Rundown for 12/15

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LABOR IN AMERICA: We take a look today at the current state of labor-management relations in a recession economy. At the heart of the debate over the car industry bridge loan, is a battle over unions and some say a move to put unions in a negative light ahead of an upcoming vote on a new law designed to strengthen organized labor. We discuss the Employee Freedom of Choice Act with two experts in the field Our guest are Kim Bobo, the founder of the group "Interfaith Worker Justice” and the author of “Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Americans Are Not Getting Paid and What We Can Do About It.” and Peter Kirsanow, an attorney who has spent his career arguing labor disputes on behalf of management.

BUSH IN IRAQ: President Bush is on his way back home after an un-announced visit to Iraq and Afghanistan. In a sign of improved security in Iraq, the President arrived in daylight and ventured beyond heavily fortified areas like U.S. military bases. But at a press conference in Baghdad, a young Iraqi journalist flung his shoes at the U.S. President and called him a dog. We'll speak with Tina Susman, Baghdad Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.

SENATOR GRASSLEY ON COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY: Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa has been calling for colleges and universities to pay out more of their endowments towards increasing affordability. But as many schools report billion dollar endowment losses, is his argument still relevant?

PALESTINIAN CHARITY: How can Muslims donating to Muslim charities rest assured that their money isn't funding terrorism? Shock waves went through the American Muslim community after the leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, once said to be the largest Muslim charity in the U.S., were convicted last month of money laundering and supporting terrorism. Well, one Palestinian-American has worked with the State Department to set up a secure way for Muslims to donate to development projects in the West Bank. We speak with Dr. Ziad Asali, who founded the American Charities for Palestine.

THE GREAT BOOKS: Millions of people bought them in post-World War Two America and then they quickly faded away. We're talking about the 54 volume collection known as the "Great Books" which purported to contain everything you needed to know about Western civilization. Our guest is Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam who writes about the phenomenon in his new book, "A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books."

This program aired on December 15, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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