GRITtv: May 5, 2011

"Saying when the economy is at its weakest we're going to put into law that we can't spend more to pick ourselves up...that's a depression-maker," says Heather McGhee of Demos. But despite warnings from economists from all over, the government in Washington, Democrats and Republicans both, remain obsessed with the deficit.Heather joins Laura in studio to grade Obama, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and of course the Ryan plan on the budget, the deficit, and the need for more stimulus.Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine guitarist and protest singer as The Nightwatchman, was in Madison to support the workers' protest, and now his new music is inspired by those union workers. ; His new EP, Union Town, is coming out soon and its proceeds will go to support The America Votes Labor Unity Fund, but you can download this track for free now at

Bernie Madoff, the infamous Wall Street Ponzi schemer who became one of the villains of the economic crisis, played on his clients' fear, not their greed. So says Diana Henriques, author of the new book Wizard of Lies.
Having twice interviewed Madoff in prison, Diana notes that his personal charisma combined with Wall Street's lax regulations to create a perfect storm that wiped out his clients' wealth.Diana joins Laura in studio for a conversation about Madoff, Wall Street, and the ways ordinary people get ripped off by complex financial schemes.Finally, playwright Tony Kushner has spent his career fighting

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Laura Flanders talks to creative thinkers and change-makers from the worlds of politics, arts and the new economy. The smartest conversations, with the smartest thinkers and doers of our time, distributed in multiple formats on a variety of platforms. Keep abreast of fresh content by following GRITtv, the site Flanders founded, on Twitter @GRITtv.