"We Can't Afford Healthcare!" Hospital Workers Fight Back


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Feb 19 2020 116 mins   1
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Carolyn Gomez, a healthcare labor organizer in Southern California.

Workers across the country are in ascension. A group of Walmart employees this week marched in New York to the luxury penthouse of Walmart heiress Alice Walton, where they protested the company’s treatment of its workers. Indeed, in 2005, 20 percent of the retail giant’s workers were part-time. Now that number is 50 percent. That has allowed the Walton family to drastically cut costs and add to its $191 billion fortune. Meanwhile, hospital and healthcare workers across the country are launching union drives and organizing protests for better wages and working conditions, saying that they can’t afford their own healthcare.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg will face his opponents in the Democratic primary on the debate stage for the first time tonight. His extreme wealth has helped insulate him from criticism so far. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is dominating the polls. Darren Gibson, a host of the radio show and podcast Southpaws, a political analysis show focusing on social & economic issues, on Pacifica and Global Community Radio Mondays at 9:00 pm., joins the show.

After a string of pardons and an increasingly public dispute with Attorney General William Barr, where is Trump heading as he battles his own Justice Department? Brian and John speak with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books--“The Frozen Republic,” “The Velvet Coup,” and “America's Undeclared War.”

An open letter signed by 117 physicians and psychologists in the medical journal The Lancet calls for an end to what it describes as “the psychological torture and medical neglect” of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. Assange is being held in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison in advance of the start of a February 24 extradition hearing. He’s been charged in the United States with 18 counts of espionage for publishing information that exposed US war crimes. Dr. Bill Hogan, a medical researcher and educator at the University of Florida and one of the signatories of the letter, joins the show.

There is a fascinating new documentary short out on the Iraq War called “Worth the Price? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War.” The film reviews the role of then-Senator Joe Biden in leading the US into the most devastating foreign policy blunder of the past generation. And it features a half-dozen of the most prominent critics of the war, including our next guest. Matthew Hoh, a veteran and peace activist who in 2009 resigned from the State Department over the American escalation of the war in Afghanistan, whose writings have appeared in a wide variety of publications, and who is a winner of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show.

Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.