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It's A Free Country ®

Bloomberg's Pension End-Around

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WNYC
As anyone with a 401(k) knows, how much money you're going to have to put into your retirement and how much money you're going to have when you retire is so dependent on your rate of return and how well your investments do. If the current system as it goes right now continues, you know, the city is currently seriously underfunded in its pension fund liabilities and unless either of those rates of return improve or if the city starts putting more tax payer money into the system it's going to be very costly to fund these pension fund liabilities.

— Joe Flood, editor-at-large of aiCIO Magazine on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comment

It's A Free Country ®

Democrats and the Budget Extension

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If it takes a shutdown of the government for people to come to their senses, or as President Obama says, for the adults to get into the room, then perhaps that's what it will take.

—Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY)  on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [7]

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Yes or No No-Fly

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I don't think the U.S. should be intervening when asked by the Arab League, I mean we've never really asked the Arab League for permission to do anything else in the region.

Micah Zenko, fellow for conflict prevention at the Council of Foreign Relations, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [20]

It's A Free Country ®

Former GE VP: Japan Comparable to Three Mile Island

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"We're talking of numbers on the order of what you would receive getting a cat scan or getting other diagnostic x-rays done over the course of your lifetime, so you have those done without fear, I believe that there's no fear in an increase of radiation here."

-Former GE VP Margaret Harding, on the scale of Japan's nuclear crisis

Comments [5]

It's A Free Country ®

'BetterJobs,' Better Teachers

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WNYC
We lose 40% of teachers in the first five years on the job. No other profession suffers that kind of loss. No other profession treats its new people so badly. If you could listen to what teachers ask for, they want a chance to collaborate, to develop curriculum... if you could change those conditions, I think you'd find that an awful lot of the people that are now teaching are in fact better people.

John Merrow, education correspondent at the PBS NewsHour and author of the new book, The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [23]

It's A Free Country ®

From Nuclear Policy to a Budget Showdown

Monday, March 14, 2011

WNYC
This accident hits the pause button again when it comes to nuclear power. What it really does, whether it actually will prevent us from going forward and it may depend on what happens in Japan but we're really watching the situation with a lot of concern.

Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [12]

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Census Results: A Shake-Up in the Garden State

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WNYC
Redistricting is a process which is not only arbitrary but aggravating to many people, because politicians are usually most interested in self preservation, and clearly someone in this equation is going to have to be sacrificed.

— Sam Roberts, urban affairs correspondent for The New York Times on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [4]

It's A Free Country ®

GOP Mulls 'Obamacare' Alternative

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

These are fights worth getting into. If the Republican party has decided that universal health care isn't a goal we should have in this country, fine...Until now, they haven't made that argument. They've said, we'll repeal Obamacare and replace it with all the popular stuff, none of the unpopular bits. I think what we're seeing now is that it's impossible.

Ezra Klein, columnist at The Washington Post and Newsweek, talking about health care reform on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [5]

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What Can We Learn From an Alternate History?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My feeling is two-fold, one is to understand that the efforts to impose these broad patterns of how history develops, that effort needs to be footnoted heavily by the notion that fate plays a heavy role. And the other part about that is...that you need to be aware of the contingency of history just as you need to be aware of it in your own life. There's an old Yiddish proverb, and I think every culture has it. Want to hear God laugh? Make a plan. And so there's a point about this that says, the more I think you know how little history can be controlled, maybe the less effort you think to try to impose your own vision of what history should be.

Jeff Greenfield,senior political correspondent for CBS News, on The Brian Lehrer Show.


Comments [10]

It's A Free Country ®

Secretary Clinton: 'Advocate-in-Chief' for Women

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

WNYC
If you weren't paying attention you wouldn't really know just how much she's tried to weave the theme of women and women at the center of US foreign policy, rather at the periphery, into every peice of work that she does, whether it's a foreign trip...or whether it's a speech that she gives.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, deputy director of the women and foreign policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, on The Brian Lehrer Show.


Comment

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Gillibrand's Fight: The War on Women

Monday, March 07, 2011

WNYC
I feel like it's much more of an all out assault on women that is not just about reproductive rights. Apparently they don't believe that women's health care should be funded. Companies and organizations and not for profits like Planned Parenthood, that's their job. They outreach to at-risk women and deliver a full range of health care services to them, including mammograms and pre-cancer screenings and including prenatal care, so when the pregnant women needs help to make sure that the child she bears is healthy, they don't even want to fund that.

N.Y. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrandon The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [25]

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This Week in Politics, from Wisconsin to Libya

Monday, March 07, 2011

I think there are some bigger questions about what kind of foreign policy Barack Obama really believes in here. He doesn't want the U.S. to take direct military action without having true international involvement—not just a coalition of the willing, like President Bush had (that's not real), but something where our allies genuinely join us in addressing this problem.

Jonathan Alter, correspondent for Newsweek, discussing Libya and other political issues in the week ahead on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [9]

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Krugman on Labor, Debt, and the GOP's 'Magic Asterisk'

Friday, March 04, 2011

Remember how many schools and bridges and other things we have now were in fact built during the 1930s, done by the WPA. We could have been doing useful stuff. We had a lot of workers sitting idle when they could have been producing stuff that would actually make us richer in the long run. The weakness of the economy is the single biggest reason why we have deficits; it's not government spending. Spending has actually grown less since the recession hit than it did in the years prior to the recession.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, talking about the fate of the economic recovery on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [20]

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The Budgetary War on Women

Thursday, March 03, 2011

WNYC
When women feel unable to carry a pregnancy to term, they do seek termination services, even when those services are illegal, difficult to find or dangerous. So not only would we expect a rise in abortions, we might also expect a rise in negative outcomes for women’s health.

Melissa Harris-Perry, columnist at The Nation magazine and associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [14]

It's A Free Country ®

Anthony Weiner on the Obligation to Recuse

Thursday, March 03, 2011

WNYC
For thirteen years, Justice Thomas on his financial disclosures failed to disclose the income of his spouse... the perception is there of conflict, and with that perception comes the requirement to recuse.

— Congressman Anthony Weiner on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [10]

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Women and Democracy Building in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

They're demanding a new law to protect women from violence, and in fact they know they need democracy to do that work. They are focusing on these issues including the issue of democracy as an enabler for work, and social justice for young people in the country. When we think about what we should push for, we should really take the lead from them.

Karima Bennoune, professor at Rutgers School of Law and a specialist on the democracy movement, women's rights and religious extremism in the Middle East, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [4]

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Talking to Madoff

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

He was not somebody who woke up one morning deciding to fleece everyone he knew and cared for. I frankly think that's true. He made hundreds of millions of dollars legitimately, which makes this whole Ponzi scheme that much more bizarre, because in some ways it's a vanity project.

Steve Fishman, contributor to New York Magazine, talking about his exclusive interviews with imprisoned Bernard Madoff on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [12]

It's A Free Country ®

The Manning Wikileaks Defense - Is It Free Speech?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

It is a form of non-violent resistance but it still might have violent consequences. That's why the question quickly becomes not one of law. If he did this, any government, any government—however dedicated to free speech—would punish him, and probably punish him severely.

Floyd Abrams,a visiting professor of First Amendment Law at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [13]

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From Libya to Washington

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

WNYC
Always what's shocking in polls is when people admit what they haven't heard of. In the course of watching what's going on in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, all the other places in recent times, I've been astounded by the poll numbers of people who say they have only barely heard that there is something going on.

David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [7]

It's A Free Country ®

Medicaid Redesigned

Monday, February 28, 2011

We're trying to move more patients, the more difficult, high cost ones—people with disabilities, people on long term care, with mental illness—to move these populations into various forms of care coordination and management. Increasing investment in primary and preventive care: that's what the bulk of this package is about, and that's smart, right directions. What I'd hope is that if Medicaid moves in that direction, it will help bring the rest of the health care system along with it.

Richard Gottfried, New York's Assemblyman for District 64 and Health Committee chairperson, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [12]