December 20 - Haley and Trump Make Thuggish Threats to the UN; The Billionaire Bonanza; Turkey's Erdogan Wants to Jail the Knicks' Enes Kanter for Insulting the President

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Part 1

We begin with childish bluster and thuggish threats coming from the United States’ representative to the U.N. Nikki Haley who is threatening to take the names of those who voted against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital which left the U.S. alone on the U.N. Security Council 14 to 1 with Haley defiantly vetoing the recent U.N. draft resolution. And now with the U.N. General Assembly taking up a similar vote tomorrow which is likely to isolate the U.S. further from the rest of the world, Donald Trump is now threatening to cut off foreign aid to countries that don’t tow the line and vote his way at the U.N. Joining us is the U.N. correspondent for The Nation, Barbara Crossette, a contributing writer to Pass Blue and the former New York Times Bureau Chief at the U.N.  We discuss the increasing stridency of our parochial and ill-informed diplomat who represents the United States as she appears to be trying to out-Trump Trump with her boorish and ignorant behavior, possibly in the hope he will choose her to be our next Secretary of State.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Thomas Frank, a monthly columnist for Harpers and the author of “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right” who has an article at The Guardian “The fury around Donna Brazile is symptomatic of our times”. He joins us to discuss the amazingly brazen giveaway to the billionaires in the tax bill that is now on its way to the White House. We assess how much longer the Republicans can continue the populist charade that they are the champions of the little guy, when their clear priority is to serve the wishes of their plutocratic masters.  

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Part 3

Then finally, with Turkey wanting to imprison the Knicks basketball star Enes Kanter to over four years in prison for insulting the president, we examine whether Turkey’s President Erdogan is going mad or whether he has always been a demented megalomaniac. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and author of “An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship” joins us to discuss how Erdogan is dispatching hit men to Germany and other countries to silence his critics.

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