2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

January 2 - Young Iranians Demonstrate Against Their Corrupt Theocratic Regime; Trumps Attack on What He Calls the "Deep State Justice Dept.; Can North Korea Drive a Wedge Between the US and South Korea?

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We begin with the demonstrations against the regime that have erupted all over Iran and are likely to result in a brutal crackdown by the Supreme Leader’s Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia. Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the School of International Studies at the University of Denver and author of “The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s future”, joins us to discuss the explosion of frustration from young Iranians whose rising expectations based on the promise of reform by President Rouhani have been cynically betrayed by a corrupt theocratic regime that cannot reform itself and depends on outside enemies for its legitimacy. We will examine the expressions of anger by young Iranians at a regime that cares more about the Palestinians and Syria than the future of its own people and the possibility that Rouhani will be sacrificed by the Supreme Leader who will unleash more repression and fill the jails even further.

 

Josef Korbel School of International Studies Professor Nader Hashemi

Part 2

Then, with President Trump calling for the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin and the former head of the FBI he fired James Comey, we will assess whether Trump is trying to intimidate or purge, not just the FBI but the Justice Department, which the president referred to today in a tweet as the “Deep State Justice Dept.” A former United States Attorney and deputy assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, Harry Litman joins us to discuss how dangerous this unprecedented attack on the non-partisanship and independence of the DOJ and the FBI is and whether Trump will succeed in his goal of undermining the investigations into him and the Russians.  

 
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Part 3

Then finally we look into whether North Korea’s Kim Jong-un can successfully drive a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea following his New Year’s offering of peace talks to the South Korean president to create a peaceful environment for the Olympics and the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea. Scott Snyder, a Senior Fellow for Korea Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations joins us to discuss his article at The Atlantic “Kim Jong Un’s Trap for South Korea”.

 

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January 1 - Putin's Enemy Number One; The Infamous Trump Tower Meeting; A Roadmap of the Mueller Investigation

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Today we look back at the story that dominated the news this year and will continue to do so next year, the secret ties under investigation between Putin and team Trump and his family. We  begin with a broadcast of Background Briefing from March 26th of 2017 and go to London to speak with Bill Browder, an American businessman who was the largest investor in Russia until he fell afoul of Putin and was refused entry into Russia. His lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was murdered by Russian government officials in league with organized crime and we  discuss the assassination in Kiev of a member of Russia’s Duma who was close to the Putin inner circle and was about to testify against Yanukovych, the ousted kleptocratic former Ukrainian president who had Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort on his payroll.  We will also examine the attempted murder of the lawyer representing Magnitsky’s widow who was about to testify about thelaundering of stolen money through Cyprus banks.

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Part 2

Then we go to July 11 of 2017 with the release of an incriminating email chain between Donald Trump Junior and a British tabloid journalist representing a Russian pop singer whose father is a billionaire developer close to Putin. The emails are about setting up a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer based on the promise that this lawyer worked for the Russian government and had top secret information from the Russian Crown prosecutor that was damaging to Hillary Clinton and “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”. Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School who is a former FBI Special Agent specializing in counterintelligence investigations in New York City, joins us to discuss the extent to which the participants in this meeting acted with corrupt intent to violate campaign finance laws and if they were innocent, why did they not call the FBI immediately to report an effort on the part of Russian Intelligence to compromise them?

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Part 3

Then finally we go to a broadcast of Background Briefing on November 26 of this year following the recent news that Michael Flynn is presumably cooperating with Robert Mueller. We began with a roadmap of the Mueller investigation and explored the “follow the money” strand, the political operatives strand, and the digital Kushner/Bannon/Mercer strand that will likely coalesce into a conclusion by the special counsel to recommend the impeachment of President Trump if Trump does not fire Mueller first to try to shut down the inquiry. Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University who blogs at “The Belly of the Beast” and has an article with Bill Moyers at Billmoyers.com “The Trump-Russia Story is Coming Together. Here’s How to Make Sense of It”, joined us.  Having produced timelines and a map with over 700 entries of the entangles ties between Putin and Trump and the murky world of Russian oligarchs, state officials, hackers, spies and Republican operatives, Steven Harper will discuss how everything that Trump, his cabinet, his campaign and his complicit GOP Congress has said about connections and collusion between Trump and Russia is a lie.

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December 31 - Inside the Enemy of the Alt-Right - Antifa; The Emergence of the Alt-Right in Trump's America

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Today we  look back at the story in the news that defined the struggle between the better angels of our nature and the emerging dark side of America that exploded into the open this year in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will begin with a broadcast of Background Briefing from August 21, 2017 in which we offered insight into a new radical movement Antifa that has become the nemesis of the alt-right who along with the Fox echo chamber have exaggerated the power and influence of a small group fighting back against well-funded right wing provocateurs on campus and Nazis attacking and murdering citizens as they did in Charlottesville, Virginia. Mark Bray, an historian of human rights, terrorism, and political radicalism in Modern Europe who was one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street, joined us to discuss his latest book “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook”. We examined the rise of white supremacy and neo-Nazism around the world following recent demonstrations in Warsaw, Poland and surveyed the history of anti-fascism from its origins to the present day. While critics say shutting down adversaries is anti-democratic, Antifa activists argue that the horrors of fascism must never be allowed to triumph again, especially with Donald Trump in the White House who is enacting his authoritarian tendencies at home while displaying affection and solidarity with despots abroad.

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Part 2

Then we go to a broadcast of Background Briefing from August 24, 2017 analyzing the emergence of the alt-right in Trump’s America with Henry Giroux, a world renowned educator, author and public intellectual who currently holds the McMaster University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest about his latest book, “The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism”. We discuss Trump’s alarming response to the recent disgrace of neo-Nazi’s descending on Thomas Jefferson’s home town and Jefferson’s warning that “an ignorant people cannot remain a free people” in the context of a failing education system and growing civic ignorance compounded by social media that has given rise to our Kardashian culture.

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December 28 - The Year of Women Making a Stand; The "#MeToo" Movement and Women Running for Office

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Today we look back at the story in the news that began the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated and has grown steadily into both a powerful political and social movement which has already exposed men in high office and promises to sweep Trump from office in 2020 if not earlier. Lisa Graves, who served in all three branches of the federal government – as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us to discuss the emerging political clout of American women who are both running for office and mobilizing at the grassroots. We will also examine the attempt underway led by Fox News to create an alternative reality of manufactured scandal to mirror the Mueller investigation and diminish its impact by dredging up fictional ties between Hillary Clinton and the ludicrous “Uranium One” deal while the real uranium scandal is that Trump has opened up protected national parks in Utah that belong to the American people to uranium mining which will desecrate national monuments and destroy native American history as well as sites of prehistoric dinosaur fossils  

 

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Part 2

Then we continue the conversation about 2017 being the year of the woman with Adele Stan a journalist based in Washington who is a weekly columnist for the American Prospect where her latest article is “On the Road to Kleptocracy”. She joins us to discuss the extent to which the emerging “#MeToo” movement has exposed sexism, misogyny, harassment and discrimination in the workplace across corporate America, inside the Congress and the U.S. government and in the entertainment business. We also assess how the #Metoo movement relates to the emerging political activism of women in our politics and examine the growing number of women running for local, state and national office and the prospects for a number of women on the Democratic side likely to run for president.


 

 

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December 27 - Hope Arises as the Resistance Emerges; The Director of the New Movie "In The Fade"

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Today we look back on the first year of the Trump Administration and search for some glimmers of hope amid the dark clouds at home from the destruction of our domestic tranquility and the diminution of America’s standing abroad as Trump undermines democratic values while encouraging authoritarianism and white nationalism. We will begin with Roger Morris, who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon until resigning with Anthony Lake over the bombing of Cambodia. He joins us to assess the extent to which Newton’s Law applies to our domestic and foreign policy in terms of every action having and equal and opposite reaction. We explore whether Trump’s avarice, amateurism, ignorance and cynicism will eventually catch up with him as the huckster who promises bigger and better things delivers less and less. We will look into how already there are impressive signs of opposition forming at the grassroots which is likely to build as more and more Americans recognize the hollow and fraudulent nature of the empty promises coming from the White House while the criminality and kleptocracy of this regime comes under increasing scrutiny from the special counsel, who Trump might well fire as Mueller gets close to indicting him.

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Part 2

Then we speak with the director of a new film that takes on the issues of immigration and race relations roiling America and Europe and deals with the ugly re-emergence of white nationalism. Fatih Akin, the director of “In the Fade”, a feature film out of Germany starring Diane Kruger, joins us to discuss this drama about a German woman seeking justice for the terrorist attack that killed her Kurdish husband and son. Based on a real incident involving young German neo-Nazis who killed Turks living in Germany, the movie reflects the political tensions resulting from immigration in Germany today that Donald Trump has inflamed here at home and which emerged in Charlottesville.

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