Free Country

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

WNYC reporters Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah introduce the new politics website, It's a Free Country, and talk politics a week before the New York primary.  David Webb, co-founder of TeaParty365, joins in.


Bob Hennelly, Azi Paybarah and David Webb

Comments [32]

william Galison from manhattan

Incredibly, my comments keep getting censored from this page,

If you would like proof of that allegation please contact me at

Apparently, WNYC will not allow discussion of judicial corruption anywhere on their site.

I left two respectful posts on the topic of how judicial corruption and media complicity affects our freedom and both were removed! I have also banned from their Facebook site, simply because I broach this subject,

When Brian Lehrer asked his audience to choose the first call-in topic of 2010, 85% suggested judicial corruption, yet he ignored them. In fact WNYC has not done a singe story on this urgent topic since 2001.

Why? Because the board of directors is stocked with "white shoe" lawyers form the very firms that benefit from judicial corruption, including Irwin Schneiderman, father of our presumptive AG.

For more information, contact me.

Sep. 12 2010 11:40 AM
Lance from nyc

jawbone you can just write your posts in word processing and use a spell check.

Sep. 07 2010 11:02 AM
bb from nyc

yes, but who cleaned those machines out?

Sep. 07 2010 11:02 AM
Amy from Manhattan

If someone can actually look at the back of the paper ballot & not realize that there's a ballot question there, & if many people don't even realize the ballot continues on the back, then the ballot is badly designed. I looked at the demo ballot on the Free Country page, & the font is way too small in the notice that ballot proposals are on the other side & in the title of the ballot question itself. Why not print "BALLOT PROPOSALS" in a big font size across the top of that side? It was hard enough in the old system to see where the ballot q's. were; putting them where you can't see them at all unless you turn the page over makes it harder! Is the Board of Elections taking any feedback on the ballot design?

BTW, the old voting machines did supply a paper record. Pulling the big lever punched your votes into a paper ballot behind the small levers. That's why you could slide the little panel open & write in a vote. Opening the panel exposed a little bit of the paper ballot that was behind the whole face of the machine.

Sep. 07 2010 11:00 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

hjs11211 -- Have to be on Face Book to get comments read? What, WNYC listeners are chopped liver? Sheesh!!!

Guess WNYC is trying to, what, reach a different demographic group?

And I won't even sign up for Face Book. Oh, well.

Sep. 07 2010 10:54 AM
jawbone from p

Oh, drat. Didn't proof well enough. Oh, for an edit feature! Please excuse my somewhat racy typo.

Oh, for HTML features!

Sep. 07 2010 10:51 AM
Jim from NJ

Big fan of the show. I am an x republican who is now an independent and will never vote Republican again until Palin, Cheney and all the other conservatives are gone. Moderates need to take the party back just as moderates need to take the Deocratic Party back. Our country will never move forward until a moderate is in power (Dem or Rep) or we have a 3rd party eliminating the 60 vote majority in the Senate.

I've voted for Republican presidents since Reagan except - Clinton in his 2nd term and Obama. I'm a big fan of Obama but think he has made several mistakes: 1. - Afghan buildup is wrong, need to pull out, 2. - Healthcare was done at the wrong time, was incomplete, will cost him many votes this nov. and will cost the taxpayer many billions for not much return. I would not vote to repeal it though. 3. - Economy, Obama should be concentrating on the economy, economy, economy. I think it was Reagan who said ' It's the economy stupid' when he was running.

I am pro Arizona imig law - the Fed Gvt (BUSH) did nothing about imig and the people of Arizona etc are in danger and need to protect themselves. Instead of healthcare Obama should have done something about imigration since Bush did nothing. We need to protect our country and that starts at our borders not Afghanistan and Iraq.

There will always be those who want to burn books and flags, protest at soldiers funerals, pray to god, say there is no god, be pro and anti abortion etc. etc etc. That's what's great about America.

One last point ... FOX News, not a fan, too extreme Right and aggresive but they have the right to exist. It could be argued that you are similar. You are not as aggresive but you do push the left agenda. During the Bush years you were very vocal against Bush.

Sep. 07 2010 10:49 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Too bad no one pointed out to David Webb that TARP was not a regulatory regimen; it was a rescue package meant to prop up the Big Banksters and Wall Street players.

It was necessary bcz, among other things, credit default swaps in their myriad versions are not regulated and the Banksters conned the pubic and even smaller financial institutions. And mortgage sellers were conning home buyers and home owners.

The ratings agencies? What a joke! Money seems to influence how they rate things.

As Dean Baker wrote, When Wall Street Rules, Wall Street Writes the Rules. And our elected representatives realize we are not their bosses.

Sep. 07 2010 10:49 AM
jawbone from p

Early Tea Party demos (last summer) had signs and people shouting "Keep your hands off my Medicare."

That is a government program, of course, but many of the Tea Party favored Republican candidates want to privatize Medicare (profit for somebody!! Higher, unaffordable costs for the users.) and do away with Soc Sec.

Where does this guy think the Tea Party stands on such issues?

Sep. 07 2010 10:44 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

term limits term limits term limits and the end of the duopoly party system

Sep. 07 2010 10:44 AM

you have to post on facebook to be read by brian

Sep. 07 2010 10:43 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Lisa

Sep. 07 2010 10:42 AM
Cheryl from ues

Are you not reading comments from this page any more on the air?

Sep. 07 2010 10:40 AM
Lisa from UWS

How come there's no bio info for Azi Paybarah. We know who Brian and Bob are, but if you're journalists why is so much of WNYC hidden?

