January 19 - A Spokesperson for the Syrian Opposition on Attending Geneva II; The Latest Scandals Dogging Governor Christie; An Analysis of Obama's NSA Reform Proposal

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Part 1

We begin and go to southern Turkey near the Syrian border to speak with Rafif Jouejati, the English language spokesperson for the Syrian Local Coordination Committees, the non-violent umbrella group of the Syrian opposition. We discuss the opposition’s decision to attend the Geneva 11 talks next Wednesday in Switzerland and who among the fractured opposition recently at war with each other, will attend. And what the expectations are for a peace agreement, given Assad’s bottom line that he will not step down, and the opposition’s bottom line that Assad must first step down.

rafif jouejati

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Part 2

Then we look into the latest scandal engulfing New Jersey Governor Christie following allegations by the Mayor of Hoboken that she was pressured to approve a development project the governor was behind in order to receive disaster relief money from Hurricane Sandy that inundated 80% of Hoboken. John Weingart, the associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University joins us to discuss this latest in a series of scandals following the bridge closure that are dogging Christie who only gave Hoboken $142,000 of the $100 million in FEMA money the mayor asked for.

john weingart

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Part 3

Then finally we get an analysis of President Obama’s recent proposal to reform the NSA’s eavesdropping activities which have been met with tepid approval from the Tech giants who are concerned they will lose between 30 and 100 billions dollars as a result of the NSA’s ubiquitous spying on Internet communications, and an underwhelming response from civil libertarians who feel Obama’s proposals barely begin to address the problem. William Arkin the co-author of the Washington Post’s landmark series “Top Secret America” and the author of the new book “American Coup: How a Terrified Government is Destroying the Constitution”, joins us.

william arkin