Recent blog posts
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.22 with Jay Narey, Lerone, Patt & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.15 with Leslie McMurray and Katie Sprinkle, Lerone, Patt & David Ta Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.08 with Erin Moore, Patt & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.01 with Candy Marcum, Patti, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, May 1, 2016
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.04.24 with Cd Kirven & Michael Dominguez, Patti, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.04.17 with Rawlins Gilliland, Patti & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.10.03 with Carter Brown , Lerone, Patti & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.04.03 with Jennifer Maddox from Jonathan's Place, Lerone & David Taffe Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, April 1, 2016
- Brazil: Michel Temer Takes Power as President Rousseff Vows to Fight Impeachment
- Obama: Students Have Right to Use Bathroom That Corresponds to Gender Identity
- Pope to Form Commission to Study Women Serving as Deacons
- Speaker Paul Ryan Appears to Warm to Donald Trump as Nominee
- Trump's Former Butler Called for President Obama to Be Hanged
- Iraq: ISIS Kills 20 Iraqi Soldiers and Tribal Fighters
- Syria: Fighting Breaks Out in Aleppo as Ceasefire Expires
- Somalia: U.S. Airstrike Kills 5
- Pentagon: 25 U.S. Soldiers Stationed at 2 Outposts in Libya
- Former 9/11 Commission Member Calls for Obama to Declassify 28 Pages
- Judge Rules Against Portion of Obama Healthcare Law
- U.S. Supreme Court Halts Execution of Vernon Madison in Alabama
- Alabama Governor Signs Law Banning Abortion Clinics Near Schools
- ICE to Launch Raids Targeting Central American Mothers and Children
- Google to Ban Advertising by Payday Lenders
- French Gov't Narrowly Survives No-Confidence Vote over Labor Reforms
Michael Ratner’s activism and human rights work dated back to the 1960s. He was a student at Columbia Law School during the 1968 student strike. He joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in 1971. His first case centered on a lawsuit filed on behalf of prisoners killed and injured in the Attica prison uprising in upstate New York. Ratner was deeply involved in Latin America and the Caribbean, challenging U.S. policy in Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. In 1981, he brought the first challenge under the War Powers Resolution to the use of troops in El Salvador, as well as a suit against U.S. officials on behalf of Nicaraguans raped, murdered and tortured by U.S.-backed contras. In 1991, he led the center’s challenge to the authority of President George H.W. Bush to go to war against Iraq without congressional consent. A decade later, he would become a leading critic of the George W. Bush administration, filing lawsuits related to Guantánamo, torture, domestic surveillance and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also helped launch the group Palestine Legal to defend the rights of protesters in the U.S. calling for Palestinian human rights. We speak to three close friends of Ratner, all fellow attorneys: Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch; Michael Smith, board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Jules Lobel, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
On Wednesday, the trailblazing attorney Michael Ratner died at the age of 72. In recent years, Ratner served as the chief attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and became a leading critic of the U.S. crackdown on whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. We reached Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he sought asylum nearly four years ago.
The groundbreaking human rights attorney Michael Ratner has died at the age of 72. For over four decades, he defended, investigated and spoke up for victims of human rights abuses across the world. Ratner served as the longtime president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. In 2002, the center brought the first case against the George W. Bush administration for the indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantánamo. The Supreme Court eventually sided with the center in a landmark 2008 decision when it struck down the law that stripped Guantánamo prisoners of their habeas corpus rights. Ratner began working on Guantánamo in the 1990s, when he fought the first Bush administration’s use of the military base to house Haitian refugees. We begin today’s show with a speech he gave in 2007 when he was awarded the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship.
- Brazil: Rousseff Suspended as Senate Votes for Impeachment Trial
- Pioneering Human Rights Lawyer Michael Ratner Dies at 72
- Donald Trump to Meet with Paul Ryan Amid Party Fissures
- Iraq: 93 Killed in Deadliest Day in Baghdad This Year
- U.S. Has Resettled Only 1,736 Syrian Refugees in Last 7 Months
- Turkish Forces Accused of Shooting Kurdish Civilians & Syrian Refugees
- Kenya Says It Will Close World's Largest Refugee Camp
- Italy Legalizes Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples
- Shell Abandons All But One Lease for Drilling in Arctic's Chukchi Sea
- George Zimmerman to Auction Off Gun He Used to Kill Trayvon Martin
- Robert Dear, Who Killed 3 at Planned Parenthood, Unfit to Stand Trial
- Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers Earn $13 Billion in 2015
- Climate Activists Drive Chairman of Energy Commission from Stage
A shocking new exposé in The New Yorker magazine documents how prison guards at the Dade Correctional Institution in Florida have subjected mentally ill prisoners to vicious beatings, scalding showers and severe food deprivation. Journalist Eyal Press notes the guards act with near impunity since prison staff, including mental health workers, often fear reprisals for speaking out. He writes that prisons have become America’s dominant mental health institutions. The situation is particularly extreme in Florida, which spends less money per capita on mental health than any state with the exception of Idaho. We speak with Eyal Press and one of his sources, George Mallinckrodt, a psychotherapist and whistleblower who lost his job after reporting on abuse of his patients in the Dade Correctional Institution’s Transitional Care Unit in 2011.
