January 7 - Demonizing the Unemployed; Miss Venezuela's Killing Adds to One of the World's Highest Murder Rates; The Head of the Nation's Largest Jail System Steps Down Under a Cloud

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Part 1

We begin with the Senate vote to restore unemployment cuts for 1.3 million Americans that came into effect on December 28, and get an analysis of the myths about unemployment that the right wing press and the Republicans are propagating. Craig Harrington, an Economic Researcher at Media Matters joins us to refute the charges from the armchair comfort of wealthy pundits like George Will and Charles Krauthammer that the benefits have gone on too long, the economy is improving and that the benefits cause a dependency among the unemployed, causing them to lose the incentive to find work.

craig harrington

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Part 2

Then we go to Caracas, Venezuela to look into the murder of the former Miss Venezuela of 2004, who along with her Irish husband was gunned down on the side of a freeway after their car broke down. Their five-year-old daughter was wounded but is in stable condition. We speak with David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office of Latin America, who is the moderator of the Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights blog, and discuss why Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world and why the government is apparently in denial about the lack of safety and security of its citizens.

david smilde

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Part 3

Then finally, after years of scandals and ongoing federal corruption investigations that have brought charges against 18 current and former deputies for beating inmates, obstructing the FBI and other crimes, the Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, announced that he is retiring after 15 years in charge of the nation’s largest jail system where these activities went on. Celeste Fremon, the Founder and Editor of WitnessLA and author of “G-Dog and the Homeboys”, joins us to discuss whether Baca’s retirement will head off possible federal indictments against him.

celeste fremon