09 Nov

Sobering Up: Obama a “Progressive”?

As the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history comes to an end, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and professor, activist Dr. Cornel West join us to discuss President Obama’s re-election and their hopes for a national political agenda in and outside of the White House during Obama’s second term. At a time when one in six Americans is poor, the price tag for combined spending by federal candidates — along with their parties and outside groups like super PACs — totaled more than $6 billion. Together, West and Smiley have written the new book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.” Both Tavis and Smiley single out prominent progressives whom they accuse of overlooking Obama’s actual record. “We believe that if [Obama] is not pushed, he’s going to be a transactional president and not a transformational president,” Smiley says. “And we believe that the time is now for action and no longer accommodation. … To me, the most progressive means that you’re taking some serious risk. And I just don’t see the example of that.” West says that some prominent supporters of Obama “want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way.

26 Feb

Van Jones on Tavis Smiley


With a history of activism, Van Jones emerged as a national environmental leader, calling for green economic development in urban America. He founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and was founding president of Green for All, a national campaign for green-collar opportunities. Jones’ first book, The Green Collar Economy, was a NYT best seller, and he went on to serve as special advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality in ’09. He’s a Yale Law grad and has worked as a journalist and been an independent publishe

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