Dec 30 2010

Weekly Digest – 12/30/10

Weekly Digest | Published 30 Dec 2010, 12:56 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 12/30/10 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* The Biggest Underreported Stories of 2010: Increase of Corporate Power and Failure of War
* Black Agenda Report on Barack Obama and Black America
* Despite Greenwashing, Schwarzenegger’s Tenure Followed Right-Wing Republican Agenda
* What GOP Gains Mean for America’s Political Future

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The Biggest Underreported Stories of 2010: The Increase of Corporate Power and the Failure of Wars

2010As we end the year we take a look back today at the biggest political stories of 2010. On the home front, major pieces of domestic legislation were passed after epic battles and lots of compromise. A few weeks into 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizen’s United Vs. FEC came to significantly strengthen the corporate role in elections. Healthcare reform became a holdover issue from 2009, and legislation finally passed both houses of Congress in March. In July the White House crossed another major piece of legislation off its to-do list with the passage of Wall Street Reform. The worst environmental disaster in the history of the US and the Gulf Coast took place over the summer with the explosion of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig spewing millions of barrels of crude into the ocean. In November, mid-term elections played out largely as expected, with campaign spending in the billions, and Republicans retaking the House by a landslide. Democrats managed to retain control of the Senate by a slim majority, and President Obama responded by promising more compromise. He made good on this and negotiated an 11th hour deal this month, trading an extension of the Bush tax-cuts for a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits. Overall, the economy did not improve and national unemployment hit a high of 9.8% in November. Outside of Washington, a national debate and wave of anti-Islamic sentiment sprang from the so-called “Ground Zero-Mosque in New York.” It came to a boil in Florida when the pastor of a small evangelical Christian church promised to burn Korans on 9/11 unless plans for the New York Islamic Center were canceled. While memories of 9/11 and our troops in the Middle East were invoked during the rhetorical battles at home, the economy dragged attention away from the wars being fought overseas. The biggest foreign policy shift of the year came with the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq in late August. 2010 was the deadliest of the Afghanistan war, and in early November the White House signaled that withdrawal from the country would be pushed back to 2014. Haiti’s worst earthquake happened early in the year, killing nearly a quarter of a million people and affecting three million. Arguably the most significant development of 2010, in terms of its impact on domestic and foreign affairs, was made by anonymous sources, and the activists behind the website Wikileaks. In releasing classified military and foreign affairs documents, Wikileaks shook the foundation of American government and now ranks among the biggest enemies of the US.

GUESTS: Laura Flanders, host and founder of GRITtv, editor of the new book “At the Tea Party: The Wing Nuts, Whack Jobs and Whitey-Whiteness of the New Republican Right… And Why We Should Take It Seriously,” Robert Naiman, Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy

Find out more about Laura Flanders at www.grittv.org.

Find out more about Just Foreign Policy at www.justforeignpolicy.org and read Robert Naiman’s writings at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman

Black Agenda Report on Barack Obama and Black America

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on Barack Obama and Black America.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Despite Greenwashing, Schwarzenegger’s Tenure Followed Right-Wing Republican Agenda

schwarzeneggerAs the tenure of one of the nation’s most unlikely governors draws to a close, we take a look back at the political persona and legislative reality of California’s first “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2003, hoping to harness the ire against incumbent Gray Davis created in part by the energy crisis, California Republicans triggered the state’s recall election law. Star of the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger, using his celebrity and wealth, emerged from what quickly spiraled into a national spectacle—with a large pool of candidates ranging from career politicians to porn stars—to become California’s first-ever governor elected by a state recall. The subsequent seven years saw Governor Schwarzenegger’s public relations oscillate between error and triumph as he toed a moderate-right, pro-business agenda while keeping an eye fixed on the temperament of California’s progressive-leaning constituency. The initial two years of oftentimes unflattering public relations were marked by a media firestorm over his characterization of opponents as a “girly men” and labor unions mounting a successful opposition to his 2005 special election. But in his third year, Schwarzenegger was flanked by Democrats while signing a bill to increase the minimum wage and establish the country’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. He seemed make progress on social issues, if only slightly, from his 2005 vetoing of a bill to legalize gay marriage to supporting the Supreme Court hearings on Proposition 8 this past August. Overall, the Austrian-born immigrant hopes to leave behind a legacy of a red-blooded, green-tinged, Obama-like-moderate, willing to put compromise and governance before ideology and party politics. Schwarzenegger has indicated political ambitions to work on the country’s energy policy within the White House.

GUEST: Robert Cruickshank, former Public Policy Director at Courage Campaign and Contributing editor to the progressive blog Calitics.com

What GOP Gains Mean for America’s Political Future

john boehnerThe new Republican-heavy Congress convenes in just a few days, on January 3rd, 2011, marking a potentially sharp right turn in politics. As the minority party, Republicans won major compromises from Democrats and the White House on every significant piece of legislation in 2010. Looking forward, the party is unified around denying President Obama a second term, and has interpreted its take-over of the House of Representatives as a reward for two years of obstructionism. The last few weeks have brought news of political tussles within the party as members vie for committee chairmanships in the House. The steering committee devoted to appointing these leaders is composed of 34 people – 19 of whom are reportedly John Boehner loyalists. Boehner, the incoming Speaker of the House, has a weighted vote on the steering committee. The New York Times reports that Boehner has given incoming freshman more power over the appointments than current members of Congress. Meanwhile, the 2010 Census results have been largely called a boon for Republicans in terms of Congressional districts. However statistical analyst Nate Silver says the population shift and resulting change in electoral college votes should not be exaggerated. Silver analyzed the 2012 electoral college landscape and found that when applied to every Presidential election of the last 100 years, it would not have affected a single outcome.

GUEST: Amanda Terkel, Senior Politics Reporter at the Huffington Post

Read Amanda Terkel’s writings here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-news/reporting/amanda-terkel

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln

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