Democratic Convention Coverage Part 1

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Democratic convention officially begins in Charlotte. Coverage continues live from radio row, featuring:

Jody Avirgan
From Radio Row in Charlotte: Judy Woodruff, PBS Newshour
Jody Avirgan
From Radio Row in Charlotte: Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME
Jody Avirgan
From Radio Row in Charlotte: John Podesta, former White House chief of staff under Pres. Clinton and founder/chair of the Center for American Progress


John Podesta, Lee Saunders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Judy Woodruff

Comments [53]


This link provides actual dates and statements regarding the Janesville plant. Note technically the plant is still not closed.

Sep. 04 2012 08:45 PM

Numerous "fact checkers" have been forced to retract their false claim that Ryan lied about the auto plant. Hopefully Brian will double check his facts.

Sep. 04 2012 08:38 PM

Where a candidate stands on abortion certainly informs my voting, however I think the question needs to be re-framed on a higher level. No elected body has jurisdiction over an individual's body and I will vote against anyone who presumes to have that right.

Sep. 04 2012 02:22 PM
Jihobbyist from NYC

I have to say, this is the first time I have BL on my radio since 4 years ago, and still disappointed. BL, your listeners are none too bright and close minded people. Good god. Switching back to Michael Krasny on KQED in SF.

Sep. 04 2012 12:08 PM

Emily - I will flatly say that I don't support abortion... but I understand in a democracy laws are made that we all have to deal with but don't like. However, please explain why women's rights trump the man's rights... How is that when it comes to care and support the males are told it is their responsibility because they helped make the child. Yet when it comes to deciding whether the child will be born or not he has no say??? I know situations where the man did not want the child and the woman went ahead and had it... and took him to court for support. I've also see more than a few cases where the man DID want the child but the woman aborted it. I've also known cases where the man didn't even know the woman was pregnant until after. So what of a man's rights? Is that fair????

Sep. 04 2012 11:57 AM
Jamaica Jones from Jackson Heights

There is absolutely no more important issue in this (and any other election season) than my agency over my own body. End of story.

Sep. 04 2012 11:48 AM

I find it ridiculous that Fiorina characterizes abortion as a specifically "women's issue." Along the same token as the fact that women are not a special-interest group, abortion is not a special-interest issue.

Sep. 04 2012 11:48 AM
Katie from Brooklyn

@Truth & Beauty

I don't think you understood my comment. He held *majorities* in both the House and Senate. He had a perceived mandate, he could have done almost as he pleased as long as his own party backed him and he could sell his policies. The party did not for all sorts of reasons and he has been quite poor at explaining things. He should not get a simple cop out excuse that things are hard or some D or R politician was standing in his way for his failings of leadership, just as he should rightfully be praised for his successes.

Sep. 04 2012 11:46 AM

For me, the abortion issue comes down to whether we think women are full people capable of making their own decisions. If a candidate does not feel that I am fully a person, they will not get my vote, no matter their stance on other issues.

Sep. 04 2012 11:46 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

Sorry, Fiorina, but you're wrong. I'd cut off my right arm before I'd vote for an anti-choice candidate!

Sep. 04 2012 11:44 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn,

NY Times balanced??? The NY Times is in the bag for Obama. Hardly "balanced".


Sep. 04 2012 11:41 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

@ Katie from Brooklyn:

I am balanced. I refer you to Friday's New York Times. Two articles pointed out that not only did the Republicans actively oppose every piece of legislation President Obama tried to pass, but that they planned in advance to do so. In addition, many of the things that Paul Ryan accused the President of doing or failing to do, he was personally responsible for opposing.

Sep. 04 2012 11:37 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Let us not forget the words of MLK.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Sep. 04 2012 11:31 AM
Johnny from ny

Hey AG Obama's face is brown. What do you want proof?

Sep. 04 2012 11:23 AM
Ed from New Jersey

Looking out for the middle class? Then explain how taking hundreds of millions of dollars out of medicare, closing oil production in the gulf and shutting down coal production which all results in more cost to the middle class helps. The student loan rate of interest has gone up under this president and is now controlled by the government. The establishment of a new more intrusive Patriot Act, Obama Care Medical Review Boards and the Dodd Frank Financial Review Board that also does not answer to any branch of government or the courts.Several appointments/ presidential orders that have been put in place by passed congressional vote. Unemployment has been above 8% for four years. Think abut this, how will you feel about future presidents take similar actions? Because of the actions of this President and Congress that is the reality. Not following the law or Constitution should not be determined by who or which party is in control.

Sep. 04 2012 11:15 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I remember the debates in 2007. In one debate Bob Schieffer of CBS News said that the US spends the most on education, yet the US ranks 29th in student achievement.

Throwing even MORE money at a failed program doesn't fix it.

Failing teachers need to be let go.

Eliminate Tenure for Teachers.

Sep. 04 2012 11:15 AM

what exactly did this union guy mean when he said switching from a defined benefit plan to 401k style becomes more expensive???? where on earth does he get that from???? That is VERY unsubstantiated. Quite frankly... nothing is guaranteed in this life... and I don't think anyone should get "defined" retirement because you burden the next generation with what often becomes too much.

Sep. 04 2012 11:08 AM

Bobbay and Zmbagwe - Obama is not "black"... he's half black and half white. His father and mother were two different races... making him "bi-racial". Is that such a tough concept to understand???

Sep. 04 2012 11:03 AM
gary from queens

@Robert from NYC

What you posted was a hoax. Do your homework next time.

I cant provide the url because BL producer keeps blocking it each time i tried

Sep. 04 2012 11:02 AM
Jerome from Brooklyn

jawbone, I'm not sure what the percentages you guys are talking about may be, but realistically, since the the tax payer is paying teacher's salaries, the school districts income and any other contributions including make up ones - there is really only one source for this money - the tax payer and now with the growth in the public contracts over the last 15 years, particularly with suburban educators and police, it s no longer affordable.

Sep. 04 2012 11:02 AM
Republican't from Shohola, PA

I want someone to address the question of why, in our American culture, we defer to the wealthy in ways that we aren't even aware, to the extent that we think that they know something we don't, and if we attach ourselves to them, some of what they've got will rub off on us. It's a common behavior in so many of us, and even when those who are responsible, in part ,for our current impasse with government, claim that they can now fix things, begs the question of : why now?, why this bullying grab for power now?, when they could have been helping all along.

Sep. 04 2012 11:00 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

This election will be a referendum on the Obama administration.

Those who believe that they are better off today compared to 4 years ago will vote for Obama.

Those who believe that the country is worse off today compared to 4 years ago, that unemployment is higher, that the national debt is greater, that the cost of gas is higher, that NASA has been eviscerated, that schools, burdened by tenured teachers who are not held to standards,

will conclude that it's time for a change.

Will vote for Romney.

If Romney does a poor job, he will be out in 4 years as well.

Sep. 04 2012 10:57 AM
Gary Keenan from New York City

It is extremely disappointing to hear Brian Lehrer pretending the "Ryan Budget" is a legitimate economic plan. It simply is not and has been definitively debunked countless times by real economists all over the political spectrum. Playing "devil's advocate" is not an excuse when propaganda from the apocalyptic cult that is the modern Republican party presents so much danger to the country and economy.

Sep. 04 2012 10:57 AM

James from Manhatten -- do you have a link for your statement that Saunders lied about employee contributions to their pensions?

When I was a teacher, back in WI when it was governed by decent pols, I paid X percent of my salary into the pension fund. I'm not sure of the percentage the school district put it, but it was definitely not more than what teachers put in,

Here in NJ, amazingly, school districts could decide they did not need to contribute or they would postpone contributions...until it got to be such a large amount that it became a large enough number to become as Big Issue to use against the teachers' unions. (I did not teach in NJ, but did follow this amazing avoidance of responsibility.)

Thank you for you providing this information.

Sep. 04 2012 10:54 AM
Katie from Brooklyn

@Truth & Beauty

the Democrats held both houses of congress and the presidency in Obama's first term - as well as a perceived mandate. He squandered it and lost the house. also, all the talk about inheriting a problem while true, was no surprise - he campaigned on that fact. it's tough to keep using it as an excuse at this point. let's at least pretend to be balanced here.

Sep. 04 2012 10:54 AM
Maria from Brooklyn

Does Lee Saunders think he is on Fox News? Brian is only asking the questions any skilled journalist should ask. Why the rudeness? As someone in his position, LS should be able to defend his viewpoint with more diplomacy.

Sep. 04 2012 10:52 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I think the whole process has degenerated into name-calling and personal attacks. Let's try to keep the focus on what the parties and candidates propose to accomplish during their term(s) in office.

As it is, the Republican platform is repressive both socially and economically. The Obama administration, to date, has been prevented from accomplishing its goals by Republicans who still can't get their minds around having a non-white president.

Let's pick a platform and vote for that.

Sep. 04 2012 10:47 AM
Brenda from Westchester

I like the talk about averages in pensions, but let's talk about growth of these numbers. Almost every locality is under sever pressure and he will not accept it.

Also, when it comes to teachers as this caller talks about, whenever pensions and benefits put pressure on budgets, guess who suffers - not the teachers it's the children will reduced services!

Sep. 04 2012 10:46 AM
kikakiki from wall street

I wish some of these Union leaders would talk about the low salaries the public employees took in exchange for better benefits. As the salaries rose those benefits decreased. So a public service employee, take social security clerks, who in 1960 made vastly less than comparable clerks in private industry were able to retire in 20 years without paying into the pension plan, now that same job title pays almost comparable to private sector and that job title cannot retire in 20 years and now pays into the retirement fund please give the facts and figures.

Sep. 04 2012 10:45 AM
John from Manh

NYC public school principals are vampires who abuse teachers and only have one goal the numbers of their school so they don't get in trouble from the district.

Sep. 04 2012 10:45 AM

Brian's agument, which I assume is Brian acting as devil's advocate, does lead inexorably to the same questions being asked about American workers in general: If other people in other nations don't get what American workers get, why should American workers continue to get those higher wages, health care of any small sort, SocSec, Medicare, etc. Put any perk or earned benefit on the list -- it can be attacked on those grounds. Toss in civil libetties, then consider the question again....

Right now, in Europe, the Uberwealthy are using the current bankster instigated economic crisis to relentlessly beat down the working and middle classes. Under the guise of fighting debt, they are undermining and pushing down the standard of living of those in the lower four econimic quintiles.

Brian may not realize it, but beating down the working and middle class living standards is being done to workers all over the world now. Americans will get shafted as well.

The globally based Powers That Be think they can have it all, literally, and with that incredible wealth will build themselves bubbles for clean air and livable temperatures. The rest of us? If no ice floes, just wade out into the deep water and drown youself.

A sort of off shoring....

Sep. 04 2012 10:44 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

UNBELIEVABLE OBAMA GAFFES, Mistakes, Lies, and Confusion

Sep. 04 2012 10:44 AM
gary from queens

this union guy didnt answer one question about the conflict of interest in public employee unions negotiating with governors and mayors

Sep. 04 2012 10:40 AM
Zuwena from Manhattan

When are we going to stop blaming the unions for the benefits they managed to secure for there members. Let's go back in history to time of no unions and realize how detrimental that was to the worker. Let's also remember that a lot of those folks in the private sector DID NOT WANT TO WORK IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR. They made more in the private sector and they lauded that over those lowly government worker. These guys ought to be fair and start blaming the corporate leaders who ran off with their pension funds.

Sep. 04 2012 10:38 AM
James from Manhattan

Lee Saunders just flat out lied. The employee contribution is quite small. How can the interview even go on?! How can anyone take him seriously if he flat out will not accept reality?

Sep. 04 2012 10:37 AM
Ngawe from nyc

Starting with Reagan, they tried to equate unions with communism and socialism and they actually use those words.

Sep. 04 2012 10:37 AM

malanie... You can't make a statement like Ryan was right about the GM plant without supporting it with facts. You sound like John Sununu who blames the facts checkers and accuses anyone who dissents from the GOP story of being in bed with the Dems. Where is your proof? Gonna twist Ryan's words to fit it?

Sep. 04 2012 10:36 AM
Bobby from Queens

Today, Niki Menage a black hiphopper who bases her rap name on a sexual situation, endorsed Romney. Obama is brilliant. If he can get even rappers to say black people are disappointed in Obama, white people who might have shied away from him will find him middle of the road, some are even calling him conservative! and will vote for the black guy and reject the mormon robot.

Sep. 04 2012 10:33 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Joe Biden Gaffe Blooper Mix

Sep. 04 2012 10:30 AM
Zmbagwe from Newark

Obama in 2008 was a righteous black man who could speak some son. The second he was inaugurated he became a white man. Check the inauguration video.

Sep. 04 2012 10:26 AM
malanie from manhattan

I guess it's not amazing - last week he had people attacking Romney/Ryan on this program, now its the DNC's turn, and guess what, more of the same. LOL.

BTW, the fact checkers had it wrong, Ryan's GM plant thing was accurate. Unfortunately, now we need to fact check the fact checkers.

I am going to go out on a limb and say we are not going to here much critical questioning on where the Obama admin has taken us or where they are going. Just talking points and Brian will let it slide by with soft ball questions.

Sep. 04 2012 10:26 AM

If Obama wants to convince voters that he is really focused on improving the economy for the 99%, he should announce that he has dismissed Timothy Geithner, and hired Joseph Stiglitz and/or Paul Krugman.

Sep. 04 2012 10:25 AM
john from office

Lets not forget Speedy Ryans Marathon time of under 3 hours. A telling lie, if he lies about the small stuff, you need to worry about the rest.

Sep. 04 2012 10:22 AM
Tim from Nyack

Why doesn't Judy just say it... Ryan was lying. Why are the "journalists" dancing around it?

Sep. 04 2012 10:21 AM

If the nation falls for the GOP pack of lies again then we deserve what the GOP gives us

Sep. 04 2012 10:09 AM
oscar from ny

It looks like the democrats turn to hit their little pinata donkey and hope something good comes out

Sep. 04 2012 09:41 AM
john from office

I thought Israel was always on topic??

Martin, my point is that these people you idolize will soon come after you. The GOP has become a Jesus Cult not a potiical party. There will come the time that those who don't believe will be the new ENEMY.

The Crusaders killed muslims and jews alike.

Sep. 04 2012 09:38 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

The question to ask DWS is: Will this convention reverse the results of the new poll by THE HILL ?

"Hill Poll: Voters say second term undeserved, country is worse off"

"A majority of voters believe the country is worse off today than it was four years ago and that President Obama does not deserve reelection, according to a new poll for The Hill.

Only 31 percent of voters believe the nation is in “better condition,” while 15 percent say it is “about the same.
Just 40 percent of voters said Obama deserves reelection."

Sep. 04 2012 09:30 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

BLS staff...please remove this latest bit of JEW HATRED by this poster... If for no other reason than that it isn't remotely on topic.

Sep. 04 2012 09:12 AM
Robert from NYC

Where's the segment on Sheldon Silve?! HE should resign!!!

Sep. 04 2012 09:12 AM
gary from queens

Before Clint Eastwood spoke at the Republican convention, we heard from two separate moms who gave testimony to Mitt Romney's compassion.

Moms with sick and dying infants and children testified to Mitt's ministering to their grief, and his devotion to their children. And how he dealt with his neighbors.

One mom and dad spoke of how Romney ministered to their young teen, soon to die from cancer. Another mom had a premature infant, who died after only 20 years.

All examples which occurred 30 years ago, before Mitt was a politician.

As they say, "character" is what you do when no one is watching.

But what had Obama done before running for office. His college papers are under lock and key. A self-admitted mediocre student at Occidental gets into Columbia and Harvard?!

How? Who sponsored him? And what if anything had he accomplished before 2008, other than voting twice to kill babies that managed to survive late term abortions?

When "no one was watching" Obama, he hired PIs to find dirt on opponents, and got their ballot petitions nullified in court. he ran unopposed. Romney may be Obama's first real opponent.

Who will tout Obama's character at the Dem Convention?

The Stalinist Communist Frank Marshall---obama's teenage mentor?

Or Tony Rezco, the shady realtor who gave Obama a nice home?

Or Domestic Communist terrorst bomber Bill Ayers, and his equally hater of America, his wife Bernadine Dorn?? Obama's first fundraiser was at their home.

Or Obama's best friend and advisor, and former Spokesperson for Arrafat and PLO, Rashid Khalidi ?

Or maybe the Saudi islamist who's endorsement letter helped Obama get into Harvard. Obama will not name him, so he may have to wear a mask, like his jihadist cohorts do?

Or his own wife Michelle, who was the recipient of a $500k hospital job through state senator obama's influence peddling?

Sep. 04 2012 09:11 AM
gary from queens

@John from office

BL Producer may have to remove your comment for being off topic.

I doubt the vilification of Israel out in public view will not be a part of the Dem Convention.

Not even Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz is dumb enough to do that

Sep. 04 2012 09:10 AM
John from office

Interesting story about the attack on a Christian site in Israel by settlers, as "payback" for the recent evictions. They spray paintied "Jesus is a Monkey" on the site. Wonder how the GOP right wing nuts will deal with this.

Sep. 04 2012 08:55 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.