Book Salon Preview: Angels By The River, A Memoir

Reflections on race, environment, politics, and living on the front lines of change

Angels By The River: A Memoir

Come chat with author Gus Speth and host Will Potter, 5pm ET, 2pm PT.

In Angels by the River, James Gustave “Gus” Speth recounts his unlikely path from a southern boyhood through his years as one of the nation’s most influential mainstream environmentalists and eventually to the system­-changing activism that shapes his current work.

Born and raised in a lovely but racially divided town that later became the scene of South Carolina’s horrific Orangeburg Massacre, Speth explores how the civil rights movement and the South’s agrarian roots shaped his later work in the heyday of the environmental movement, when he founded two landmark environmental groups, fought for the nation’s toughest environmental laws, spearheaded programs in the United Nations, advised the White House, and moved into a leading academic role as dean of Yale’s prestigious School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Yet, in the end, he arrived somewhere quite unexpected—still believing change is possible, but not within the current political and economic system.

Throughout this compelling memoir, Speth intertwines three stories—his own, his hometown’s, and his country’s—focusing mainly on his early years and the lessons he drew from them, and his later years, in which he comes full circle in applying those lessons. In the process he invites others to join him politically at or near the place at which he has arrived, wherever they may have started.

James Gustave “Gus” Speth is the former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, founder and president of the World Resources Institute, and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has also been administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, chair of the U.N. Development Group, professor of law at Georgetown University, and chair of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration.

He currently teaches at Vermont Law School, and is a senior fellow at the Democracy Collaborative where he is co-chair of the Next System Project. He is also distinguished senior fellow with Demos, associate fellow with the Tellus Insitute, and the recipient of numerous environmental awards. His previous books include America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, and the award-winning The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment. (Chelsea Green Publishing)

Sunday Talking Heads: November 23, 2014


Green World Rising
H/T Gaius Publius

Greetings, Sunday again. Yes, immigration is a top topic but there is a dose of Benghazi.

WASHINGTON JOURNAL: 7:45am – Christian Science Monitor Congressional Correspondent Francine Kiefer and Wall Street Journal National Politics Editor Aaron Zitner discuss the political and legislative future of President Obama’s immigration overhaul proposals. 8:45am – Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times and Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy discuss the approaching deadline for a nuclear disarmament deal between Western powers and Iran.

ABC’S THIS WEEK: Immigration with President Barack Obama. Roundtable: Dr. Ben Carson, James Carville, Matthew Dowd, Katrina vanden Heuvel.

CBS’ FACE THE NATION: Immigration. “Will Republicans find a way to stop President Obama’s actions?” House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Then, Ferguson MO with NAACP President Cornell William Brooks. “What is his message to the people of Ferguson and the broader African American community? What lessons can Americans learn from Michael Brown’s shooting this summer and subsequent unrest? And what more can be done to prevent violence in the wake of the grand jury’s decision? Roundtable: Susan Page, David Ignatius, Michael Gerson, Mark Leibovich, Clarence Page.

CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES:Barbara Bowman claims the media protected Bill Cosby from her rape allegations; China’s president finally faces a free press; the TV station behind #pointergate refuses to apologize.”

CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION: Benghazi with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Immigration: Rick Santorum and Graham. Ferguson Roundtable: Princeton University Professor and activist Cornel West, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, Sojourners President Jim Wallis, LZ Granderson.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Immigration. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), then Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Also, Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott (R) “who says he will sue the President on behalf of his state as soon as Obama announces he is taking this executive action.” Roundtable: George Will, Julie Pace, Kimberley Strassel, Ron Fournier. “Power Player of the Week” is NYC street photographer Brandon Stanton.

KORNACKI’S UP.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: The Syllabus.

MOYERS & COMPANY: How Public Power Can Defeat Plutocrats. Lawrence Lessig and Zephyr Teachout return to talk about the corrupting influence of money in politics, and their push to change the system.

NBC’S MEET THE PRESS: Immigration with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Ferguson Roundtable: Rudy Giuliani; Anthony Gray, Lawyer for family of Michael Brown; Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University. U. S. Energy with John Hofmeister, Fmr. Chief Executive Officer, Shell Oil and Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-Prize winning author, “The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money & Power.” Roundtable: Joe Scarborough, Jose Diaz-Balart, Amy Walter, Bill Richardson. (more…)

Sunday Talking Heads: November 23, 2014


Green World Rising
H/T Gaius Publius

Greetings, Sunday again. Yes, immigration is a top topic but there is a dose of Benghazi.

WASHINGTON JOURNAL: 7:45am – Christian Science Monitor Congressional Correspondent Francine Kiefer and Wall Street Journal National Politics Editor Aaron Zitner discuss the political and legislative future of President Obama’s immigration overhaul proposals. 8:45am – Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times and Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy discuss the approaching deadline for a nuclear disarmament deal between Western powers and Iran.

