Obama’s State of the Union speech called for jobs, health care reform, and fighting the influence of corporations on our government processes, but after the past year, many progressives are skeptical that he’ll actually fight. He did include a sharp critique in his speech of the decision of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a decision that Steve Cobble called an “intellectually dishonest power grab.”
Cobble, a fellow at the Insitute for Policy Studies, joins us to talk about the state of our union and what people can do to fight the corporate power. Also in studio are Mike Lux, founder of Progressive Strategies and author of The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be, and Lisa Dodson, professor at Boston College and author of The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy.
We also speak to Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who has introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate corporate speech during elections.
Meanwhile, Iceland’s economy suffered one of the worst hits in our most recent global financial crisis, and the country is still struggling. In Dreamland, filmmakers Þorfinnur Guðnason and Andri Snær Magnason ask the question: “What do you own when you have sold everything?”
Over in England, the Chilcot Inquiry is doing the kind of in-depth look at the runup to the Iraq war that we can only dream about here in the U.S. To explain what’s going on there–and discuss why we don’t have a similar inquiry–we ask Reginald Keys, who lost his son in the Iraq war and who challenged Tony Blair for Parliament in 2005. David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, and Esther Armah of WBAI’s Off the Page and Wake Up Call, also join us to discuss the inquiry, the war, and the role of public protest.
Howard Zinn died on January 27th at age 87. He didn’t believe in staying closeted in the academy, though he was a brilliant historian whose book, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, changed the way many people view history. Zinn was an inspiration to all of us at GRITtv. He spoke to Laura in 2008, and we re-air that interview now and remember his teachings. Zinn would not want us to mourn–he would want us to organize.