(Guest-hosted by Alan Minsky while I was on jury duty–thank you Alan!) Our president gives his first State of the Union speech tonight at 600pm, and apparently Obama will call for an across-the-board three-year spending freeze to placate Republicans who say the deficit is a big problem. Question: Do ordinary people really care about the deficit? And don’t we need a much bigger deficit right now? JOHN NICHOLS will comment: he’s Washington correspondent for The Nation and writes “The Beat” blog at TheNation.com.
Plus: The Supremes’ Blow to Democracy: last week the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it was okay for corporations to spend unlimited money to overwhelm elections. ERWIN CHEMERINSKY will comment: he says the same 5-4 majority that said corporations must have “free speech” has drastically limited free speech for others. Erwin is founding dean of the UCI law school.
Also: The Culture of Fear: BARRY GLASSNER explains why Americans are afraid of the wrong things: Terrorists, Criminals, Drugs, Minorities, Teen Moms, Killer Kids, Mutant Microbes, Plane Crashes, Road Rage, & Vaccines. “The Culture of Fear will amaze you, make you upset, and give you a new resolve to do what’s best for this country.”—Michael Moore. Barry teaches sociology at USC, and was featured in Bowling for Columbine.