October 15 - The Trump Tantrum That Tore Up the Iran Deal; The Post-Truth Fake News Age of Hucksters and Suckers; Will Trump's Spiteful Destruction of Obamacare Backfire?

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with Trump’s de-certification of the P5+1 deal with Iran which was kicked to the Congress as a compromise worked out by the adults in the White House day care center following a tantrum by Trump who insisted on repealing another Obama initiative against the advice of his top advisors and America’s allies with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Israel who want America to fight a war on their behalf against Iran. We begin and go to Iran and speak with Ali Arouzi, the NBC bureau chief in Tehran who is one of the few Western journalists operating out of the country. We will discuss the local reaction to Trump’s attempt to destroy an agreement put together by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the uncertainty that ensues from having the fate of America’s adherence to the deal in the hands of Congress.

Then following the Secretary of State’s denial that Trump is “castrating” him and Tillerson’s ambiguous statement that diplomacy goes on until “the first bomb drops”, we will look further into the political forces trying the preserve the deal and those trying to scuttle it. Iranian/American historian Maziar Behrooz, a professor of History at San Francisco State University joins us to discuss the symbiosis between hawks in the Trump Administration and in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and how this reversal of an American opening with Iran is seen by the majority of Iranians who are young.

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Maziar Behrooz

Part 2

Then we speak with Kurt Andersen, the host and co-creator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and bestselling author whose new book is “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500 Year History.” We discuss the post-truth “fake news” age of Trump in the context that America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, true believers and by hucksters and their suckers. And with the lines between reality and illusion blurred, we assess whether a consensus on what is real and true could be restored in America.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the likely consequences of Donald Trump second and perhaps fatal blow against Obamacare following his cutoff of health insurance subsidies to the poor. Jonathan Oberlander, a Professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina joins us to discuss whether this spiteful and destructive act will backfire since the pain from these cuts will be felt most acutely in Red States that support Trump.

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