BTS 5/18/09: Pakistan/Afghanistan; Credit Card Squeeze; Ballot Propositions

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Tonight we begin with the danger and escalating instability of the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tariq Ali joins us, and he warns that no one in Washington knows what the war aim is and says that by continuing its war in Afghanistan, the US accepts the risk of destabilizing Pakistan. 

We then turn to Danny Schechter, the ‘news dissector’ on the credit card squeeze: The Senate so far has refused to limit interest rates credit card companies can charge to 15%, and now the New York Times is calling for a 36% total limit, including fees. Danny says credit cards have gone from being a luxury to a necessity to a noose.

And finally, on tonight’s program we turn to an analysis of the ballot propositions in tomorrow’s election with Jean Ross, Executive Director of the California Budget Project.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Tariq Ali is a novelist, historian, playwright, journalist, political campaigner and longstanding editor of New Left Review. He is the author of dozens of books. Tariq Ali has been a leading figure of the international left since the 60s, and his political commentary is published on every continent. Tariq Ali’s latest book, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, was published by Simon and Schuster and his forthcoming book is Protocols of the Elders of Sodom and Other Essays – on politics and culture.

2. Danny Schechter, "The News Dissector," has produced and directed many TV specials and documentary films, including the internationally distributed and award-winning WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception), an expose of the media's role in the Iraq War. The Emmy-winning former ABC News and CNN producer's new hard-hitting documentary investigates why so many Americans are being strangled by debt: In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts.

3. Jean M. Ross is the founding executive director of the CBP. Ms. Ross serves on the Board of the Washington, DC-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the Advisory Committee of California's Franchise Tax Board, and the Board of the California Tax Reform Association. Ms. Ross is a frequent speaker on workforce and fiscal policy issues and has published numerous reports and articles on fiscal and economic policy issues.