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Jeff Santos Show 7/29/14

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GUESTS FOR TUESDAY JULY 29, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: The Congressional Action Clock is Ticking... Teacher Tuesday Looks at Reducing Student Debt! Are you or someone in your family buried by Student Loan Debt? What's your story? Are you working to pay it off? Looking for work?


- Alexis Ploss, College Sophomore at Manchester Community College, studying to become a high school physics and astronomy teacher. She is with the NEA in Washington D.C. today, talking with members of Congress about the need to reduce the debt burden on America's college students and their families as part of the NEA "Degrees Not Debt Program". Alexis expects to graduate with almost $100,000 in college debt. The topic today is Student Debt. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has proposed legislation in the Senate - the "Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act" - "that would cut the federal student interest rate to 0.75 percent, the same rate offered to banks by the Federal Reserve." Alexis Ploss is on Capitol Hill today where she has meetings with MA Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as Congresswomen Niki Tsongas (D-MA) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) to talk about reducing student debt. All four legislators are in favor of the legislation to reduce student debt. We'll talk with Alexis about her personal story, and about the status of Senator Warren's legislation.

We believe:
(1) Need-based student aid must be increased.
(2) Student loans must be made more affordable.
(3) Public service must be encouraged through expanded loan forgiveness.
(4) Institutional aid must be increased.

- John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for the Nation Magazine and co-author of the book "Dollarocracy, How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America. A LOT going on this week as Congress tries to take care of a few things before going home for their August recess: Israel-Gaza, John Kerry causing media flurry over attempts to help with ceasefire, Putin in Ukraine, VA bipartisan Bill, Immigration quick fix? John Boehner's Lawsuit against the President...
And of course, the election politics never stops...In a recent article at, John makes the case that Paul Ryan's Faux Populism Isn't Going to End Poverty or Reduce Inequality.

- Brad Bannon, CEO, Bannon Communications Research, a Democratic political consulting and polling firm. He is a pollster, blogger, and fill-in radio host on the Leslie Marshall show. You can read his commentaries at In his latest piece there, Brad observes that the Immigration Debate is bringing out the best & worst in American Society. What is the Democratic message that members of Congress will be taking home with them when they leave for their August recess at the end of the week?...Will they pass a temporary Immigration fix or punt 'til September? Is it a good sign that the VA Bill is being supported in a bipartisan way?

And we'll be taking YOUR calls, of course...

Jeff Santos Show7/28/14

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GUESTS FOR MONDAY JULY 28, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Can the Congress get ANYTHING done before they go home for the August recess in a few days? The clock is ticking! Looks like a VA System overhaul may go through, but what about Immigration? Are the kids going to be in limbo for 5 weeks now waiting for Congressional action? Senator Bernie Sanders Close to Bipartisan Deal w/House's Jeff Miller on VA Fix!

- John Businger, Former 30-year Massachusetts State Rep (D-Brookline) and advocate for voting rights and rail transportation. A regular contributor to the Jeff Santos Show. The least productive Congress ever(!) is getting ready to go home for the August recess in a couple of days, and legislators are scrambling to make some progress on a few things - even a big bipartisan deal to update and fund the troubled VA system. Veterans Affairs Chair Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and his counterpart on the House Veterans Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R-FL) were knocking heads over this earlier in the week but are coming up with a deal today that would add staff, clinics, and allow veterans to seek care outside of the VA system if backlogs prevent them from being seen promptly. And here in Massachusetts...Governor Patrick continues to try to sell the case for (temporarily) housing some of the children seeking refugee status here in Massachusetts - he says the cost will be borne by the U.S. Government, the children will NOT be incorporated into neighboring towns...

- David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author on tax issues and economics, he is a lecturer at Syracuse University and an Executive Member/Past President of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). David wrote a piece last week in the Sacramento Bee, making the claim that the State's job growth defies predictions after tax increases - as the California economy adjusts to a proposition passed in 2012 that raised the sales tax and increased income taxes for high-income-earners. Opponents say that the new taxes are "scaring Job Creators away". We'll ask David what he thinks about all that as well as the other political and economic news of the day!

- From California today... Earl Bender, President of Avenel Associates, political strategist at Totten Communications and regular contributor to the Jeff Santos Show. Monday check-in on the news of the day: The do-nothing Congress during their rare busy month before heading home for the August break... what can they do? what won't they be doing? And we'll ask him about the House Republicans Suing the President? Impeachment talk? Is this invigorating the Democrats finally?

