2013 Program Archive

December 23 - 15 Democratic Senators Join the War Party Against Iran; The American Public Opposes Punishing the Unemployed; Another Showdown Looming on the Korean Peninsula

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We begin with 15 Democratic U.S. Senators signing on to a hardline bill that would scuttle the initiative underway with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Max Blumenthal, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of the new book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” joins us to analyze the influence of Israel in determining U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the lack of an anti-war lobby in Washington to counterbalance the hawks on Capitol Hill bent on closing the door on Obama’s tentative moves towards peace.   

max blumenthal

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Then we speak with Thomas Ferguson, a professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts and a contributing editor to The Nation. We discuss a new poll from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling that indicates Republicans might pay a price for cutting unemployment benefits on December 28 since voters overwhelming support extending benefits, with a majority of fair-minded Americans apparently understanding the unemployed want to work and should not be punished for the economic downturn caused by Wall Street.

tom ferguson

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Then finally we look into the possibility that a new threat of war from North Korea is likely to erupt soon as the new young leader Kim Jong Un, who has just executed his uncle the number two in the regime, moves to assert his dynastic rule over his impoverished nuclear-armed and militarized failed state. Sung Yoon Lee, a Professor of International Affairs at The Fletcher School of International Diplomacy at Tufts University joins us to discuss a new round of nuclear brinkmanship looming on the Korean peninsula.

sung yoon lee

 

December 22 - Soudan Sudan Dividing Along Tribal Lines; The Battle for the Soul and Direction of the Democratic Party; A Syrian Doctor Speaks Out at Perilous Risk

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We begin with an update on the tragic portent of a civil war in the world’s newest country South Sudan, and speak with Sondra Hale, a professor of anthropology at UCLA who has been studying, doing field work, and living in Sudan for over fifty years. We discuss the growing chaos in South Sudan where three U.S. military aircraft came under fire wounding four U.S. service members attempting to evacuate American citizens, as the feud between the president and the former vice president that has divided the country along tribal lines now threatens to explode into a wider war.

sondra hale

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Then we look into a brewing battle for the soul and the future direction of the Democratic Party that erupted following criticism of New York’s new mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s economic populism from a centrist group Third Way. Adam Green, the cofounder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee that helps progressive candidates run progressive campaigns and win, joins us to discuss a battle that will have implications for how the Democrats will frame their 2014 campaign and who will be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

adam green

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Then finally we are joined in the studio by Syrian doctor who fled her country and will be speaking to us using the name of “Damas” because her Alawite family will be tortured and murdered by the Assad regime if her real identity is revealed. We discuss the latest indications that after both Obama and Hillary Clinton confidently stated Assad would fall, while doing nothing to make that happen, the U.S. now appears to be maneuvering to accept Assad’s continuing dictatorship as “the least worst option”.  

photo not available

 

December 19 - Putin’s Show of Magnanimity; South Sudan’s Descent into Civil War; Detroit’s Bankruptcy Judge Halts Giveaway to Banks

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We begin with the announcement by Vladimir Putin that he will release his most prominent political prisoner as well as two of the members of the punk rock group “Pussy Riot”. Nina Khrushcheva, a Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at the New School joins us to discuss Putin’s apparent confidence that he can appear magnanimous having got his way in Syria, Ukraine and at home where he has eradicated all opposition and extinguished politics in Russia ahead of hosting his showcase Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

 

nina k

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Then we speak with Lako Tongun, a professor of International and Intercultural Studies and Political Studies at Pitzer College. He is from South Sudan and we discuss the leadership struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Reik Machar that threatens to break out into a civil war as army mutineers take a key town. We get an analysis of the reasons behind the fratricide in the world’s newest country and one of its poorest that has been at war with its northern neighbor and now appears poised to go to war against itself.

lako tongun

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Then finally we speak with Wallace Turbeville, a Senior Fellow at Demos and previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs who has testified on financial reform issues before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the US Senate and the House Financial Services Committee. He is the author of a new report at Demos “The Detroit Bankruptcy” and we discuss this unnecessary bankruptcy imposed on a Democratic city by a partisan Republican governor and the latest ruling by the Federal bankruptcy judge criticizing the priority of paying back Wall Street banks 82 cents on the dollars while offering police, fire and city pensioners 16 cents on the dollar.

wallace t

 

December 18 - India's Fury Over the Treatment of its Diplomat in New York; The New Owner of The Washington Post's Conflict of Interest With the CIA; The Real Story Behind Detroit's Bankruptcy

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We begin with the intensifying diplomatic row between the U.S. and India following the arrest and strip-search of India’s deputy consul general in New York on fraud charges for paying her female housekeeper less than was stated on the work visa. Dr. Sumit Ganguly, the Chair of Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University joins us. He is just back from India where condemnation of the U.S.A. has reached a fever pitch, with scant mention of the feudal conditions that the underpaid housekeeper has been kept in.

 

sumit ganguly

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Then we look into the apparent conflict of interest that the new owner of the Washington Post has, as the head of Amazon, who have a $600 million contract with the CIA.  John Hanrahan, a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism who was a reporter for The Washington Post and is the author of “Government by Contract”, joins us. We discuss Jeff Bezos’s priorities and his newspaper’s objectivity in covering the CIA, when as the sole owner of the Post that he bought for $250 million, his company has government contracts for cloud-based data storage worth a lot more.

 
john hanrahan

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Then finally we look into the real story behind the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, and the role of Wall Street banks who saddled Detroit with $1.6 billion in highly profitable complex loan deals that have extracted $300 million from Detroit with another $300 million to come, while public employees wait at the back of the line for eviscerated pensions that will now pay pennies on the dollar. Ross Eisenbrey, the Vice president of the Economic Policy Institute who has an article at CNN “What Bled Detroit Dry? (Its not pensions)”, joins us to discuss the winners and losers in the looting of Detroit and the city’s unnecessary demise and liquidation imposed on it by a partisan Republican governor.

ross eisenbrey

 

December 18 - India's Fury Over the Treatment of its Diplomat in New York; The New Owner of The Washington Post's Conflict of Interest With the CIA; The Real Story Behind Detroit's Bankruptcy

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Full Program

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Part 1

We begin with the intensifying diplomatic row between the U.S. and India following the arrest and strip-search of India’s deputy consul general in New York on fraud charges for paying her female housekeeper less than was stated on the work visa. Dr. Sumit Ganguly, the Chair of Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University joins us. He is just back from India where condemnation of the U.S.A. has reached a fever pitch, with scant mention of the feudal conditions that the underpaid housekeeper has been kept in.

 

sumit ganguly

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Part 2

Then we look into the apparent conflict of interest that the new owner of the Washington Post has, as the head of Amazon, who have a $600 million contract with the CIA.  John Hanrahan, a former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism who was a reporter for The Washington Post and is the author of “Government by Contract”, joins us. We discuss Jeff Bezos’s priorities and his newspaper’s objectivity in covering the CIA, when as the sole owner of the Post that he bought for $250 million, his company has government contracts for cloud-based data storage worth a lot more.

 
john hanrahan

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the real story behind the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history, and the role of Wall Street banks who saddled Detroit with $1.6 billion in highly profitable complex loan deals that have extracted $300 million from Detroit with another $300 million to come, while public employees wait at the back of the line for eviscerated pensions that will now pay pennies on the dollar. Ross Eisenbrey, the Vice president of the Economic Policy Institute who has an article at CNN “What Bled Detroit Dry? (Its not pensions)”, joins us to discuss the winners and losers in the looting of Detroit and the city’s unnecessary demise and liquidation imposed on it by a partisan Republican governor.

ross eisenbrey