2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

November 11 - A Subject of an FBI Investigation Now in Charge of the FBI?; Nationalism and the Causes of World War I; The Filmmaker of the Stunning New Feature Documentary "Of Fathers and Sons"

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We will begin with the president distancing himself from his own appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the acting Attorney General by going out of his way to repeatedly claim he does not know Whitaker even though they met frequently at the White House because Trump refused to meet with Whitaker’s boss Jeff Session and instead dealt with the AG’s chief of staff Whitaker who was deliberately installed at the Justice Department as the White House’s eyes and ears. Lisa Graves who has served as a senior adviser in all three branches of the federal government including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us. We will discuss Whitaker’s role as a shill for a bottom-feeding invention promotion operation in Miami that scammed inventors many of whom were veterans which the FBI investigated, resulting in the company going out of business and paying fines. In both promoting the scam then intimidating the victims who claimed they were ripped off by the scam, Whitaker uses his credentials as a former U.S. Attorney and now as Acting AG, he oversees the FBI which investigated him.

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Part 2

Then with President Trump’s cancellation on Saturday of his visit to a U.S. military cemetery in France to honor the American fallen in World War I, we discuss the gathering of world leaders for the 100th anniversary of the armistice at which the President of France Emmanuel Macron used the opportunity to denounce Trump’s embrace of nationalism describing nationalism as a “betrayal of patriotism”. Along with chauvinism, nationalism was an undeniable cause of World War 1 in which 20 million died, a half of whom were civilians, along with 117,000 Americans. Geoffrey Wawro, a Professor and the Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas and the author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire, joins us to discuss whether the intellectually incurious Donald Trump, who gets a lot of his information from conspiracy sites like Infowars, could be educated by his peers to accept the lessons of history.

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Part 3

Then finally we are joined in the studio by Talal Derki, a documentary filmmaker who was born in Damascus and has been based in Berlin since 2014. He joins us to discuss his new documentary feature just out, “Of Fathers and Sons”, which reveals how deeply rooted Salafist Islam practiced by Al Qaeda and promoted by Saudi Arabia is in the lives of the father and sons facing death as their country Syria is destroyed. This powerful and important film brings a unique insight to Western audiences who for the first time will begin to understand what inspires and motivates jihadists to fight corrupt regimes in the Middle East and the U.S. which they see as the far enemy.

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November 8 - An Acting AG with Neither the Legal, Ethical, Moral or Judicial Qualifications; Has Trump Found His Roy Cohn in Matthew Whitaker?; The Looming Possibility of Impeachment If Trump Moves to Fire Mueller

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We begin with Trump’s new Attorney General now in charge of the Mueller investigation who appears to have neither the legal, ethical, moral or judicial qualifications to be the nation’s top lawman. Furthermore his appointment itself according to a former solicitor general and George Conway, the husband of White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway, is a betrayal of “the entire structure of our charter document” meaning “Constitutionally, Matthew Whitaker is a nobody”. Harry Litman, a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department, joins us to discuss his articles at the Washington Post “The Mueller probe could be in mortal danger” as well as an article at The New York Times “Congress Can Issue Subpoenas. Will They Matter” and whether at best Whitaker will tell Trump what Mueller has on him, or at worst shut down the investigation and bury the report. We examine how Whitaker essentially auditioned for the job as a Trump loyalist by going on CNN to attack the Mueller probe, then the White House engineered his appointment as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff so that Whitaker could be the White House’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department. And now this unqualified ideologue with bizarre and reactionary views on the law itself, is the acting Attorney General of the United States.

 

Litman Bio Pic

Part 2

Then we speak with Cory Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University as well as a visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School and author of the new book “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents”. He joins us to discuss whether Trump has found his Roy Cohn in Matthew Whitaker and how Whitaker does not believe in Marbury Versus Madison which is the foundation of our judiciary, but believes that judges should be chosen on whether they “Are people of Faith. Do they have a biblical view of justice?”

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Part 3

Then finally, although there has been yet another mass shooting not far from where we are broadcasting, we will pause on covering this tragedy until there is more information and instead look into the important races left hanging after the election in Florida and Georgia and speak with the author of the new book “The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present”. Allan Lichtman, a political historian of American politics at American University who has correctly predicted the outcomes of all presidential elections since 1984, including, against all odds, Trump’s election, joins us to discuss the looming possibility of impeachment if Trump moves to fire Mueller.

 

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November 7 - Trump Moves to Muzzle Mueller; Trump's Propagandist-in-Chief; American Democracy is Becoming Less Competitive and More Unrepresentative

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We begin with the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his replacement with a Trump loyalist and assess the growing possibility that the Mueller probe will be shut down or have its scope and independence curtailed if not neutered. Joshua Geltzer, the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection who served as Senior Director for Counterterrorism on the National Security Council staff and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Justice Department, joins us. We will discuss the significance of the next in line Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being skipped over with Trump installing Session’s chief of staff Matthew Whitaker who has been critical of the Mueller investigation. Adding to concerns that we may be on the cusp of a constitutional crisis, at today’s combative press conference Trump remarked that he has the power to fire Mueller if he wanted to. And following an election in which Republicans won key races by a razor-thin margin, we also discuss Joshua Geltzer’s article at Just Security, “Don’t Be Fooled: There Was Election Interference in 2018”.

Part 2

Then following an election in which Fox News made no pretense at being a journalistic outlet with Sean Hannity appearing on stage at a rally with Trump and Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt telling the press to report the news the way Trump wants it, we speak with Yochai Benkler, Professor of Law and co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He joins us to discuss his new book “Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics” and Trump’s enabler in propaganda Rupert Murdoch and the phony war with the press on display today in the White House with Trump casting the press as the enemy of the people to distract from the obvious fact that the truth is the enemy of Donald Trump.

Part 3

Then finally with the Democrats getting a much-needed win to take over the House while the Republicans extended their control over the Senate, we will examine how we are moving into a new normal in which the Democrats routinely will get a majority of the vote but still end up unable to gain meaningful political power. Sanford Levinson, who holds the Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and is the co-author of “Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today” joins us to discuss this daunting prospect facing the Democrats in the long-term as American democracy become less competitive and more unrepresentative.

Sanford V. Levinson

 

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November 6 - The Role of Women in Over 100 House Races; The Democrats Look Like They Have Won the House But Not the Senate

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We begin on this critical midterm election day as polls are closing in the East, and discuss the role of women both in terms of the record number of women running for congress and in state and local races, and what is expected to be a pivotal role educated suburban women who previously voted Republican are likely to play in flipping the House and possibly the Senate. Debbie Walsh, Director of the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, joins us to discuss how for the first time in history Americans could elect more than 100 women to the House and 23 women running for seats in the Senate. Depending on whether there are results to report along with projections from exit polls, we also look at key House races in New Jersey where a Navy veteran helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill is poised to turn a red seat blue, and in Virginia where there are four closely watched races with Democratic challengers Abigail Spanberger, Leslie Coburn, Elaine Luria and Jennifer Wexton running in red-leaning districts that could turn blue. But even if all 100 women were to win today, come January 2019, women would still only hold 24% of the seats in the House.

Part 2

Then we check in on another critical battleground for control of the House and Senate, Minnesota, where the Democrats could flip some seats but where also the GOP has the best shot at picking up seats currently held by Democrats. Lawrence Jacobs, the Chair for Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Hubert Humphrey School of Political Affairs at the University of Minnesota, joins us. With both U.S. Senate seats being contested along with the governorship, we assess what impact the Kavanaugh hearing had on setting back the Democrat's chances of taking the Senate.

Larry Jacobs

Part 3

Then finally we head further West and examine the House and Senate races in Texas and the key House races in California which offer the Democrats the best chance of going a long way to pick up the 23 seats nationwide they need to flip the House. Lydia Camarillo, the Vice President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project based in San Antonio, Texas, joins us to discuss the extent of Latino turnout in South Texas which is critical for Beto O’Rourke’s chance of taking the senate seat away from Ted Cruz and some of the tight congressional races in California in districts with a large Latino population.

Lydia Camarillo

 

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November 5 - Heavily Armed and Untrained Militias Head for the Border; The GOP No Longer Believes in Democracy; Today's Re-Imposition of Sanctions Against Iran

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We begin with armed militia groups heading for the Southern border which is already militarized with active-duty and National Guard troops along with Border Patrol and speak with Michelle Garcia, a journalist and former Texas correspondent for The Columbia Journalism Review and a former columnist for The Texas Observer. She joins us to discuss her new 3-part essay series on the border at The Baffler and concerns that heavily-armed untrained militia groups like the Texas Minutemen are responding to President Trump’s fear-mongering against destitute migrants he calls “invaders” with their website warning of a “large number of criminals” crossing the border and that “several U.S. law enforcement officers and civilians have been murdered by international bandits in these areas.” It also warns militia members that the mainstream media “are not your friends. They work for their globalist, open-border $$-sponsors-$$”. And already, according to planning documents from U.S. Army commanders leading the 5,200 troops Trump has dispatched to the border, 200 unregulated armed militia members are operating along the southwest border.

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Part 2

Then on this day before an election, we begin with Andrew Gumbel, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of “Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America”. He joins us to discuss a recent poll which found 46% of the American electorate do not believe their votes will be counted fairly with a third thinking it’s likely a foreign county will tamper with the vote. Nevertheless with partisan enthusiasm and energy surging and an increased turnout expected on both sides, we will focus on the close and controversial race for governor in Georgia and since more and more races are decided by narrow margins, the need to have transparent and auditable voting systems is increasingly clear, along with undeniable evidence that the Republican Party no longer believes in democracy and the free and fair exercise of the vote.  

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Part 3

Then finally, as a re-imposition of sanctions against Iran goes into effect today aimed at crippling their economy by driving away customers for Iran’s oil, the country’s main source of revenue, we speak with Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver and author of “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East”. He joins us to discuss Iran’s already shaky economy with their currency in freefall and the young and women taking to the streets to protest soaring prices and massive subsidies to support Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Assad dictatorship in Syria. We will assess whether Iran’s main customers, China, India and Turkey will bend under U.S. pressure and expose the hypocrisy of the tough guy Trump cynically giving Japan, South Korea and others a grace period to cut back on their imports of Iranian oil because a sudden cut-off would bring about a spike in oil prices, raising prices at the pump just ahead of a critical election.

Josef Korbel School of International Studies Professor Nader Hashemi

 

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