BTS 1/14/08: Economic Recession; Elections and the War; Iraqi Civilian Deaths

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Are we in a recession? Will it become a depression? While the pundits and soothsayers play with the words, Barbara Ehrenreich says we're already living in one -- and that 57% of Americans think it began a while ago. Barbara challenges the Presidential contenders: Why is it t so hard to see that ordinary Americans have been in a recession for a long, long time?

And what about the War? Did Clinton's near tears cloud the eyes of anti-war voters? Tom Hayden joins us to talk about the election, the war, and what anti-war lessons can we learn from New Hampshire?

And finally, we end tonight's broadcast with Les Roberts -- he co-authored the Lancet study published in October 2006 that estimated 655,000 excess deaths following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Now there is an update: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that The New England Journal of Medicine just published their estimate of 151,000 Iraqi deaths from violence between March 2003 and June 2006. We'll ask Les what he thinks of their methodology and their findings.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed (Owl), and the winner of the 2004 Puffin/Nation Prize. She is a political essayist, journalist, social critic and feminist, author or co-author of at least sixteen books, including Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005), Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (2007), Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class, and Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. She has written for dozens of magazines, including Ms., Harper's, The Nation, The Progressive, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly and the New York Times Magazine.

2. Tom Hayden, the Nation Institute's Carey McWilliams Fellow, has played an active role in American politics and history for over three decades, beginning with the student, civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. Hayden was elected to the California State Legislature in 1982, where he served for ten years in the Assembly before being elected to the State Senate in 1992, where he served eight years. He is author of over 175 measures ranging from reform of money in politics, worker safety, school decentralization, small business tax relief, domestic violence, lessening gang violence in the inner city, stopping student fee increases at universities, protecting endangered species like salmon, overhauling three strikes laws, and a measure signed into law that will assist Holocaust survivors in receiving recognition and compensation for having been exploited as slave labor during the Nazi era. Hayden is the author of eleven books, including his autobiography, Reunion; a book on the spirituality and the environment, Lost Gospel of the Earth; a collection of essays on the aftermath of the Irish potato famine, Irish Hunger (Roberts Rhinehart) and a book on his Irish background, Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (Verso).

3. Les Roberts, an epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Health, became prominent in the news just before the 2004 U.S. presidential election, for his study estimating that 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed in the Iraq war, at a time when official U.S. government estimates were much lower. In October 2006, an expanded follow-up study was released that gave a point estimate of 651,000 deaths having occurred, within a 95 percent confidence interval from 300,000 to 900,000.