2013 Program Archive

November 5 - A Populist Replaces A Plutocrat in New York City; A Democratic Win in Purple Virginia; The Prospect for Peace in the Congo After Two Decades of Death

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We begin with the election of a new mayor for New York City, Bill de Blasio, and speak with Hank Sheinkopf a Democratic strategist who has run numerous campaigns in New York City and State as well a many national campaigns. We will discuss whether the election of a left-wing populist to succeed a plutocrat is a harbinger of political change for both New York City and the nation. hank scheinkopf

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Then we look into the results of the race for Governor of Virginia with Ed Kilgore, the Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist and the principal writer for The Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog. We discuss the political and psychological value of the Democratic pickup of a Republican governorship and how the winds of change that first favored the Democrats for 2014 because of the unpopular Republican shutdown of the government, seem to have swung back against the Democrats due to the troubled launch of the Affordable Care Act.

ed kilgore

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Then finally, with the rebel group the M23 announcing they are laying down their arms, we assess the future for peace in the Congo that for the past two decades has been mired in the world’s most deadly and intractable conflict that has claimed over six million lives. Maurice Carney, the co-founder and Executive Director of the human rights group, the Friends of the Congo, joins us to provide history and context to this monstrous tragedy of death, plunder and pillage that the world has largely ignored.

maurice carney

 

November 4 - Snowden's Manifesto for the Truth; Mental Illness and Easy Access to Assault Weapons; Cruel and Unusual Cuts in Food Stamps

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We begin with Edward Snowden’s open letter published in the German magazine Der Spiegel “A Manifesto for the Truth”, and get an analysis from a 27 year CIA veteran Elizabeth Murray who served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East on the National Intelligence Council. We discuss the Snowden letter written in Moscow on Friday which accuses governments of trying to squash debate about mass surveillance “with a never before seen witch hunt”.

 

elizabeth murray

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Then we revisit the deadly intersection of mental illness and easy access to assault weapons which is the apparent reason behind the shooting at Los Angeles International airport. John Donohue, a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and author of “Shooting Down the More Guns Less Crime Hypothesis” joins us to discuss the irony that the victim was a TSA screener who Americans accept as someone preventing a terrorist attack however remote, but daily acts of gun violence that kill 2000 times more Americans than terrorists are apparently acceptable as the NRA ensures no laws can be enacted to stop mentally ill people from purchasing military-style weapons.

john donohue

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Then finally we speak with Jim Weill, President of the Food Research and Action Center about the cruel and unusual cuts in food stamp assistance to over 47 million needy Americans with three quarters of the participants in households with children.  We discuss the political momentum against helping the least among us in the name of reducing the deficit, even though the deficit in receding at a record rate and while food stamps are considered one of the most efficient ways to stimulate the economy as every dollar in food stamps generates a dollar seventy in economic activity. 

jim weill

 

November 3 - The Shift in Focus From The NSA's Domestic Spying to Spying Abroad; Meeting With Edward Snowden in Moscow; The Filmmakers of "The Square" About The On-Going Revolution in Egypt

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We begin with a report from a German member of parliament, who met with Edward Snowden in Moscow, that the NSA leaker offered to testify in front of Congress and did not see himself as an enemy of America. We will speak with constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, who up until recently was the lawyer for Edward Snowden’s father Lon. His latest book is “American Empire: Before the Fall” and we discuss the extent to which the public outrage over spying on Americans that led to a close vote in Congress to curb the NSA’s collection of metadata on U.S. citizens, has been lost amid the almost daily stories about the NSA’s spying abroad, revelations that are likely to become even more sensational since Glenn Greenwald has promised that the worst is yet to come.

 

bruce fein

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Then we hear from retired CIA officer turned political activist Ray McGovern, who recently met with Edward Snowden in Moscow. McGovern helped create Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity and he joins us to discuss the issues surrounding Snowden who is either considered a hero by some or a traitor by others, or both.

ray mcgovern

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Then finally, with Secretary of State Kerry in Cairo expressing guarded optimism that the Egyptian generals will return democracy to their divided country, we speak with the filmmakers of the new feature documentary “The Square”, the definitive documentary on Egypt’s revolutionary uprising that continues beneath the surface while it has receded from the headlinesJehane Noujaim the director of “The Square”, best known for her film “The Control Room”, joins us along with the producer Karim Amer to re-focus on the “Arab Spring” and a revolution that is not going away. 

 

karim amer
 

 

October 31 - Mitigating the Sequester With Bigger Cuts to Come; Why Americans Are Not Aware of The Widening Wealth Gap; The Theology Underpinning the Tea Party

 

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We begin with talks underway as lawmakers meet to fund the rest of fiscal 2014 through September and look for ways around the sequester to mitigate more deep cuts coming in mid-January. Scott Klinger, the Director of Revenue and Spending Policies at the Center for Effective Government joins us to discuss the effects of cuts so far and the impact of much more to come.

 

scott klinger

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Then with billionaire Bill Gross of PIMCO calling on his fellow one percenters to pay more taxes to spur economic growth and help those who use their hands for a living, we examine the growing disparity in wealth in America with Harvard researcher Michael Norton, a professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School who has studied the reasons why most Americans are unaware of how wide the income gap is and when told how more and more of the nation’s wealth is going to the top, rich and poor alike agree it is unfair and un-American, but then disagree on how to address the problem.

michael norton

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Then finally we examine the roll of Rafael Cruz, the director of the Purifying Fire Ministry, who recently campaigned with his son Senator Ted Cruz in Iowa. Best-selling author Frank Schaeffer, whose parents Francis and Edith were the founders of what has become the Christian Right, joins us to discuss the Christian reconstruction Dominionist movement which seeks to rule America according to “biblical law” and pastor Cruz’s remarks that Obama is an “outright Marxist” who should be sent “back to Kenya” and his belief that the United States is “a Christian nation formed to honor the word of God”.

frank schaeffer

 

October 30 - The Nuclear Option Looms in the Senate; Addressing Bogus Alarmism on Social Security's Solvency; So-called "Islamic Terrorists" Arrested in China

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We begin with the showdown in the Senate expected on Thursday when and if the Republicans block the nomination of Patricia Millet to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that is likely to provoke the so-called nuclear option to reign in the filibuster. Nan Aron, the President and Founder of the Alliance for Justice, joins us to discuss the brazen blockage of Obama’s judicial nominees to the second most important court in the land.

 

nan aron

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Then we get an update on Wednesday’s conference on retirement security in Washington in support of protecting social security in advance of any “grand bargain” that might put it on the chopping block as budget talks begin and the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2014 is announced at 1.5 %, the fourth lowest since the COLA was introduced in 1975. Eric Kingston, the founding co-director of Social Security Works, the organization behind the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, joins us to discuss the forces arrayed to protect Social Security against the powerful interests who want to either cut its benefits or privatize it.

eric kingson

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Then finally, we look into the arrests by the Chinese Public Security Bureau of five ethnic Uighurs who are being described as Islamic jihadists responsible for an audacious attack at the foot of the Tiananmen Gate near the political heart of the nation. A leading expert on China’s ethnic minorities and in particular the Uighurs, Dru Gladney, joins us. He is a Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College and author of “Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic”.

dru gladney