Trump Picks White Supremacist Leader as California Delegate, Then Blames Selection on Database Error
Donald Trump’s campaign is facing criticism after it named a prominent white supremacist leader to its list of delegates in California. William Johnson is the head of the American Freedom Party, which has openly backed the creation of “a separate white ethnostate” and the deportation of almost all nonwhite citizens from the United States. Johnson’s name appeared on a list of delegates published by California’s secretary of state on Monday. After Mother Jones broke the story on Tuesday, the Trump campaign blamed Johnson’s selection on a "database error." But correspondence published by Mother Jones shows the Trump campaign was in touch with Johnson as recently as Monday. We speak to Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones.
President Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, later this month. The White House said Obama will not apologize for dropping an atomic bomb on the city toward the end of World War II. The attack on August 6, 1945, caused massive and widespread destruction. Shock waves, radiation and heat rays took the lives of some 140,000 people. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people. President Obama is expected to tour the site of the world’s first nuclear attack with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Obama’s communications adviser Ben Rhodes said that Obama’s time in Hiroshima will "reaffirm America’s longstanding commitment—and the president’s personal commitment—to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Obama’s visit comes as a report by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability has revealed the United States has been quietly upgrading its nuclear arsenal to create smaller, more precise nuclear bombs as part of a massive effort that will cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. We speak with Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action.
- Iraq: Car Bomb at Crowded Baghdad Market Kills At Least 64
- Bernie Sanders Wins West Virginia Primary
- Hillary Clinton Shifts Healthcare Stance Closer to Sanders
- Trump Wins Nebraska, West Virginia Primaries
- Obama to Become 1st Sitting U.S. President to Visit Hiroshima
- Brazilian Senate Set to Vote on Suspending President Rousseff
- NYC: Activists Honor Slain Environmentalist Berta Cáceres on Mother's Day
- Mexico: Parents of Missing Children March in the Capital on Mother's Day
- Canada: Alberta Wildfire Spreads to More Than 880 Square Miles
- Ethiopia: Flooding, Landslides Kill At Least 50 People
- Baltimore Officer Chooses Trial by Judge over Death of Freddie Gray
- Citadel Military College Refuses to Let Prospective Student Wear Hijab
- Pentagon Gives Henry Kissinger Distinguished Public Service Award
Glenn Greenwald on Brazil: Goal of Rousseff Impeachment is to Boost Neoliberals & Protect Corruption
Brazil’s Senate has forged ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, despite an earlier move by the interim house speaker to derail the process. The previous house speaker, Eduardo Cunha, had led the bid to oust Rousseff, before he himself was suspended over corruption. On Monday, his replacement, Waldir Maranhão, sought to annul the lower house’s vote in favor of impeachment charges, citing procedural flaws. But the speaker apparently reversed course in the middle of the night, releasing a statement reversing his decision, without explanation. The Senate appears poised to vote Wednesday on whether to put Rousseff on trial; if a majority side against her, she would be suspended. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil. "People have started to realize, internationally but also here in Brazil, that although this impeachment process has been sold, has been pitched as a way of punishing corruption, its real goal, beyond empowering neoliberals and Goldman Sachs and foreign hedge funds, the real goal is to protect corruption," Greenwald says.
Polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are on pace to be the least popular major-party presidential nominees in decades. Will some voters look to cast votes with third-party candidates? We speak to former presidential candidate Ralph Nader about how the U.S. political system is designed to exclude third-party candidates from the debates and media.
We speak with consumer advocate and former third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the corporate media’s coverage of Trump’s candidacy. Nader says TV networks are using public airwaves to "cash in" on the presidential race, while giving candidates like Trump a "free ride." "The questions aren’t particularly pointed when they interview them, and they’re very repetitious, and they give these candidates like Trump and others front stage," Nader says. "But also, they exclude leading citizens who could criticize the process, the candidates, and nourish the content of a presidential election campaign."
Polls have opened in West Virginia, where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are vying for the 29 delegates up for grabs. Eight years ago, Clinton won West Virginia in a landslide, beating Barack Obama by 40 percentage points—but many polls project Sanders will win today. We speak to longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who argues that Sanders would be winning the primary race if every state had open primaries.
- Obama Admin Sues North Carolina over Anti-Transgender Law
- California Lawmakers Advance Bill for Gender-Neutral Restrooms
- Donald Trump Seeks Fundraising Aid from Republican Party
- Sanders, Clinton Face Off in West Virginia Primary
- Kerry: U.S., Russia Agree to Press for Nationwide Ceasefire in Syria
- Pentagon: U.S.-Led Strike Kills ISIS Official in Iraq
- Brazilian Senate Forges Ahead with Bid to Impeach Rousseff
- Philippines: Duterte Wins Presidency Despite Accused Death Squad Role
- Canada to Support U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights
- Ferguson, Missouri Gets 1st Permanent African-American Police Chief
- Panama Papers Scandal Widens as Journalists Publish Searchable Database
- Mexican Court Allows Extradition of Drug Lord Chapo Guzmán to U.S.
