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It's A Free Country ®

Kissinger On China

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I basically believe that societies grow and become great not by their conflicts but by their reconciliations. And I'm hoping that at some point the leadership of both parties will agree not just on what concessions they need to make but what picture of America they want to support.

Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Adviser on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [21]

It's A Free Country ®

Bright Future for Fracking in New York State?

Friday, July 01, 2011

They'll need more inspectors, more cops on the ground to make sure drilling companies are complying with permit conditions and whatever regulations are put on the books. In our view, the industry has to pay for that; through permit fees and taxes, it needs to support the level of oversight that will protect New York's water resources.

David Gahl, policy director of Environmental Advocates of New York, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [27]

It's A Free Country ®

Christie's Cuts: How NJ Budget Affects State, Fall Elections

Friday, July 01, 2011

This was a pretty smart one; he hasn't disrupted things too much. Even the school cuts, probably the biggest ones of the budget, were already struck for the fall, and their tax bills are already going out. It's not like this was money that's going to lead to yet more layoffs in the schools.

John Mooney, education writer and co-founder of njspotlight.com, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [9]

It's A Free Country ®

Pentagon Papers Legacy and WikiLeaks

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The great vice in what the government is trying to do is that it's trying to criminalize the journalistic process with respect to getting information that's classified. If in fact they can succeed in the Assange case, they will be taking away a journalistic right that journalists have had for years, which is to talk to a variety of people in order to gather information.

James Goodale, former vice chairman and general counsel of The New York Times and a lead lawyer in the Pentagon Papers case, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [17]

It's A Free Country ®

In the Wake of Same Sex Marriage Approval: The Loss of Domestic Partnership Benefits?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

To have same sex marriage now be the way in which we cut off those rights for domestic partners seems to me to be a bad outcome, rather than seeing marriage as something among a menu of ways in which one can have their relationship legally recognized.

Katherine Franke, Professor of law and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [64]

It's A Free Country ®

Invoking States' Rights

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Federalism arguments are often opportunistic. It really depends, often, on what the issue is.

— Constitutional scholar and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, Sanford Levinson, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [16]

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BoA, QE2, EU: What To Do?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The problems that came to the surface in 2008 are still there, they’re just lurking not very far beneath the surface.

Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [29]

It's A Free Country ®

Tri-State Roundup

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

There was a sense that no one was really running state government, you had Sheldon Silver, the longest serving legislative leader, who many people considered the most powerful man in Albany, and now, after six months, it's clearly Andrew Cuomo.

New York Observer Political Reporter Azi Paybarah, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [14]

It's A Free Country ®

Is the Global War on Drugs a Failure?

Monday, June 27, 2011

What the world needs at this moment, and the U.S., is to look at the problem of consumption of drugs as a sickness, as a problem of health, but not as a criminal activity...it's not using enough money on information and prevention and the problem of using marijuana is totally out of hand...it's time that the U.S. at least look at Europe that has been handling this in a much more intelligent way. They use the word harm, less harm for society, and I really think that is a much better approach.

— César Gaviria, former president of Colombia and a commissioner on the Global Commission on Drug Policy, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [20]

It's A Free Country ®

City Budget Progresses with Help from Teachers Union

Monday, June 27, 2011

We really have a disastrous fiscal years in the out years, a $5 billion budget gap in 2013 and the reality that Albany and Washington are stepping away and are going to continue cutting their contributions to the city so even tougher choices lay ahead. We dodged the bullet this time.

WNYC's Bob Hennelly on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [6]

It's A Free Country ®

Listeners Respond: Obama's Cautious Gay Marriage Stance

Friday, June 24, 2011

People don’t have to get a marriage visa every time they cross the George Washington bridge. Unfortunately, though, there has been a gay exception carved into the way our country treats marriage.

Evan Wolfsen, president of Freedom to Marry, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [32]

It's A Free Country ®

The Debt Ceiling Impasse

Friday, June 24, 2011

The expectation was that at a certain point they’d have to leave the hard decisions to President Obama and to the Speaker of the House.

Congressional Quarterly senior writer Joseph Schatz, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [5]

It's A Free Country ®

Unpacking the Un-Surge in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Military forces are voracious consumers of all kinds of expendables and most of these supplies have to come through Pakistan. The larger the US force, the more leverage Pakistan has.

Robert Haddick, managing editor of Small Wars Journal, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [26]

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Supreme Court Decisions

Thursday, June 23, 2011

[I]f the first amendment continues to bar efforts to protect privacy, then privacy may really have an uphill battle in the future.

— Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at The George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [5]

It's A Free Country ®

What the Property Tax Cap Means for Mandates

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's not over with yet, it's a very fluid situation. But clearly, to effectively implement a tax cap without destroying community college participation, or long term home health care programs, nursing homes, tourism, water, sewer, economic development projects, road patrol, infrastructure—they need to get this mandate relief.

Stephen Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [8]

It's A Free Country ®

Christine Todd Whitman on Nuclear Power

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The tritium leaks are something about which you have got to be concerned. Even [though] the AP says none of them have reached drinking water aquifers, it’s still not something you want to see. But they don’t mention the amount of money that has gone into improving and trying to stop that from happening.

— Former New Jersey governor and EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [41]

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One Nation Under AARP

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AARP may be the only major force out there that can put the brakes on what seems to be a gathering coalition to really cut into Medicare and to really cut into Social Security.

Frederick R. Lynch, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [8]

It's A Free Country ®

What's Happening in Conservatism?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is this a war to be won by improving or changing political culture in Middle East?...Conservatives have to look at that and see how would you affect such a thing, what are steps toward it, how do you go about doing this? Or is it the way to go at all?...You can't advance on all fronts at once. You have to see which ones are the most important ones, and you have to pick your battles. We need a lot more strategic thinking about that.

Richard Brookhiser, senior editor of the National Review and author of Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [19]

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Is Bank Regulation Excessive, or Necessary?

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you make these capital standards high enough and burdensome enough, then firms aren't going to grow larger. If you know that you have to hold a lot more capital because you have some risky assets, you might think twice about holding those assets.

Deborah Solomon, financial policy writer for The Wall Street Journal, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [1]

It's A Free Country ®

Assemblyman Jeffries on the Albany Finals

Monday, June 20, 2011

If we are going to permit marriage equality for same sex couples, it seems to me somewhat problematic if we're then going to turn around and impose restrictions on the ability for those same sex married couples to raise children looking for a loving home.

— New York State Assemblyman representing central Brooklyn Hakeem Jeffries (D-57) on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [1]