October 5 - The Supreme Court Takes Up Politically-Charged Cases; The Uncertain Future Facing the TPP; More Destruction of the World Heritage Site at Palmyra, Syria

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the Supreme Court’s new term and examine the cases they have decided to take up which involve the issues of voting rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, the future of public sector unions and abortion. Aziz Huq, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago who is a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joins us to discuss why the court took up these politically-charged cases and whether existing rights will be stripped away by the conservative majority, weakening laws that will have a direct impact on the lives of most Americans.


Part 2

Then we assess the deal reached by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that faces a skeptical Congress in an election year and may or may not end up as a crowning legacy for Barack Obama. Adam Hersh, a Senior Economist at the Roosevelt Institute and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue joins us to discuss his article with Joseph Stiglitz at Project Syndicate, “The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Charade” and how the TPP tried to extend the brazen gouging underway with over-priced drugs in the United States that are couched in terms of protecting intellectual property.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with James Gelvin, a professor of History at UCLA whose research focuses on Syria, and discuss the piecemeal destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Palmyra in Syria where a Roman arch that had stood for 2,000 years was blown up by the Islamic State today. While up to 300,000 Syrians have died in Syria’s civil war, and most of the country lies in ruins, with half of the population refugees, we try to understand why these nihilistic jihadis are destroying the past in order to usher in their apocalyptic vision of a future.