The Alyona Show: Drowning in Debt

On April 28, US President Barack Obama held the first meeting of his newly formed National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, a comission that is meant to tackle America's debt and deficit woes. Given the crisis in Europe, which has reached scary proportions in the past few days, it's perfect timing to prove to American that they should be getting scared. But will this comission be able to solve all the problems? Or will Americans need to drastically adjust their lifestyles along with their government? Alyona catches up with Reason Magazine's Anthony Randazzo to try to figure it out.

According to new Demos report, people born between 1980 and 2000 are the first generation in a century likely to end up financially worse off than their parents. Even though 18.8 percent of workers under 25 are unemployed and 20 percent carry a balance of more than $10,000 in credit card debt not including college loans, this same group is also spending more this year than they did last year. Are we too far gone to learn our lesson and cut up our plastic? Alyona and Kyle Cheromcha, an NYU student and writer for NYU's blog NYU Local, discuss.

Then, the Founding Fathers, the brave and brilliant men that risked their lives for this country and that had the foresight to write the Constitution, are idealized, and considered a type of leader this country will never see again. But if you think about it, these were a bunch of rich, old, slave-owning white guys who were politicians,too. Sure, their Constitution has lasted throughout the years, but that negotiating process was a political battle that resulted in compromises that could be frowned upon. Why do we forget that? Alyona and Jamelle Bouie, author of the blog United States of Jamerica talk about the Founding Fathers as politicians.

Later, news broke through a Human Rights Watch report that hundreds of Iraqis held in a secret prison were tortured in a much more brutal and systematic way than initially thought. In defense of the acts, Iraq's prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki first denied that there were any secret prisons in Iraq and called this a smear campaign. But he then made the following statement: “America is the symbol of democracy, but then you have the abuses at Abu Ghraib. The American government took tough measures, and we are doing the same, so where is the problem and why this raucousness? It has been six years since the scandal at Abu Ghraib broke, but should we really be so shocked that countries which have had ethnic tensions and battles for years, are treating people this way? Alyona and Salon's Mark Benjamin discuss. 

Finally, 69-year-old Thomas Hagan, convicted of the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, was paroled on April 27 after serving 45 years of a 20-year-to-life sentence. But the question here is not whether a man convicted of murder can change and should one day walk free. The point is that when he walked outside into freedom, it was under the shadow of a sign naming a street in honor of the man he killed, Malcolm X Boulevard. How this man's legacy still lives on today. Alyona and RT Correspondent Marina Portnaya discuss.