May 20 - Change on the Syrian Battlefield and in the Diplomatic Arena; "What Happened to Obama's Promise?"; "Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age"

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with an analysis of whether the tide of battle in Syria is turning in favor of the Assad dictatorship and what that might have to do with talks soon to take place brokered by Russia and the United States. Chris Toensing, an Arabic-speaking specialist on Syria who is the Executive Director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and Editor of The Middle East Report joins us to discuss recent changes on both the battlefield and in the diplomatic arena. chris toensing


Part 2

Then we speak with Princeton historian Julian Zelizer about his article at CNN “What Happened to Obama’s Promise”, and discuss the criticism of the president coming from his disillusioned supporters on the left who expected a transformational president instead of a transactional one. We examine whether reform is possible in Washington and what Obama could and should do to motivate his spiritless supporters to vote in 2014.

julian zelizer


Part 3

Then finally we look into the power of the telecom oligarchs in the new gilded age who are the contemporary equivalent of the railroad barons but exert unprecedented influence over us as the gatekeepers of news and information. Susan Crawford, who served as Special Assistant to President Obama for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy and is the author of the new book “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age”, joins us to talk about how America, where the Internet revolution began, is slipping further and further behind as Americans get gouged by monopolies who charge more and more for less and less service.

susan crawford