And we'll be taking YOUR calls, of course...

Jeff Santos Show 7/25/14

GUESTS FOR FRIDAY JULY 25, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Keeping The Dems Focus On Middle Class Economics & Is It Time to Abolish the Death Penalty?

- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America (DFA)...calling from Seattle in the Pacific Northwest today.

- Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP). This week, Americans were witness to another troubling execution, where an attempt to use lethal injection to end the life of Mr. Joseph Wood (on death row for murder) took almost 2 hours! Witness reports claim that Mr. Wood was gasping multiple times during the ordeal. Our guest joins us today to renew the call to end the death penalty and particularly to stop this cruel and unusual method of carrying out "justice" via lethal injection.

HER OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE JOHN WOOD EXECUTION: “Tonight, we learned that yet another American has been put to death in a shocking and cruel way. But the worst part about Joseph Wood’s botched execution was, it was entirely predictable and avoidable. The combination of drugs used in putting Wood to death—an agonizing, two hour ordeal—has been used only once before, earlier this year in Ohio, resulting in another botched execution.

“Americans have had enough of the barbarism. We’re learning, sadly, that in too many cases, we are simply incapable of carrying out capital punishment in the humane way in which our laws guarantee. This is yet another example of how our broken death penalty system, which risks executing innocent people every day it’s in practice, is incapable of functioning.

“That’s why a growing number of us—more than 90 million Americans—say they oppose the death penalty, a number that has grown significantly in recent years.

“Tonight, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty renews our call to halt all executions, and call on everyone who’s shocked and appalled by this news to join our campaign that finally puts an end to this terrible procedure.

And we'll be taking YOUR calls, of course...

Jeff Santos Show 7/24/14

GUESTS FOR THURSDAY JULY 24, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: A Missing Algerian Plane Assumed Crashed as More MH17 Victims Return Home! Another Botched 2Hr Execution...this time in Arizona Is it time to end the death penalty? or at least ban death by lethal injection?

- Jerry Austin, Ohio-based political consultant who has worked for many candidates over the years from Sherrod Brown to Paul Wellstone and as Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign Manager. He's on the campaign trail in Memphis, Tennessee! Politics! Politics! Politics!... and we'll get Jerry's thoughts on the big news stories of the week: Yet another botched execution last night in Arizona takes nearly 2 hours with prisoner visibly gasping for air multiple times; Gov Jan Brewer orders a review of the death penalty process. In Israel and Gaza, despite Secretary John Kerry traveling to Tel Aviv this week, the violence doesn't seem anywhere near to ending (Israel bombed a UN-run school being used as a shelter today!) AND... Vladimir Putin, the EU and the Ukrainian separatist rebels - Ukrainian military planes continue to be shot down, but nobody has claimed responsibility for shooting down the Malaysian passenger plane traveling from Amsterdam. Solemn ceremonies this week as the victims' remains slowly return home to be identified and returned to their families.

And YOUR calls, of course...

Jeff Santos Show 7/23/14

GUESTS FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 23, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Secretary Kerry travels to Tel Aviv as first MH17 victims return home! Can the U.S. help broker a temporary peace deal between Israel and Gaza? Greenday Wednesday looks at EPA Public Hearings next week!

- John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for the Nation Magazine and co-author of the book Dollarocracy, How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America. John's back in Wisconsin after a lot of traveling...New York this week and at the Netroots Conference in Detroit last week - where he says Elizabeth Warren stole the show! We'll ask him about Netroots and the political and international news stories we're following: ACA Subsidy Challenge, Ukraine-Russia, Israel-Gaza, Detroit Water Shutoffs.

- Dr. Alan Lockwood, Dr., Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Buffalo. Former President and current National Board Member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Dr. Lockwood will be speaking at one of the 4 EPA Public Hearings around the country next week, where people have been invited to give testimony about the new Carbon Pollution rules for existing power plants that were proposed on June 2nd. The 4 hearings are being held in Atlanta, Denver and Washington D.C. on July 29 & 30th and in Pittsburgh on July 31st and August 1st, where Dr. Lockwood will be speaking. The hearings are part of the 120 day "public comment period" for the proposal. Thousands of comments have come in to the EPA about the new rules - comments on the Clean Power Plan will be accepted until October 16, 2014 in advance of the final proposal which will come next June. We'll talk with Dr. Lockwood about the health problems caused by emissions, the key features of the Clean Power Plan and how states will be asked to comply with the new rules in this new Federal-State partnership to reduce emissions. For more information and to find out how you can make a comment on the new rules, visit Comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must be received by October 16, 2014, click HERE to find out how to send your comments.

