2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

October 2 - Exposing the Fraud of Trump as the Self-Made Billionaire; "What Happened to Lindsey Graham?"; Is USMCA an Improvement over NAFTA?

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We begin with the massive New York Times investigation into the extent to which Trump is the self-made man he claims to be and speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, the co-founder of DCReport.org and the author of “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America”. He joins us to discuss how Trump, thanks to his father, became a millionaire at the age of 8 and through his 40’s and 50’s received more than $5 million a year from Fred Trump, but more importantly Trump received the equivalent today of $413 million from his father to get started in real estate even though Trump repeatedly claims that he built what he built himself without any help from his dad. We also look into how much Fred Trump bailed out his son from big bets that went bust like Trump Shuttle, the Plaza Hotel and the Atlantic City Casinos to the tune of $140 million in today’s dollars, much of which was never repaid.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Julian Zelizer, a Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University about his article at The Atlantic, “What Happened to Lindsey Graham?”. We discuss how since the death of Senator Graham’s close friend and moral conscience, John McCain, the senator has gone overboard embracing Trump to the point where he has become the most outspoken champion of Trump’s embattled nominee to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh. It is no small irony that when Congressman Lindsey Graham was one of the most zealous member of the House Judiciary Committee in pursuing the impeachment of President Clinton, he worked closely with Brett Kavanaugh. Back then Graham made the case that the main issue was Clinton’s perjury, not the extra-marital sex he lied about, and now that perjury is the main issue at hand with Kavanaugh, not sexual assault or a weakness for “brewskis”, Graham is Kavanaugh’s most ardent defender.

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Part 3

Then finally we assess what kind of an improvement over NAFTA the new USMCA agreement is now that President Trump is singing its praises and claiming that his slapping tariffs on Mexico and Canada and getting tough with them are the reasons why he got the agreement. Matt Gold, a Professor of Law at Fordham University who held an appointment in the Executive Office of the President as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America, joins us to discuss how the modest gains in the new agreement are not worth the rancor and resentment Trump has stirred up with our neighbors.

FLS Gold Matthew

 

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October 1 - Republican Sabotage of the Latest FBI Investigation; Today's Blow to Right-Wing Conspiracy Theorists; California Now at War with the Federal Government Over Net Neutrality

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We begin with the apparent attempt by the Republican Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to circumscribe and limit the FBI inquiry into Judge Kavanaugh to only four witnesses while President Trump was claiming it was an open and broad investigation. A former 16 year veteran of the FBI, Michael German, now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, joins us to discuss how in an investigation limited to one week, already three days out of the seven have been lost and only now that Trump has bowed to pressure from the press to allow FBI agents to follow leads, is the investigation on the right track. We  assess what former Director of the FBI James Comey meant when in an op-ed in The New York Times he referred to limits on the investigation as “idiotic” and explore what evidence could be gathered to support the accusations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in terms of finding the location of the alleged sexual assault and the bedroom and bathroom she described. And since, as the Republicans keep reminding us that Kavanaugh has already had six FBI investigations, we look into whether there is corroborating evidence in past inquiries that was either overlooked or not followed up on.

Part 2

Then we discuss today’s blow to right wing conspiracy theorists with the right wing Washington Times apologizing for a story they have retracted that falsely claimed a staffer with the DNC, Seth Rich, who was murdered in a botched robbery in a Washington suburb in July of 2016, was a part of a conspiracy involving his brother Aaron who supposedly received money from Wikileaks for the hacked DNC emails. Mark Fenster, a Professor at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and author of “Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture”, joins us discuss how Sean Hannity, Fox News. Sean Spicer and President Trump all pushed this absurd and cruel conspiracy theory to distract from the meddling by Russia in the 2016 election.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Jamie Court, the President of Consumer Watchdog, a consumer group that has been fighting corrupt corporations and crooked politicians since 1985. He joins us to discuss the bill California’s governor signed on Sunday night to strengthen protections against abuses by Internet providers which immediately provoked an injunction from the Justice Department putting California officially at war with the Federal Government over net neutrality. We discuss how AT&T slowed down Internet service to Fire Departments who were in the midst of fighting California wildfires because the new FCC rules allow them to speed up or slow down service depending on how much customers can afford to pay.  

