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Think it's possible to always have a lawyer available to help with legal issues at a cost less than a cappuccino a week at Starbucks?Check out this interview as novelist/attorney Mark Bello and I speak with Tara Paustenbach, who with a background in sales/marketing, has partnered with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. since 1998. She recruits, trains and develops Associates across the U.S. and Canada to market the company’s products -- LegalShield and ID Shield for home and business. For Pre-Paid Legal, she has served as Regional Manager and Regional Vice President in Southern California, and most recently as Regional Vice President in Texas, helping to develop people for leadership positions. Tara is passionate about Pre-paid legal services and we will soon find out why. By the way, during the Covid crisis, Tara has worked from home and managed to raise and homeschool her 14 year-old son. So, she’s been wearing a lot of hats!We interviewed Tara for the Justice Counts podcast, which I co-host with Bello, and I sharewith you now.
Today, we’re talking about Republican politics with two blog narrations from LeantotheLeft.net. The first, which I wrote, is headlined: “GOP: Beware of Radical Socialists & Communists,” and the second, by columnist CJ Waldron, asks the question, “Will the GOP Obstruct Justice?”But first, here’s a reminder that you can follow us at podcast.leantotheleft.net, and, you can reach me at bob@leantotheleft.net. And you can follow us on social media…Facebook at The Lean to the Left Podcast. Twitter at LeantotheLeft1. Instagram at Not Fake News. Also, if you enjoy this episode, please give a review on any of the podcast links you’ll find on our webpage, podcast.leantotheleft.net.Our thanks to The Ramminger Group for sponsoring this episode. The Ramminger Group provides content and marketing consulting services to responsible businesses and nonprofits. Let them help your story. Visit rammingergroup.com.
Today I’m sharing with you an episode that focuses on prison and sentencing reform that I co-hosted for the Justice Counts podcast with thriller author/attorney Mark M. Bello. Nicole D. Porter manages The Sentencing Project’s state and local advocacy efforts on sentencing reform, voting rights, and confronting racial disparities in the criminal legal system.Named a “New Civil Rights Leader” by Essence Magazine for her work challenging mass incarceration, Porter joined the Sentencing Project in 2009 and her advocacy and findings have supported criminal legal reforms in such states as Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.Porter’s areas of expertise include research and grassroots support around challenging racial disparities, felony disenfranchisement, in addition to prison closures and prison reuse. She’s authored articles on the collateral impacts of justice involvement on communities of color and how current social movements are challenging mass incarceration. The former director of the Texas ACLU’s Prison & Jail Accountability Project, Porter graduated from Johns Hopkins University and holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. Some episode highlights:Porter calls for elimination of mandatory sentences for many crimes, including those involving drug offenses.She calls for reallocation of resources, including the closing of many prisons, with a focus on rehabilitation.She contends that many older inmates are no longer dangerous, and thus, should be released.She believes that because thousands of inmates that were subjected to mandatory sentences received unfairly harsh sentences, and because deplorable conditions in many prisons violate inmates' rights, that "reparations" are justified. Those payments would be used for community programs to prevent crime from occurring.Take a listen.
Today on the Lean to the Left podcast we’re talking politics, and with me are two long-time political analysts and activists from North Carolina and Georgia.As most of you know, I’m now based in South Carolina, moving here from Maryland a few years ago, and have since been involved in local Democratic politics – an uphill battle, if ever there was one.But joining me on in this episode are Arthur Hill, from North Carolina, and Robert Thompson, from Georgia. I guess you could call us the "Dixie Dems", except that two of the three of us are NOT native southerners. Arthur Hill is communications chair of the Brunswick County, North Carolina, Democratic party, who recently wrote a book on the history of St. James, his hometown since 2014. Before he moved to the Tarheel State, he was a public relations professional and freelance writer in Washington, DC. As I did, back in the day, Arthur also worked on Capitol Hill.Robert Thompson works in technology based in Atlanta, holding various IT positions dating back to 1998. He founded Peach News Now and its opinion podcast, "Got Damn Liberals", because he was tired of telling news stories to other reporters who kept telling him "that's not news." A native of South Georgia, he’s actually a “true” Dixie Dem.So, while it’s crazy in South Carolina with a Republican Congressman having to defend his vote to impeach Donald Trump against several rightwing candidates, one of whom was endorsed by Trump, I think it’s even wackier in Georgia and North Carolina. At least SC doesn't have a Madison Cawthorn or a Marjorie Taylor Green! Now, with this apparent Roe v Wade decision that’s been reported, it’s probably going to get even worse.The discussion unwraps the draft abortion ruling and the political implications, ranges into the argument over what can and cannot be taught in schools, Republican candidate misadventures, Trump's influence, and much more. There's lots of insight, but plenty of laughs along the way, as well.In fact, the three of us enjoyed the conversation so much we're planning on making this a regular monthly feature on the podcast.Take a listen:
Today, we’re talking about the leaked Supreme Court ruling that apparently will wipe out Roe v. Wade, the long-standing decision protecting a woman’s right to an abortion.I’ll be narrating three blogs on the subject from our Lean to the Left.net blog site, the first outlining why Trump, through his Supreme Court justices, is giving Democrats a winning issue going into the November election; the second, by Mark M. Bello, entitled RIP Reproductive Rights?, and the third by CJ Waldron, “Abortion & Other Things Not Mentioned in the Constitution.” But first, here’s a reminder that you can follow us at podcast.leantotheleft.net, and, you can reach me at bob@leantotheleft.net. And you can follow us on social media…Facebook at The Lean to the Left Podcast. Twitter at LeantotheLeft1. Instagram at Not Fake News. Also, if you enjoyed this episode, please give a review on any of the podcast links you’ll find on our webpage, podcast.leantotheleft.net.And here’s a shout out to Nashville blues musician and songwriter Scott Ramminger for providing our music bed for the Lean to the Left podcast. You can catch up with Scott at ScottRamminger.com.Now, for the first of three commentaries: Trump’s Justices: Disdain for Women, Gift for Dems,” by Bob Gatty…
Sheri Few, firebrand leader against teaching the implications of racial history and comprehensive sex education in school, says teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) "is from the pit of Hell and is meant to destroy lives."Founder and president of US Parents Involved in Education, Few ran unsuccessfully for office three times in South Carolina, and now is doing a media blitz claiming that discussions of CRT-related issues is rooted in Marxism and part of a Communist plot, supported by liberals, to "collapse our form of government and change it into a Marxist air even Communist form of government."Co-hosting the episode is children’s author and Lean to the Left contributing writer Dr. Pamela Gurley, who challenges Few on her goal to "Make America America Again", a slogan she used in her unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for Congress.“The last president brought out what America really looked like.” “You are trying to go back to a time that benefited you, a White woman, that did not benefit someone like me, a Black woman,” says Dr. Gurley.SHOW NOTES2:06 Critical Race Theory, distortion of history and what it means when it comes to education. FEW -- “I oppose critical race theory that, in its roots, is Marxist. So critical theory came out of the Marxist Frankfurt School in Germany many decades ago. There’s several critical theories, not just critical race theory. There’s Critical Queer Theory, Critical, Critical Gender Theory, Critical Feminist Theory…the intent was to criticize the society and culture by identifying all these different groups.”3:08 Cultural Marxism FEW -- “They identified different groups of people, put them against one another in order to cause division. The end goal would be to collapse our form of government and change it into a Marxist or even Communist form of government.”5:18 – Plot to turn American government into Communist government? FEW -- “Absolutely. We’ve seen an entire generation steeped in socialism.” “If we don’t wake up and stop the indoctrination of children and get back to teaching core academics…children are failing academically and it gets worse and worse every year, and in the meantime, what do they want to do? They want to teach social emotional learning, critical race theory. All of these are things that really have no business in the classroom.”6:26 – Get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare? FEW -- “Yes, I’m sorry, I believe that. I believe that it started with the War on Poverty and LBJ and we’ve just progressed more and more until we get to the point where it’s all universal medicine.” Says Social Security falls into the same category.8:40 –Race in Florida Math Books FEW --“We should not be indoctrinating children with math problems because people disagree on that topic…if it’s a controversial issue, it shouldn’t be in a math problem.”11:11 – Teaching patriotism FEW -- “Children are not even taught to love their country any more. We’re the only country in the world that doesn’t teach their children to be patriotic. Instead our children are taught that we are oppressors, and that we have stolen from the Indians and all of this nonsense.”11:47 – New Documentary Film FEW -- “It’s called “Truth and Lies in American Education.” Website: https://Truthandliesfilm.US . This is an important expose.”13:35 – Oppressing American Indians FEW -- “There were some bad situations like the Trail of Tears, but it wasn’t all bad. We came and our goal was to evangelize when we came to this country... So, we were able to help Indians in a lot of ways.”14:48 – The Sexualization of Children FEW -- “It has been in the classroom for decades, but it’s just getting worse and worse.” Discusses parents’ lawsuit in Ludlow County, MA, accusing teachers of trying to groom children into thinking of themselves as transgender. 21:40 – Abstinence Until Marriage FEW – “I have written four, maybe five, abstinence-until-marriage curricula. Since it (sex ed) is in the schools, I think it’s a better approach than teaching children how to put condoms on bananas and that kind of stuff that was happening 20 years ago. Now it’s far worse than that.”25:21 – Parental Responsibility FEW – Good parents and grandparents don’t prop their kids up in front of the television and let them watch all these ridiculous shows that are against their values.”26:26 – Parental Options FEW – “Every parent should be made aware before those classes are taught and have the opportunity to review the curriculum, and, if they object to the content, they ought to have the opportunity to opt their child out.”29:08 – What did your campaign slogan “Make America America Again” Mean? FEW – “To get back to when we loved our country and we were proud to be American, and we were a melting pot, and we were united, and where people wanted to be American, when immigrants would come here and go through all that it takes so that they could become an American citizen.” “My mother stayed home and raised her children instead of sending them to day care while she worked. It was a healthier, more prosperous, much more friendly country. I have never seen our country more divided than it is today.”30:40 – Reasons for Division Host Bob Gatty comments that a major reason why the country is so divided is because of “the last president.” FEW – “I can tell you that the one before that is the reason this country is so divided. You know we had our first Black president and he fanned racism like never before.” Seriously? she was asked. “I’m dead serious.”31:16 – America for Who? GURLEY -- “The last president brought out what America really looked like.” “You are trying to go back to a time that benefited you, a White woman, that did not benefit someone like me, a Black woman.”39:24 – Importance of Two-Parent Families FEW – “Fifty, 60, 70 years ago, Black families were led by two-parent families. Today it is the direct opposite. Over 70 percent of Black children are raised in single-parent homes.” “That’s an issue that needs to be resolved by your community.”41:16 – Going Back to the ‘50s Host Bob Gatty says it’s not possible to go back to the ‘50s where mommy stayed home to care for the kids and daddy went to work to earn a living. “That’s what you want? You can’t have it,” he says.44:43 – Sexuality in School: Teachers’ Responsibility FEW – Education needs to be focused on core academics, and these other issues do not belong in the classroom at all. Social issues belong in the home, church and community.47:16 – Oppressed vs. the Oppressors FEW – “It is Marxist at its roots and it’s an intentional agenda to pit people against one another, to have all these different groups instead of being united…I believe that CRT (critical race theory) and the cultural responsive pedagogy and all these separate identities, pitting people against one another, is from the pit of Hell and is meant to destroy lives, and that’s why fundamentally, I’m opposed to it.”
What's the image that comes to mind when you think of a woman in her 70s? And if you're approaching that age, or living in that life decade, what's your mindset? For Ruth Yunker, a twice-divorced Californian, it's all about "aging vivaciously."On this episode of The Lean to the Left Podcast, Yunker, a yoga-fit mother of two talks about her struggle with alcoholism, subsequent sobriety, and her lifestyle today that, she says, is bringing much happiness.What's her secret for aging vivaciously?"It's an inside job," she says. "Find your little magical miracle every single day," whether it's the first cup of coffee of the day or even simply catching all the green lights on the way to work. Pay attention to making your own goddamned joy."Is she lonely living alone?"I got divorced the second time and never looked back," she says. "I walk in the house and I don't have to look down at my feet to see if there's a cat, a baby, or my husband's shoes. I just walk in and I don't trip."Ruth talks about her love for nice clothes and fancy hats...and cats. Keys to her happiness, she said, are her 21 years of sobriety, yoga, "a good plastic surgeon," and "fun with fashion.""Don't cry in the corner of your couch," she says. "It ruins your face."Yunker has written three books -- two about her travels to Paris, and her latest, "Baby I'm the Boss of Me, My Journey to Ageless." It's about aging with courage, humor, and personal power."This podcast episode is truly funny, and for those of us in our sunset years, certainly uplifting. It's worth a listen.
I had a bad dream last night. It's 2025 and an obsessed right-wing Republican from Florida by the name of Rick Scott is now president of the United States. All hell has broken loose.Take a listen...
Our guest today is Christopher Pearson and the topic is passing the National Popular Vote bill that would guarantee the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes. Pearson is a Vermont State Senator and worked on his 1998 campaign, then his Congressional office. He’s been with National Popular Vote where is secretary on the Board of Directors.We’ve all seen the problems with the current Electoral College system, made even worse with the Donald Trump’s shenanigans to use it to retain power, despite his election defeat. And, in 2020, while Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes, because of the Electoral College, a switch of only 23,000 votes in three states could have given the election to Trump.“That’s dangerous. That’s a real threat to our whole system,” says Pearson on the podcast.The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, if passed by enough states, would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Compact ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election. It is a state-based approach that preserves the Electoral College, state control of elections, and the power of the states to control how the President is elected.The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by 16 jurisdictions possessing 195 electoral votes, including four small states (DE, HI, RI, VT), eight medium-sized states (CO, CT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, OR, WA), three big states (CA, IL, NY), and the District of Columbia. The bill, which will take effect when enacted by states with 75 more electoral votes, has passed at least one chamber in nine additional states with 88 more electoral votes (AR, AZ, ME, MI, MN, NC, NV, OK, VA). A total of 3,522 state legislators from all 50 states have endorsed it. The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from “winner-take-all” laws that have been enacted by state legislatures in 48 states. These laws award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each state.Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. In 2012, all of the 253 general-election campaign events were in just 12 states, and two-thirds were in just four (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored.“In politics, what matters is influence,” says Pearson. “Where you get influence in the current system of electing a president is not be being a small state, not by being a big state, it’s by being a battleground state. If you look at where they spend money in a campaign, in a general election, they spend over two-thirds of their resources, money and time, in usually eight states. In fact, in 2012, it was four states.” The rest of the country is “completely taken for granted,” Pearson contends, while the issues that are important to voters in those toss-up battleground states “take on huge influence in the country.”The National Popular Vote interstate compact will go into effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). At that time, every voter in the country will acquire a direct vote for a group of at least 270 presidential electors supporting their choice for President. All of this group of 270+ presidential electors will be supporters of the candidate who received the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC—thus making that candidate President. In contrast, under the current system, a voter has a direct voice in electing only the small number of presidential electors to which their state is entitled. Under NPV, every voter directly elects 270+ electors, Pearson explains on the podcast.“National Popular Vote is a key reform to the way we elect a president,” Pearson says. “For people that believe every vote should be equal, if you get the most votes, you should win the election and the candidates should be inspired to go everywhere and see voters, not just a handful of battleground states. That’s what National Popular Vote’s doing, we’re over 70 percent of the way there and it’s a very exciting and important reform.”
Too many outside influencers are trying to tell colleges and universities what they should and should not teach. At least 16 states are considering or have already signed into law bills that punish teachers for discussing critical race theory or similar topics.Bob Atkins, a higher education strategy consultant, is with us today to discuss how limiting students’ academic options are detrimental to their future, and how schools should hold their ground against external voices and agendas."It’s the stuff of demagogues, it’s the stuff of the populace, it’s the stuff of the guys who run Russia," he says. "The idea is I can make stuff up as long as it appeals to my constituency that’s consistent with my ideology. It’s very dangerous stuff, and it really does undermine the foundations of our society in ways that are difficult to quantify. It’s part of what drives these spikes between Americans that needn’t be there. We agree on a lot of the substantive issues, but these fantasy issues really can divide us up." Atkins says that the impact of these external political pressures on institutions of higher education primarily affects budgets, which are being cut. "That’s the first line of defense," he says. "There’s a belief that higher education is too expensive and that by cutting funding that will lower the cost of education,” but, he explains, that’s the opposite of what happens.“When the state cuts funding, the institutions raise tuitions. So all they’re really doing is shifting the burden of paying for college from the citizenry at large to specifically students and their parents.”As states try to restrict budgets based on what is being taught on campus, Atkins warns, “Now we’re getting very close to book burning. Everybody has a favorite book they want to burn.”In this episode, Atkins discusses ways that colleges and universities can resist those outside political pressures and strategies that can be used to develop academic curriculum that meets the needs of students while holding down costs.Atkins is the author of “Start, Stop, or Grow?: A Data-Informed Approach To Academic Program Evaluation And Management.” He is the CEO and founder of Gray Associates Inc., a strategy consulting firm focused on higher education. The firm helps education clients develop fact-based institutional and marketing strategies that maximize outcomes for students, the school, and its constituencies. In leading Gray’s education industry software and services development, Atkins consults with college presidents, CAOs, CFOs and CMOs on program assessment, institutional strategy, pricing and location selection. He received an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School, and a BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.
Donald Trump's followers are being carted off to jail for participating in the January 6, 2021 violent attack intended to block the electoral college vote finalizing Joe Biden's election and relegating the orange blowhard to the trash heap of history. But what about those who sent those loyal followers on this fools' errand -- Trump and his son, Don Jr.? Should they not suffer the same fate? Should they be charged with conspiracy or even treason?That’s where we’re headed on today’s podcast…But first, here’s a reminder that you can follow us at podcast.leantotheleft.net, and, you can reach me at bob@leantotheleft.net. And you can follow us on social media…Facebook at The Lean to the Left Podcast. Twitter at LeantotheLeft1. Instagram at Not Fake News. Also, if you enjoyed this episode, please give a review on any of the podcast links you’ll find on our webpage, podcast.leantotheleft.net.And here’s a shout out to Nashville blues musician and songwriter Scott Ramminger for providing our music bed for the Lean to the Left podcast. You can catch up with Scott at ScottRamminger.com.Now, for the rest of the story…
Last month former President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “lay down their lives” to fight against critical race theory, as he worked to whip up support for what probably will be an attempt to regain the White House.Using CRT, the study of institutional racism in the legal system, as a whipping boy is a favorite ploy of right-wing Republicans trying to control what can be taught in public schools across the nation…attempting to prohibit teachers from telling the truth about the role racism has played in our country’s history.Today we have two college professors from South Carolina with us to discuss this controversy and its role in public discourse today. In South Carolina, they are in the eye of the storm.Jeremy Holland is a sociology professor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. His research interests include social movements, economics, discourse analysis, and political ideology. Chris Waldron is an adjunct English professor at Horry-Georgetown Tech, and for almost 30 years he was an English and Special Education teacher in Schenectady, NY.On the podcast, these educators warn of the dangers of censoring academic discussion of controversial contemporary social issues, and the implications of political interference on teachers' ability to do their jobs. Both Jeremy and Chris are frequent contributors to the Lean to the Left.net blog.
Today we’re with James A. Ross, author of the book, "Hunting Teddy Roosevelt", a historical novel that veers into TR’s African adventures and an assassination attempt. There is this line from the book: “Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted.” And then…On the podcast, Ross talks about Roosevelt, a true progressive who was responsible for the 40-hour work week, backed the establishment of labor unions, and led trustbusting efforts against corporate conglomerates. Did all of that lead to the assassination attempt described in "Hunting Teddy Roosevelt"? Ross has some thoughts on that.Ross has been a Peace Corps volunteer in the Congo, a Congressional staffer and a Wall Street lawyer. "Hunting Teddy Roosevelt" won the Independent Press Distinguished Favorite Award for historical fiction and the American Fiction Award in the Adventure/Historical category. It was a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award and the American Book Festival Award for historical fiction. Ross’s debut mystery novel, COLDWATER REVENGE also won numerous prestigious awards, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and his short story, Aux Secours, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a frequent story teller and gives live performances, and his on-line stories, newsletter sign-up and more can be found on his website: https://jamesrossauthor.com.
With the war in Ukraine continuing to rage and President Biden just challenging the energy companies to stop sitting on profits and produce oil to ease pricing pressure to consumers, you have to wonder what the impact will be on the battle to curtail greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change.Frank Dalene, author of Decarbonize the World, A Market-Based Solution to the Climate Crisis, in this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, expresses concern that animosity caused by Russia's attack on Ukraine will prevent worldwide cooperation that is needed to effectively reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions."We only have one atmosphere," he says, noting that every industrialized nation must take effective action if the worldwide dangers of climate change are to be mitigated.Dalene is president/CEO of luxury home builder Telemark Inc., an early adopter of green technologies, and reveals on the show that he's building a new "proof of concept" addition to his home on Long Island that will be 100 percent free of fossil fuels. The structure floats on a slab of six-inch dense foam, uses groundwater for cooling, and hot air from the roof to generate hot water. He describes the structure in some detail and says it is a "living laboratory" for engineering houses in the future. Dalene is the founder of the Hamptons Green Alliance, where more information about this initiative can be found.While Dalene advocates the use of electric vehicles (EV) and the Biden administration's plan to build the necessary infrastructure to support their use, such as charging stations, he points out that the use of solar to power homes should accompany the growth in EVs.In addition, Dalene describes on the podcast a new system that he has developed to determine the greenhouse gas impact of specific products and services. He is working with federal officials and lawmakers to gain the necessary governmental support to make this system a reality.For a fascinating discussion about energy, the environment, and the fight against climate change, take a listen.
Many of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were disgusting in their disrespectful treatment of President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. At the same time, Justice Clarence Thomas is now under the January 6th Committee microscope because of his wife, Ginny’s, overt effort supporting Donald Trump’s try to overturn the 2020 election.In this episode, I narrate two Lean to the Let.net blogs on those topics, one by CJ Waldron on the Thomas fiasco and the other by Mark M. Bello, focusing on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s treatment of Judge Brown.But first, here’s a reminder that you can follow us at podcast.leantotheleft.net, and, you can reach me at bob@leantotheleft.net. And you can follow us on social media…Facebook at The Lean to the Left Podcast. Twitter at LeantotheLeft1. Instagram at Not Fake News. Also, if you enjoyed this episode, please give a review on any of the podcast links you’ll find on our webpage, podcast.leantotheleft.net.And here’s a shout out to Nashville blues musician and songwriter Scott Ramminger for providing our music bed for the Lean to the Left podcast. You can catch up with Scott at ScottRamminger.com.Now, first, here’s “What a Hypocrite!” by Mark M. Bello.
Today we’re with University of Houston history professor Bob Buzzanco to discuss some of the historical context with respect to the vicious attack by Russia on Ukraine, and what he thinks is required to reach an agreement to stop the bloodshed.Professor Buzzanco, who also co-hosts the Green and Red Podcast, describes himself, among other things, as a historian, writer, agitator, professor, and Sicilian. He has an extensive record of publications and speaking out on U.S. foreign policy, the arms race, NATO, U.S. armed conflict and wars, and U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and Russia. He is also an award winning author of numerous books and essays on the Cold War, the Vietnam War, U.S. military intervention, the military-industrial complex, and the military budget. A review of his social media pages reveals that he’s no fan of the military industrial complex.Regarding the Russian attack on Ukraine, Buzzanco contends that it’s important to understand the history of U.S.-supported NATO expansion since the fall of the Soviet Union and Putin’s determination to restore his country to its place as a world leader.
Alester Linton-Pryor is an African-American woman from New York City who is now spending every waking moment of what is supposed to be retirement trying to overtake the rightwing Republicans who dominate her region in South Carolina.As chair of the Horry County (SC) Democratic Party (HCDP), Linton-Pryor leads a determined band of volunteers who share her concerns about the major social issues of today and are working to elect Democrats in an area where using that very word can get you snubbed, or worse.On this episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, Linton-Pryor talks about the challenges she and other Democrats face in her ruby red area, but says she is confident that gains can be made if voters simply will be effectively informed about the benefits President Biden and Democrats in Congress have provided.She points to the $1.9 trillion relief package the president pushed through Congress to help Americans through the economic disaster caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, and stresses the new jobs it is creating and the financial assistance it has provided. Likewise, the massive infrastructure law that Biden shepherded through Congress will also provide major benefits, including good paying jobs.At the same time, she recognizes the difficulties that the President and Democratic leaders have encountered in the 50-50 Senate, where voting rights bills and the broad Build Back Better program have stalled, largely because of Republican opposition.Linton-Pryor takes no prisoners in this interview, stressing that it is the Democratic Party that is fighting for voting rights, equal rights for all, child care, health care, education, and is opposing efforts to restrict what can be taught in schools and to interfere with a woman's right to choose what should happen to her own body.For those who are involved with HCDP, the interview will provide a glimpse into what drives this leader and what she hopes to achieve. For those who do not, it offers insight into the challenges faced by determined progressive leaders who are bucking the odds in GOP-controlled areas.Take a listen.
Today we’re speaking with an author, a mom, a fighter. She’s dealt with a lot, but with great courage she’s used her novels to try to achieve a better world. Her name is Juliet Rose and she’s the fifth in a series of guests to recognize Women’s History Month.Juliet lives in the mountains of Georgia and says she first knew she wanted to be a writer when she was 11 years old. She’s had some tough times…losing her mom at that young age…and then her own four-year-old daughter from cancer.She is the epitome of courage, of someone who grabbed adversity, looked it in the eye, and succeeded."You've got to put your feet out of the bed and moment by moment you just keep pitching forward and eventually you find that movement without struggle," she says.Juliet is now the author of three books with a fourth coming out in May. Her novels all deal with social issues that are important to her and her characters are built around issues like the over-incarceration of people, challenges facing LGBTQ+ individuals, equality and fairness, animal rights, and more.During the episode, Juliet talks about the process of writing a novel, character development, research, translating life experiences to her works, but she also delves into some of the political and social issues facing our country today. Action by Republicans across the nation to restrict voting and make it harder for some people to exercise their right to vote angers Juliet Rose."It's all about money," she says. "To control the money, you have to control the people. They are looking at the money trail as a pot of gold."There is a lot more where that came from. Take a listen...You can learn more about Juliet at authorjulietrose.com.Also, our thanks to Nashville blues musician and saxman Scott Ramminger for the music bed for Lean to the Left. Learn more about Scott at https://ScottRamminger.com.
Now it's time for some straight talk about politics, in fact, mostly South Carolina and Georgia politics where things are always interesting with such players as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Stacy Abrams, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Tom Rice, the right-winger who voted to impeach Trump.Our guest is Robert Thompson, host of the Got Damn Liberals podcast, which largely covers Georgia politics but strays across state lines more often than not. Robert is an astute observer of politics in the South, especially his home state of Georgia.Our discussion hits on everything from President Biden's nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court to MTG, Stacy Abrams, Rice and Trump's vendetta against him, critical race theory and much, much more.Take a listen.
A draconian GOP manifesto that would raise taxes and potentially end key social programs is a roadmap for what Republicans may be planning if they win control of Congress and the Presidency.One of the most powerful Republican senators in the nation, Rick Scott of Florida, is pushing a sweeping plan that, if passed, would raise taxes on working Americans by $1 trillion and potentially wipe out Social Security, Medicare and even veterans' benefits.Scott is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which raises money and provides campaign support for GOP senatorial candidates and thus has great influence within the GOP, including strong support by twice impeached former president Donald Trump.While Scott's plan was immediately denounced by Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Democrats in Congress and the White House, it should not be ignored as it can be expected to emerge in some form if Republicans return to power. His 11-point Plan to Rescue America is a roadmap for embedding Christianity and conservative ideology into official government policy for decades to come. Listen for more...
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