October 3 - Trump's Self-Dealing Philanthropy; Colombia's "Brexit" Moment; Russia Changes Facts on the Ground While Stringing the US Along in Syria

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Part 1

We begin with the New York State Attorney General issuing a notice of violation to the Donald J. Trump Foundation for soliciting charitable donations when the foundation is not registered to do so under state law. Tiziana Dearing, a professor of social work at Boston College and the former head of Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Boston, joins us to discuss the extraordinary hubris Trump displays in self-dealing by soliciting charitable donations to his Trump Foundation then, either spending it on himself, or making grandiose displays of phony charity by donating other people’s money in his name. We also try to understand why average middle class and working Americans who pay their taxes could support someone who boasts that he is smart for not paying taxes, which leaves the inescapable implication that Trump sees his supporters who pay taxes as being stupid.

Tiziana Dearing

Part 2

Then we examine the unsettling rejection of the peace deal between the Colombian government and the Farc guerrillas to end the 52 year-long civil war that has cost 260,000 lives. Michael Shifter, the president for policy and Director of the Andean Program at the Inter-American Dialogue joins us to discuss this surprise upset vote of 50.2% to 49.8% of Colombians rejecting the initiative by President Santos while siding with former President Uribe who campaigned against the deal. Due to the low voter turnout of 37%, we assess whether Colombia is having a “Brexit” moment in which politicians misjudged the popular anger towards the widely-hated Farc.

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Part 3

Then finally, with today’s announcement that the State Department is cutting off cooperation with Russia on Syria and Putin’s cancellation of the joint U.S. and Russian program to dispose of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium, we speak with Nicholas Heras, a Middle East expert at the Center for a New American Security. He joins us to discuss how the Russians have been stringing the Americans along in Syria while they change facts on the ground in favor of the Assad regime, and the likelihood of another exodus of refugees as the Assad, Russian and Iranian coalition make further territorial gains while committing more barbaric atrocities and war crimes.

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