Leid Stories wraps up the year with a last look at the ever-unfolding fiscal-cliff drama in Washington and other major stories having inordinate impact on our lives in 2012. Listeners relate how 2012 affected them and what they look forward to and hope for in the new year.
An empty House of Representatives. A sparsely populated Senate. A president holed up in the White House, unable to call his troops to action. And an anxious, bewildered nation holds its breath in anticipation of blows to the gut. It's all part of hardball politics, we're told; not to worry, both sides will come to terms and things will work out in the end. But a massive power failure occurred on Dec. 27, Utrice says, and it was a planned, deliberate effort to sabotage the welfare and security of the American people -- legislative terrorism. Voters should neither forgive nor forget. Plus, the high-volume outbound traffic from Barack Obama's Cabinet: Trouble in River City?
Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis, author of The Global Minotaur: America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy, turns prevailing economic theory about debt and the global economy on its head. There is no debt crisis -- either in the United States or in individuals countries of the West currently experiencing sharp economic downturns -- he says. To the contrary, he says, the economic crisis is the result of "too much savings with no place to go."
The so-called fiscal cliff, dramatic as it is, is nonetheless the end result of the refusal by Congress to approve a budget for the last three years. Leid Stories makes the case that this is not mere political dealings; it's legislative malpractice, and ought to carry a penalty in much the same way that any other professional found derelict in his/her duties to a client. Listeners chime in with their points of view.
Leave it to the NRA to solve America's gun problem with ... more guns. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the NRA proposes schools have armed guards (and even administrative personnel and teachers) with firepower to stop mass killers. No need for worrisome debates and legislation, the NRA says, schools can enact their specially-designed counteroffensive right away. Leid Stories reads between the lines of the NRA's plan and deciphers what the gun lobby really wants. Plus, updates on what's not happening in Congress with the so-called fiscal cliff.
Not long ago, Harlem was a model of black urban achievement and the epicenter of black political power in the United States. Today, Harlem is but a shadow of its former self in almost every way; Harlemites openly concede it. How did this come to be? Kermit Eady, founder of the Black United Fund, attributes the decline of Harlem, and the Harlems of the United States, to "plantation" politics -- black elected officials and leaders willingly becoming stand-ins for political and economic interests bent on exploiting, and ultimately destroying, these once-thriving communities.
but, as Leid Stories predicted, she will not be appearing before any congressional committees looking into the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. She's still woozy from fainting and hitting her head -- even has a doctor's note. But members of the Accountability Review Board that probed the Benghazi attack will be talking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in closed session today about the State Department's "systemic failures" and two deputy secretaries of state will testify in a public session before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday about how the State Department is run. Leid Stories stays on the case, along with other news stories of the day.
In the aftermath of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the nation finds itself once again dealing with questions that are hard to answer (Why did it happen? Could it have been prevented?) and harder still to ignore (How many more mass killings will it take before something is done to de-escalate America's homegrown arms race?) Official messages of mourning and half-masted flags won't stop the carnage. Decisive action at all levels of government is long overdue.