2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

December 5 - Resurrecting the Logan Act; Will All Hell Break Loose in the Middle East?; Corporate Backers of GOP Tax Giveaway Are Now Complicit with Who Trump is and What He Does

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Part 1

We begin with the possible resurrection of the 18th century Logan Act under which only two people have been charged and neither convicted, and assess whether Jared Kushner or his father in law Donald Trump could be charged with violating the Logan Act based on what Michael Flynn has told the special counsel Robert Mueller who Flynn is cooperating with. Daniel Hemel, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago who was a law clerk for Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Why the Trump Team Should Fear the Logan Act”. And while the Logan Act prevents private citizens from unauthorized communication with foreign officials to influence U.S. foreign policy, as the incoming National Security Advisor to Donald Trump, Michael Flynn was hardly an ordinary private citizen. Furthermore his communications with the Russian Ambassador about easing sanctions and advising them how to react to President Obama’s new round of sanctions in response to Russian meddling in our election, appears to rise to the level of “a high crime and misdemeanor”.

 

Daniel Hemel

Part 2

Then we anticipate the reaction in the Middle East and Europe to President Trump’s expected move on Wednesday to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem which is widely seen and an abandonment of any pretext of supporting any future viable Palestinian state. Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern  and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author of “The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East”, joins us to discuss the possibility of a new “intifada” erupting, the Jordanian kingdom in turmoil and Saudi influence over Trump because of the friendship between MBS and Jared Kushner exposed as worthless.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with David Halperin, who served on the Clinton National Security Council and was counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his article at The Huffington Post “GOP’s Unholy Alliance: Trump-McConnell-Moore-Kochs”. We discuss how all the big corporations backing the GOP tax giveaway to the rich including the so called ones that do good like Google and Facebook, are now complicit in screwing the middle class, supporting a sex offender and validating Trump’s bigotry, misogyny, environmental destruction, kleptocratic corruption and his likely treason with Russia.

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December 4 - Trump Trashes the Peoples' National Monuments; After Switching Sides, Yemen's Ex-President is Killed by Houthis; Saudi patriot missiles Failed in Five Out of Five Launches

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We begin with today’s unprecedented reversal by Donald Trump of protection of America’s national monuments as he announced the reduction of the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase Escalante by 50%. Robert Keiter, the Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at The University of Utah College of Law and author of “To Conserve Unimpaired: the Evolution of the National Park Idea”, joins us to discuss the peculiar logic of Trump’s remarks today when he said he was bringing the land back to the people from Washington bureaucrats when it is the “people” of the United States who own the land in national parks being preserved for posterity. We will assess what the real motives for Trump’s latest unpopular act might be given that there is no evidence the now unprotected land is rich in oil and gas and minerals that can now be extracted. Could it be that this sick and spiteful man in the Oval Office is simply doing this to undo Obama’s legacy in furtherance of Trump’s obsessive racist hatred of his predecessor.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf” about the killing of Yemen’s ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Houthi rebels after he had accused them of “idiocy” for protracting the devastating civil war and had switched sides to joins the Saudi-backed coalition. We discuss the merciless Saudi blockade that is starving the Yemeni population and a proxy war that has no end in sight.

Part 3

Then finally, following a recent missile attack on Saudi Arabia from Yemen, we will look into the results of an investigation by The New York Times which finds that the US missile defenses in Saudi Arabia failed five out of five launches in spite of President Trump’s claim that “Our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all around the world”. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists who analyzed the data, joins us to explain how the failure of five of the five Patriot missiles fired at the incoming Houthi Scud-type missile exposes the false assurance that the US and South Korean military have in their Patriot batteries intercepting North Korean missiles.

 

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December 4 - Trump Trashes the Peoples' National Monuments; After Switching Sides, Yemen's Ex-President is Killed by Houthis; Saudi Patriot Missiles Failed in Five Out of Five Launches

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Part 1

We begin with today’s unprecedented reversal by Donald Trump of protection of America’s national monuments as he announced the reduction of the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase Escalante by 50%. Robert Keiter, the Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at The University of Utah College of Law and author of “To Conserve Unimpaired: the Evolution of the National Park Idea”, joins us to discuss the peculiar logic of Trump’s remarks today when he said he was bringing the land back to the people from Washington bureaucrats when it is the “people” of the United States who own the land in national parks being preserved for posterity. We will assess what the real motives for Trump’s latest unpopular act might be given that there is no evidence the now unprotected land is rich in oil and gas and minerals that can now be extracted. Could it be that this sick and spiteful man in the Oval Office is simply doing this to undo Obama’s legacy in furtherance of Trump’s obsessive racist hatred of his predecessor.

 

Image result for Robert Keiter

Part 2

Then we speak with Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf” about the killing of Yemen’s ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Houthi rebels after he had accused them of “idiocy” for protracting the devastating civil war and had switched sides to joins the Saudi-backed coalition. We discuss the merciless Saudi blockade that is starving the Yemeni population and a proxy war that has no end in sight.

Part 3

Then finally, following a recent missile attack on Saudi Arabia from Yemen, we will look into the results of an investigation by The New York Times which finds that the US missile defenses in Saudi Arabia failed five out of five launches in spite of President Trump’s claim that “Our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all around the world”. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists who analyzed the data, joins us to explain how the failure of five of the five Patriot missiles fired at the incoming Houthi Scud-type missile exposes the false assurance that the US and South Korean military have in their Patriot batteries intercepting North Korean missiles.

 

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December 3 - Leaks From Inside Trump's Transition Reveal a Need to Pay Back Russia for Throwing the Election; Trump Lashes Out at the FBI; The Republican's Massive Gift to America's Oligarchs

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We begin with an update on the Mueller inquiry now that Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the special counsel. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss the emails leaked to The New York Times that shed light on how much Trump’s transition team knew about communications and active involvement with the Russians that are illegal under the Logan Act which prohibits private citizens from working with a foreign government against the United States. We assess how much jeopardy Jared Kushner faces since he lobbied members of the UN Security Council behind the back of the U.S. government on behalf of Israel and whether Trump ordered Flynn to contact the Russian Ambassador and Vice President Pence knew about Flynn’s activities.

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Part 2

Then with Trump now tweeting criticism of the FBI, we will speak with Asha Rangappa, a former FBI Special Agent who specialized in counterintelligence investigations, about the central role that FBI counterintelligence played in revealing secret contacts the Trump transition team was making with the Russians and others, and how the acting attorney general at the time Sally Yates was fired for warning Trump based on evidence from FBI counterintelligence that Flynn was compromised by the Russians. We will also examine what Trump’s Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarlane meant when she wrote to Trump’s top advisors about how Trump should pay back the Russians by easing sanctions because Russia “has just thrown the USA election to him”.

ASHA

Part 3

Then finally as the Republican so-called tax reform bill makes its way through conference towards an expected signature by the president, we will look into how this massive reward to the donors will further embed and entrench an American oligarchy while the 99% who have not had a raise since the late 1970’s will be left paying more for less of their share of the American pie and will soon see their social safety net cut in order to pay for the deficits caused by the Republican trillion and a half dollar gift to the oligarchy. An expert on American and global oligarchy, Jeffrey Winters, the author of “Oligarchy”, joins us.

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November 30 - An Urgent Call for Intervention as Trump Loses Touch with Reality; Musical Chairs in the Trump Cabinet; Having Bought the US Government, the Koch Brothers Will Now Be Able to Deduct it as an Expense

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Part 1

We begin with growing indications that President Trump is exhibiting signs of dementia in addition to his obvious lack of impulse control, and get an assessment of if and when concerns expressed by White House insiders will lead to an intervention under the 25th Amendment. Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine who was the lead organizer of the Duty to Warn conference at Yale University out of which the best-selling book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President”, which Dr. Lee edited, emerged, joins us. We discuss growing evidence that Trump is losing touch with reality and how his marked signs of volatility and attraction to violence could lead to a nuclear war with North Korea, and her call for an urgent psychiatric evaluation of the president by an independent panel of experts before he reaches for the nuclear button.
 
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Part 2

Then we look into the rumored musical chairs about to take place in the Trump cabinet with the CIA Director Mike Pompeo elevated to head up the State Department once Rex Tillerson either quits or is fired, a shuffle which is likely to result in Republican freshman Senator Tom Cotton replacing Pompeo at the CIA. We speak with Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace who was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the advisory body to the U.S. State Department. She joins us to discuss the likelihood that there will be little change in U.S. foreign policy which will continue to be damaging to the U.S. and dangerous for the world as long as Trump remains in the Oval Office.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with the author of a new report at Public Citizen, “The Koch Government: How the Koch Brothers Agenda has influenced the Trump Administration”. Alan Zibel, research director of Public Citizen’s Corporate Presidency Project joins us to discuss the extent to which the Koch Brothers have been the main beneficiaries of what the Trump Administration has achieved so far and now are poised to be rewarded mightily by the so-called tax reform bill which eliminates restrictions on tax exempt foundations engaging in politics, meaning that the Kochs will soon be able to deduct the expense they incurred buying the U,S. government.

Alan Zibel

 

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