- Report: 1 in 5 Plant Species Worldwide at Risk of Extinction
- 5 Tiny Pacific Islands Disappear Due to Climate Change
- Facebook Accused of Suppressing Conservative News Stories
More than 800 people packed into the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York Friday for the funeral of Daniel Berrigan, the legendary antiwar priest, poet and activist. He died on April 30 at the age of 94. Today would have been his 95th birthday. Dan and his brother, the late Phil Berrigan, made international headlines in 1968 when they and seven other Catholic antiwar activists burned draft cards in Catonsville, Maryland, to protest the Vietnam War. Prior to the funeral, hundreds took part in a two-hour procession beginning at Mary House, a Catholic Worker house in the East Village. Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke was there and spoke to participants including singer Dar Williams, the Rev. John Dear, Dan’s niece Frida Berrigan, Kathy Kelly and John Schuchardt, who was arrested with Dan in 1980 when they broke into the GE nuclear missile plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, launching the Plowshares Movement.
Saturday marked an international day of action to boycott Driscoll’s—the largest berry distributor in the world. About an hour north of Seattle in Burlington, Washington, berry pickers have been organizing for three years at Sakuma Brothers Farms, one of the farms where Driscoll’s buys berries. Since 2013, some workers launched a series of walkouts, picket lines and lawsuits over alleged labor violations. In 2015, one of their lawsuits went all the way up to the Washington Supreme Court, where they won a unanimous decision that set a precedent ensuring paid rest breaks statewide. That same year, massive protests broke out at Driscoll’s farms down in San Quintín Valley in Mexico. Since then, Driscoll’s farmworkers have been organizing together on both sides of the border. Democracy Now!’s Laura Gottesdiener spoke to protesting farmworkers in Washington state and went inside the former camps where some of the workers lived. She also spoke to Sakuma Brothers Farms CEO Danny Weeden.
On Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to Washington state, where he addressed thousands of supporters in Spokane and later in Lynden. He decried the loss of manufacturing jobs, and vowed to win Washington state in November. He also warned of the threat posed by Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, outside the rally, dozens of #StopTrump activists blockaded a highway in Lynden as Trump held a rally in the rural community near the Canadian border. Three activists were arrested after they used chains and PVC pipe "lockboxes" to form a human chain across two lanes of traffic. They said their action was a protest against what they described as a campaign rooted in fear and hatred. The protest held up traffic for more than a half-hour, delaying many Trump supporters. Democracy Now! was at the protest.
- North Carolina Governor Faces Deadline on Anti-Transgender Law
- Trump Says Unifying GOP Not Necessary for Him to Win
- Trump Backs Higher Taxes for the Rich, Higher Minimum Wage
- Pentagon Acknowledges U.S. Troops on the Ground in Yemen
- Greek Parliament OKs Harsh New Austerity Measures Amid Mass Protest
- Brazilian Senate Committee Backs Impeachment Trial for Rousseff
- Filipino "Trump" Set to Win Presidency Despite Accused Role in Death Squads
- Sadiq Khan Becomes London's 1st Muslim Mayor
- Anti-Fossil Fuel Actions Held in Newcastle & Philadelphia Amid Global Campaign
- Twitter Bars U.S. Spy Agencies from Data Mining Platform
- West Point Investigates Photo of Black Women Cadets Raising Fists
- Activists Protest "Displacement from Brooklyn to Palestine" Inside Brooklyn Museum
- Italian Economist Pulled from Plane for Doing Math in Latest Profiling Incident
A federal judge has allowed a landmark lawsuit to proceed against two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA’s torture program. Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen reaped more than $80 million for designing torture techniques used by the agency. The case was brought by Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ben Soud, two survivors of the program, along with the family of Gul Rahman, who froze to death at a CIA black site in Afghanistan. All three men were subjected to torture techniques that Mitchell and Jessen created and helped implement, including beatings, being held in coffin-sized boxes and being hung from metal rods. We speak with ACLU lawyer Dror Ladin, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of torture victims, and with former intelligence officer Col. Steven Kleinman, who knew psychologists Mitchell and Jessen from his time at the SERE school in Spokane. SERE—Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape—is a secretive program which teaches soldiers to endure captivity in enemy hands. Mitchell and Jessen reverse-engineered the tactics taught in SERE training for use on prisoners held in the CIA’s secret prisons.
As Democratic challengers Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton press on in the Democratic primary, Sanders trails in the pledged delegate count by more than 300. Add in superdelegates, and Clinton is just under 200 delegates shy of the number needed to clinch the nomination. Even as Sanders maintains his commitment to stay in the race, voters looking for political revolution are facing the question of whether or not to support his rival Hillary Clinton if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president. We host a debate between Kshama Sawant, Socialist city councilmember in Seattle and member of Socialist Alternative, who is a Sanders supporter and says she will not support Clinton; and Mike McGinn, former mayor of Seattle from 2010 to 2013, who hosts a podcast on social change called "You, Me, Us, Now." He is a Bernie Sanders supporter, but will back Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee.