BTS 11/26/07: Russian Elections; Presidential Primaries; Economic Crisis

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Election season is heating up: 38 days to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire eight days later, but first, December 2nd and the Parliamentary elections in Russia.

Vladimir Putin is termed out for President but maneuvering to stay in power by becoming Prime Minister. We talk to Mike Urban about the nature of Russian politics these days.

Then we go to New Hampshire to talk to John Nichols who is on the ground talking impeachment and following the race. He hints that there are several surprises in store.

And finally, it IS the economy: Will this be the first real depression since 1929, and is it the fault of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and bank losses? or the reverse? We'll ask Nomi Prins.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Mike Urban's research has dealt principally with Russia (USSR), focusing on questions of political language and ideology, the circulation of elites, the dynamics of the mass movement that overthrew the communist regime, and the problems of state and society in the post-communist period. He has also explored the appearance and development of blues music and culture in Russia, focusing on social identity and community formation under conditions of stress and uncertainty. He has authored the following books: Russia gets the Blues: Music, Culture, and Community in Unsettled Times (Cornell University Press, 2004), The Rebirth of Politics in Russia (Cambridge University Press, 1997), More Power to the Soviets: The Democratic Revolution in the USSR (Edward Elgar, 1990), and An Algebra of Soviet Power: Elite Circulation in the Belorussian Republic, 1966-86 (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

2. John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. Nichols is the author of the upcoming book The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), as well as a critically-acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (The New Press) and a best-selling biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books.) With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, the nation's media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform.

3. Nomi Prins is an author, journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos a NYC-based public policy think tank. Her Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (featured on this program) was chosen as a best book by the Economist, Barron’s and The Library Journal. Also featured here on Beneath The Surface was her latest book Jacked: How “Conservatives” are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not). Before journalism, Nomi worked as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and at Bear Stearns in London. She publishes widely on economic issues.