Recent blog posts
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.19 with editor Monica Roberts, Lerone and David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.12 with Linus Spiller, Patti and Lerone
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.06.05 with Patti, Lerone & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.05.29 with Wesley Davidson, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, JUne 1, 2016
- 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
Voter ID Nightmare: Up to 300,000 Wisconsin Voters Could Be Barred from Polls Thanks to Scott Walker
On Tuesday, voters head to the polls in Wisconsin for both the Democratic and Republican primaries as one of the country’s toughest voting restrictions takes effect. Wisconsin’s controversial and restrictive voter ID law could prevent some 300,000 registered voters from casting ballots. According to Wisconsin’s strict new requirements, voters must now have a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. While supporters say the law prevents fraud, critics note 9 percent of the Wisconsin electorate could be disenfranchised, a disproportionate number of them poor and people of color. The voter ID law is just one of several new voting restrictions passed by Republicans in Wisconsin since 2011. The state Legislature also eliminated early voting hours on nights and weekends and made it nearly impossible for grassroots groups to conduct voter registration drives. We speak with Ari Berman, author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America." His new piece for The Nation is called "Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Could Block 300,000 Registered Voters from the Polls."
Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned in New York state Thursday ahead of the New York primary later this month. More than 16,000 people gathered in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx for a Bernie Sanders rally, the first time in decades that a presidential candidate campaigned in the community. Sanders stressed his Brooklyn roots and spoke alongside director Spike Lee and actress Rosario Dawson, who spoke with Democracy Now! after the rally. "I’m supporting Bernie Sanders because he says no to fracking. I’m supporting Bernie Sanders because we do need a single-payer healthcare system that takes care of everyone. And that is not a pipe dream; that’s something that’s happening all over the world and in really positive ways. We are a social democracy," said Dawson.
According to a new report by Greenpeace, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting her have received $138,400 from fossil fuel lobbyists and $1,327,210 from bundlers, totaling more than $4.5 million from lobbyists, bundlers and large donors connected the fossil fuel industry. Clinton maintains that she’s received only about $330,000 from individuals who work for fossil fuel companies—about 0.2 percent of the total raised by her campaign. We speak with Charlie Cray, research specialist for Greenpeace and lead researcher on the fossil fuel lobbyists’ contributions to the Clinton campaign, as well as Eva Resnick-Day, a democracy organizer for Greenpeace who confronted Clinton at a rally.
With the Wisconsin primary just a day away, Democratic presidential challengers Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over the weekend over whether fossil fuel lobbyists are funding Clinton’s campaign. The dispute took center stage after video emerged of Greenpeace activist Eva Resnick-Day questioning Clinton at a campaign rally at the State University of New York in Purchase on Thursday. Resnick-Day has been working on a Greenpeace campaign to get candidates to take a pledge rejecting future donations from oil, gas and coal lobbyists and executives. "These lobbyists are people whose job it is to make connections with Senator Clinton to influence her policy going forward. And giving her money in the campaign, they’re clearly trying to find influence," says Resnick-Day. "I don’t think that that is how democracy should work." We speak with Resnick-Day, the democracy organizer for Greenpeace who confronted Clinton.
- #PanamaPapers: Historic Leak Exposes Global Network of Tax Havens
- Sanders Could End Up Winning More NV Delegates than Clinton after Tumultuous Caucus Vote
- Tensions Rise Between Sanders and Clinton over Fossil Fuel Financing
- Donald Trump One of the Most Unpopular Political Figures in 30 Years
- EU Begins Forcibly Deporting Refugees Back to Turkey
- Gustavo Castro Soto, Witness to Berta Cáceres' Murder, Finally Freed
- Philippines: Police Kill 3 Farmers at Protest for Rice, Amid Drought
- Syria: Airstrikes Kill 20 Amid Violations of Ceasefire
- Fighting Breaks Out in Contested Region of Azerbaijan
- Pentagon Drafting Up Strike Targets Inside Libya
- Poland: Thousands Protest Against Abortion Ban
- Nevada: More Than a Dozen Activists Arrested at Creech AF Base
- Crow Nation War Chief Joseph Medicine Crow Dies at 102
- Moreese Bickham, Freed Death Row Prisoner, Dies at 98
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Yemen this week to protest the first anniversary of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led offensive against Houthi rebels. The protests were said to be the largest in Yemen since demonstrations in 2011 forced the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since last March, more than 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen, about half of them civilians. "Yemenis are asking me, ’Why is there no global outrage when our schools, our universities, our hospitals, our clinics, when football fields, when playgrounds are bombed with U.S. bombs?" says Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division. Her recent piece for the Los Angeles Times is headlined "The U.S. is quietly helping Saudi Arabia wage a devastating aerial campaign in Yemen." Meanwhile, the U.S. launched air attacks on al-Qaeda in southern Yemen, killing 14 people described by local sources as suspected militants. We also get response from Farea Al-Muslimi, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. In 2013, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. secret drone program.
In a Democracy Now! exclusive, Cherelle Baldwin joins us for her first interview since a Connecticut jury found her not guilty in the death of her abusive ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown. According to court documents, Brown had repeatedly threatened Baldwin, took her credit cards and money, and assaulted her during visits to see their son. Baldwin eventually attained a court order barring threats, harassment and assaults during visits, but Brown continued sending Baldwin threatening text messages. Then, according to a police affidavit based on Baldwin’s statements, Brown showed up at her house, climbed through her window and attacked her, choking her with his belt. Baldwin escaped and managed to get inside her car, but so did Brown, who again choked her. What happened next is hard for even Baldwin to remember, but when police arrived they found Baldwin on the ground with a broken leg, and Brown was lifeless in front of the car, pinned against the garage wall. Baldwin was eventually arrested on murder charges. Since the incident, Baldwin has spent nearly three years in jail, held on a million-dollar bond. A first trial in 2015 ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial. Prosecutors then moved to retry Baldwin. The jury reached its verdict on Thursday, hours after her mother appeared on Democracy Now! The case has caught the attention of domestic violence organizations nationwide, who cite it as an example of how black women are disproportionately imprisoned when they defend themselves against domestic abuse. "When I received letters, I would cry. So many women told me different stories, how they were in my situation. I didn’t know so many women were going through that," Baldwin says. "Especially at a young age, it touched me a lot. I had so much support that I didn’t even know I had. It helped me a lot while being incarcerated." We are also joined by Baldwin’s mother, Cynthia Long, and her defense attorney, Miles Gerety.
Advocates are calling it one of the largest pay raises for American workers in the history of the country. About 5 million workers will see their wages increase substantially after a historic victory for the "Fight for 15" campaign. Both the state of California and New York City are poised to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the coming years. On Thursday, the California Legislature voted to raise the minimum wage incrementally each year until it reaches $15 an hour by 2022. Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has reached a budget deal that will hike the minimum wage in New York City to $15 by the end of 2018. "It’s remarkable that only about three years ago this movement started with a single strike of a bunch of McDonald’s workers in New York City, and it has spread across the country," says Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez. "And it’s going to continue to spread, because there’s too many Americans who cannot live on the federal minimum wage."
- Sanders and Clinton Campaign in New York Ahead of Primary
- Border Patrol Agents' Union Endorses Trump
- Amid GOP Turmoil, Companies Weigh Whether to Sponsor RNC
- Chicago Police Union Hires Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald as Janitor
- Chicago Teachers Union Launches One-Day Strike
- Report: 12 U.S. Generals Are Deployed to Iraq
- Top Women's Soccer Players File Wage Discrimination Suit
- Mississippi Advances Sweeping Anti-LGBT Legislation
- Hacker Says He Was Paid to Rig Mexican President Peña Nieto's Election
- U.N. Peacekeepers Accused of Sexual Abuse in Central African Republic
- Nevada: 8 Arrested for Blocking Entrance to Drone Base
- Canada: Hunger Striker Protesting Massive Hydroelectric Dam Project
- Fight for 15 Scores Big Victories in California and New York City
While thousands of Americans fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, some chose to back Franco’s fascist regime. The most notable was the CEO of the American oil giant Texaco. He violated U.S. law by selling Franco’s regime discounted oil on credit. Also in violation of U.S. law, the oil was transported to Spain on U.S. ships. For more on this remarkable story, we’re joined by Adam Hochschild, the author of the sweeping new history book, "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939."
As Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has catapulted the issue of fascism into the mainstream U.S. political realm, we turn to best-selling author Adam Hochschild, who has just written a remarkable, sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War. The book is called "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939." It tells the story of how the Spanish Civil War captivated the world with volunteers flooding to Spain to bolster the democratic government’s efforts to stave off a fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. Some 2,800 Americans went to Spain as volunteers in the fight against fascism, and nearly a quarter of them perished there. The Americans were known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. After two-and-a-half years of fighting, the fascists were able to declare victory on April 1, 1939. World War II began shortly afterward. Adam Hochschild is the author of eight books, including "King Leopold’s Ghost," "To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918” and now "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939."
Update: Later on Thursday, after this segment aired, a 12-member jury found Cherelle Baldwin not guilty of murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend, allowing her to go free after nearly three years behind bars. According to the Huffington Post, Baldwin collapsed to the floor in tears as the verdict was announced, crying, “My baby will have his mommy back.”
Jurors in Connecticut are deliberating the fate of Cherelle Baldwin, a 24-year-old mother accused of killing her alleged abuser. Baldwin is charged with the 2013 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Brown, who Baldwin alleges had stalked and abused her. According to court documents, Brown had repeatedly threatened Baldwin, took her credit cards and money, and assaulted her during visits to see their son, who lived with Baldwin. Baldwin eventually attained a court order barring threats, harassment and assaults during visits, but just before Brown died, he sent Baldwin a series of threatening text messages. Then, according to a police affidavit based on Baldwin’s statements, Brown showed up at her house, climbed through her window and attacked her, choking her with his belt. Baldwin escaped and managed to get inside her car, but so did Brown, who again choked her. What happened next is hard for even Baldwin to remember, but when police arrived they found Baldwin on the ground with a broken leg and Brown dead in front of the car, pinned against the garage wall. Baldwin was arrested on murder charges. Baldwin has already spent nearly three years in jail. If convicted, she could spend decades in prison. We are joined by Charelle Baldwin’s mother, Cynthia Long. We’re also joined by Victoria Law, a freelance journalist whose recent article for Rewire is "Facing Years in Prison for Fleeing Abuse: Cherelle Baldwin’s Story is Far from Unique."
- Dramatic Sea Level Rise Could Flood Coastal Cities by 2100
- Trump: Women Should Be "Punished" for Abortions, If Procedure Banned
- Wisconsin: Teenager Groped, Pepper-Sprayed at Trump Rally
- Minneapolis: Protests Erupt After No Charges for Cops Who Killed Jamar Clark
- In Victory for Health Advocates, FDA Updates Label for Abortion Pill
- Pentagon Proposes Troop and Tank Buildup in Eastern Europe
- DOJ and DOD Have Spent $86M on Aircraft That Has Never Flown
- French President Hollande Ditches Controversial Constitution Changes
- German Historian Says AP Cooperated with Nazi Regime
- FBI, DOJ Launch Probe of Unaoil, After Exposé Shows Global Corruption
- Arizona: Protesters Block Gov. Office to Oppose Anti-Immigrant Bill
- Harvard to Install Plaque Acknowledging Legacy of Slavery on Campus
North Carolina is facing a growing backlash over a new law barring cities and towns from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. The law, known as House Bill 2, was introduced after the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, passed an ordinance seeking to protect the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. On Tuesday night, North Carolina’s largest corporation, Bank of America, came out against the anti-transgender law. Earlier in the day, 80 chief executives from Facebook, Apple and other firms wrote an open letter to Governor Pat McCrory opposing it. Three North Carolina residents have already sued the state over the law. And North Carolina’s attorney general, Roy Cooper, who is running for governor against Pat McCrory, announced he would not defend the new law in court. We speak to one of the plaintiffs, 20-year-old trans student Payton McGarry, who attends UNC-Greensboro.
President Obama has unveiled a series of steps aimed at addressing the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States. In 2014, a record number of Americans died from drug overdoses, with the highest rates seen in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. Many states reported even higher death tolls in 2015. We speak with journalist Maia Szalavitz and Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance about Obama’s proposal. "I think the best thing we can say about the proposal is it’s two steps forward and one step back," Collins says. "There is a lot of positives in the announcement—emphasis on harm reduction, treatment, overdose prevention—but at the same time the Obama administration is still beholden to the criminalization of drug users." Watch Part 2 of our interview here.
