2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

December 17 - Michael Lewis on "The Big Short"; Marco Rubio's Drug-Dealing Brother-In-Law; Why America's Middle East Allies Won't Join the Fight; A Mistrial in Baltimore

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Part 1

We begin with the arrest today of the poster boy for Wall Street greed and speak with Michael Lewis, the author of “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” and “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” which is now a movie starring Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. We will discuss the growing capture of our politics by Wall Street and its increasing grip on our economy and discuss its amoral and sociopathic culture documented in “The Big Short” where the heroes win at the expense of destroying the lives of millions of their fellow Americans.

 

Image courtesy W.W. Norton & Co.

Part 2

Then we speak with Manuel Roig-Franzia a writer for The Washington Post who along with the Post’s investigative reporter Scott Higham wrote a recent article “The Drug-smuggling case that brought anguish to Marco Rubio’s family” which we discuss along with looking into what happened to the $15 million in cash that the DEA estimates Rubio’s drug-dealing brother in law had at his disposal that was never accounted for.

 

Part 3

Then as the yapping dogs of war among the Republican presidential candidates reach a crescendo as pundits clamor for American boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State, we will look into why our so-called allies in the region are dragging their feet. Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran Foreign Service Officer who after writing the book “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People”, was stripped of his security clearance and diplomatic credentials by the State Department, joins us. We will discuss his article at The Nation “Washington to Whomever: Please Fight the Islamic State for Us” and the Obama Administration continued insistence that its coalition of Gulf States, the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shia will do the job even though it is abundantly clear that they won’t fight America’s war.  

 

Part 4

Then finally we speak with Amy Dillard, a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law who served on a Baltimore commission to examine the in-custody death of a police prisoner. We will discuss the mistrial in the case against William Potter, one of the six officers charged in connection to Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, and assess the mood in Baltimore and how the trials might proceed. 

 

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December 16 - Why Trump is Popular With Working Class Republicans; Double Government and the Permanent National Security State; Consumer Protections Stripped in the Omnibus Spending Bill

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Part 1

We begin with the latest Republican presidential debate and the continuing Donald Trump phenomenon that has the reality star-turned populist politician again rewarded for bad behavior as he rises in the polls after childish displays of name-calling insults levelled at his rivals on stage. Thomas Edsall, a professor of journalism at Columbia University and a New York Times columnist on demographic and strategic trends in American politics, joins us to discuss his op-ed in The Times “Can This Really Be Donald Trump’s Republican Party?” and a GOP that is too in tune with the donor class and not connecting with the concerns of regular voters who Trump is appealing to.

Part 2

Then we look into the deep state or the Double Government that runs the daily business of national security rendering those we elect in our faux democracy largely ornamentation which explains why there is little difference between the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Michael Glennon, a Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy who was Legal Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee joins us to discuss how presidential control, congressional oversight and judicial review of national security is largely illusory as the permanent national security establishment continues to expand its dominance of national priorities and its grip over the treasury.

 

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lori Wallach the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch and an expert on the operations and outcomes of trade policies such as NAFTA, WTO and the TPP. We examine the attack on consumer protections in the omnibus spending bill making its way through Congress that eliminates country-of-origin meat labels for pork and beef that consumers rely on to make informed choices about their food

 

 

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December 15 - The Trump-Cruz Slugfest; The Closure of LA's Schools Based on Threats Others See as a Hoax; The Taxpayer's $20 Billion Gift to Amazon

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Part 1

We begin with the expectation that the Republican presidential debate about to take place at mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian Casino in Las Vegas will be a slugfest between the frontrunner Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who is rising to second place in the polls. A long-time observer of Texas politics Matt Angle, who directs the Lone Star Project, a Political Action Committee that aims to be an aggressive “fact-checker” on the Republican Party at both the state and national level, joins us to discuss what Texas Senator Ted Cruz is all about, and that is simply put, Ted Cruz.

Part 2

Then following the closure of schools in Los Angeles in response to an email threat similar to one that the New York authorities dismissed, we examine whether the L.A. Unified School District Superintendent over-reacted to a threat that was deemed a hoax by the House Intelligence Committee. Roxane Silver, a Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, Irvine joins us to discuss the excuse offered that the decision to close L.A. schools was influenced by the recent shootings in San Bernardino and whether hysteria is playing into the hands of the Islamic State who may have been given a bonus today.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Dean Baker the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research about his article in The Huffington Post, “Holiday Season Giving to Jeff Bezos” and discuss how Amazon has had what amounts to a $20 billion taxpayer subsidy with Jeff Bezos pocketing $4 billion of that, because the increasingly popular retailer does not have to pay state sales tax, giving it a roughly 8% pricing advantage over its brick and mortar competitors.  

 

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December 14 - An Appraisal of Whether the Climate Deal is "A Hoax"; The Blindness and Double Standard of the New Visa Waiver Act; The Author of "Raw Deal: How the Uber Economy and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers

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Part 1

We begin and go to Paris, France to speak with Ben Schreiber, the Climate and Energy Program Director at Friends of the Earth and get an appraisal of what was achieved at the recently-concluded U.N. summit on climate change, given the complaints from well-known environmental activists like Bill McKibbon and the former chief scientist at NASA, James Hansen, who has criticized the agreement as “a hoax”.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the Visa Waver Program Improvement Act passed 407 to 19 by the House last week, in response to the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino massacre, that bars citizens with ancestry from Syria, Iraq, Sudan or Iran from participating in the program aimed at promoting trade and tourism. Coleen Rowley, the former FBI special agent who pushed to interrogated Zacharias Moussoui the 13th hijacker before the 9/11 attacks, joins us to discuss the willful blindness and double standard the blanket exclusion displays with countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Nigeria, that harbor and train terrorists, not designated as ineligible for the program.  

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Steven Hill, a Senior Fellow at The New America Foundation and the author of “Raw Deal: How the Uber Economy and Runaway Capitalism are Screwing American Workers”. We discuss this important new book that exposes the economic hoax of the so-called “sharing economy’ and the big lies that companies like Uber are “liberating workers” and making them “their own CEO’s”.

 

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December 13 - An Analysis of the UN Climate Deal Just Agreed to in Paris; The Post-Carbon Era and the Retreat of Global Warming Deniers; The Author of "Arctica: The Vanishing North"

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the U.N. climate deal which 195 nations just agreed to in Paris, and speak with Robert Stavins who is just back from Paris. He is a Professor and the Director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and a lead author of three reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We assess the likelihood of greenhouse gas reduction targets being met to keep the earth’s warming below 2 degrees Celsius and discuss complaints by critics that the deal does not go far enough.

 

Part 2

Then we speak with Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University and the author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines”. He joins us to discuss his belief that we are now entering the post-carbon era and that global warming deniers will become less and less relevant as the world moves to deal with the growing threat of climate change, even though key Republicans like Lamar Smith of Texas, the Chairman of the House committee on Science, Space and Technology, are climate-change deniers.

Part 3

Then finally Sebastian Copeland joins us in the studio. He is an award-winning photographer, extreme athlete, filmmaker and environmental activist and the author of the new book “Arctica: The Vanishing North” which provides an extraordinary portrait of a seldom travelled pristine wonderland that both pays homage to the beauty of one of nature’s last true wildernesses, while drawing awareness to its perilous plight. 

 

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