2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

December 10 - The "Research" and Donors Behind Trump's Policies; How Deep is the Well of Populist Anger and Hate?; The Filmmaker of "Brand: A Second Coming"

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the groups providing the so-called “research” behind Donald Trump’s policy pronouncements and the donors that fund them and speak with Ken Gude the Director of the International Justice and Security Program at the Center for American Progress. He joins us to discuss the network of right wing mega-donors behind groups like Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy that provides Donald Trump with conspiracy theories dressed up in bogus statistics on how Muslims want to impose Sharia Law on America and that violence against Americans in the U.S. is justified as part of the global jihad.

 

Part 2

Then, as Donald Trump’s Islamophobia and immigrant-bashing gains more and more traction among Republican primary voters, we discuss how ideas that used to be on the outer fringes of Republican discourse have now entered the GOP mainstream. Timothy McCarthy, a lecturer on History, Literature and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition” and “Protest Nation: Words that Inspired a Century of American Radicalism” joins us. We discuss populist discontent on the left and right and assess how deep is the well of anger, hate and paranoia that Donald Trump is tapping into.

Part 3

Then finally Ondi Timoner, a documentary filmmaker whose latest feature documentary is “BRAND: A Second Coming”, joins us in studio. She has captured and created a fascinating, funny and moving portrait of the comedian Russell Brand as he makes a journey from drug addiction to celebrity to political activism in a search for meaning and truth in his own life and in a world in need of a revolution against inequality and injustice, a revolution that Brand is trying to ignite but not necessarily lead.  

 

mp3audio: 

December 9 - An Historical Perspective on Trump's Nativist Constituency; The Revamping of No Child Left Behind; Angela Merkel: The Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with an historical perspective on the electoral appeal of Donald Trump and look back at right wing populist and nativist movements like the “know-nothing” movement and the presidential campaign of the segregationist George Wallace. American political historian Allan Lichtman, who teaches at American University, joins us. He has studied both the American Right and the presidency and has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984 and we look into the large and growing constituency in America that supports Donald Trump and his policies.

Part 2

Then with the Senate passage of the bi-partisan Every Student Achieves Act that closes the chapter on the controversial No Child Left Behind Act championed by George W. Bush, we speak with Diane Ravitch. She served as Assistant Secretary of Education under George W. Bush and is the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” in which she explains how she came to make a radical break with the No Child Left Behind policies. We discuss the relentless pressure from predatory business interests, home-schooling evangelicals and billionaire dilettantes to privatize education which Diane Ravitch writes about in her latest book “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools”.

Part 3 

Then finally we look into Time magazine’s choice of its 2015 person of the year, Angela Merkel, and speak with Thomas Berger, Professor of International Relations at Boston University who specialized in German politics. We discuss the reasons for Merkel’s popularity at home and abroad and the obvious contrast to her handling of the refugee crisis in Europe and the policy pronouncements of one of the other candidates on Time magazine’s short-list, Donald Trump.  

 

mp3audio: 

December 8 - The National Security Implications of Trump's Bigotry; The Impact of Trump's Hate Speech on American Muslims; A Right Wing Challenge to the One Person One Vote Core of American Democracy

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the national security implications of the anti-Muslim Islamophobia expressed by Donald Trump on Monday at a rally on the USS Yorktown where he called for “a total complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and went on to say that we are going to have more 9/11’s unless we ban Muslims from America. Lawrence Korb, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan Administration and author of “A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction” joins us to discuss the vital role American Muslims play in the U.S. Armed Forces and the aid and comfort that Trump’s attacks on Muslims are providing daesh, the self-declared Islamic State.

Part 2

Then we look into the impact that Trump’s hate speech is having on American Muslims and speak with Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, the highest ranking American Muslim in the Clinton and Obama Administrations who is the President and cofounder of the American Muslim Institution. We discuss the latest Public Policy Polling survey that finds Trump is far and away the frontrunner in North Carolina where 67% of his backers want a national database on Muslims, 62% believe Trump’s lies about Muslims celebrating 9/11 and 51% want to shut down mosques while 44% want Islam outlawed.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the arguments before the Supreme Court today that challenge the very underpinning of the one person, one vote core of American democracy.  Elizabeth Wydra, the Chief Counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center who was in the Supreme Court today joins us to explain the consequences of a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, the same conservative activists in a number of Supreme Court cases brought by Ed Blum, that would diminish the clout of urban voters and increase the power of rural, usually Republican voters.   

 

mp3audio: 

December 7 - Tashfeen Malik's Background in Pakistan; The Exaggerated Role of Religion in Recruiting Terrorists; The DOJ Launches a "Pattern and Practice Investigation" Into the Chicago Police Department

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the investigation into the backgrounds of the San Bernardino terrorists, in particular Tashfeen Malik, and examine her time in her native Pakistan with Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the United States Husain HaqqaniHe joins us to discuss the role of Saudi Wahhabism in her radicalization, along with the possibility that she received military training in one of the many terrorist training camps in Pakistan that have yet to be shut down.

 

Part 2

Then we discuss President Obama’s address to the nation on dealing with terrorism and the self-declared Islamic State, and speak with Arun Kundnani, a Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University who also teaches terrorism studies at John Jay College. He is the author of “The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror” and we discuss the gulf between the major role that politics play in the radicalization of young Muslims who join daesh, compared to the minor role of religion which usually gets most of the attribution and emphasis.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the Justice Department’s launch of a “pattern and practice investigation” into the Chicago Police Department following the release of a video that showed a Chicago policeman shoot 17 year old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Craig Futterman, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic joins us. He played a key role in getting the video released and we will discuss the DOJ investigation and the latest release of a video of a Chicago police shooting. 

 

mp3audio: 

December 6 - The Background and Motives of the San Bernardino Terrorists; Challenges Facing Homeland Security; Update on the Congressional Election in Venezuela

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the links emerging between the husband and wife terrorists in San Bernardino and daesh, the self-declared Islamic State and discuss both the role of Saudi Arabia and what local law enforcement have uncovered about the backgrounds and motives of the two shooters who killed 14 and wounded 21 last Wednesday. Brian Levin, the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino joins us to discuss what he has learned from those investigating the case along with what was discussed in recent testimony he gave to the Congresses Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

 

Part 2

Then we look further into the challenges to Homeland Security posed by the recent massacre in San Bernardino and speak with David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University who was the Democratic staff director for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. We discuss the task President Obama has of calming the nation in his address tonight in a political environment where paranoia over terrorist acts will be exploited by nativist and racist right wing politicians.

Part 3

Then finally we go to Venezuela for an update on the congressional elections underway in a country torn by widespread frustration over shortages of staples and food, inflation and crime. David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office of Latin America who has researched Venezuela for the past 20 years, and lived there for a total of 10 years, joins us. We discuss the likelihood of an opposition victory due to President Maduro spectacular mismanagement of the economy and his squandering of popular support for his successor Hugo Chavez’ Bolivarian revolution. 

 

mp3audio: