BTS 11/13/06: Election Analysis; LA Times in Crisis; Economy and Global Turbulence

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The Democrats have taken back the House and the Senate in last Tuesday’s election, widely seen as a referendum on the War in Iraq and the incompetence of the Bush administration. It was also a referendum on Bush’s disastrous stewardship of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of the Gulf coast and New Orleans, the culture of corruption in Washington, the dangers of one-party government, sanctioning torture, the attacks on civil liberties and more. The international reaction was one of relief. Since Tuesday, analysts and politicians alike have proclaimed the results as a victory for the political center. Michael Tomasky thinks it was just as much a move to the left in the Democratic Party as to the center: he joins us to explain.

We then turn to the crisis at the LA Times owned by the Chicago Tribune group who demand more and more cuts at the paper, trying to make it less a world class newspaper and more a local and provincial one. Kevin Roderick of LA Observed has been following the story and fills us in on the latest bids to wrest control and ownership from Chicago.

And finally we turn to an extended conversation with Robert Brenner of UCLA whose new book, The Economics of Global Turbulence, puts all of this in perspective by situating our politics in the workings of the global economy. In particular, Brenner traces the turbulent post-war history of the economy through its boom and now its downturn and poses far-reaching questions for the future.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Michael Tomasky, editor-at-large, was previously a senior political columnist and contributing editor at New York magazine. He has also worked as an editor and writer at The Village Voice and The New York Observer. He is author of two books, Left for Dead: The Life, Death, and the Possible Resurrection of Progressive Politics in America (1995), a study of the intellectual collapse of the American left, and Hillary’s Turn, an account of the New York Senate race of 2000. He has also been published in The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post, and was recently a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard.

2. Kevin Roderick started LA Observed in 2003 and is the site's editor and publisher. A journalist for more than two decades, he writes regularly about local politics as a Contributing Writer at Los Angeles Magazine and has written for Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times Magazine and L.A. Architect. He was an editor and staff writer at the Los Angeles Times for many years and led the Los Angeles bureau for the late, sort-of great Industry Standard magazine. He is the author of two books about the city, Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles and The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb.

3. Robert Brenner is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Social Theory and Comparative History at UCLA. In addition to The Economics of Global Turbulence, he is the author of The Boom and the Bubble: The US in the World Economy and Merchants and Revolution.