BTS 4/9/10: Stevens Retirement; Kyrgyzstan; US-Russia Nuclear Pact; Epic Recession

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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, on the court since 1975, announced his retirement today, giving President Obama his second pick on the Supremes, before the 2010 midterm elections. Will Obama be bold in his pick and what names are floating around? We’ll ask The Nation’s John Nichols.

We then turn to the former Soviet world: John CK Daly reports on the dramatic events in Kyrgyzstan, where Bakiev’s administration has been overthrown amid violence and a transitional regime has been installed. John Daly, an expert on the region says the events represent a significant diplomatic conundrum for Washington, Moscow and Beijing, and he’s calling it peril and opportunity in Kyrgyzstan.

We then talk to Stephen Cohen about the nuclear pact just signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev. We’ll ask Professor Cohen about the state of US-Russian relations, what the recent terrorist bombing in the Moscow subway and the events in Kyrgyzstan portend for Medvedev’s professed ideals and Putin’s cold, pragmatic rule.

And finally on tonight’s BTS, Jack Rasmus joins us to talk about his forthcoming book Epic Recession/Prelude to Depression. We’ll ask him whether he believes we are in a recovery and what he makes of the semi-mea culpas by Greenspan and Rubin yesterday. We’ll ask for his economic prognosis too.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. John Nichols is the Washington Correspondent of The Nation, where he also blogs the “Online Beat”. John is also associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times, and is author of several books, including The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), and with Robert McChesney, It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press).

2. John C.K. Daly is a non-resident Fellow at John Hopkins Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington, DC. He writes for ISN Security Watch.

3. Stephen F. Cohen professor of Russian studies at New York University. His most recent book is Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War (Columbia). His others include Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution, Rethinking the Soviet Experience, and with Katrina vanden Heuvel, Voices of Glasnost: Conversations With Gorbachev's Reformers.

4. Jack Rasmus is a Professor of Economics at St. Mary’s College and Santa Clara University. He is a freelance economics journalist and author of The War At Home: The Corporate Offensive From Ronald Reagan To George W. Bush (2006) and several stageplays. He has been a business economist, market analyst, vice-president of the National Writers Union and elected local union president and organizer for various labor unions.