January 16 - Should Democrats Negotiate With Liars?; Who Will Be Blamed For a Government Shutdown?; The Hypocrisy of Religious Freedom

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We begin with the looming possibility of a government shutdown on Friday and analyze who has leverage at the moment and which party will be blamed if Washington grinds to a halt. Democratic strategist Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and the Lone Star Project, a Political Action Committee that aims to be an aggressive fact-checker on the Republican Party, joins us. We discuss what strategies the Senate Democrats might employ in the face of the outrageous lies from Trump and Senators Cotton and Perdue who trashed the truth-teller Senator Durbin. We will assess whether the Democrats can draw a line and say we are not talking to the White House or the Republicans until they stop lying because what is the point of negotiating with liars? And since the Democratic base will not sacrifice “dreamers” for wasting money on Trump’s wall, which he will not budge on, we look into whether, with the Democrats poised to tack back the House and possibly the Senate in November, using DACA as the issue upon which to shut down the government will hurt Democrats in Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and other Red States.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine further the showdown over DACA versus the wall and who gets blamed for shutting down the government and speak with Robert Shapiro, a professor and the former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University and author of “Politicians Don’t Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness”. He joins us to discuss the Democrat’s dilemma and the Republican lying, with The Washington Post counting over 2,000 lies Trump has told in his first year in office and the shameless lies Senators Cotton and Perdue are engaged in covering up for Trump.

Part 3

 
Then finally, with Trump proclaiming today January 16 Religious Freedom Day, we discuss the historical hypocrisy of celebrating the Religious Right’s idea of religious freedom and the absurdity of their claim that the founders wanted a “Christian Nation” when in fact Jefferson, Madison and other founders championed religious tolerance because they had witnessed the public beatings of Baptist preachers and still carried the memory of women branded as witches being burned at the stake. Frederick Clarkson, a Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates joins us to discuss how the theocratic bent of the Religious Right and their intolerance towards women’s rights and the LGBT community makes a mockery of religious freedom. 
 
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January 15 - "Mr. President, Are You a Racist?"; Trump and the Moral Sickness He is Spreading; A Backlash to Trump in the Spirit of MLK

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We begin with President Trump’s White House appearance shortly after he made vulgar and hateful remarks about Haiti, El Salvador and the entire continent of Africa at which he praised Doctor King but was overshadowed by questions from the press causing Trump to hurry out of the room ignoring shouts of “are you a racist”. Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of the national Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights which leads the national nonpartisan Election Protection coalition, joins us to discuss her overview of where race relations and voter enfranchisement stands in the Trump/Sessions era. With a racist in the Oval Office and a relic of the Old South as the nation’s top lawman supposed to protect voting rights which Jefferson Beauregard Sessions 111 has always opposed, we will examine ways to turn back the turning back of the clock on civil and voting rights in the country.

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Part 2

Then we speak with the theologian and scholar Obery Hendricks the author of “The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church and the Body Politic”. He joins us to discuss the moral sickness that Trump is spreading across the land with enablers like the moral midgets Republican Senators Cotton and Perdue joining in the Trump lies of denial when the whole world knows that the racist and hateful remarks attributed to Trump are what he said. We discuss harnessing the power of love against the tide of hate and a revival of the religious left in this country while the religious right loses any claim of Christian legitimacy as they cling to a racist misogynist in the White House.

Part 3

Then finally we discuss the likelihood of a backlash to the Trump/Sessions assault on civil rights and voting rights in the spirit of Martin Luther King’s teaching and sacrifice as the millennial generation shows signs of growing political activism in reaction to Trump and Betsy De Vos indenturing them with student debt while Sessions tries to reverse the legalization of marijuana. Garrett Duncan, a Professor of Education and of African and African/American Studies in Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington in St. Louis joins us on this Martin Luther King Day.

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January 14 - An African Perspective on Trump's Insult of the Continent; An Historian of Immigration on the Trump/Sessions Agenda; Why Our "Populist" President Governs of, By and For the Plutocrats

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We begin with the vulgar and hateful remarks that Donald Trump made about Haiti, El Salvador and the entire continent of Africa during White House discussions with lawmakers over the future of DACA ahead of an increasingly likely government shutdown on Friday. Aniedi Okure, the executive director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network which advocates for responsible U.S. relations with Africa, joins us to discuss the outrage at Trump’s insult to the continent’s 55 countries expressed by the African Union and African ambassadors to the United Nations. We also examine the role of African leaders who, while venting indignation at the racist ignoramus in the Oval Office, in many cases care little for their own populations and are mainly interested in enriching themselves by accepting foreign bribes for access to critical minerals and vast tracts of agricultural lands.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the historical roots of Trump’s racist attitudes to immigrants that go back to the language of nativists and racists in the1920’s, and speak with a political historian who specializes in immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. Mae Ngai, Professor of History and of Asian American Studies at Columbia University and author of   “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America” and the forthcoming book “The Chinese Question”, joins us to discuss how Trump and Sessions are trying to turn back the clock on immigration. We examine how DACA is being held hostage by Republican hardliners who want a wall and a so-called “merit-based” immigration system, while the Democrats hold considerable leverage ahead of a government shutdown at the end of next week.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Thomas Ferguson, a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts who is co-author of a new study from the Institute for New Economic Thinking “Industrial Structures and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games” We look into the report’s detailed research of the last election that finds the bulk of the $861 million that Trump raised flooded into the race in the finally weeks of the campaign and it came mostly as dark money from private equity billionaires who have been rewarded by a president who ran as a populists but governs for the plutocrats.

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January 11 - Trump Punishes the Poor With a Bogus Work Requirement; Trump's Tweets Almost Scuttle FISA Reauthorization; The Alt-Right Disowns Bannon for the True Hero Donald Trump

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We begin with the announcement from the Trump Administration that states may now impose work requirement on Medicaid recipients with Trump’s director of the federal Medicaid office arguing that “higher earnings are positively correlated with longer lifespan” and there is “strong evidence that unemployment is generally harmful to health”. Judith Solomon, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she focusses on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, joins us to discuss this reversal of the Obama era effort to expand access to Medicaid, with the Trump Administration now trying to restrict it. And we  assess whether most if not all of the states who rejected Obama’s Medicaid expansion are the states that now want to run demonstration projects to test work requirements.

 

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Part 2

Then with the House passage of the reauthorization of the controversial FISA surveillance law on a vote of 256 to 164 today, we look into the chaos that preceded the vote with first Trump tweeting out his increasingly hysterical distortions about FISA and the Steele dossier and the imagined Obama surveillance of the Trump campaign, only to reverse himself two hours later with another tweet presumably in response to adult supervision. Michelle Richardson, the Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Freedom, Security and Technology Project, joins us to discuss the six year renewal of the controversial 702 statute that critics argue allows the government to spy on Americans without a warrant.

Part 3

Then finally, with neo-Nazi and white nationalist leaders like Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin disowning Steve Bannon and making it clear that their true heroes and leaders have been and still are Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, we speak with an award-winning journalist, author and expert on American right wing extremism, David Neiwert, the author of the new book “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump”. He joins us to discuss how we have a classic authoritarian, fascist leader in Trump, but without the fascist ideology, and mercifully, so far America’s democratic institutions have been able to prevent the authoritarian in the Oval Office from engineering a totalitarian takeover of America.

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January 10 - Trump's Tangled Ties With Deutsche Bank; The Impact of Bannon's Banishment on the Alt-Right and the Conservative Movement; Will Arpaio Hurt Republicans and Help Democrats in Arizona?

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We begin with Trump’s call today to Republicans to take control and scuttle the Russia investigation and his attack on Senator Feinstein for releasing the transcripts of the Fusion GPS testimony that the Republicans were suppressing. A white-collar criminologist and founding member of Bank Whistleblowers United, William K. Black, distinguished scholar in research for financial regulation at the University of Minnesota, joins us to discuss money laundering and Deutsche Bank which were the main concerns expressed by the Fusion GPS founders in their testimony released by Senator Feinstein. We discuss how over the holidays Trump quietly waived punishment for convicted megabanks including Deutsche Bank, and whether Mueller, who has the records of Trump’s tangled dealings with Deutsche Bank who Trump still owes as much as $300 million, will be able to complete his investigation before the Republicans, urged on by the likely guilty party Donald Trump, will be able to get his findings to the public before he is shut down.

 

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Part 2

Then we assess the impact on the alt-right and the broader conservative movement of Steven Bannon’s spectacular fall from grace from the top Trump-whisperer to “sloppy Steve” who has been dumped like a dog, cut off from his financial patron which in our money-driven political system, means you are roadkill. Joseph Lowndes, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon and an expert on conservatism, the Tea Party, social movements, the GOP, race and elections, joins us to discuss where the battle between the far right and the far-far right stands and whether the government will be soon shut down over Trump’s insistence on building a wall.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we examine the unsettled political landscape in Arizona which has been upended by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s announcement he is running for the U.S. Senate to replace Jeff Flake in a move that may hurt Republicans and help Democrats. A retired Judge in Maricopa County, Donna Hamm, the Executive Director of Middle Ground Prison Reform, joins us to discuss the likelihood Donald Trump will endorse the 85 year old former sheriff he pardoned whose lawless behavior cost Maricopa County millions in settlements as a result of Arpaio’s racist, cruel and sadistic practices.    
 
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