ABC’S THIS WEEK: Immigration with President Barack Obama. Roundtable: Dr. Ben Carson, James Carville, Matthew Dowd, Katrina vanden Heuvel.

CBS’ FACE THE NATION: Immigration. “Will Republicans find a way to stop President Obama’s actions?” House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Then, Ferguson MO with NAACP President Cornell William Brooks. “What is his message to the people of Ferguson and the broader African American community? What lessons can Americans learn from Michael Brown’s shooting this summer and subsequent unrest? And what more can be done to prevent violence in the wake of the grand jury’s decision? Roundtable: Susan Page, David Ignatius, Michael Gerson, Mark Leibovich, Clarence Page.

CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES:Barbara Bowman claims the media protected Bill Cosby from her rape allegations; China’s president finally faces a free press; the TV station behind #pointergate refuses to apologize.”

CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION: Benghazi with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Immigration: Rick Santorum and Graham. Ferguson Roundtable: Princeton University Professor and activist Cornel West, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, Sojourners President Jim Wallis, LZ Granderson.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY: Immigration. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), then Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Also, Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott (R) “who says he will sue the President on behalf of his state as soon as Obama announces he is taking this executive action.” Roundtable: George Will, Julie Pace, Kimberley Strassel, Ron Fournier. “Power Player of the Week” is NYC street photographer Brandon Stanton.

KORNACKI’S UP.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: The Syllabus.

MOYERS & COMPANY: How Public Power Can Defeat Plutocrats. Lawrence Lessig and Zephyr Teachout return to talk about the corrupting influence of money in politics, and their push to change the system.

NBC’S MEET THE PRESS: Immigration with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Ferguson Roundtable: Rudy Giuliani; Anthony Gray, Lawyer for family of Michael Brown; Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University. U. S. Energy with John Hofmeister, Fmr. Chief Executive Officer, Shell Oil and Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-Prize winning author, “The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money & Power.” Roundtable: Joe Scarborough, Jose Diaz-Balart, Amy Walter, Bill Richardson. (more…)

Late Night: The Muse of the Snowdragon

Requiem of Ice

There’s an inspiring system of ice caves in the Sandy Glacier on the west face of Mount Hood in Oregon (waving to Suz here). In the past few years these caves have been spelunked, photographed and filmed:

This was a passion project for us inspired by a small thumbnail photograph I had seen in 2005 that showed a person in an extraordinary ice cave. With no information about where on Mt Hood it was or how to get there, it remained an elusive destination until last summer when Oregon Field Guide revealed the cave system in a comprehensive multimedia presentation. We saw a real opportunity and need to give a beautiful and cinematic treatment to the place and create the cave itself as a character.

This was a passion project for us inspired by a small thumbnail photograph I had seen in 2005 that showed a person in an extraordinary ice cave. With no information about where on Mt Hood it was or how to get there, it remained an elusive destination until last summer when Oregon Field Guide revealed the cave system in a comprehensive multimedia presentation. We saw a real opportunity and need to give a beautiful and cinematic treatment to the place and create the cave itself as a character.

I posted this because it’s beautiful and haunting. Here are a series of links for those who want to know more about the glacier and the snow caves, the making of this short film, as well as the project itself and text of the requiem; it’s surprising how much additional information is available at our fingertips.

From wiki: (more…)

Saturday Art: The Muse of the Snowdragon

Requiem of Ice

There’s an inspiring system of ice caves in the Sandy Glacier on the west face of Mount Hood in Oregon (waving to Suz here). In the past few years these caves have been spelunked, photographed and filmed:

This was a passion project for us inspired by a small thumbnail photograph I had seen in 2005 that showed a person in an extraordinary ice cave. With no information about where on Mt Hood it was or how to get there, it remained an elusive destination until last summer when Oregon Field Guide revealed the cave system in a comprehensive multimedia presentation. We saw a real opportunity and need to give a beautiful and cinematic treatment to the place and create the cave itself as a character.

This was a passion project for us inspired by a small thumbnail photograph I had seen in 2005 that showed a person in an extraordinary ice cave. With no information about where on Mt Hood it was or how to get there, it remained an elusive destination until last summer when Oregon Field Guide revealed the cave system in a comprehensive multimedia presentation. We saw a real opportunity and need to give a beautiful and cinematic treatment to the place and create the cave itself as a character.

I posted this because it’s beautiful and haunting. Here are a series of links for those who want to know more about the glacier and the snow caves, the making of this short film, as well as the project itself and text of the requiem; it’s surprising how much additional information is available at our fingertips.

From wiki: (more…)

James Risen’s Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War – Book Salon Preview

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War

Chat with James Risen about his new book. Hosted by Tim Shorrock, 5pm ET, 2pm PT.