- Jim Warren, NY Daily News Washington D.C. Bureau Chief, former managing editor at the Chicago Tribune. From somewhere on Capitol Hill today... Check out his latest articles on new White House Press Secretary and how news followers are getting shafted and the call by Rep. Steve Israel to revive his 2003 legislation to make passenger planes missile-proof.

Jeff Santos Show 7/22/14

GUESTS FOR TUESDAY JULY 22, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Two Opposite Court Rulings On ACA Subsidy Legality! Teacher Tuesday Re-visits Misunderstood Common Core State Standards! Is the ACA Subsidy challenge the next GOP "lawlessness" charge against President Obama?


- Melanie Waltz, Field Services Consultant in the Professional Development and Human Rights Department of the Michigan Education Association (MEA), where she works on Teacher Certification, Leadership training, the Evaluation process and helping teachers integrate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Waltz began at MEA as a UniServ Director and prior to that, was a "proud Public School Teacher for 15 years." Ms. Waltz will talk about the panel she was on last week at the Netroots Conference in Detroit with new NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, "Common Core: A View from the Middle". We'll ask Melanie about her experiences in Michigan, helping teachers work with the new Common Core State Standards. (Some states are dedicating more resources than others to help with the transition - how is cash-strapped Michigan doing in this respect?)

- Jasmine Hicks, Higher Education Campaign Director for the Young Invincibles where she leads organizing efforts across the country to give young adults the resources they need to advocate for state reinvestment in higher education (the campaign she's leading right now is called the Student Impact Project). Young Invincibles was founded in the summer of 2009, motivated by the recognition that young people’s voices were not being heard in the debate over health care reform. Jasmine Hicks joins us today to talk about a report released in June by the Young Invincibles: Closing The Race Gap: Alleviating Young African American Unemployment Through Education. Big findings that may not be too surprising...the unemployment rate for African American young adults "Persists at Alarming High Levels" and "young African Americans need two more levels of education than their white peers to have the same job prospects and wages". We'll talk about "racial disparities in education that are impacting young adults' job prospects and wages" AND the trend of state disinvestment in Higher Education.

- Michael Miller, Director of Strategic Policy at Community Catalyst, a national consumer health advocacy organization that works to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. He is a former policy director for Health Care For All. Federal Appeals Court rulings today that challenge the legality of subsidies offered to Americans using the national ACA Health Care exchange. Two Federal Court Rulings - two different results...Why did the court see the subsidies as different when coming from the State exchanges as opposed to the Federal provided subsidies? What are the greater ramifications of the rulings for the Affordable Care Act? What has the White House response been so far? Are there plans to appeal this decision? We'll sort through all these questions with our guest!

- Brad Bannon, CEO, Bannon Communications Research, a Democratic political consulting and polling firm. You can read Brad's commentaries at In his latest, he suggests that presumed presidential hopefuls Clinton, Paul and Perry are right to start early for 2016.

Jeff Santos Show 7/21/14

GUESTS FOR MONDAY JULY 21, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Bloody Weekend of Fighting in Israel & Gaza! President Calls for Ceasefire! EU & US Pressuring Putin over Plane Shootdown! Do you think that Secretary Kerry traveling to Israel-Gaza will help facilitate a ceasefire? What should the U.S.'s role be in Israel? In Ukraine?.

- John Businger, Former 30-year Massachusetts State Rep (D-Brookline) and advocate for voting rights and rail transportation. A regular contributor to the Jeff Santos Show. Instead of solving any of the big problems the country is facing, the Republicans continue to blame Obama for every complicated situation we face - Domestic OR International - without offering any solutions! The usual suspects such as Republican Senator John McCain continue their calls for military engagement!

- Peter Goelz, Senior VVP at O'Neill and Associates in D.C. where he is regularly sought-after by national media as a commentator on aviation safety matters (he has appeared on CNN, CBS Evening News, FOX News, MSNBC, and others). He is a former Managing Director of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and is one of the country's leading experts in coordinating disaster situations and victim response. Malaysia Air Flight #17...we'll get the latest on the passenger plane shot down last week - the status of the ongoing investigation; the difficulty for international investigators because of the crash location and ongoing conflict in the region; and the frustration of victim families who are demanding that Vladimir Putin "send their children home!"

- Elie Jacobs, NYC-based public affairs and public relations consultant. You can read his work at the Huffington Post, and other media outlets. We'll review the latest on the Israel-Gaza conflict: the military activities over the weekend, President Obama's call for a ceasefire during his morning press conference, Sec'y Kerry's travel plans in the region, and the UN response. Secretary of State Kerry was caught on tape using a somewhat sarcastic tone about the "pinpoint" nature of the Israeli response to attacks from Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Over 500 Palestinians have been killed, including many women and children, and the death toll for Israeli soldiers is climbing. Pressure is mounting to stop the carnage, as Secretary Kerry plans to travel to the region to encourage a ceasefire this week.

- Earl Bender, President of Avenel Associates, political strategist at Totten Communications and regular contributor to the Jeff Santos Show. Monday check-in...Earl's in California this week! We'll get his thoughts about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and other stories of the day. What should the U.S. role be in these complex and ongoing multi-national "situations"?

Jeff Santos Show 7/18/14

GUESTS FOR FRIDAY JULY 18, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Details Slowly Unfold About Shot Down Ukraine Plane! Israeli Ground Operation Starts In Gaza!The President held a Press Conference today talking about the tragic loss of life when n the Malysia Air Passenger plane was shot down yesterday. The U.S. is sending NTSB and FBI members to assist with the investigation, and the President is asking for a ceasefire in the region.

- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America (DFA)...from Netroots in Detroit! How has it been being in Detroit with the water shutoffs and protests activities going on? Has it been a topic of discussion at the Conference? We'll ask Jim about some of the things DFA's been focusing on at Netroots and about the presentations by Vice President Biden yesterday and Senator Elizabeth Warren this morning.

- Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), representing Kentucky's 3rd District which includes the City of Louisville and its environs. Rep. Yarmuth serves on the Budget Committee, Energy and Commerce Committee and several Subcommittees including "Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade". He was one of the original "Gang of 8" (4 Republicans & 4 Dems) who worked last year to write a comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that has not been acted upon. The House Democrats have come out today with the "Middle Class Jumpstart, 100-Day Action Plan to Put the Middle Class First, in contrast to the GOP priorities of serving special interests. We'll talk with Congressman Yarmuth about: the House Dems' Action Plan & the Democratic Message for Fall elections; the need for long-term Infrastructure investment; and, the Congressman's recent Op-Ed on President Abraham Lincoln and Government's "Vital Role in Reducing Poverty".

- Jim Warren, NY Daily News Washington D.C. Bureau Chief, former managing editor at the Chicago Tribune. Jim's joining us from Chicago today! We'll go over the latest on Malaysia Air Flight 17, shot down yesterday - big press conferences by the President and at the Pentagon on the incident and ongoing investigation. Will the U.S. move to send more assistance to Ukraine? In political news from the week, the House Republicans held hearings about their Lawsuit against President Obama for delaying implementation of one requirement of the ACA and the Senate brought General Motors CEO Mary Barra back to the Capitol for some more grilling on the recent GM Recalls over faulty parts that caused several driver fatalities.

Jeff Santos Show 7/17/14

GUESTS FOR THURSDAY JULY 17, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Passenger Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine! Do you think that the temporary Highway Funding measure passed in the House yesterday was just a cynical quick fix to get the Roadblock Republicans past the November elections? Transportation Thursday with DOT Sec'y Anthony Foxx, Economist Jared Bernstein and More!

- Kevin DeGood, Director of Infrastructure Policy at American Progress. His work focuses on how highway, transit, aviation, and maritime policy affect America’s global competitiveness, access to opportunity for diverse communities, and environmental sustainability. He is the author of "Thinking Outside the Farebox: Creative Approaches to Financing Transit Projects" Our guest is here to talk about the Report that he and his colleague Michael Madowitz published last week: "Switching from a Gas Tax to a Mileage-Based User Fee, How Embracing New Technology Will Reduce Roadway Congestion, Provide Long-Term Funding, and Advance Transportation Equity". We'll talk about the current status of Highway Funding and how a mileage-based User Fee could be an alternative to the Gas Tax in the future.

