2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

September 20 - How the Rest of the World Reacted to Trump's Crude Threats on the World Stage; A Report From Mexico City on Rescue Efforts Following Tuesday's Earthquake; The Power of Plutocrats Like the Mercers to Manipulate Us and Control Our Politics

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We begin with the international response to Donald Trump’s crass and contemptible speech before the UN and speak with the former New York Times bureau chief at the UN, Barbara Crossette who is now the UN correspondent for The Nation. She joins us to describe how the representatives of the nations of the world reacted to the leader of the most powerful nation on earth threatening to destroy a country of 25 million people in what was a campaign-style speech meant to rile up Trump’s base of at best 35% of the country, delivered on the world stage in the name of the 65% of Americans who are left to endure this embarrassment and insult to what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “the good opinion of mankind”.

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Part 2

Then we go to Mexico City to get an update on rescue efforts underway following Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake 60 miles south of Mexico City that collapsed buildings and schools resulting in a death toll of at least 250 so far with many more trapped under the rubble. Dudley Althaus, a Wall Street Journal correspondent for Mexico and Central America joins us to discuss how the earthquake coincided with earthquake drills on the anniversary of the deadly 1985 quake and the heart-wrenching search underway for school children buried under the rubble.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we examine the increasing focus on Facebook, the social media platform from which 67% of Americans get their news and information that operates in total opacity as it boasts to advertisers of its powers to reach billions of users, while refusing to be held accountable for its content whether it is from “Jew Haters” or Russian bots and trolls. David Carroll, a professor of media design at the Parson School of Design joins us to discuss his article at Medium “Confronting a Nightmare for Democracy: Personal Data, Personalized Media and Weaponized Propaganda” and the risk of ceding our democracy to the dark databases and vast resources of plutocrats like the Mercers who manipulate the public to increase their power over our political life and economic future.      
 
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September 19 - Trump's Belligerent Bluster on the World Stage; The Noose is Tightening Around Manafort; Two Republican Senators Waver Under Pressure to Pass Graham-Cassidy Bill

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We begin with Donald Trump’s “America First” speech before the U.N. today in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. Joseph Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund and author of “Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons” joins us to discuss how extraordinarily lucky we have been that no nuclear weapon has been use in anger since Nagazaki in 1945 and the recent passing of “the man who saved the world” a former Soviet military officer Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov who is September of 1983 decided that the alarm bells from the early warning system detecting 5 American Minuteman missiles heading for the Soviet Union was a computer error and thus the world was saved from an accidental nuclear war because he defied orders and overrode an automatic massive Soviet retaliation. Now with the growing possibility that the U.S. could stumble into a nuclear war with North Korea, we look into Trump’s belligerent stance on the world stage and discuss the dinner that our guest attended last night with the President of Iran.

 

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Part 2

Then we assess how much the noose is tightening around top Trump officials including Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort who is under enormous pressure from the Special Counsel investigating Russian meddling in the election since Manafort was told that he will be indicted. Robert Dreyfuss, a contributing editor to The Nation and an independent investigative journalist specializing in politics and national security, joins us to discuss his latest article at Rolling Stone “Russiagate Dominoes Are Starting to Fall” and how Manafort has been under CIA and FBI surveillance since 2014 up until recently, which means that it is likely the government has transcripts of phone calls between Trump and Manafort.

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Part 3

Then finally we  speak with Wendell Potter, a former chief corporate spokesman for CIGNA and head of corporate communication for Humana who is now a senior analyst on health care at the Center for Public Integrity and founder of Tarbell.org. He joins us to discuss his latest article at Truthout “Even Business Leaders Are Realizing Health Insurance Companies Serve No Purpose” and how two Republican senators who voted against the last effort to repeal Obamacare are wavering under pressure to go along with the hideous and cruel Graham-Cassidy bill.

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September 18 - Could the Last Election be Contested or Even Done Over? The Last-Ditch Repeal of Obamacare Could Squeak Through the Senate; How Would Trump Handle a Terrorist Incident?

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We will begin with the possibility that the 2016 election could be contested following a question by NPR’s Terry Gross who asked Hillary Clinton “would you completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election was even deeper than we know”. To which Hillary Clinton replied “No, I wouldn’t rule it out.” An expert on the history of presidential elections and election chicanery, the author of “Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America”, investigative journalist Andrew Gumbel joins us. We will discuss how at least two presidents Samuel Tilden in 1876 and Al Gore in 2000 won the popular vote and the Electoral College but lost their elections, and look into the possibility of a do-over if the Special Counsel Robert Mueller were to find compelling evidence that the combination of Russian active measures, voter roll hacking and campaign collusion was sufficient to swing the election, given the narrow 77 thousand vote margin Trump won the Electoral College by.

 

Part 2

Then we will assess the chances of the effort underway to repeal Obamacare with the Graham/Cassidy bill that is being pushed through the Senate ahead of a September 30 deadline. Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with The Los Angeles Times, joins us to discuss this wolf in sheep’s clothing that is being cast as a moderate common-sense alternative to the Draconian repeal bills that have floundered so far, and his latest article at The Los Angeles Times “The GOP’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill may be the worst one yet”.

 

Part 3

Then finally we will speak with Aziz Huq, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is the author of “Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror”. He joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “How would Trump handle a terror attack” and express his concern that like Syria and North Korea, Trump with seize on fiery bluster and dramatic threats and treat a terrorist tragedy as a campaign event as he has done with the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

 

September 17 - The Status of the Russia Inquiries and When There Will be Definitive Proof; Did Chuck and Nancy Save Paul and Mitch From Having to Deal With the Tea Party Crazies?; Why Race Riots Continue to Erupt in St. Louis

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We will begin with an assessment of where the Russia inquiry into possible Russian collusion in Trump’s election is heading and when there will be definitive proof as the various strands of the broad array of continuing revelations are tied together. Jack Blum, a veteran Washington investigator who spent 14 years as a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and served as the chair of the expert group on international asset recovery who is currently the Chair of the Tax Justice Network, joins us. We will discuss the status of the various inquiries, in particular the Special Counsel’s investigation, and the denial on the political Left as well as the lack of outrage on the Right about the significance of a foreign power manipulating our election, possibly to the point that voters will be demanding a do-over.

 

Part 2

Then we will examine Trump’s recent about face in the Oval Office and the Chuck and Nancy romance that might save the DACA program although there have been howls of betrayal from Trump’s base and mixed signals in his tweets and statements about whether or not his wall will be built or be part of a deal to save the “dreamers”. Sarah Binder, a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor of political science at George Washington University joins us to discuss whether Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were secretly relieved that they did not have to face a showdown with their rebellious Tea Party caucuses threatening to shut down the government over the debt ceiling.

 

Part 3

Then finally we will look into another outbreak of unrest in St. Louis following the acquittal of a white police officer who was charged with first degree murder for shooting a black man following a high-speed chase. Garret Duncan, a Professor of African American Studies at the University of Washington in St. Louis joins us to discuss his article “How to Make Black Lives Matter” and how the shooting, that took place not far from Ferguson where Michael Brown was shot by police in 2014, was captured on dashcam video with the officer who was just acquitted saying “I’m going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it”.

 

September 14 - The UAE's Links to Terror and Trump; Trump's Frantic Search to Break the Iran Deal; Right Wing Provocateurs Hope That Berkeley Bans Them

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We begin with revelations that the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates made a secret trip to the U.S. for meetings in Trump tower with Stephen Bannon, Jared Kushner and General Michael Flynn and later in the Seychelles met with the founder of Blackwater Erik Prince, who has a mercenary military force operating out of the UAE. Joining us to look into the role of the UAE in the 9/11 attacks is Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow,  activist and author of “Wake Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow”. We discuss her article at The Huffington Post “UAE: Financial and Transit Hub of 9/11 Terror” and the extent to which the Trump Administration has made secret deals with the UAE and Saudi Arabia who are behind the blockade of Qatar and are actively encouraging the U.S. to intervene in Iran.

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Part 2

Then we will look further into the growing evidence that the Trump Administration is frantically trying to fabricate any excuse to demonstrate Iran’s non-compliance with the terms of the P5+1 nuclear deal signed by Obama which Trump has decried on the campaign trail and later as president as “the worst deal in history”. The author of “The Great Satan versus the Mad Mullahs: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other”, William Beeman, a Middle East Specialist for more than 30 years who has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the U.N. and the U.S. Congress, joins us to discuss his article at NewAmericaMedia.org “Trump Administration Signals Plans to Abandon Iran Deal”.   

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Part 3

 
Then finally with more demonstrations expected tonight on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, we speak with the Dean of the Berkeley Law School Erwin Chemerinsky, the co-author of a new book “Free Speech on Campus”. He joins us to discuss the potential of clashes between outside groups on the right like the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights and the RefuseFascism.org group on the left promoting demonstrations against a conservative speaker Ben Shapiro. Later this month Stephen Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos will cause more disruption and expense for the university in the hope they will be banned and thus become martyrs for free speech.
 
Erwin Chemerinsky

 

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