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September 27 - A Report from a Prominent Lawyer Who Attended Today's Hearing; Can We Pretend the Judicial Branch Is Independent and Non-Partisan?; The Opposite of a Judicial Temperament Was on Display Today

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We begin with today’s contentious hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee at which Judge Kavanaugh’s first accuser Dr. Blasey Ford testified followed by Trump’s embattled nominee for the Supreme Court. We begin with Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of the National Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law who joins us to discuss what seemed to be two entirely different hearing, the first half of which was calm and composed and the second half of which was turbulent and emotional with Judge Kavanaugh shouting between tears, fighting to save his reputation. We assess whether the Republicans were able to turn things around after Dr. Ford’s very credible testimony as they indignantly blamed everything on Senator Feinstein for allegedly leaking a letter and delaying the hearings while they avoided any mention of the main issue at hand which is whether or not Judge Kavanaugh engaged in sexual assault of three women and lied about it.

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Part 2

Then we examine the whole process of the Senate confirmation of federal judges and the extent to which we can no longer pretend that the judicial branch is independent and non-partisan. Paul Collins, Director and Professor of Legal Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-author of “Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change” joins us. With judicial confirmations descending into partisan brawls starting with the Bork hearings, then the Thomas-Anita Hill hearings and now today’s drama, we will assess what possible path there is forward to restore dignity and respect for our courts.

Paul M. Collins, Jr.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Aya Gruber, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School who has written widely on rape law and domestic violence reform and has a forthcoming book “The Feminist War on Crime”. She joins us to discuss which one of the witnesses today displayed a judicial temperament after Dr. Ford showed quiet poise and restraint while Brett Kavanaugh went on a wild rant blaming his predicament on the revenge of the Clinton’s while wallowing in a “woe is me” tearful indignation as he exhibited a burning partisan contempt for the Democratic senators. The question then arises what kind of a judge would Kavanaugh be on the Supreme Court and what kind of treatment a Democrat appearing before him should expect.

 

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September 26 - Weaponizing Women's Rage; A Third Accuser of Kavanaugh's Sworn Statement; Trump's Stunning Charge Against China

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We begin with a third accuser of Judge Kavanaugh who provided a declaration under penalty of perjury which not just supports the evidence so far from the first two accusers, but goes beyond what is inferred in the books by Kavanaugh’s best friend Mark Judge. She shows a pattern and a purpose to the heavy drinking at house parties involving the spiking of drinks so that the young women would lose inhibitions and be so drunk that they could be gang raped by a train of boys including Kavanaugh and Judge, lined up outside rooms waiting to take their turn. Soraya Chemaly, an award-winning writer and activist who is the Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and author of the new book “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger”, joins us to discuss how women’s rage at being overworked and underpaid, called sluts or prudes and when harassed, told they asked for it, is being transformed in the 21st century into one of the most important resources women have. With the #MeToo movement sweeping the country, the Kavanaugh hearing now seems like a watershed moment in which women as victims who have held in anger and humiliation for decades often having it turn into depression, are now bravely speaking out and challenging a ruthless patriarchy intent of ignoring them while placing a misogynist cloaked in piety on the highest court in the land who will roll back women’s rights and criminalize their right to choose.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Michele Gilman, a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore about the legal ramifications of the sworn statement by the third accuser Julie Swetnick now that the lawyer for Brett Kavanaugh is accusing her lawyer Michael Avenatti of malpractice for not contacting the police about the charges made against Kavanaugh and Mark Judge in her declaration. Even though Avenatti has contacted the Senate Judiciary Committee hoping to get a hearing on Swetnick’s charges.

Michele E. Gilman

Part 3

Then finally we look into the stunning charge President Trump made today before the UN Security Council where he accused China of interfering in the upcoming November election to hurt him because he is so tough on trade with China. Michael Fuchs, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and has an article at The Guardian “Trump is a laughing stock. But if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying”, joins us. We will discuss how Trump embarrassed the U.S. before the world yesterday, then today charged China for something he has never charged Russia with, even though Russia has been and still is, meddling in our elections.

Michael Fuchs

 

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