- Dennis Anderson, Democratic Candidate for Congress in Illinois' 14th District. He has spent his career working in cancer research and public health and has lived in Gurnee, IL since 1996 with his wife Susan. For info or to join the campaign, go to: Dennis Anderson is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren who was elected in the 2010 right wing wave that took over the House. We'll ask him why he's running, about his extreme conservative opponent's poor record in Congress, and the key issues the Dennis Anderson campaign is focusing on: Economy, Equality and the Environment.

- Economist Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden in the Obama Administration. The House yesterday passed a stop-gap measure to provide Highway funding through May of 2015, but America's Infrastructure System needs a lot more than that! We'll talk with Jared about Highway and Infrastructure funding and how congress' "screwing around with the Highway Trust Fund" can really impact economic growth. We'll also get his thoughts on the general jobs and economic picture. Read Jared Bernstein's blog posts HERE.

- Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx. A conversation on Infrastructure needs for repairing, maintaining and improving America's railways, roads & bridges. Also, the latest with the Highway Trust Fund and we even got into the North-South Station Rail Link!

- John Businger, Former 30-year Massachusetts State Rep (D-Brookline) and advocate for voting rights and rail transportation. A regular contributor to the Jeff Santos Show. Big news today as a Malaysian Air passenger plane carrying 295 people appears to have been shot out of the sky while flying over the Russian separatist area in Ukraine. The debris from the crash covers a 9-mile area.Transportation Thursday continues.... we'll discuss the lates in the Malaysian air crash today along with all the other transportation infrastructure issues we've been covering today AND of course, there will be some politics!

- Andrew Borene, Truman Project Defense Council and Intelligence Expert. Andrew joins us to report on the latest known news about this morning's tragic passenger plane "shoot down". It has been reported that the Malaysian Air Flight 17 commercial passenger plane was hit mid-air, while flying at a cruising altitude of over 30,000 feet, by a surface-to-air missile. At this point, the the missile appears to have been launched by the Russian-backed Ukrainian separatist rebels.

Jeff Santos Show 7/16/14

GUESTS FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 16, 2014 ON THE JEFF SANTOS SHOW: Green Day Wednesday - Great News for US Wind & Solar! Canada Plans Caravan To Bring Water To Detroit! Do you think that the utility companies should be able to prevent solar leasing?

- Rona Fried - speaking to us from Maine today and for the rest of the Summer - Founder & CEO of, a global news and networking website dedicated to green business. It's been a few weeks since we've caught up with Rona...and she's got her eyes on a lot of things, including some positive news for American clean green wind and solar energy! The biggest news is that wind has been supplying over 5% of US electricity, and in California they're breaking records for solar usage. Utilities are "fighting back" (against what?) and questioning whether solar leasing is legal (A win for solar in Iowa, next challenge in Wisconsin.) For the first time, "a judge ruled based on the implications for climate change". Wow! "For the first time, a federal judge has blocked expansion of a coal mine because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) didn't consider the climate change ramifications when approving it".

- Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. She chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and serves on the board of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Ms. Barlow has received 11 honorary doctorates and numerous awards and is the author of 17 books, including her latest: "Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever". She was a Senior Advisor on Water at the UN and a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. Ms. Barlow has been following the situation in Detroit, where city officials are shutting off water for Detroit residents who are having trouble affording their water bills. Water and sewer rates in Detroit are some of the highest in the U.S. and have risen over 130% over the last 10 years - the latest increase of 8.7% was voted in just last month - during the water crisis! Ms. Barlow and colleagues at the Council of Canadians will be sending a caravan from Canada to Detroit next week, bringing much needed water to residents, and calling on President Obama to consider the situation in Detroit as a national emergency. There are ongoing efforts to have the UN High Commission for Human Rights to step in and defend the "human right to water"

- Jim Warren, NY Daily News Washington D.C. Bureau Chief, former managing editor at the Chicago Tribune. Jim's been watching the hearing about the House Republicans' Lawsuit against President Obama and said it's been "very interesting"... we'll get the lowdown from him!