November 3 - Why Foreign Fighters Join the Islamic State; Outside Money and Dark Money in Toss-Up Senate Elections; The U.S. Billionaires Political Power Index

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the Islamic State’s murderous campaign of extinction of Sunni tribes besieged by I.S. fighters who the U.S. and the Iraqi government have not come to the aid of in spite of U.S. plans to mount an offensive with Iraqi security forces. A former senior British Intelligence officer Richard Barrett, who is the co-author of a new report from the Soufan Group in conjunction with PBS’s Frontline, “The Rise of ISIS”, joins us to discuss what attracts foreign fighters to join the Islamic State which appears to be growing in numbers while expanding its hold on huge swathes of Syria and Iraq, with its fighters now encircling a large air base in Anbar province and the critically important Haditha dam, as well as the fertile irrigated areas near Baghdad.

richard barrett


Part 2

Then we examine the unprecedented and record-breaking influx of outside money and dark money into 10 critical senate races with Ian Vandewalker, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Project who is the author of a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, “Outside Money and Dark Money in Toss-up Senate Races”. We discuss the roughly even amounts of outside money, $207 million for the GOP and $193 million for the Democrats as of last Wednesday, and the pro-Republican preference for dark money which is at 76% of non-party spending, compared to 35% for the Democrats.



Part 3

Then finally, we look into the U.S. Billionaires Political Power Index, which measures the recent election activism, campaign donations and influence of America’s billionaires leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections. The author of the report, Darrell West, the vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of “Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust”, joins us to discuss the roles of Peter Thiel, Bob Mercer, Joe Ricketts, Paul Singer, and David Geffen who have moved up the list, while others like Penny Pritzker, Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson and Alice Walton have seen their rankings drop.

darrell ewst