BTS 3/2/09: L.A. and Israeli Elections; Plunging Economy; "Fidel"

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Tomorrow there is a mayoral election in Los Angeles, and we’ll be lucky if we get a ten-15% turnout. Cities across the nation hardly fare better. We talk to Roy Ulrich for his understanding of the importance and relevance of this election – and why so few seem to care enough to vote.

We then move to the February 12 Israeli election – that has still failed to produce a coalition government. The Center Right Party Kadima (Tsipi Livni) got the most seats, yet the right-wing nationalist Likud (Benyamin Netanyahu) is forming the government. The new feature is the Lieberman factor – he is the Russian deal-maker, and his party – Israel is Our Home -- is crypto fascist and racist. The political configuration is complex and Yoav Peled will help us understand.

Moving to the economy – the Dow plunged below 7000 today for the first time in eleven years, as confidence plummets with the insolvency of the banks and AIG. Jack Rasmus joins us for an update on the continuing and deepening financial crisis behind the stock market collapse and why the Obama administration bank bailout won’t work.

And finally, Saul Landau’s “Fidel” gets its first release on DVD, 40 years after Saul had unfettered access to Fidel for a week. We’ll talk to Saul.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Roy Ulrich is a public interest lawyer, consumer advocate, and public radio broadcaster who lives in Santa Monica. He is President of the California Tax Reform Association and as Vice Chair of the board of directors of California Common Cause. Currently, he hosts a weekly public affairs program on Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles, which focuses on law and politics. Mr. Ulrich has written for the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times and The Nation magazine, among other publications.

2. Yoav Peled teaches political science at Tel Aviv University. He is co-author, with Gershon Shafir, of Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship, published by Cambridge University Press in 2002.

3. Jack Rasmus currently teaches Economics and Politics at St. Marys College in California. He is the author of the 2006 book, The War At Home: The Corporate Offensive from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, and the forthcoming The Trillion Dollar Income Shift. He has written for Against The Current, Critique, and ZNet.

4. Saul Landau is an internationally-known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau's most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights, for which he won the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting, and the First Amendment Award, as well as an Emmy for "Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang." Landau has written over ten books, short stories and poems. He received an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Assassination on Embassy Row, a report on the 1976 murders of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.