Beneath The Surface with Suzi Weissman airs every Friday on KPFK Pacifica Radio from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tune in at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, and worldwide on KPFK.ORG. You can listen to archived shows online on the KPFK website.

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BTS 5/21/10: Financial Reform Bill; SB1070 Lawsuit; Tea Party Ideology

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Nomi Prins joins us to dissect the Senate Financial Reform Bill passed yesterday. Nomi thinks the bill is far from “sweeping.” She says it doesn’t’ deter the reckless financial engineering, investing, and inflation of values upon which leveraged funds thrive, and won't protect us from economic chaos. We’ll ask her whether the financial sector is a clear and present danger to all of us, whether the real worry behind ‘Too Big to Fail’ is about ‘too big to bail’ as Max Wolff put it – and what this bill does to protect ordinary workers and consumers. We’ll also ask Nomi what reforms we need.

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center joins us to talk about the Class Action Law Suit her organization along with a coalition of civil rights groups filed challenging Arizona’s SB 1070 -- which declares open season on people of color, sets the clock back on a generation of civil rights gains, mandates racial profiling, jeopardizes public safety and creates a wedge between law enforcement and ethnic communities The extreme law, the coalition charged, invites the racial profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment and interferes with federal law.

Greg Grandin, Professor of history at NYU and author of Fordlandia, recently called Glenn Beck the “Perfect Pitchman for the Tea Party's Deranged Ideas About US History.” In light of the primary win of Tea Partier Rand Paul in Kentucky, we’ll go beneath the surface with Professor Grandin to discuss the ideas behind this nationalist and racist resurgence. Grandin insists there is a coherence to the Tea Party version of history, which he says allows conservative cadres not just to interpret the world but to act in it – and Grandin says, it is all about race.

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BTS 5/14/10: BP Oil Volcano; UK Economy/Politics; 36th District Elections; Student Struggle

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On tonight’s program we begin with Dr. Joseph Romm, physicist and climate expert, on his analysis of BP's "Oil Volcano" now spewing about two Exxon Valdez's per week. As Congress begins its investigation and a climate change bill hits the Senate, we'll ask Romm about the ecological and political implications of this disaster.

We then turn to Gary Younge, New York Correspondent for The Guardian who says Britain is bracing for the shocks to come as the new coalition government prepares draconian cuts that could kill the economy. Will the population resist the cuts? Did they vote against the Blair/Brown neoliberal-Labourism or for cuts in their living standards?

Then Marcy Winograd updates us on her important run against Blue Dog Jane Harman in the 36th Congressional District that runs from Venice to San Pedro. She has all the progressive endorsements - will it be enough against Jane Harman's deep pockets?

And finally on tonight’s Beneath The Surface, we talk to three students from the coalition "Our Struggle is Tied With Yours" at Saint Mary's College of California that just staged a week long fast, sleeping in tents outside in the rain -- a call to action demanding the college to live up to its the social justice mission. They won all their demands and their struggle is an example now spreading to other campuses.

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BTS 5/7/10: UK Elections; Greek General Strike; Jobs Report; Connecting Crises

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Tonight, Paul Mason, Economics Editor of BBC’s Newsnight joins us for an analysis of Britain’s historic General Election which resulted in a hung parliament and left the David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown to try to cobble together a coalition government, decidedly continental in style and not British.

Savas Michael Matsas reports for us on Greece's General Strike of May 5, which Savas is calling the Greek Volcano, and like Iceland's volcano, this too will impact the entire Eurozone as well as the United States.

Max Fraad Wolff joins us for an analysis of the latest jobs report -- productivity is up, but wages aren't and the unemployment rate is increasing. We'll get his perspective.

And finally, Tom Hayden connects the dots of our multiple crises, environmental, economic, political and military. We'll ask him about the many blowbacks of Obama's drone war in Pakistan, the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the oil deals that have exploded in the BP spill in the Gulf.

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BTS 4/30/10: AZ Boycott; Plunder; Disposable Soldiers; British Elections

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On tonight’s program we begin with Los Angeles Councilman Ed Reyes, who coauthored a proposal for Los Angeles to join the boycott of Arizona after Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the new anti-immigrant legislation that gives that state its own Nuremburg or Pass Laws that discriminate against immigrants.

We then turn to the continuing economic crisis. The Senate hearings on Goldman Sachs are galvanizing support for financial reform. Danny Schechter says the financial crisis is a crime story – and we should consider jail-outs, not bail-outs. He has a new film, “Plunder” and joins us today.

Then Joshua Kors joins us to talk about his new story showing how the Pentagon is cheating wounded vets. it is in the Nation and he calls it “Disposable Soldiers.” Joshua Kors earned national attention for his work uncovering the veterans benefits scandal – his two part series in the Nation showed how military doctors are purposely misdiagnosing soldiers wounded in Iraq, labeling them mentally ill in order to deny them medical care and disability pay.

We’ll also talk to Paul Mason about the British General Election on May 5.

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BTS 4/23/10: Financial Regulation; "Influence"; "The Taming of the American Crowd"

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On tonight’s program we begin with Jane D’Arista, former staff economist for the Congress, now at U Mass Amherst and author of the two volume history of US monetary policy and financial regulation, The Evolution of U.S. Finance. She recently testified at the Financial Services hearings and joins us to talk about the proposed regulatory reform: is it enough and will it work?

We are then joined in studio by Shem Bitterman, Alan Rosenberg and Steve Zuckerman, writer, actor and director of the currently playing “Influence” at the Skylight Theatre on Vermont. This terrific play from the Katselas Theatre Company is the third in Bitterman’s celebrated Iraq War trilogy, this one about Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank. This intelligent, superbly written, directed and acted play is running until May 9 and you shouldn’t miss it.

And finally on tonight’s Beneath The Surface, Al Sandine joins us in studio to talk about his new book, The Taming of the American Crowd: From Stamp Riots to Shopping Sprees, a journey into American history that sees the crowd and social protest as the antidote to despair and the soul and center of the country and its progress.

BTS 4/16/10: Labor and Immigration

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Tonight our theme is labor and immigration. We begin with Harold Meyerson, with us to talk about SEIU’s international clean-up Sodexo Campaign. Today outgoing SEIU President Andy Stern, Danny Glover and others were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in Gaithersburg Maryland, part of the SEIU’s global campaign to persuade Sodexo to stop interfering in the rights of workers to unionize. We’ll also ask Harold to assess Andy Stern’s stewardship of the labor movement’s largest union.

We are then joined by Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara, for a deeper look into Andy Stern’s leadership and legacy of the SEIU, Change to Win, and we’ll ask him about labor’s prospects.

Continuing on the labor theme, Jackie Goldberg, former California State Assemblywoman who serves on the National Workers’ Rights Board on the Los Angeles Carwash Industry joins us with Maria Aide Hernandez, a carwashera, to talk about the Carwash campaign in Los Angeles, where wage theft, environmental, health and safety abuses are widespread.

And finally, on tonight’s BTS, we talk to Jeffrey Kaye, veteran journalist (“Newshour” on PBS) and author, on his new book, Moving Millions: How Coyote Capitalism Fuels Global Immigration. He joins us in studio to talk about migrants today – people who are treated as supplies to be shifted around to meet demand — all are pieces of a larger system Kaye calls "coyote capitalism." Kaye knocks down myths about why immigrants come to America, what role they play in the economy, and challenges the view that immigrants themselves motivate immigration, rather than the policies of businesses and governments, and he finds surprising connections between globalization, economic growth and the convoluted immigration debates taking place in America and other industrialized countries. Kaye concludes that America's approach to importing workers looks from the outside like a patchwork of unnecessary laws and regulations, but the machinery of immigration is actually part of a larger, global system that satisfies the needs of businesses and governments, often at the expense of workers in every nation.

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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.

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BTS 4/2/10: Truthdig Debate on Religion and Politics

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This week on Beneath the Surface, we bring you excerpts from the Truthdig debate on Religion and Politics, between Chris Hedges (author of American Fascists and War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning), and Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation).

BTS 3/26/10: Liberalism and Conservatism in the US

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Tonight we examine what has happened to Liberalism and Conservatism in the US. The economic crisis and prospect of a long decline has fueled rage and exposed the deep polarization of the country. Passage of the long debated and watered down health insurance reform bill brought that simmering but inchoate rage to the surface and raises questions about the future of the two parties and indeed of governance.

We’ll talk to Kevin Baker, whose cover story “The Vanishing Liberal” appears in the April Harpers magazine, and Robert Scheer, who writes that moderate Republicans are a disappearing species on, about the political moment we face.

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BTS 3/12/10: Greece; Economy; Inti-Illimani

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Greece is bankrupt, and the EU has decided to manage its path to recovery with bailouts and austerity. Many Greeks think it is being treated like a protectorate as draconian measures are imposed. The population has responded with street demonstrations, two general strikes, and continuing protests. Californians should take note: unlike the EU, the US federal government has offered neither bailouts -- nor austerity measures. Savas Michael Matsas, cancer radiologist, philosopher and political activist joins us from Greece to report from the streets.

We then talk to Michael Hudson, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, who says if you think Greece is in dire economic straits heading down, you ought to look at Latvia, – he joins us for a revealing insight into troubles in the Euro zone, the proliferating examples of debt peonage from Chile to Europe and even here at home as individual, state and national sectors of the economy are drowning in debt. Michael Hudson will be in a panel with me at the Left Forum next weekend in NYC – and we’ll ask him to preview his talk titled “The Final State of Finance Capitalism: From pension fund capitalism to bubbles to bailouts to the coming Oligarchic Decade of Foreclosure.”

And finally on tonight’s BTS, we are very fortunate to talk with the extraordinary Chilean musicians from Inti Illimani. They are playing a benefit concert tonight in Los Angeles – to celebrate the LA Unified School District’s renewed charter for the Los Angeles Academy of Arts & Enterprise. Since this concert was planned the 8.8 earthquake intervened and LAAEE is sharing the proceeds to donate to the Chile Earthquake Relief fund. We are fortunate to catch up with this historic Chilean musical group who have become Chile’s ambassadors of cultural expression with their unique sound “forged with passion and poetry .. a mantra for peace in the world. ”They are still around thanks to being on tour in Europe at the time of the 1973 coup that killed President Allende’s Popular Unity government and inaugurated the brutal dictatorship of Pinochet.

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