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- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues Radio Poll report, August 1, 2016
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- Texas Blues Radio, Living Blues radio poll report, July 1, 2016
Actor Jesse Williams is best known for his role on the TV show "Grey’s Anatomy." In June he earned a standing ovation when he addressed the BET Awards. As he accepted the Humanitarian Award, Williams paid homage to police shooting victims, including Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, who would have turned 14 on Saturday. "Police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day," Williams says. "We are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country, or we will restructure their function and ours."
In a Fourth of July holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro." He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, "Voices of a People’s History of the United States." He was introduced by Zinn.
We speak with two transgender women who made history this week when they won their primary elections in Utah and Colorado to challenge Republican incumbents for U.S. Congress in November, and get their reaction to the Pentagon’s announcement that it will end its ban on openly transgender people serving in the military. "The only thing that should matter is, can you do the job? Nothing else," says 33-year-old military veteran Misty Plowright of Colorado. On Tuesday, she and 30-year-old Misty Snow, of Utah, became two of the nation’s first openly transgender candidates to win a major-party congressional primary in U.S. history. "My trans status didn’t come up" on the campaign trail, Plowright notes. "They were much more focused on issues, my stances."
As Puerto Rico is set to default today on a key debt repayment, President Barack Obama has signed into law the so-called PROMESA bill that puts in place a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. The legislation’s supporters say it will help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis by allowing an orderly restructuring of its $72 billion in bond debt, but critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes any semblance of democratic control by the people of Puerto Rico over their own affairs. We host a debate between Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, which has backed the PROMESA bill, and José La Luz, a longtime labor activist who opposes it. "If we didn’t act by today, the vulture funds were being invited to the party, and Puerto Rico was about to become the next Argentina," says LeCompte. "The truth is that this colonial junta is nothing but a glorified collection agency for the hedge funds and the vulture funds," counters La Luz.
- Obama Signs PROMESA Bill, Imposing Control Board on Puerto Rico
- WSJ: Depopulation of Puerto Rico Contributed to Financial Crisis
- Pentagon to Lift Ban on Transgender People Serving Openly in Military
- Pentagon: U.S. & U.S.-Led Forces Launch 26 Strikes in Syria and Iraq
- North Carolina to Reserve $500,000 to Defend Anti-Trans Law HB 2
- Judge Blocks Indiana's Anti-Abortion Law
- Donald Trump Slams Landmark Supreme Court Abortion Ruling
- Trump Faces Lawsuit Accusing Him of Raping 13-Year-Old Girl
- Loretta Lynch Says She'll Accept FBI Guidance in Clinton Email Probe
- CIA Report Admits Agency Had Wrong Man, But Imprisoned Him Anyway
- Lawyer Accuses CIA of Paying Romania to Host Secret Prisons
- Austria: Court Orders Rerun of Election After Right-Wing Candidate Was Narrowly Defeated
- Cameroon: U.S. Pays Family of Child Killed by Samantha Power Motorcade
- Maryland: Judge Orders Retrial for Adnan Syed
- Adriano Espaillat Beats Charles Rangel's Successor for Harlem Congressional Seat
- Capitol Hill: Tests Show High Levels of Lead in Drinking Water
- Vermont: Nation's First GMO Labeling Law Goes into Effect
On Wednesday, 23 people were arrested protesting Spectra Energy’s fracked gas pipeline in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Longtime climate activist Tim DeChristopher was one of about 30 people who ventured onto the Spectra pipeline construction site in an attempt to nonviolently stop work. Local residents and politicians have long opposed the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline, which they say is dangerous for the pipeline to run alongside a quarry where there is frequent blasting. During the action, DeChristopher and 11 others climbed inside the pipeline trench and refused to budge for almost two hours before being forcibly removed by firefighters. DeChristopher drew a comparison between the trenches of the gas pipeline and the mass graves recently dug in Pakistan in anticipation of a climate-fueled heat wave.
We turn now to an act of civil disobedience on climate change in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. On Wednesday, a dozen protesters with the group Resist the Pipeline were arrested for nonviolently lying down in a trench being dug by Spectra Energy for its pipeline. Several more were arrested for trespassing on private property. The action sought to draw a connection between pipelines like Spectra’s and a mass grave that was dug last month in Pakistan in preparation for a deadly heat wave. For more, we speak with Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.
"It’s not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars." Those were the words of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump during a town hall event last year in New Hampshire. Today we look back at Trump’s rise to power and how he profited from his father’s deep pocketbook and political connections. Decades before Donald Trump became a household name, his father Fred Trump emerged as one of New York’s most prolific real estate developers, building more than 27,000 homes in Brooklyn and Queens. In 1927, Fred Trump made the news when he was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens. We speak to Wayne Barrett, considered the preeminent journalist on Donald Trump. As a reporter at The Village Voice, Barrett began reporting on Donald Trump in the late 1970s. Barrett’s 1991 biography of Trump was just republished as an ebook with the title of "Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention."
Funerals have begun in Turkey for some of the 42 people killed in a triple suicide bombing Tuesday targeting Turkey’s main airport in Istanbul. The attack also left 239 others injured. Authorities said three attackers arrived at the airport’s international terminal by taxi and blew themselves up after opening fire. The airport is the 11th busiest in the world. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Turkey’s prime minister said the initial probe pointed to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or Daesh. A senior Turkish official told the Associated Press the three suicide attackers were nationals of Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Earlier today, Turkish police raided 16 locations in Istanbul and detained 13 people on suspicion of involvement in the attack. Turkey has seen an uptick in bombings since last year, when the United States began using Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to carry out bombing raids in Syria and Iraq targeting ISIS strongholds. We speak to Koray Çaliskan, associate professor of political science at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.
- Senate Passes Bill to Create Control Board to Run Puerto Rico Economy
- Turkey: Funerals Begin for 42 Victims of Airport Attack
- Trump Rally: Talk Show Host Refers to Elizabeth Warren with War Whoops
- Neo-Nazis to Attend RNC to "Defend" Donald Trump Supporters
- Afghanistan: 30 Police Officers Killed in Taliban Attack
- Report: U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Iraq Kill 250
- 6 Honduran Police Indicted in U.S. on Drug Trafficking Charges
- Denver: Woman Killed by Estranged Husband at Alliance Center
- FBI Seeks to Withhold Public Records on Orlando Massacre
- Two Trans Women Become First to Win Major-Party Congressional Primaries
- 23 Activists Arrested Protesting Spectra Pipeline in West Roxbury, MA
- Philadelphia: 5 Arrested Blocking Highway Demanding End to Deportation
We continue our conversation looking at student debt. A stunning 42 million people now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. A new investigative report published by Center for Investigative Reporting peels back the layers on this trillion-dollar industry. The article, titled "Who Got Rich Off the Student Debt Crisis," follows what happened after the federal government relinquished direct control of the student loan program and opened it up to banks and profit-making corporations. We speak to Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist James Steele and Saul Newton, who was profiled in the article. Saul dropped out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point because of rising costs and student debt.
In Florida, a jury has found former Chilean army officer Pedro Barrientos liable for the murder of legendary folk singer and activist Víctor Jara in September 1973. In the days after dictator Augusto Pinochet seized power in a U.S.-backed coup, Víctor Jara was rounded up, tortured and shot more than 40 times. Barrientos has lived in the United States for more than two decades and is now a U.S. citizen. The Jaras sued him under a federal civil statute known as the Torture Victims Protection Act, which allows U.S. courts to hear about human rights abuses committed abroad. The Guardian newspaper called the verdict "one of the biggest and most significant legal human rights victories against a foreign war criminal in a US courtroom." We speak to Víctor Jara’s widow Joan, his daughter Manuela Bunster and Dixon Osburn, executive director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, which represented the Jara family.
On Monday, in the most significant victory for abortion rights in a generation, the Supreme Court struck down provisions of a sweeping anti-choice law in Texas. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices rejected provisions requiring abortion clinics to meet the costly standards of hospital-style surgery centers and mandating that doctors obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The impact of Monday’s landmark ruling is already reverberating throughout the country. On Tuesday, justices rejected bids by Mississippi and Wisconsin to revive admitting privileges requirements similar to the one in Texas. Meanwhile, Alabama’s attorney general has announced his state will stop trying to defend its own admitting privileges requirement in wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling. We speak with Stephanie Toti, who argued the landmark Texas abortion case before the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as soon as today to set up a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy to help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis. The bill, known as PROMESA, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 297 to 127. In the Senate, Robert Menendez has led the opposition to the bill. On Tuesday, he waged a four-hour filibuster to protest the bill.
- Turkey: 41 Killed in Triple Suicide, Gun Attack at Istanbul Airport
- Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Revive Anti-Choice Laws in Mississippi, Wisconsin
- Jeremy Corbyn Loses No-Confidence Vote Among Labour MPs
- Trump Likens TPP Trade Deal to Rape: "That's What It Is"
- Sanders: Dems Should Oppose TPP, Embrace Progressive Agenda to Defeat Trump
- New York: Progressive Zephyr Teachout Wins Democratic Congressional Primary
- Senate Democrats Block Zika Funding Bill Laden with GOP Measures
- 6 Democrats Stage Protest to Demand Gun Control
- House Republicans Release 800-Page Report on Benghazi Attacks
- U.N. Secretary-General Calls Israeli Blockade of Gaza "Collective Punishment"
- California Voters to Consider Marijuana Legalization in November
- California: Oakland Bans Coal Shipments, Quashing Plans for Massive Terminal
In West Virginia, at least 23 people have died in once-in-a-thousand-year flooding. West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in 44 counties and has deployed the National Guard to help with search and rescue efforts. A number of people remain missing across the state. The severe rainfall inundated large parts of the town of Richwood, submerging cars and the first floors of many houses and businesses. We speak with Bob Henry Baber, the mayor-elect of Richwood, West Virginia, and the first member of the Mountain Party to be elected to public office in the state.
Wildfires are raging up and down the state of California. At least two people have died, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. We speak to Ken Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and a 30-year fire service veteran. He joins us from Sacramento, where temperatures hit 107 degrees on Monday, one degree shy of the record.
Extreme weather is sweeping across the United States, from scorching heat in the Southwest to uncontrollable wildfires in California, to deadly flooding in Appalachia. In West Virginia, at least 23 people have died in once-in-a-thousand-year flooding, and a number of people remain missing across the state. Meanwhile, wildfires are raging up and down the state of California. At least two people have died, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. May was the 13th straight month to smash global temperature records, amid increasing human-fueled global warming. We speak with Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. Mann was in Phoenix last weekend to testify before the Democratic National Platform Draft Committee meeting.
Actor Jesse Williams is best known for his role on the TV show "Grey’s Anatomy." On Sunday night, he earned a standing ovation when he addressed the BET Awards. As he accepted the Humanitarian Award, Williams paid homage to police shooting victims, including Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, who would have turned 14 on Saturday. "Police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day," Williams says. "We are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country, or we will restructure their function and ours."