June 17 - The Utility of Psychological Profiles on Kim Jong-Un, Putin and Xi Jinping; Trump Denies His Own Cruel Policy; Can the White House Press Corps Unite to Force Trump and Sanders to Stop Lying and Answer Questions?

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of why the recent summit in Singapore might be successful now that North Korea’s main propaganda outlet has broadcast a 45 minute documentary full of the requisite praise for Chairman Kim, but with favorable words for President Trump and a mentioning of the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula with images of the gleaming Singapore skyline as a modernistic future for North Korea to aspire towards. We will speak with someone who predicted a successful summit, Ken Dekleva, a clinical psychiatrist who until recently served as a psychiatrist with the U.S. State Department. He has created psychological profiles of foreign leaders ahead of presidential summits having created profiles on North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping among others. Given President Trump’s emphasis on personal engagement as opposed to policy preparation, we discuss the importance of personal chemistry in terms of meetings between heads of state and how understanding who you are dealing with and what makes them tick can be helpful if not crucial.

Kenneth Dekleva, M.D.

Part 2

Then we examine the cruel immigration policy underway on the southern border directed by a president who is denying what he is doing, which amounts to child abuse, then blaming it on Democrats. Ruthie Epstein, an immigration policy analyst and lobbyist at the American Civil Liberties Union joins us to discuss the brazen nature of Trump’s cynical denial of his own policy and attempts by the Republicans next week to pass a bill that their so-called moderates and hard-liners can agree on, about which Trump has sent mixed signals.    

Part 3

Then finally, with President Trump holding an impromptu press gaggle in the White House driveway at which one reporter asked “why are you lying” but was drowned out by other reporters shouting questions, we assess whether it would be possible for the White House press corps to form some sort of solidarity and united front to demand that Trump and Sarah Sanders stop lying and answer questions. The author of “The Press effect”, Paul Waldman, who blogs at the Washington Post’s Plum line and is a senior writer for the American Prospect, joins us.

 

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June 14 - The Long-Anticipated DOJ IG's Report Trump is Seizing On; The First Look Inside a Detention Facility Holding 1500 Immigrant Children; The Worsening Situation in Yemen

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Part 1

We begin with the release of the long-anticipated report by the Department of Justice Inspector General who investigated former FBI Director Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email saga which Trump has relentlessly tried to build up as a criminal outrage worse than Watergate in order to distract from the on-going Mueller investigation into him and his family. Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor of law at Duke University who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and spent five years as a Federal Prosecutor in the Chicago United States Attorney’s Office, joins us. We will discuss how the report’s main finding is that Comey was “insubordinate” in his handling of the Clinton investigation but it finds there was no “bias” in the FBI’s decision to clear Clinton. However buried in the 568 pages of this report are seven words that Trump and his Fox and friends media allies are blowing up into a smoking gun to proves the “Deep State” is out to get Trump, and that is an exchange of texts between a former Army officer and FBI agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend FBI lawyer Lisa Page who asked rhetorically “Trump’s not ever going to become president right? Right?” To which Strzok fatefully replied “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

 

Lisa Kern Griffin portrait

Part 2

Then we speak with Emma Brown, an investigative reporter at The Washington Post where her latest article is “Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children”. We discuss the first access the press has had to a detention facilities housing some of the 11,200 children now in federal custody. And while the excuse is given that the privacy of children is being protected, the U.S. public knows very little about the fate of children as young as breast-feeding babies who have been ripped from their mother’s arms at the southern border, and the conditions in which they are being detained under what the Trump Administration calls a “zero tolerance policy”.

Part 3

Then finally we get an update on the worsening situation in Yemen which is already a humanitarian catastrophe, as a Saudi-led force moves on the port city of Hudaydah to close off the only access to aid for a country under a merciless blockade which has resulted in a third of the country’s population facing starvation. An expert on Yemen, Dr. Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf”, joins us to discuss the extent to which the U.S. has blood on its hands as a result of supporting and arming the Saudi war now threatening to destroy a city of 600,000.

 

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June 13 - Normalizing Trump's Embarrassing Amateurism; Meanness and Madness in Trump's America; The AT&T-Time Warner Mega-Merger

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Part 1

We will begin with the embarrassing amateurism on display with Trump’s train-wreck leadership now being normalized as being an unorthodox way of doing business. Meanwhile it is increasingly clear that Trump hates meetings like the G-7 because he is unable to keep up with his peers without looking foolish and exposing his ignorance. And having purged those few top White House advisors who tried to speak truth to power, we now have a team of sycophants, lightweights, cranks and crackpots surrounding a woefully unqualified president who has to resort to reality TV spectacle to disguise his incompetence and inability to govern in an executive branch unable to implement policies and enact promises. Kent Harrington, a former CIA analyst who served as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, joins us to discuss the staged-for-TV Singapore summit which late night TV hosts have likened to the TV reality show “The Bachelorette”. And now that the only adult left in the Trump cabinet who is not a sycophant or a toady, Defense Secretary Mattis, has been blindsided by promises to stop exercises and pull troops out of South Korea, we will examine whether there is the capacity in this Administration to follow through on the opening Trump has claimed his wildly successful summit has provided.

 

Kent Harrington

Part 2

Then, with a white supremacist sympathizer running as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, and a wife-beating Democrat running for the House in South Carolina, and a pimp running as a Republican for the State Legislature in Nevada, we will assess the meanness and madness in Trump’s America that will escalate as the November elections approach. With Republican Senator Corker describing his Republican Party as having become “a cult-like situation under Trump”, we will speak with Mike Lofgren, the author of the best-seller “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted”.

 
Image result for mike lofgren

Part 3

Then finally we discuss the $85.4 billion mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner, which was approved on Tuesday in full by the Federal Judge Richard Leon in defiance of the Department of Justice. With 50,000 mergers having taken place in 2016 and 50,000 in 2017, and $2 trillion spent on mergers so far in 2018, we will speak with Jesse Eisinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at ProPublica who covers Wall Street and Finance about this new laissez- faire business environment in which AntiTrust tools are not being used.

Photo of Jesse Eisinger

 

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June 12 - Singapore Summit Light on Disarmament; Maybe the Ego-Driven Amateur is the Right Person to Pull Off the Korean Deal; How a Trade War With Canada Could Backfire

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We begin with the choreographed Kim-Trump photo-op that was very light on substance and even lighter on the takeaway, a one-page signed agreement which promised much less than the 1994 and 2006 joint communiques, which has left almost all specialists on Korea and U.S. officials who have dealt with the peninsula considerably underwhelmed. Grace Liu, a Research Associate at the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey, joins us to discuss what was left undone and glossed over and that is some kind of nuclear arms reduction agreement with North Korea in exchange for vague security guarantees offered by Secretary of State Pompeo who declined to describe what they might be. With no substantial action forthcoming on denuclearization the Singapore summit was hardly a victory for disarmament but now that the door is open for more meetings ahead, we will assess whether at the end of the day the best deal that could be arrived at between the U.S. and North Korea might end up looking a lot like the Iran deal which Trump tore up.

Part 2

Then we speak with Kyung Moon Hwang, a Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California who writes a bi-weekly column for the Korea Times of Seoul whose most recent study is “Rationalizing Korea”.  He joins us to discuss how the ego-driven amateur who talked of pristine North Korean beaches as real estate opportunities to build condos, might just be the best person to pull of this deal since clearly over the decades the professionals have failed. We will also look into the frightening signal that a desperately poor country devoting all of its resources to make nuclear weapons sends to the world; if you want respect and to be taken seriously, then get a nuke.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University, Leo Panitch about President Trump’s new best friend the North Korean dictator he describes effusively as “a talented man who loves his country very much” compared to his newest global enemy Canada’s Prime Minister who Trump refers to dismissively as Justin. We discuss how China reaches out to the world by building roads while Trump builds walls.

Leopanitch_lo_res

 

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June 11 - Could North Korea Play the US Off Against China?; Could Starting a Trade War Backfire on Trump?; The Supreme Court OK's Purging Voters If They Miss One Election

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Part 1

We begin with the meeting between President Trump and the North Korean dictator due to take place in one hour from now and explore the possibility that Kim Jong-un could put himself in the position of playing China off against the U.S. in the way that Nixon’s meeting with Mao during the Cold War enabled the U.S. to play China off against the Soviet Union. A former deputy secretary of defense and a member of the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council, Rudy deLeon, a senior fellow with the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress, joins us to discuss how a nuclear deal with North Korea could be negotiated if the U.S. and its allies know so little about what North Korea has in terms of weapons, nuclear facilities and delivery vehicles. We also assess the role of China and South Korea behind the scenes and going forward if a deal is to be struck. And since Trump has done little to no preparation compared to Nixon, we will analyze what Kim Jong-un has won so far and what he might want out of a deal which Trump appears eager to make up front without paying much attention to the details that will have to follow.

 

Rudy deLeon

Part 2

Then with Trump attacking Canada’s Prime Minister again on Monday in tweets from the summit in Singapore, we speak with Matt Gold, a Professor of Law who teaches international trade law at Fordham University who held an appointment within the Executive Office of the President as Deputy Assistant Trade Representative for North America. He joins us to examine whether insulting close neighbors and long-standing allies could degenerate into a trade war.  And while Trump is obviously playing to the “Rust Belt” for the mid-terms and 2020 and using the “national security” rubric against Canada to avoid input from Congress, if reciprocal tariffs start escalating in a tit-for-tat trade war, the stock market could tank and backfire on Trump.

FLS Gold Matthew

Part 3

Then finally we look into the 5 to 4 decision on the Supreme Court by the conservative majority to break a bi-partisan tradition and side with the Trump Administration to uphold a controversial Ohio voter purge to remove voters from the rolls if they fail to vote in one election. A nationally-recognized expert on election law, Richard Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine joins us to discuss his article at Slate “Sonia Sotomayor’s Dissent in the Big Voter Purge Case Points to How the Law Might Still be Struck Down”.

Richard L. Hasen

 

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