Recent blog posts
- 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
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.03.27 with Damon L Jacobs, Patti & David Taffet
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.03.20 with Darlene Ewing, Lerone, Patti & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.03.13 with Brian Walker and Betsy Orton, Lerone, Patti & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.03.06 with John Horany and Rev Ben Hensley, Lerone & David Taffet Lambda Weekly
- Arizona: Widespread Reports of Voter Suppression in Tuesday's Primary
- Belgium: Authorities Name Two Suspects in Brussels Bombing
- Yemen: 50 People Killed in U.S. Airstrike
- Justice Dept Probes Blackwater Founder for Money Laundering, Brokering
- At Least 5,000 U.S. Troops in Iraq, Far More Than Previously Reported
- Defense Dept. Envoy: Closing Gitmo "Greatest Single Action U.S. Can Take to Fight Terrorism"
- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Signs Sweeping Anti-LGBT Law
- Los Angeles: Transgender Woman Murdered
- HRW: U.S. Failing in Treatment of Transgender Women in ICE Custody
- Morocco Expels U.N. Staffers from Western Sahara
- Michigan: Panel Slams Snyder for "Environmental Injustice" in Flint
- Protests Planned After DA Recommends No Jail Time for Akai Gurley's Killer
- New Orleans: Hundreds Disrupt Oil and Gas Auction
On Tuesday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic caucuses in Utah and Idaho by a wide margin with about 80 percent support in each state. But Hillary Clinton expanded her delegate lead with a victory in the Arizona primary. Meanwhile, in the Republican race, Texas Senator Ted Cruz won the Utah Republican caucus, while front-runner Donald Trump took Arizona. We host a debate on the two Democratic candidates with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, and Rocky Anderson, former Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, who has endorsed Bernie Sanders.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments to decide whether Puerto Rico can avoid financial collapse by restructuring a portion of its massive $70 billion debt. The issue before the court was a bankruptcy law Puerto Rico’s Legislature passed in 2014 that would permit the island’s public utilities to restructure about $20 billion those entities owe to bondholders. Known as the Recovery Act, that law was struck down last year after several major bondholders sued successfully in federal court to oppose it. Juan González writes about the case in his new column for the New York Daily News, "Puerto Rico’s future lies in the hands of the Supreme Court."
Following the Belgium attacks, Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz issued a statement saying, "We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." Meanwhile, Donald Trump urged the waterboarding of captured Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam despite international laws against torture. "I would do a lot more than waterboarding," Trump said. We get a response from our three guests: Frank Barat in Brussels, journalist Joshua Hersh and Yasser Louati of the the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.
Belgium has begun three days of mourning after at least 31 people died and over 230 were injured Tuesday in bombings targeting the Brussels Airport and a crowded subway station near the headquarters of the European Union. ISIS took responsibility for the Brussels bombings and claimed more would follow. The bombings took place just days after authorities arrested Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the November Paris attacks that killed 130 people. A massive manhunt is underway for a 24-year-old Belgium man named Najim Laachraoui, who is suspected of being involved in Tuesday’s attack as well as the Paris bombings. Over the past decade, hundreds of young Belgian men have left their home to fight with ISIS and other militant groups in the Middle East. We speak to three guests about the Brussels attack and how Belgium should respond: Frank Barat in Brussels, journalist Joshua Hersh and Yasser Louati of the the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.
- Brussels in Mourning After 31 Killed in Attacks; Manhunt Underway for Suspect
- NYPD Chief Bratton Slams Ted Cruz's Call to "Patrol" Muslim Neighborhoods
- Sanders Wins Utah, Idaho; Clinton & Trump Take Arizona
- Obama Compares U.S. and Cuba to Estranged "Brothers" in Address to Cuban People
- Obama Attends Baseball Game in Cuba; Kerry Holds Historic Meeting with FARC Rebels
- 8-Member Supreme Court Hears Key Birth Control Case
- NYC: Mexican Activist Launches Hunger Strike to Demand Peña Nieto's Indictment
- Tennessee: Law Criminalizing Pregnant Drug Addicts to Expire
- TN Anti-Transgender Bathroom Bill Dies; NC Lawmakers Seek to Block Anti-Discrimination Measures
- ConAgra Becomes Latest Food Giant to Announce Labeling for GMOs
- Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Dies at 46
Democratic and Republican voters head to the polls today in Utah and Arizona, underscoring the battle over immigration reform. In Arizona, demonstrators shut down a highway leading to a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside Phoenix Saturday, delaying the rally ahead of today’s key primaries. Three people were arrested, including Jacinta González, a leading immigrant advocate who had locked her neck to a van’s window as part of the roadblock. González was then transferred to immigration custody—despite being a U.S. citizen. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, released a statement saying, "Under current ICE procedures, all foreign-born individuals who are booked into the Maricopa County Jail are interviewed by ICE personnel to determine alienage and removability and whether they would be an enforcement priority for the agency." The office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been monitored by the U.S. Justice Department for what it calls a "systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections." We speak with Jacinta González, field director at Mijente, a national political hub for Latinx organizing.
Click here to see Part 2 of our conversation.
All three remaining Republican candidates and Democrat Hillary Clinton addressed the pro-Israel AIPAC conference Monday. Clinton sought to cast herself as a stronger ally to Israel than Republican front-runner Donald Trump, repeatedly alluding to Trump’s recent declaration he would be "neutral" when negotiating a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. Many saw Clinton’s address as an attempt to cast herself to Trump’s right on Israel. During his address, Trump sought to cast himself as a strong ally of Israel. Democratic candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders skipped the AIPAC conference to continue campaigning ahead of primaries today in Arizona and Utah and the Democratic caucus in Idaho, but addressed the issue on the campaign trail. For a debate on the candidates’ speeches, we speak with Yousef Munayyer, executive director of U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and Robert Freedman, visiting professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and the former president of Baltimore Hebrew University.
Tuesday’s attacks in Belgium came just four days after authorities in Brussels arrested Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the November Paris attacks that killed 130 people. Abdeslam had fled to Brussels after the Paris attacks. After his arrest in a raid on Friday, the Belgian interior minister had warned the country was on the highest level of alert for a possible revenge attack. "I think the attacks today really underscore the urgent crisis and catastrophe that is taking place in Syria and the need for the international community to redouble its efforts to address in a serious way the civil war that is going on there that has really given rise, through the failure of the Syrian state, the vacuum of power that exists between Syria and Iraq, to this monster that we have come to know as ISIS, which has metastasized around the globe," says Yousef Munayyer, executive director of U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. We speak with Munayyer and Robert Freedman, visiting professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and the former president of Baltimore Hebrew University.
In the Belgian capital of Brussels, explosions have hit the international airport and a city metro station, reportedly killing more than two dozen people and wounding scores. Belgium’s federal prosecutor said the two blasts at the airport were carried out by a suicide bomber. There were also reports of shots fired before the explosions at the airport, which occurred at about 8 a.m. this morning. About an hour later, another explosion hit the Maelbeek metro station. "These really are two very central targets," says Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch and a native of Belgium. "The Schuman and Maelbeek stations are where most of the European bureaucrats get out of the metro to go to work, and these attacks took place just after 9:00, just as people were getting to the office, including my own colleagues at Human Rights Watch. They left the metro just minutes before these explosions took place. It certainly has shook Belgium to the core." We speak with Bouckaert in Geneva for the latest.
- Explosions Rock Belgian Capital Brussels, Killing Dozens
- Mali: Gunmen Attack Hotel Used by EU Military Officials
- Castro Calls for Return of Guantánamo During Obama's Historic Visit
- Castro Denies Holding Political Prisoners, Criticizes U.S. Human Rights Record
- Obama to Declassify Records on Dictatorship During Argentina Visit
- Clinton's AIPAC Speech Seen as Bid to Cast Herself to Trump's Right on Israel
- Sanders Skips AIPAC, Addresses Israel on the Campaign Trail
- Contests in Utah and Arizona Today; Democratic Caucus in Idaho
- Elizabeth Warren Calls Trump a "Loser"; He Calls Her "The Indian"
- U.S. Says It May Not Need Apple's Help to Unlock iPhone
- Iraq: Previously Undisclosed U.S. Base Comes Under ISIL Attack Again
- U.S., Philippines Sign Deal Allowing Pentagon to Use Five Bases
- Report: Sea Levels Could Rise Several Meters This Century, Drowning Cities
- Georgia Could Lose Super Bowl Bid over Anti-LGBT "Religious Liberty" Bill
- 40 Millionaires Ask New York State to Raise Their Taxes
The New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau has launched an investigation into the arrest of an adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio and a prominent Harlem activist last Tuesday night. Five Mualimm-ak was arrested while attempting to mediate a police confrontation with a homeless man in midtown Manhattan. Five serves on Mayor de Blasio’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System. He had just left an event at George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, where he read his essay in the new book "Hell is a Very Small Place" about his five years in solitary confinement. Since being released from prison in 2012, Five has become a prominent advocate for helping previously incarcerated men and women. Five was arrested Tuesday along with Harlem activist Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, who was recording the police confrontation with the homeless man with his cellphone. Hayden is the founder of the anti-police brutality organization All Things Harlem. Five other people who attended the book reading were later arrested at the police precinct, where they went to inquire about the arrest of Five and Jazz. They were charged with "refusal to disperse." We speak Five Mualimm-ak, Jazz Hayden and Terrence Slater. All three work with the group Incarcerated Nation Corp.
As protesters in Arizona blocked a highway leading to a Donald Trump rally outside Phoenix Saturday, as many as 2,000 people rallied against Trump in New York City, condemning his racist rhetoric and violence at his rallies. The actions came the same day a Trump supporter was arrested for sucker-punching a protester at a Trump rally in Tucson, Arizona, while Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was caught on video grabbing a protester by the collar. In New York City, demonstrators marched from Trump International Hotel and Tower in Columbus Circle to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Three people were arrested and a number were pepper-sprayed amid a heavy New York City police presence. Democracy Now! was there.
President Obama has arrived in Cuba for a historic three-day visit, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years. Obama is scheduled to meet Cuban President Raúl Castro this morning at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana. While diplomatic ties have been restored between the two countries, many issues remain unsolved. The 54-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba remains in place. The United States has also refused to give up control of its Navy base and military prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Last year, Raúl Castro said Cuba will not be able to normalize relations with the United States until Washington returns Guantánamo to Cuba. We go to Havana to speak with former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray Treto and Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C.
- Obama Begins Historic Visit to Cuba
- Arizona Protesters Block Highway to Trump Rally; Activist Sent to ICE Despite Being Citizen
- Trump Supporter Arrested for Punching Protester at Tucson Rally
- Trump Campaign Manager Grabs Protester's Collar; Trump Defends His "Spirit"
- Up to 2,000 March Against Trump in NYC; 3 Arrested
- Bernie Sanders Only Top Candidate to Skip Pro-Israel AIPAC Conference
- U.S. Marine Killed in Iraq, Revealing Presence of New Base
- Paris Attack Suspect Salah Abdeslam Arrested in Brussels
- Turkey: 4 Killed in Istanbul Suicide Bombing
- Hundreds of Refugees Arrive in Greece Despite New Turkey-EU Accord
- Brazil: Protests Held to Defend Gov't Amid Accusations of Right-Wing "Coup"
- Mexico: Community Police Leader Nestora Salgado Released from Prison
- Father of 1 of 43 Missing Mexican Students Runs NYC Half Marathon for Son
- Massachusetts: Builder Places Thoreau Cabin Replica in Gas Pipeline's Path
This week Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder testified for the first time before Congress about lead poisoning in the water supply of Flint, Michigan, which began after he appointed an unelected emergency manager who switched the source of the city’s drinking water to the corrosive Flint River. Snyder testified along with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Flint’s former emergency manager, Darnell Earley, who refused to appear at last month’s hearing despite a subpoena from the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. We play highlights from the hearing and speak with two Flint residents who attended. Melissa Mays is an activist and founder of Water You Fighting For?, a Flint, Michigan-based research and advocacy organization founded around the city’s water crisis. She and her three children suffer from long-term exposure to heavy metals because of the water supply. Nayyirah Shariff is a coordinator with the Flint Democracy Defense League.
Slain Activist Berta Cáceres' Daughter: US Military Aid Has Fueled Repression & Violence in Honduras
Another indigenous environmentalist has been murdered in Honduras, less than two weeks after the assassination of renowned activist Berta Cáceres. Nelson García was shot to death Tuesday after returning home from helping indigenous people who had been displaced in a mass eviction by Honduran security forces. García was a member of COPINH, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, co-founded by Berta Cáceres, who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize last year for her decade-long fight against the Agua Zarca Dam, a project planned along a river sacred to the indigenous Lenca people. She was shot to death at her home on March 3. On Thursday, thousands converged in Tegucigalpa for the start of a mobilization to demand justice for Berta Cáceres and an end to what they say is a culture of repression and impunity linked to the Honduran government’s support for corporate interests. At the same time, hundreds of people, most of them women, gathered outside the Honduran Mission to the United Nations chanting "Berta no se murió; se multiplicó – Berta didn’t die; she multiplied." We speak with Cáceres’s daughter, Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, and with Lilian Esperanza López Benítez, the financial coordinator of COPINH.
- GOP Establishment Consider Unity Ticket to Stop Trump
- Obama Tells Donors to Throw Weight Behind Clinton
- In Hearings, Lawmakers Call for MI Gov. Rick Snyder's Resignation
- No Criminal Charges for U.S. Soldiers Involved in Kunduz Bombing
- John Kerry: ISIL Committing Genocide
- U.N.: U.S.-Backed, Saudi-Led Airstrike on Yemen Market Killed 119
- EU Proposes Controversial Plan to Deport Refugees Back to Turkey
- U.S. and Cuba Continue Easing Relations Ahead of Obama's Trip
- SeaWorld to End Breeding Program for Killer Whales
- France: 150,000 Protest Proposed Labor Reforms
Buck v. Bell: Inside the SCOTUS Case That Led to Forced Sterilization of 70,000 & Inspired the Nazis
As President Obama nominates centrist Judge Merrick Garland to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, we take a look at what’s been described as one of the worst Supreme Court rulings in history. In the 1927 case Buck v. Bell, the court upheld a statute that enabled the state of Virginia to sterilize so-called mental defectives or imbeciles. The person in question was Carrie Buck, a poor, young woman then confined in the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and the Feebleminded, though she was neither epileptic nor mentally disabled. In the landmark decision, eight judges ruled that the state of Virginia had the right to sterilize her. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote the majority opinion concluding, "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." The decision resulted in 60,000 to 70,000 sterilizations of Americans considered "unfit" to reproduce. At the Nuremberg trials, lawyers for Nazi scientists cited the opinion in defense of their actions. We speak to Adam Cohen, author of "Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck."
As Democrats and Republicans gear up for a battle over whether the Republican-controlled Congress will hold hearings to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, we take a look at Garland’s judicial record. Merrick Garland is the chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was named to his current post by Bill Clinton in 1997, winning confirmation from a Republican-led Senate in a 76-23 vote. Prior to that, Garland worked in the Justice Department, where he prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombing case. Garland is widely viewed as a moderate judge, who he has received bipartisan support in the past. With the nine-member Supreme Court now evenly split with four liberal and four conservative justices, Garland could tilt the court to the left for the first time in decades. But some organizations have expressed concern that his record on certain issues, including abortion rights, is unclear. To examine his views, we are joined by Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, and Ian Millhiser, author of the book "Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted."