May 15 - Harry Reid Takes on the Koch Brothers; Putin's Domestic Agenda and Nixon's Silent Majority; Turkey's Tone Deaf Prime Minister

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Part 1

We begin with the escalating fight against the Koch Brothers in the U.S. Senate where the Majority Leader announced Thursday he plans to hold a vote that would “grant Congress the authority to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns”. A long-time observer of Congress and politics, Norman Ornstein, who write a weekly column for The National Journal and The Atlantic called “Congress Inside Out”, joins us to discuss the strategy behind the increasingly combative rhetoric coming from Harry Reid who has vowed to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United, McCutcheon and Buckley v. Valeo decisions.

 

norm ornstein

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Part 2

Then we speak with Mark Ames, the founding editor of the satirical Moscow biweekly “The eXile” who is a senior editor at PandoDaily where he has an article “Sorry America, Ukraine isn’t all about you”. In contrast to the current alarmists versus the apologists debate over Putin’s assertive new Russia that either attributes the Ukraine crisis to the actions of an evil empire-builder or blames the West for pushing Putin into a corner where he had no choice but to grab Crimea, we discuss the missing piece and that is Putin’s domestic agenda that Mark Ames sees as being remarkably similar to Nixon’s appeal to the silent majority in Red State America.

mark ames

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the fading political fortunes of Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan who first appeared as a charismatic modernizer but this year has stumbled from one crisis to another and now seems to be digging the hole deeper with his insensitive and callous handling of a mining disaster that has left about 300 miners dead with 150 missing. Asli Bali, a professor at the UCLA School of Law who deals with Turkish issues and visits Turkey often, joins us to discuss how this apparently tone deaf leader maintains a hold on Turkish politics.

asli bali