BTS 1/22/07: Bush's State of the Union; Sultans of Satire

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Tonight we preview President Bush’s State of the Union address with deeper analysis and a little humor. Given the failure of Bush’s ‘surge’ escalation policy to catch fire, the President will concentrate (we are told) on pressing domestic issues: healthcare, energy policy and immigration. William Greider, who has written widely on the end of the conservative era and the fizzling of monetarism, joins us to dissect the essential content of his policy proposals.

Then, William Hartung, expert on arms trade and military spending, and part time comic, adds further insight into Bush’s program pronouncements.

And then we turn to the Middle East this time with wit, humor and the hopes of dialogue. Jordan Elgrably, Gulden and Peter Shahriari join us.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. William Greider, a prominent political journalist and author, has been a reporter for more than 35 years for newspapers, magazines and television. For 17 years Greider was the National Affairs Editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where his investigation of the defense establishment began. He is a former assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, where he worked for fifteen years as a national correspondent, editor and columnist. He is the author of the national bestsellers One World, Ready or Not, Secrets of the Temple and Who Will Tell The People, and most recently, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to A Moral Economy.

2. William D. Hartung is the president's fellow at the World Policy Institute of the New School, and director of the institute's Arms Trade Project. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and studies, including How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? A Quick and Dirty Guide to War Profiteering in the Bush Administration (Nation Books/Avalon Group,2004). He has published articles on the arms trade and the economics of military spending have appeared in much of the mainstream, alternative and policy press. He has appeared widely as a featured expert on national security. In his spare time, Mr. Hartung is a stand-up comedian, specializing in political humor.

3. Jordan Elgrably cofounded Levantine Cultural Center during the summer of 2001 with several other professionals of Middle Eastern heritage. A writer, editor and producer, Jordan is of French and Moroccan origin. He has been passionately committed to strengthening Arab/Muslim and Jewish relations for many years. He founded the New Association of Sephardi/Mizrahi Artists & Writers Int'l. in 1996 and Open Tent Middle East Coalition in 1999. With the other board members, he makes decisions regarding programming, community outreach and fund-raising. He serves as the organization's acting artistic director. Jordan attended the American University of Paris (formerly ACP). His essays, articles and stories have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals.

4. Gulden was born in Istanbul and came to the U.S. after high school for higher education. A paid regular at the Comedy Store, the Laugh Factory, and the Ice House in Los Angeles, she completed her B.A. and M.S. and is working on a Ph.D. in Business Administration. After she became an American citizen, she started doing comedy, which made all her relatives and her parents disown her. Just as in her own life, her comedy takes a twisted look at her relationships with her family, men, and various ethnic groups. She also works for "Catch A Rising Star." She has a standup comedy DVD coming up. She was a lead in a sitcom pilot called "Keep'em Up", she's been on the "Leeza Talk Show" and the "Drew Carey Show."

5. Peter Shahriari is a Los Angeles native whose family immigrated from Tehran, Iran. Also known as Peter the Persian, he is moderately ethnic and specializes in voices and character humor. Not afraid of big crowds, he's let it all hang out in front of at least 10,000 people. With a B.A. in political science from UCLA, Peter is one of the few stand-up comedians who is also a practicing attorney by day.