2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

May 27 - Trump Has Turned Organized Lying Into His First Principle of Governance; 1,500 Children Snatched from Their Parents at the Border are Missing; Dutch Report Blames Russia for Malaysian Airliner Shoot-Down

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We begin with Trump’s assault on the Department of Justice and his phony “Spygate” campaign that has millions of American living inside the Fox News bubble believing the most ridiculous nonsense as Donald Trump turns organized lying into the first principle of his governance. Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College joins us to discuss his latest article at The Guardian “Trump’s assault on the department of justice is an attack on the rule of law” and recent reports on the extent of evidence from FBI wiretaps which the special counsel Robert Mueller has on a Russian oligarch and organized crime boss who met with Donald Trump Jr. and Michael Cohen’s meeting in Trump Tower with another Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg days before the inauguration. With a 53% majority of Americans now believing the Mueller investigation is politically motivated and 47% of Republicans believing Trump’s lie that millions of illegals voted in the last election, we will look into the extent to which Trump is succeeding in limiting the damage from the forthcoming Mueller report by convincing his base it will be the politically biased result of a witch hunt no matter how damning the evidence might be.

Part 2

Then we will speak with Lee Gelernt, the Deputy Director of the ACLU’s National Immigrant Rights Project and the lead attorney on the ACLU’s family separation case about the appalling revelation that 1,500 children are missing within the government after having being snatched from the arms of their parents at the border. We will assess whether Trump can get away with blaming the Democrats for the cruel actions his administration are taking in the name of the American people and explore what is happening to these missing children who the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly cavalierly said are “put into foster care or whatever”.

Part 3

Then finally the former Swedish diplomat Anders Aslund joins us from Berlin after attending the NATO parliamentary summit in Warsaw to discuss the European reaction to the Dutch report on the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner in 2014 over Ukraine which blames Russia for firing the BUK anti-aircraft missile under the control of the GRU, Russian military intelligence. We will also assess what happened in St. Petersburg at the recent economic summit hosted by Putin where instead of Iran being the outlier who the world powers in the P5+1 brought to the table, the U.S. is now the outlier having isolated itself after breaking a series of international agreements.

 

May 24, 2018 - Did Bolton and Pence Scuttle Trump's Summit With Kim?; Nunes, Gowdy and Trump Try to Manufacture the "Spygate" Scandal; Historian Jon Meacham on His New Book "The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels"

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We begin with the sudden about-face by Donald Trump who cancelled the forthcoming summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-un in a letter to the North Korea dictator in which Trump makes childish boasts about the Kim’s puny nukes compared to his, writing “but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” Sue Mi Terry, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs who was previously the deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council and the Director of Japan, Korea and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council, joins us. We will discuss how it appears Trump’s new NSC Advisor John Bolton first derailed the summit by referring to the “Libyan model” of nuclear disarmament which alarmed Kim with the prospect of him ending up like Qaddafi.  Then Vice President Pence went further by remarking that the “Libyan model” of the dictator ending up being torn apart by a mob could apply to Kim if he did not make a deal with Trump. This prompted the North Koreans to reply angrily calling Pence is a “political dunce”, and that caused Trump to write in his letter to Kim that “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your recent statement…the summit will not take place”.

Part 2

Then we will examine the meeting today arranged by the White House Chief of Staff in which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and the DNI Dan Coats briefed Republican Congressmen Devon Nunes and Trey Gowdy in response to the phony claims by President Trump who is trying to manufacture a scandal he calls “Spygate”, alleging the FBI “infiltrated” his campaign and spied on him. Mark Lowenthal the President of the Intelligence and Security Academy who was Republican Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence joins us to discuss how wrong it was for Trump’s new lawyer Emmet Flood to attend and that allowing the Democrat Adam Schiff in at the last minute made it less of a partisan farce.

Part 3

Then finally we will speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meachum about his latest book “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels”. We will discuss this urgent moment we are living in with America at the crossroads under a president who is at war with the truth and the law. But while it may seem we are facing unprecedented threats to American democracy itself, Meachum argues we have presidents before who were not commensurate with the task and that we should not panic but we also should not relax.

 

May 23, 2018: Was the $1.6 Million Payoff to the Pregnant Playmate Done for Trump’s Benefit?; Are We back on the Path Towards Another Wall Street Crash?; How Trump’s Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Prolonged the Opioid Crisis Leading Towards More Deaths

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We begin with the recent investigative article by the Associated Press “The Princes, the president and the fortune seekers” which details the role of the convicted child molester George Nader who is now cooperating with Robert Mueller and the deals he brokered with Elliot Broidy, a top fundraiser for Donald Trump and the crown princes of the Emirates and Saudi Arabia that led to a secret meeting in the Seychelles with Erik Prince to set up a backchannel between Trump and the Kremlin as well as use Prince’s mercenary force in the Gulf to start a war with Iran. Following on from the AP report we will speak with Paul Campos, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School about his articles at New York Magazine “Here’s a Theory About That $1.6 million Payout From GOP Official to a Playboy Model” and “Hey Look: More Evidence That Broidy May Have Been Covering for Trump in That Playmate Affair”. We will discuss the extraordinary coincidence that two days after the $1.6 million payoff to the pregnant Playmate Shera Bechard to get an abortion, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen arranged for an Oval Office photo opportunity for Elliot Broidy with Trump which Broidy then used to get a $600 million Arms contract with the Emirates. With no evidence of a supposed two year- long relationship that Broidy was supposed to have had with the Playmate and plenty of evidence Michael Cohen has been paying off Playmates and porn stars who had relationships with Trump, enquiring minds want to know more.

Part 2

Then with the vote in the House of 258 to 159 to roll back the Dodd Frank regulations and the expected soon watering down of the Volcker Rule which stops big banks from making risky bets with depositors’ money, Nomi Prins joins us to examine how much we will soon be back on the path of freeing up the “banksters” to run wild and bring about the next Wall Street crash. She is a former managing director at Goldman Sachs and ran the international analytics group at Bear Sterns in London and is the author of a new book “Collusion: How Central Banks Rigged the World” which looks into what happened to the $21 trillion created out of thin air by central banks in the aftermath of the 2008 crash.

Part 3

Then finally Chris McGreal a senior writer for The Guardian U.S. and their former correspondent in Jerusalem and Johannesburg joins us to discuss his latest article at The Guardian “Rudy Giuliani won deal for OxyContin maker to continue sales of drug behind opioid deaths”. We will examine how Trump’s new lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who represented the makers of OxyContin Purdue Pharma, tried to thwart the federal prosecutor and blame the opioid epidemic caused by Purdue pushing their drug on the doctors who prescribed it, while managing to prevent Purdue from being banned from doing business with Medicare, Medicaid and the V.A. to the point where Purdue was able to make $5 billion more out of OxyContin, then the leading cause of the 300,000 overdose deaths in America.

 

May 22 - Are the DOJ and FBI Making Too Many Concessions as Trump Bullies Them?; Trump Dampens His Own Expectations on the Summit With Kim Jong-Un; Why the Reaction in Texas is So Different To What Happened After the Florida High School Shooting

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We begin with the unprecedented assault on the law by the President of the United States who is being investigated but has now managed to have his investigators investigated and to unleash his lapdog Congressman Devin Nunes and Tea Party Republicans to rummage through secret evidence which the special prosecutor Mueller has compiled to find selective and misleading leaks to pass on to Fox News and to give Trump a preview which he can use to prepare his defense.  Bruce Green, the Director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics and the Chair at Fordham Law School who was the past chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, joins us. We  discuss his forthcoming scholarly article “Can the President Control the Department of Justice” and whether top officials in the DOJ and the FBI are making too many concessions as Trump bullies them into chipping away at prosecutorial independence.  Or is the tasking of the DOJ’s Inspector General to investigate Trump’s absurd claim that the FBI “infiltrated” his campaign and spied on him, a way to placate the target of the investigation who is likely be held criminally liable if Mueller is able to complete his investigation?

 

Bruce Green

Part 2

Then with Trump meeting today with South Korea’s leader ahead of the planned summit with Kim Jong-un where he announced that, “there is a very good chance that it won’t work out”, we will speak with Charles Armstrong, a Professor of History and the Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University and author of “Tyranny of the Weak: North Kores and the World”. We  discuss how much Kim Jong-un learned from Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal” which Dennis Rodman gave him since the North Korean dictator seems to have Trump begging for a deal while minting commemorative medals and musing about Nobel Peace prizes.

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Part 3

Then finally we assess why the response to the recent gun massacre at a high school in Texas was so different from what happened after the 17 students and teachers were gunned down at the Parkland High School in Florida and speak with best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television news correspondent James Moore. He joins us from the Texas capitol to discuss his article at CNN “Thoughts and prayers this isn’t true in Texas” and why the gun culture is so strong in Texas that the priority of the State’s leaders is to protect guns over protecting children.

James Moore

 

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May 21 - North and South Korea Blame Neocon Bolton For Shaky Summit; Gorsuch Kills Off Long-Standing Workers' Rights; Did the Ultimate Dealmaker Get Smoked By the Chinese?

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We begin with Ken Vogel, a reporter with The New York Times Washington Bureau joins us to discuss his latest article “Advising Bolton Is a “Shadow N.S.C.”  We look into the role of a group of neocon activists and lobbyists close to the new National Security Advisor John Bolton which means that now, with like-minded neocons dominating the NSC, there will be no diversity of opinion or dissenting views presented to Trump.  With both North and South Korea blaming Bolton for the shaky ground that the summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un is now on because Bolton tied the upcoming talks to the “Libyan model” which Kim interprets as regime change by a mob tearing a dictator apart, it looks like the tail of the neocon is wagging the big dog in the Oval Office.

 

 

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Part 2

Then we get an analysis of the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 decision led by Trump’s new justice Neil Gorsuch which kills off a vestige of the 1935 New Deal in terms of worker’s rights, doing away with class action suits for redress such as wage theft and forcing employees into arbitration which is heavily weighted in favor of employers over their employees. Celine McNicholas, the Economic Policy Institute’s Labor Counsel and a core member of their Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages, joins us to discuss the court’s corporatist tilt and today’s stinging dissent by Ruth Bader Ginzberg.  

 

Celine McNicholas

Part 3

Then finally we examine the Secretary of Treasury announcement “we’re putting the trade war on hold” after the completion of talks with Chinese negotiators in what looks like a win for China since they appear to have given up little in return for the U.S. holding off on imposing tariffs of $150 billion on Chinese imports. Katheryn Russ, a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis who worked for the Obama Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors as Senior Economist for International Trade and Finance, joins us to discuss whether the self-proclaimed ultimate dealmaker Donald Trump has been smoked by Xi Jinping.  Given the recent case of a Chinese bank investing in a Trump-related Indonesian deal which appears to be a quid pro quo to get the Chinese telecomm giant ZTE off the hook, we will assess whether calling Trump’s bluff with money is an advantage the Chinese and others can exploit if Trump can be bribed with financial deals that enrich him at the expense of our economy and U.S. national security. With Jared Kushner having already shown that a bad investment by the Kushner Company in 666 Fifth Avenue can be rescued by the Trump Administration using the instruments of statecraft against Qatar to get them pay up to have a blockade lifted, then how can we be confident that the Trump family business does not take priority over our economic and foreign policy?

 

Katheryn Russ

 

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