January 6 - The Republican Clown Car Fails to Derail Boehner; Why Oil Prices are Dropping; The Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the first day of the 114th Congress and look into the election results for the speaker of the House with John Boehner surviving a rebellion from radicals, Tea Party candidates and Libertarians to win reelection to preside over a restive caucus. Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Daily Beast who covers the Congress, joins us to discuss his article at The Daily Beast “Kamikaze Congress Prepares to Strike Boehner” and profile the colorful array of dissident candidates unhappy with the GOP leadership who offered themselves up as alternatives to the incumbent.





Part 2

Then we analyze the factors contributing to the continuing drop in oil prices with West Texas Intermediate Crude falling to $48 a barrel on Tuesday. Andrew Scott Cooper, a contributing columnist to The Guardian’s Tehran Bureau and to Foreign Policy and the author of “The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed to Balance of Power in the Middle East”, joins us to discuss the role of Saudi Arabia in flooding the global oil market to lower the price which negatively impacts Iran with whom the Saudis are engaged in a proxy war and, coincidentally countries the U.S. is pressuring; Russia and Venezuela as well as Iran.


Part 3

Then finally we examine the Syrian refugee crisis that had led Lebanon to issue visa restrictions since the tiny country of 4 million has already taken in more than 1.6 million refugees from neighboring Syria. Daryl Grisgraber, who leads Refugee International’s research and advocacy related to the Middle East and North Africa, focusing mainly on the Syrian displacement crisis, joins us to discuss the impact the outflow from Syria is having on Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, as well as the recent phenomenon of “ghost ships” full of Syrian refugees heading for Italian shores without crews or anyone manning the bridge.