BTS 11/21/05: Cheney's Woes; America's Economic Decline; Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Listen: John Nichols - Bob Pollin - Robert Greenwald / Meleiza Figueroa

Both Republicans and Democrats are rewriting the history of the run-up to the war in Iraq – though the Democrats have a lot of catching up to do to match the Republicans. A spat broke out in Congress when Congressman Jack Murtha outlined a plan for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Vice President Cheney, in a lot of trouble for pushing torture, the war, and Plamegate, today accused his political opponents of “corrupt and shameless” revisionism in claiming that Bush misled the nation into the Iraq war and warned that withdrawing forces would “be a victory for the terrorists.” We begin tonight’s Beneath The Surface with The Nation's Washington correspondent and author of the highly unauthorized biography of Cheney, John Nichols, to discuss Cheney’s woes.

We then turn to the state of the economy: today GM announced 30,000 layoffs, while China is unveiling a new SUV to be sold in Europe and America. Bob Pollin, author of Contours of Descent, will put it all into context as we unravel America’s economic decline – and coincidentally touch on Bush’s trip to China and his ill-fated trip to Argentina.

And finally we welcome back Robert Greenwald, producer-director of Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price, along with lead researcher Meleiza Figueroa to talk about Wal-Mart’s troubles and response to the successful release and impact of the new documentary.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. John Nichols, The Nation's Washington correspondent, has covered politics in the US and abroad for more than two decades. He runs the editorial page of Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times, and is a co-founder of the national media reform organization Free Press. He has co-authored two books with Robert McChesney: It's the Media, Stupid, and Our Media, Not Theirs. He is also the author of Jews for Buchanan (New Press) and John is a frequent, long-time guest on this show.

2. Bob Pollin is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts- Amherst and the author of Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of the Global Austerity (Verso 2003), which came out in paperback in October 2005. Among his many books are The Living Wage (with Stephanie Luce) and the edited volume Transforming the US Financial System (with Gary Dymski and Gerald Epstein). He has worked with the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress and the United Nations Development Program, and was the economic spokesperson for the 1992 presidential campaign of Governor Jerry Brown.

3. Robert Greenwald is the director/producer of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004), a documentary exposing the right-wing bias of Fox News. He is also the executive producer of a trilogy of "Un" documentaries: Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002), Uncovered: The Iraq War (2003), and Unconstitutional (2004). In addition to his documentary work, Greenwald has produced and/or directed more than 50 television movies, miniseries and feature films. Greenwald is the recipient of awards and honors for his political work by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; the L.A. chapter of the National Lawyers Guild; Physicians for Social Responsibility; and the Office of the Americas.

4. Meleiza Figueroa is a currently a student and political activist. She has maintained several blogs and activist websites, and works with various groups throughout the Los Angeles peace and justice community. Meleiza is currently an associate producer on KPFK's Beneath the Surface with Suzi Weissman.