Sep. 07 2010 10:40 AM
Norman from NYC

This is an idea that was born from right-wing billionaires who contributed millions of dollars.

Sep. 07 2010 10:39 AM
Norman from NYC

More from the Free Country blog,

"Reports indicate that the Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement flows primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks."

Sep. 07 2010 10:36 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Norman, thank you for stating clearly my objections to how these new voting methods have been developed.

They are mostly proprietary and meant to be anything but transparent.

Perhaps these bugs are actually features, not bugs???

If Miami-Dade Cty had adequately tested their butterfly ballot, we would have had a Gore presidency and we would not have illegally and immorally invaded Iraq.

Of course, Cheney and the other Neocons would have been screaming hysterically for whatever terms Gore won that we must invade Iraq, yada, yada.

But, we would not have donated the Soc Sec lock box T-notes to huge tax cuts for the Uberwealthy. We might well be on track to at least begin to fight global warming.

Oh, alas, I dare not go there. Too depressing. We are where we are, and we must test these voting methods.

Sep. 07 2010 10:35 AM
Loli from nyc

How come there's no national tea party website?

Sep. 07 2010 10:35 AM
Bill from ny

Is Glenn Beck the Tea Party's presidential candidate?

Sep. 07 2010 10:34 AM
John from NYC

If it was truly a free country, when you posted a comment here it wouldn't get deleted. Even if you are complaining about the ads for Pasta Sauce and luxury cars, when it's supposed to be listener supported public radio.

Sep. 07 2010 10:32 AM
Norman from NYC

Follow the dollar

In the Free Country blog, somebody brought up the New Yorker article about how David and Charles Koch are funding the Tea Party.

Where is David Webb and the Tea Party getting their money from? Are they getting anything from Kokch?

Sep. 07 2010 10:30 AM
Uncle Sam from Astoria

Tea Party dude: how come when you do a google search for a Tea Party site all you can come up with is a t shirt site. Is this a real movement or what?

Sep. 07 2010 10:28 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Oh, no! Bob Hennelly! Disappointment time from one of my favorite reporters!

You stated that too much political coverage is reduced to the most extreme sides of the right and the left, and then they shout (not sure that was the word) at one another producing more heat than light.

Alas, would that we had any leftists on those programs -- that might result in, oh, discussions about why we stay at war and, during the health insurance reform limited discussion time, we might have learned more about single payer -- which Obama took "off the table" and, for the most part, the MCM (including, alas, most of public radio) kept off the air and off their news pages.

Economy? When do we even have labor leaders and organizers on programs, even on Labor Day?

Why weren't James Galbraith and Stiglitz, among the well-known lefty economists, on programs often?

Bob, what we have is a limited window of permitted discourse and only the representatives of the edges and even the middle of that limited discourse are allowed.

It's referred to as the Overton window. Google it. It's increasingly having a narrower and narrower opening. And, worse yet, it's continally being moved rightward in the past several decades.

Obama is not moving it leftward, btw.

Sep. 07 2010 10:26 AM

These machines are hackable! And they are
very misleading to voters. If the inspectors are not well trained, many people will lose their votes just due to misunderstanding the
confusing instructions.
I am an inspector and am very concerned.
The lever machines were easy to use and
not hackable!

Sep. 07 2010 10:24 AM
ny from ny

Ya gotta love the caller: "These people are ignorant. You gotta explain them everything!"

Sep. 07 2010 10:22 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

Over the past 30 years I have not heard a single political "discussion" or "argument" that has changed the position of either party to the conversation. As guided by our ratings-obsessed media, such opportunities only afford egos to further entrench themselves.

Sep. 07 2010 10:21 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

I loved the old lever style voting booths! You really knew you were voting -- it was physical. I can't believe they're finally making the change after all these years. I'm sure it will be a total mess until we all figure it out.

Sep. 07 2010 10:19 AM
Norman from NYC

If a competent engineer or designer was trying to design something that was really important to get right, they would create a prototype, test it out on the kind of people that are going to use it, find out what problems it has (new technology *always* has problems). and fix the problems.

That's the way aircraft engineers and medical equipment desigjners work.

If the manufacturers of the voting machines didn't do that (and it seems they didn't), then we're guaranteed to have problems.

I wonder how easy it will be for one party or the other to take advantage of those problems to manipulate the vote.

Sep. 07 2010 10:18 AM
RLewis from bowery

Alaska has a total population of less than 700,000. Brooklyn (just 1 borough) has a population of 2.5 million. Shouldn't we change the constitution to limit a state to 1 senator, if their entire population is less than the largest city in the US?

Sep. 07 2010 10:18 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

2 problems:

a. Campaign finance allows for corporations buy politicians

b. Dispoportionate representation in the senate (1 Wyoming conservative equals 70 California liberals), and the fillibuster (which is not in the Constitution) allows for 40 senators representing ~20% of citizens to block all legislation.


a. Do what England does: $100,000 cap on spending, and/or public financing, and/or declaring that the Bill of Rights are for "natural persons" and not corporate persons

b. get rid of the senate, and make it like parliament where representation is proportional.

Sep. 07 2010 10:15 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct.

Its a free speech country, but what about the hatefullness of the Florida Preacher who wants to burn the Koran ?! Are they not just as much of religious fanatics as those few Muslims who flew Airplanes into the twin Towers ?
Yes we have the right to burn our own flag and people will get upset by that, But the ongoing Religious wars are just as irresponsible as is shouting FIRE in a crowded theater.

Sep. 07 2010 10:13 AM
Norman from NYC

So the new ballots are difficult for young people to read and for old people to read.

Sep. 07 2010 10:13 AM

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