August 18 - Is Trump Going to Turn His Voters Into Viewers of Trump TV?; Aetna's Blackmail Threat to Pull Out of Obamacare; The Federal Government Will End Its Use of Private Prisons

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the latest speculation following the involvement of Roger Ailes and the hiring of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon as the new CEO of the Trump campaign, that Trump is looking past a loss in November to “monetize” his success as a candidate by turning his voters into viewers of Trump TV. Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University joins us to discuss his article at The Los Angeles Times “Maybe Trump’s not trying to win the White House – He’s trying to start Trump TV” and reports that Trump plans to build a media empire with himself as the star attraction having become addicted to the adoration of the crowds at his rallies. We look into how Trump and his new sidekick Bannon, who thinks Fox News is tame, could continue to feed red meat to the far right along with millenarian apocalyptic scenarios and conspiracy theories about the oppression of white America.


Part 2

Then we assess whether Aetna insurance is blackmailing the Obama Administration with their threat to pull out of Obamacare if the DOJ does not approve Aetna’s merger with the other insurance giant Humana, thus leaving only three big players controlling the private health insurance market. Joining us is Wendell Potter who, after a long career in the for-profit health industry, as chief corporate spokesman at CIGNA Corporation and head of communications at Humana Inc., is now a senior analyst on healthcare at the Center for Public Integrity. The author of “Obamacare: What’s in it for Me?: What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act, we will discuss how much the federal government already subsidizes the insurance giants and why at the end of the day, single payer makes sense.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Robert Perkinson, an American historian and Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and author of “Texas Tough: The Rise of a Prison Empire”. We discuss the Department of Justice’s decision today that the US will end federal use of private prisons, a move that may have a trickle down effect on the states where 90% of prisoners are held in the United States, which has the world’s largest prison population.