2013 Program Archive

January 7 - Chuck Hagel's Evolution From War Hero to Republican Heretic; Torture Returns With Brennan's Nomination to Head CIA; The Magic Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin

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With today’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, we begin with an analysis of Senator Hagel’s evolution from a loyal Republican soldier to a fierce critic of the Vietnam and Iraq wars which he concluded were wars of choice based on lies. John Judis, a senior editor at The New Republic who profiled Chuck Hagel in an article “Look Back in Anger: The Unmooring of Chuck Hagel” joins us to describe the war hero turned heretic whose nomination the neocons and his former Republican colleagues are determined to block.

 

john judis

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Then we examine the choice of John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA with a former member of the CIA’s Clandestine Services who retired in 2007 as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for transnational threats. Glenn Carle joins us to discuss the role of torture that is reported to have scuttled Brennan’s earlier chances of getting the job and how that issue, which has been revived by the movie “Zero Dark Thirty”, will effect Brennan’s confirmation.

glenn carle

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Then finally we look into the possibility of minting a platinum coin with a trillion dollar denomination to be deposited in the treasury in the event that the Republicans again hold the debt ceiling hostage and shut down the government. Jon Hilsenrath, the chief economics correspondent for The Wall Street Journal who covers the Federal Reserve, joins us to discuss this gimmick endorsed by Paul Krugman and the possibility it will be used.
john hilsenrath

 

January 6 - The Press, Enablers of Republican Recklessness?; How the Syria Crisis Will Impact Iraq; The Future of Jobs in an Economy of Profits Without Prosperity

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We begin with a discussion on how the Press is already acting as the enabler of the next round of hostage-taking where Republicans threaten to turn the United States into a deadbeat nation in order to exercise their extreme ideology and satisfy their billionaire backers. Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters and author of “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush” joins us to discuss how the next debt ceiling debacle is already being framed as he-said – she-said and politics as usual. eric boehlert

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Then we assess today’s speech by the besieged Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad that was a mixture of defiance and delusion devoid of any mention of a diplomatic possibility to end a war that is destroying Syria and has already claimed 60,000 lives. Henri Barkey, a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, joins us to discuss the consequences of the collapse of the Assad regime and it’s regional impact, particularly on Iraq. He has an article at The American Interest “Spinoff: The Syria Crisis and the Future of Iraq”.

henri barkey

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Then finally, following last Friday’s jobs report, we look into the future of jobs as the American economy becomes more and more about profits without prosperity. William Lazonick, the Director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness joins us to discuss if, how and when full employment will return and his article at the Huffington Post “Robots Don’t Destroy Jobs: Rapacious Corporate Executives Do”.

william lazonick

 

January 3 - Fiscal Cliff Deal Done Without Transparency; Wall Street's Big Lie Loses; Jared Diamond on His New Book "The World Until Yesterday"

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We begin with Mattea Kramer, a senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to making complex federal budget information transparent and accessible. We discuss the lack of transparency behind the recent much heralded fiscal cliff deal, the contents of which are only now coming to light. kramer

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Then we discuss how the big lie lost with William Greider, the national affairs correspondent with The Nation where he has an article “The Big Lie Loses”. With the phony “fiscal cliff” drama now over, before the next one begins over the debt ceiling, we examine whether the Wall Street titans responsible for our collapsed economy will be able to continue punishing the wrong people for the nation’s economic ills by demonizing popular federal programs like Social Security which they blame for the deficits instead of their own reckless greed.

geider

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Then finally best-selling author Jared Diamond joins us to discuss his latest book “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?” The author of “Collapse” and “Guns, Germs and Steel”, and a professor of geography at UCLA, he spent decades with tribes in the remote New Guinea highlands and he brings the wisdom of the natural world back to our troubled “civilized” lives beset by obesity from corporate food, paranoia from mindless media and planetary destruction from compulsive consumption.

jared diamond

 

January 2 - The Next Cliff Looms; A Paltry Deal Not a Grand Bargain; One Year Later is Iraq About to Blow Up?

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We begin with an analysis of what is in the so-called fiscal cliff deal with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect where he has a new article “The Endless Cliff”. We discuss the manufactured and self-inflicted phony crisis we just got through and the next crisis looming over the debt ceiling where, in spite of the president’s warning, the wrecking crew in Congress could do some serious damage. robert kuttner

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Then we look into how long the world’s only superpower can continue to be the global hegemon when it has such a broken and dysfunctional government. David Rothkopf, the CEO and Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy Magazine joins us to discuss his article at CNN “Cliff Deal Hollow Victory for the American People” and the end-of-the-year farce on Capitol Hill that produced such a paltry deal instead of the “grand bargain”.

david

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Then finally, on the one year anniversary of the U.S. exit from Iraq, we look into growing rebellion in the Sunni Anbar province and the threats by al Maliki, Iraq’s Shiite leader, to use force to put it down. Robert Dreyfuss, an investigative journalist who has written extensively on Iraq and is the author of “Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam” joins us. We discuss how the winner of the Iraq war, Iran, is now losing in Syria and that defeat could embolden Iraq’s restive Sunni population who are already chaffing under al Maliki’s heavy-handed rule.

dreyfuss

 

January 1 - Will Republicans Pay a Price For Their Obstructionism?; Why There is no Left in America

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We begin with an analysis of how Washington is failing us and who is to blame with David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report and a former White House speech writer and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. We discuss the radical takeover of the Republican Party and the flagrant fealty the Republican right has to the millionaires and billionaires, while on the left there is the obvious lack of a countervailing force to tip the balance just a little in favor of the vast majority of the American people. david halperin

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Then we explore further why the country’s politics have moved inexorably to the right with Salvatore Babones who is a senior lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney, Australia and is an associate fellow at the Institute For Policy Studies in Washington D.C. We discuss his article at Truthout “There is No American Left” and try to determine what can be done to revive the political left in America so that government represents the 99% not just the 1%.

salvatore