The family of a Mexican immigrant killed by Border Patrol agents in 2010 is launching an unprecedented effort to hold the United States responsible. Six years ago, in May 2010, Anastasio Hernández Rojas tried to cross the border to return to San Diego, where he had lived for 25 years and fathered five children. Hernández Rojas was stopped by Border Patrol agents. He would never see his children again. The agents initially said Hernández Rojas became hostile and resisted arrest, but eyewitness video shows the agents beat and tasered him. The San Diego Coroner’s Office classified Anastasio Hernández Rojas’s death as a homicide, concluding he suffered a heart attack as well as "bruising to his chest, stomach, hips, knees, back, lips, head and eyelids; five broken ribs; and a damaged spine." Despite these findings, the Department of Justice announced last year there was insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or other federal charges against the agents. Just after our broadcast today, the family of Anastasio Hernández Rojas is filing a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. We speak to Anastasio’s brother, Bernardo Hernández Rojas, and Roxanna Altholz, associate director at the International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law.
Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist Juan González has announced he is leaving the Daily News after 29 years. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, "Will miss hearing [Juan González]’s loud voice for the workers." Former Village Voice reporter Tom Robbins described Juan as "the best voice in the Daily News these past 29 years." In a message to the Daily News staff, the paper’s editor described Juan as a "legend who set his powerful, intelligent, compassionate voice on a 29-year course at the Daily News, standing up to every bully that came his way in his relentless assault on injustice."
- Supreme Court 4-4 Tie Deals Victory to Public Employee Unions
- Supreme Court Seeks Alternatives to Avoid Tie in Birth Control Case
- First GOP Senator Meets with Obama's Supreme Court Nominee
- Trump Defends Campaign Manager Charged with Battery for Grabbing Reporter
- Mexican Senators Hang Anti-Trump Banner Outside Senate
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Backs Cruz 1 Week Before Primary
- Pakistan Detains More Than 5,000 After Bombings in Lahore
- EgyptAir Hijacker Had Fake Explosives, Wanted to See Ex-Wife
- Brazil's Largest Political Party Exits Coalition in Blow to President Rousseff
- NBC Passes $1 Billion in Ad Sales for Rio de Janeiro Olympics
- Amid Widening Protest, North Carolina Attorney General Says He Won't Defend Anti-Transgender Law
- Judge Allows Defamation Suit Against Bill Cosby to Move Forward
- More Attorneys General Back ExxonMobil Climate Change Probe
- Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González to Leave Columnist Post at New York Daily News
In North Carolina, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a sweeping new law banning local governments from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. The law, House Bill 2, commonly known as the "bathroom bill," is widely considered to be the most wide-ranging anti-trans law to take effect this year. It was introduced after the city of Charlotte passed its own ordinance seeking to protect the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. In response, the North Carolina Legislature convened an emergency one-day session, at the cost of $42,000, to push through the statewide law HB 2. Within hours of its introduction, the bill was pushed through both the House and the Senate, despite the fact that Senate Democrats walked out in protest. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the legislation late Wednesday night. On Monday, the ACLU announced it was challenging the law’s constitutionality.
We speak with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio about the law’s impact in North Carolina. "It means, first and foremost, that trans people have to live in a state in which they know that their government is willing to actively participate in the harassment and bullying of them," Strangio says. "But it also means that trans people are now completely unable to participate in public life, because trans people have no idea where they’re supposed to go to the bathroom." We also speak with Payton McGarry, a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a plaintiff on the ACLU lawsuit against HB 2.
Watch Part 2 of our interview with McGarry and Strangio here.
On Monday, the Justice Department announced it has succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and dropped its case against Apple, ending a high-stakes legal battle but leaving a broader debate over encryption unresolved. The fight between the FBI and Apple had grown increasingly contentious as the tech giant refused to help government authorities bypass the security features of its phone. The FBI wanted Apple to build a backdoor into the phone, but Apple said such a move would put the security of other iPhones at risk, as well. The FBI’s decision to drop its case now raises new concerns about the strength of security in Apple devices given law enforcement’s ability to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s assistance. Last week, we talked to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the fight between the FBI and Apple, as well as Donald Trump’s embrace of torture.