January 21 - The Government Shutdown and the Blame-Game Underway; NATO Allies Turkey and the US at Loggerheads; The North Korean End-Run Around Trump's Belligerence

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Part 1

We begin with the government shutdown and the blame-game underway with President Trump calling for the “nuclear option” in the Senate to take away the filibuster from the Democrats and leave them completely powerless in the face of a thuggish, uncompromising and unyielding Republican House and Senate and a criminally incompetent president. Jim Manley, a 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate who served as a senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the past six years and before that as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, joins us. We discuss the Republican finger-pointing at Senator Schumer and the feigned indignation coming from Republican Majority Leader McConnell who has shut the Democrats out of any negotiation and when they have been let in on a bi-partisan basis, they soon find themselves hung out to dry and jilted by a joke of a president who does not know what he wants and is easily swayed by the hawkish hardliners he listens to Stephen Miller and his Chief of Staff General Kelly.   

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Part 2

Then we assess the growing crisis with two NATO allies at loggerheads as Turkish jets pound the U.S.’s Kurdish allies in the Syria/Turkey border area while Turkey’s surrogates in the Free Syrian Army along with Turkish troops launch a ground offensive. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress where he focusses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss the dictator of Turkey Erdogan’s vow to “strangle this force at birth” meaning the Syrian Kurdish military force the U.S. has backed and wants to maintain as a long-term military presence in the region.    

Max Hoffman

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who served as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia. He joins us to discuss his article at MediaVillage.com “Why the News Needs to Deconstruct Trump’s Dangerous Jingoism” and how much the North Koreans have done an end-run around Trump’s belligerent rhetoric by sending their Olympians to compete in the Winter Games under a common flag with their pre-Olympic delegation to Seoul led by a North Korean pop singer who has created a K-pop media frenzy in the South.

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