BTS 10/3/2005: Katrina Aftermath; Harriet Miers Nomination; Tom DeLay Corruption; UTLA Forum

LISTEN: Adolph Reed Jr. - Craig Holman / Jeff Berman - Josh Pechthalt / Bill Gallegos

On tonight’s BTS we begin with aftermath of the Katrina catastrophe. New Orleans was murdered by Katrina, environmental racism, misguided engineering, dubious planning, government neglect and more, while relief and rebuilding are meant to showcase privatization (dare we call it cronyization) whose results are anyone’s guess: but Adolph Reed, a New Orleanian now teaching at Penn, says more than poverty and racism were exposed in new Orleans, and if the natural disaster revealed in stark terms the convergence of economic, political, social, racial and environmental crises, it is a shocking foretaste of what is in store for many of us unless we build a broad movement of the vast majority of us who are not part of the investor class.

Later in the hour we will see what fruits can be won from years of patient grass-roots organizing. Josh Pechthalt, VP of UTLA and Bill Gallegos from the Coalition for Educational Justice join us to discuss Schwarzenegger’s attack on the Teachers Union as well as what they are doing to defend and transform public education and meet the right wing challenge.

And in between we’ll take a look at President Bush’s Texas Lawyer Harriet Miers – nominated today to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s Supreme Court vacancy, as well as the ethical problems of another Texan, Tom DeLay - with Jeff Berman, Western Regional Director of People for the American Way, and Craig Holman, a legislative representative from Public Citizen.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Adolph Reed Jr., an expatriate New Orleanian, is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the interim national council of the Labor Party. He is also Co-Chair of the Free Higher Education project. He is the author of half a dozen books, including Without Justice for All: The New Liberalism and the Retreat from Racial Equality (editor, Westview Press, 2001) and Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene (The New Press, 2000) His article “De-Classifying the Hurricane” appeared in the October 3rd Nation and Reed points out – in stark terms – that tomorrow or the day after we are all living on the Gulf Coast.

2. Jeff Berman is the Western Regional Director of People for the American Way. From 2001-2005, he served as Chief Counsel to United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Democratic Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. He has lectured nationally on the work of the Senate Judiciary Committee and served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. Before working on Capitol Hill, Berman was a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and is a summa cum laude graduate of Connecticut College.

3. Craig Holman is legislative representative for Public Citizen's Congress Watch and author of a backgrounder on the DeLay indictment, available [PDF] at Citizen.org.

4. Joshua Pechthalt is a UTLA/AFT Vice-President and a member of Progressive Educators for Action (PEAC). Bill Gallegos is a member of the Coalition for Educational Justice and the Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment.