Beneath The Surface with Suzi Weissman airs every Friday on KPFK Pacifica Radio from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tune in at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, and worldwide on KPFK.ORG. You can listen to archived shows online on the KPFK website.

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BTS 3/3/08: Ohio & Texas Primaries; Chechnya

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D-Day Tuesday approaches, and while conventional wisdom had it that after tomorrow only one Democrat would be left, things are… changing. With news that Florida can’t stand to be left out and may schedule a SECOND primary, plus polls that give Ohio to Clinton, … well we’ll check in with JoAnn Wypijewski in Ohio, taking the pulse of the working class there … and our favorite Lou Dubose in Texas, the man who warned us about Bush, Rove, Delay and more.

Then we’ll go to Russia – yesterday’s election brought Dimitri Medvedev to power with Putin as Prime Minister and still calling the shots. Tony Wood talks to us about Russia – and especially about the two disastrous wars in Chechnya, both waged to boost sagging Presidential popularity with calamitous results.

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BTS 2/11/08: Sex at the Margins; WGA Strike Deal

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On tonight’s program, we talk to author Laura Agustín about her new book, Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labor Markets and the Rescue Industry, which upends conventional notions and rethinks everything about trafficking, "immigration problems," rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labor and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry.

We then turn to the 14 week old Writers Strike, coming to an end depending on the vote this week. Thousands of striking writers met at the Shrine Auditorium yesterday to discuss the deal. Tomorrow they vote, but already the union has declared a huge victory. Howard Rodman does the heavy lifting for us as he discusses the deal, the strike, the victory and more.

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BTS 1/21/08: Presidential Primaries; MLK's Legacy; Recession or Depression?

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Why are these primaries so politically superficial (not to mention misleading) and ultimately unsatisfying? We talk to David Sirota, the populist rabble-rouser – who says if we want change we’re looking in the wrong place, and if we want electoral reform, it is easier than we’re being told.

We then honor Martin Luther King Day. King spent the last part of his life talking about ending the war in Vietnam and fighting passionately for economic justice, and against inequality. He said, "Equality means dignity. And dignity demands a job and a paycheck that lasts through the week." As we face a bleak economic outlook and a superficial presidential campaign, we talk to Horace Small of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, who has committed his organization to fights that can be won – and has just scored a victory in Massachusetts for ex-criminal offenders who never get a chance of re-entry… it is truly one of the key civil rights struggles of our generation with one in four black males in some phase of the criminal justice system.

And finally, the coming recession – is it already here? Or is it a coming Depression? Jack Rasmus takes a look at Bush’s palliative stimulus on offer and shows why it won’t work – it is too little, too late.

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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.

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BTS 1/7/08: Dems and Foreign Policy; NH Primary; CIA Torture Tapes

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2008 has arrived and the political season did not take a break. In the US, populism scored in Iowa, as did symbolism and the come-back of youth. Make no mistake, we still run wealth contests and call them elections, but this primary season is exciting and unpredictable. Barack Obama‘s victory in Iowa was huge, and it upended most of the predictions from the media and political class. The status quo lost and change won – but we’ll go beneath the surface and ask whether change is about the symbolism that Barack Obama personifies, or if it is political and reflected in a real directional change from status quo policies, domestic and foreign. Ari Berman has written on the foreign policy politics of the democratic candidates and we’ll ask him whether Obama’s foreign policy will represent a progressive change not just in the Middle East, but in Latin America, Asia, for the economy and more.

We then talk to Katrina Vanden Heuvel about the political process on the eve of New Hampshire’s primary, and we’ll ask whether the momentum from Iowa is carrying forward. Can we expect candidates to address the economic anxiety that most American’s are suffering?

And finally on tonight’s Beneath the Surface we talk to Michael Ratner from the Center for Constitutional Rights about the inquiry launched by the Justice department and the CIA’s internal watchdog unit into the CIA’s destruction of the torture videos.

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BTS 12/31/07: Health Care; Iowa Caucuses; Bush and Iran

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Tonight we pay attention to Politics, which never stop. We begin with State Senator Sheila Kuehl. She has sponsored and won Single Payer Health care SB840 in the State Assembly which was then vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. She comments on the compromise healthcare bill passed by the State Assembly.

We then turn to the Presidential Race: the Iowa Caucuses are January 3 and John Nichols joins us to comment – not on the horse race, but the issues.

And Finally on tonight’s program we talk to Chris Hedges about the impact of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran on President Bush’s war plans. Hedges says Bush is like a wounded beat – not stopped, but poised to attack seeking new rationales.

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BTS 12/17/07: Health Care; "Bubblenomics"; Inequality in the US

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Steffi Woolhandler, Professor of Medicine at Harvard and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, says that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all propose Nixon-like health reforms that were passed and then failed in several states over the last two decades. We ask her to explain.

Then we talk to Robert Brenner about the root causes of the economic downturn. The media universally blames the sub-prime mortgage crisis for the problems in the economy, but we’ll ask him if the reverse is the case. Brenner says that cutting interest rates can't help the long-term weaknesses of the advanced economies and that we have been addicted to bubbles. He calls it 'Bubblenomics', it is deflating and the question is what happens when the model implodes? Does the R-word (recession) become the D-word (depression)?

And finally, Michael Yates returns to talk about his new book, More Unequal: Aspects of Class in the United States. The old news is that workers are more exploited and receiving a shrinking share of the wealth we produce. So much for the myth of a ‘just’ capitalist economy – and Michael pinpoints in this collection just how our market-based economic system is in fact a one-sided class war, and what we need to fight it.

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BTS 12/10/07: CIA; Presidential Race; Immigration

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Just when the news seemed good for the CIA – its newly released NIE states that Iran abandoned its nuclear program in 2003, making the Bush administration’s war-mongering on Iran a tougher sale - the CIA then shows its other face, destroying two videotapes showing abusive interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects in 2005, prompting some Senators and Congressman to press for a criminal investigation of the CIA for obstruction of justice. We’ll talk to Emily Berman of the Brennan Center on the legal and human rights issues this raises.

We then turn to the Presidential Race -- its just beginning, even if it seems like it has been with us for years. So far the media have anointed Hillary Clinton as the front runner, probably against Mayor Giuliani. But polls are changing as we get closer to the first primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. Harold Meyerson joins us to lend his incisive views on the Obama surge, what could happen in Iowa, and more.

And while we’re on the Presidential race, CNN decided to boost its ratings by making Lou Dobbs' issue the main one in the Republican Debate – demonstrating that the election is just part of the television ratings game. We decided to go beneath the surface on immigration, which only 6% of Americans consider the defining issue of the time by inviting Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of the new book, The Politics of Immigration, to sort the misinformation and disinformation from the stereotypes and prejudices that pass for political debate.

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BTS 12/3/07: Russian Elections; Venezuela Referendum; WGA Strike

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Tonight we go beneath the surface on yesterday’s election in Russia with Stephen F. Cohen and then look at Hugo Chavez’s narrow defeat for constitutional reforms including removing term limits for the Presidency in Venezuela – with Mark Weisbrot. The Russian election was so managed and manipulated that all accounts question the results. In Venezuela the upset was a surprise but Chavez graciously accepted it, declaring his continued fealty to the constitution.

Finally, today marks the one-month anniversary of the Writer’s Strike. Howard Rodman joins us to celebrate, contemplate and prognosticate on a strike that has garnered widespread support but intransigence from the AMPTP (Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers), which Rodman calls a Coalition of the Unwilling.

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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.

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