April 15 - The Cosmetic and Theatrical Attack on Syria; Trump's Lawyer Cohen Did Visit Prague; We Are The Least Taxed But Feel The Most Burdened By Taxes

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with Friday night’s strikes on Assad’s alleged chemical weapons sites in Syria by the U.S., France and the U.K. and get an assessment of what was achieved in terms of “mission accomplished” which Trump triumphantly tweeted out on Saturday. An expert on Syria James Gelvin, a professor of History at UCLA and author of “The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know”, joins us along with a Syrian opposition spokeswoman Rafif Jouejati, the founder and director of FREE-Syria Foundation. We discuss the extent to which the military action was largely cosmetic and theatrical in nature given that empty buildings and bunkers were destroyed, but on the other hand it does appear that General Mattis won out over the hawks Trump and Bolton in limiting the strikes so that no Russians were killed, which if there had been Russian casualties, a wider war with catastrophic consequences might have ensued. We will also examine the moral blindness of Nikki Haley’s threat that the U.S. is “locked and loaded” if Assad uses chemical weapons again, since Assad is free to bomb hospitals and use barrel bombs and starvation on his people because the U.S. has no policy when it comes to the all other aspects of the Syrian war.

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Part 2

Then we speak with veteran investigative journalist Peter Stone about the bombshell story he broke at McClatchy “Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier”.  He joins us to discuss the significance of the trip by Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen to Prague in the fall of 2016 during the presidential campaign just after Manafort was fired to meet with a top Russian official close to Putin and a group of hackers who were reported to have been paid for hacking the DNC and the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager.

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Part 3

Then finally as Americans file their taxes due on Tuesday, we will examine how we are the least taxed among the advanced nations yet feel the most burdened by taxes.  The former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, Edward Kleinbard, a Professor of Law at USC and author of “We are Better than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money”, joins us to discuss his article at The Los Angeles Times “Tax Policy is a bore, until they take your Social Security and Medicare away” and the profligate spending of taxpayer money by Trump and his cabinet, in particular by Scott Pruitt.

Edward Kleinbard