War corrupts. Endless war corrupts absolutely.

Ever since 9/11 America has fought an endless war on terror, seeking enemies everywhere and never promising peace. In Pay Any Price, James Risen reveals an extraordinary litany of the hidden costs of that war: from squandered and stolen dollars, to outrageous abuses of power, to wars on normalcy, decency, and truth. In the name of fighting terrorism, our government has done things every bit as shameful as its historic wartime abuses — and until this book, it has worked very hard to cover them up.

Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. FDR authorized the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans. Presidents Bush and Obama now must face their own reckoning. Power corrupts, but it is endless war that corrupts absolutely.

James Risen is an investigative journalist with the New York Times, and author of the New York Times bestseller State of War, among other books. In 2006 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about warrantless wiretapping by the NSA. In 2007 he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


James Risen – Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War on Terror , Crackdown on Whistleblowers

James Risen’s Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War – Book Salon Preview

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War

Chat with James Risen about his new book. Hosted by Tim Shorrock, 5pm ET, 2pm PT.

War corrupts. Endless war corrupts absolutely.

Ever since 9/11 America has fought an endless war on terror, seeking enemies everywhere and never promising peace. In Pay Any Price, James Risen reveals an extraordinary litany of the hidden costs of that war: from squandered and stolen dollars, to outrageous abuses of power, to wars on normalcy, decency, and truth. In the name of fighting terrorism, our government has done things every bit as shameful as its historic wartime abuses — and until this book, it has worked very hard to cover them up.

Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. FDR authorized the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans. Presidents Bush and Obama now must face their own reckoning. Power corrupts, but it is endless war that corrupts absolutely.

James Risen is an investigative journalist with the New York Times, and author of the New York Times bestseller State of War, among other books. In 2006 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about warrantless wiretapping by the NSA. In 2007 he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


James Risen – Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War on Terror , Crackdown on Whistleblowers

President Obama Addresses the Nation, Taking Executive Action on Immigration.

Citing a broken system, President Obama “is taking executive action to fix what he can to help build a system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.” The speech, scheduled for 8:00pm ET, is expected to last fifteen minutes. It will be on cable, CSPAN and PBS, but the broadcast networks have their priorities, sweeps.

Dan Wright reported this morning,

Though the exact details of the executive actions have yet to be laid out, by most accounts President Obama has at least some legal basis to take these actions and has a chance of surviving a court challenge. Given the intransigence of Republicans in Congress this is the only way anything can get done on a pressing issue of national concern and now that Obama is termed out the backlash is someone else’s problem.

Like Jon Walker said yesterday, Obama doesn’t need to care what people think.

Prepared remarks: (more…)

Late Night: Game Over

Last night I made the mistake of upgrading my Candy Crush. Game Over, the upgrade bonked out my app and like the idiot I am, I deleted it to reinstall. Well, that didn’t work and apparently I’ve lost all that hard work and would have to restart at Level One. Frankly, life is too short.

Now what do I do to while away my waiting hours?

Game Over

The day wasn’t a total loss, the “Save Mary Landrieu’s Senate Seat” bill didn’t pass, so still no Keystone XL Pipeline -yet.

How was your day?

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United – Book Salon Preview

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United

Chat with Zephyr Teachout about her new book. Hosted by Matt Stoller. Today at 5pm ET, 2pm PT.

When Louis XVI presented Benjamin Franklin with a snuff box encrusted with diamonds and inset with the King’s portrait, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to “corrupt” Franklin by clouding his judgment or altering his attitude toward the French in subtle psychological ways. This broad understanding of political corruption—rooted in ideals of civic virtue—was a driving force at the Constitutional Convention.

For two centuries the framers’ ideas about corruption flourished in the courts, even in the absence of clear rules governing voters, civil officers, and elected officials. Should a law that was passed by a state legislature be overturned because half of its members were bribed? What kinds of lobbying activity were corrupt, and what kinds were legal? When does an implicit promise count as bribery? In the 1970s the U.S. Supreme Court began to narrow the definition of corruption, and the meaning has since changed dramatically. No case makes that clearer than Citizens United.

In 2010, one of the most consequential Court decisions in American political history gave wealthy corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion treated corruption as nothing more than explicit bribery, a narrow conception later echoed by Chief Justice Roberts in deciding McCutcheon v. FEC in 2014. With unlimited spending transforming American politics for the worse, warns Zephyr Teachout, Citizens United and McCutcheon were not just bad law but bad history. If the American experiment in self-government is to have a future, then we must revive the traditional meaning of corruption and embrace an old ideal.

Zephyr Teachout is Associate Professor of Law at Fordham University.  (Harvard University Press)

 

Corruption in America: A Conversation with Zephyr Teachout:

 

The Bare Knuckle Fight Against Money in Politics, Zephyr Teachout and Lawrence Lessig with Bill Moyers: