end to an era where food safety regulation has been left in the hands of the corporations producing our food. He works on issues related to pathogens in the food supply and also genetically engineered and cloned animals. Previously, he directed the Human Genetics Policy of the International Center for Technology Assessment. He also served as the United Methodist Church’s staff director of genetics and bioethics issues.

Daily Briefing - Tuesday August 24, 2010

Eric Boehlert a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, he is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006) and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press (Free Press, 2009). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. 

Cleo Paskal specializes in the geopolitical, security, and economic implications of environmental change from global warming. She is a Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, NATO and the OSCE. She is one of three recipients of the 2010 Awards of Special Merit from the Grantham Prize for her latest book, Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map.

Daily Briefing - Monday August 23, 2010

Narda Zacchino co-wrote Boots on the Ground by Dusk: Searching for Answers in the Death of Pat Tillman along with Mary Tillman. Narda Zacchino is a Pulitzer-nominated journalist who worked as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times and as an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. She co-created the Los Angeles Times annual Festival of Books held at UCLA. She is also a co-founder, editor, and publisher at Time Capsule Press. We will be giving away Boots on the Groud by Dusk as a premium today for a donation of $100.

Background Briefing - Sunday August 22, 2010

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United Kingdom. He is now the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University in Washington DC, the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has written over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam, which formed the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called “Living Islam,” and the book Journey into Islam. He recently completed a book and movie project called, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, which we are offering up today for a donation of $125.00.


Qamar-ul Huda is a Senior Program Officer in the Religion and Peacemaking Program and a scholar of Islam at U.S. Institute of Peace. His area of expertise is Islamic theology, intellectual history, ethics, comparative ethics, the language of violence, conflict resolution and non-violence in contemporary Islam. His research is on comparative Sunni-Shi’ite interpretations of social justice, ethics, dialogue, and the ways in which the notion of justice is used and appropriated. His book, The Crescent and Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam, provides a critical analysis of models of nonviolent strategies, peace building efforts, and conflict resolution methods in Muslim communities. We are offering up his book today for a donation of $80.00.