2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

November 5 - Bush Senior Admits That Cheney Usurped His Son's Presidency; How the Highway Bill Endangers the Public; New York's AG Sues Exxon for Lying About Global Warming

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Part 1

We begin with the new biography of President George H.W. Bush in which George W. Bush’s father made clear he felt his son was badly served by Dick Cheney who he said had “built his own empire” within W’s White House and Donald Rumsfeld who the elder Bush said was an “arrogant fellow”. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served in the highest level of the Bush White House as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, joins us to discuss how Cheney essentially stole W’s presidency out from under him, something that Bush’s father likely always knew but is only now acknowledging, far too late to stop the many of his son’s calamitous mistakes like the invasion of Iraq.

Part 2

Then we examine the contents of the Highway Bill, Paul Ryan’s first achievement as Speaker that gives a gift slipped into the bill of $17 billion in government payments to banks, while chronically underfunding investment in aging and dangerous infrastructure at a time when the cost of borrowing is at an all-time low. Ted Miller, a Safety Economist who is a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Institute joins us to discuss the human cost of neglecting infrastructure investment as old bridges, dams and roads go on unrepaired contributing to 14,000 highway deaths a year with $11.4 billion in medical costs.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the sweeping investigation into Exxon Mobil by New York’s Attorney General to determine if the oil giant lied to the public and its investors about the dangers of climate change caused by global warming that consumption of its product contributes to. Jonathan Cannon, a Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Virginia School of Law joins us to discuss how the precedent of tobacco companies lying to the public about the danger their products pose to human health, could be applied to oil companies.  

 

November 4 - Was the Downing of the Russian Passenger Plane Blowback From Putin's Intervention in Syria?; The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin"; How the Oil Industry Killed California's Climate Bill

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We begin with the growing likelihood that the Russian airliner that crashed into the Sinai was brought down by a bomb aboard, making early claims by the Islamic State that they blew up the plane in retaliation for the Russian bombing of their fighter in Syria, increasingly credible. Gordon Hahn, a Professor and Researcher in the Monterrey Terrorism Research and Education Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey and author of “Russia’s Islamic Threat”, joins us. We will discuss the possible blowback that Putin is facing from his intervention in Syria at home, where there is already an on-going war with Islamist insurgents in the Caucasus.

 

Part 2

Then the author of the new book “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin”, Steven Lee Myers, joins us in the studio. He has worked for The New York Times for twenty six years, seven of them in Russia during the period when Putin consolidated his power and we discuss how Putin and the Russian media he controls will handle the terrorist downing of the Russian passenger jet as well as try to understand what motivates Russia’s new tsar who Forbes magazine just listed as the most powerful man in the world.

Part 3

Then finally we examine how the oil industry pumped money into the California Legislature to kill a bill that would have halved petroleum consumption by cars and trucks in the state by 2030. Adrienne Alvord, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ California and Western States director joins us to discuss Governor Brown’s angry retort that “oil won the skirmish, but they’ve lost the bigger battle” and her article at the Union of Concerned Scientists “Oil Industry Money Buying Too Much Influence in California”.   

 

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November 3 - The Chief Salesman of the Iraq War Dies; Big Sugar Versus Big High Fructose Corn Syrup; House Republicans Slip Bank Deregulation Into the Popular Highway Bill

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We begin with the death of Ahmed Chalabi, the chief salesman of the Iraq war who all along was an agent of the Iranian government while enthusiastically embraced by the Bush Administration and the neocons as Iraq’s Nelson Mandela even though he had been convicted of defrauding a Jordanian bank out of $300 million. A veteran CIA officer who knew Chalabi well, Robert Baer, joins us to discuss how Chalabi and the neocons sabotaged an early coup attempt by Iraqi generals against Saddam Hussein and his sons that Baer was involved in which would have avoided the very war in Iraq that the neocons were determined to make happen.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the battle between big sugar and big  high fructose corn syrup which has now renamed itself corn sugar, leading to the showdown in Federal Court that began today. The President of the corporate watchdog Eat Drink Politics, Michele Simon, a public health lawyer specializing in legal strategies to counter corporate tactics and author of “Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back”, joins us. We will discuss how refined sugar is replacing high fructose corn syrup as a ubiquitous food additive even though both contribute to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Wallace Turbeville, a Senior Fellow at Demos, who was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co before joining Better Markets where he proposed rules and authored studies to implement the Dodd-Frank Act. We will examine efforts by House Republicans to undermine Dodd-Frank and weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by slipping bank deregulation into the popular Highway Bill, as well as a host of other ideological riders that will be attached to the budget in appropriations killing important new rules at the Labor Department, the S.E.C. and the F.C.C. 

 

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November 2 - The Republican Candidates Choose Questions and Questioners; Marco Rubio's Shady Family Connections; Speculation Over What Caused the Russian Jet to Crash into the Sinai

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We begin with the effort by the campaigns of most of the Republican presidential candidates to take control of future debates away from the RNC and essentially decide on what questions are asked by the media and who gets to ask them. Catherine Rampell, an opinion columnist with the Washington Post joins us to discuss her latest op-ed at the Post “The Republicans are Right. We in the Media do Suck” and how, having learned to dodge difficult questions by accusing the moderators of bias, the candidates are now leveraging their clout with the networks because the debates have generated high ratings, to make sure future moderators don’t practice journalism.  

Part 2

Then we look into the rise of Marco Rubio who is widely seen as the winner of the last debate and speak with the award-winning journalist and author Ann Louise Bardach about her profile of Marco Rubio for Politico Magazine “Prodigal Son: Marco Rubio’s complicated Cuban legacy”. We discuss how in a case similar to the current attack by the RNC on Telemundo, “Team Rubio” used the RNC to go after Univision for a report they did on Marco Rubio’s brother-in-law who was a lieutenant to the chain saw-wielding leader of a powerful Miami drug cartel who Al Pacino’s character in the movie “Scarface” is based on.

Part 3

Then finally, as speculation grows over the cause of the high-altitude breakup of a Russian airliner that crashed into the Sinai desert killing all aboard, we examine the no-man’s-land that Egypt’s Sinai has become and speak with Youssef Ibrahim, a political risk consultant who was a senior Middle East correspondent for The New York Times for 18 years. He joins us to discuss the on-going war between the Egyptian Army and various criminal and jihadist groups in the Sinai, including the self-declared Islamic State which has claimed credit for shooting down the Russian passenger jet. 

 

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November 1 - Islamic State Victories in Spite of Russian and American Bombing; Erdogan's Cynical Election Strategy; The Strategic Incoherence of the Obama Administration's Iraq/ Syria Policy

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Part 1

We begin with the reversal of President Obama’s pledge not to put boots on the ground in Syria and assess the resilience of the Islamic State who, despite Russian and American bombing, have captured strategic town in Homs province and are poised to capture the main road that links Damascus with the northern cities. Hassan Hassan, the co-author of The New York Times bestseller “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror” who is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House in London and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the deepening proxy war that will extend the agony in Syria.

Part 2

Then we analyze the Turkish elections with early returns indicating President Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party is close to a majority while the pro-Kurdish HDP and nationalist MHP parties appear likely to cross the 10% threshold to claim seats in parliament. An expert on Turkey Asli Bali, a professor at the UCLA School of Law who specializes in International Human Rights and the Laws of War and is the author of the forthcoming book, “Constitutional Design in Religiously Divided Societies”, joins us to discuss the role of Turkey’s intelligence service the MIT in the recent bombings that appear to be a deliberate strategy of Erdogan’s to polarize the country ahead of today’s elections.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the role of the Kurds in fighting the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria where they appear to be the only allies the U.S. has in the region as the Obama Administration continues its delusional policy of working with the corrupt government in Baghdad which is allied with Russia and Iran, and Turkey’s cynical president Erdogan, who appears to working against U.S. objectives by bombing the Kurds who we’ve just sent in American boots on the ground to fight with.David Phillips, a former senior adviser and foreign affairs expert to the State Department during the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama and the author of “The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East”, joins us to discuss  the strategic incoherence of our Iraq/Syria policy.

 

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