It's time for our weekly segment The Week in Review. The 116th Congress took office yesterday with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. This Congress is unlike any other, with a record number of women, including two Muslim women, the first two Latina congresswomen from Texas, the first two African-American Congresswomen from New England, a former refugee from Somalia, and New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who's still in her 20s. The issues this Congress will face are daunting, beginning with the Democrats' ideas on PayGo, or pay-as-you-go spending, investigations, leadership challenges, and legislative plans. The road ahead, as one part of a divided government, will not be easy.
Job growth ended 2018 on a powerful note, with the economy adding 312,000 new non-farm jobs in December. Unemployment rose to 3.9 percent as more people entered the job market and the labour force participation rate increased to 63.1 percent. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons held steady at 7.6 percent. Is the economy truly booming? What's going on beneath the surface? Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, founder of the organization Democracy at Work, and author of "Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown," joins the show.
French police have arrested a leader of the Yellow Vest movement for a second time in a clear sign that the government is following through on its threats to crack down on protests that have shaken France for the past six weeks. Eric Drouet, a 33-year-old truck driver was charged with "organizing an undeclared demonstration" for planning to meet six colleagues outside a McDonald's restaurant. He was earlier charged with "carrying a wooden club," leading many in the media to speculate that he is being targeted for his political actions. Brian and John speak with Gilbert Mercier, Editor in Chief of News Junkie Post and the author of "The Orwellian Empire."
It's Friday! So it's time for the week's worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his blog Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.
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