2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

October 30 - Trump and the Resurgence of Anti-Semitism in America; Trump's Unwelcome Visit to Pittsburgh; Are Bombs and Mass Shootings a Welcome Distraction for Trump from the Saudi Debacle?

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We begin with the funerals today of the victims of a massacre of worshipers in a Pittsburgh synagogue gunned down by an avowed anti-Semite and discuss the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the United States since Donald Trump came into office with a 57% jump in anti-Semitic attacks in 2017 following a 35% rise in 2016 when Trump was campaigning. David Myers the Chair in Jewish History and the Director of the Luskin Center for History and Policy at UCLA joins us to explain how a conspiracy theory became a perverted ideology which flourished in the 1930’s thanks to industrialists like Henry Ford spreading its hateful delusions. But with a million Americans dead and wounded at the hands of the Nazi’s and the revelations of the death camps in 1945, anti-Semitism became a dormant virus only to reemerge with the arrival of Donald Trump whose kid-glove treatment of neo-Nazi and white supremacists has emboldened fringe groups to enter the political mainstream. We will also discuss the paradox that since most American Jews live in coastal metropolitan Blue States, the lack of familiarity with Jews in rural Red States allows for anti-Semitism to take root in spite of the fact that the Religious Right which dominates conservative politics in these states, is an ardent champion of Israel resulting in American anti-Semites loving Israel while hating Jews. On top of that there is the irony that the State of Israel does not recognized the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre as Jews since according to Israel’s chief rabbis, the Tree of Life synagogue is not a real synagogue.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Kristin Kanthak, a professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh about her article at CNN, “Hate can’t diminish ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.  A resident of Squirrel Hill where the massacre took place, she joins us to discuss the vigils today and the unwelcome arrival of President Trump and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner in Pittsburgh which was boycotted by political leaders and local officials along with the neighborhood’s Representative in Congress, a Democrat who was not invited by the White House to attend a presidential photo-op which is attracting a large crowd of protesters.  

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Part 3

Then finally with the President today throwing out yet another bone to rile up his base, this time a dubious claim that he alone can end birthright citizenship with an executive order, we look into how much the bombings and mass shootings have been a welcome distraction for the White House from the embarrassing attempt at a cover-up by Trump and Jared’s close friend the Saudi Crown Prince who most observers believe ordered the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Michael Brenner, a Professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh who was a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department, joins us.

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October 29 - Brazil's Alarming New Leader; Can Democrats Count on the Latino Vote?; Trump is Manufacturing a Border Crisis

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We begin with the election of a far right former Army captain as the next president of Brazil, the world’s fourth largest democracy. James Green, Professor of Modern Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies as well as Director of the Brazil Initiative at Brown University, joins us to discuss the alarming facts about who the clear winner of Sunday’s election Jair Bolsonaro is, what he believes, and what he has said. Having insulted women, gays and Brazil’s majority of citizens of African decent, Bolsonaro has given clear indications that he will remove restraints stopping the farming and mining lobby from cutting down more of Brazil’s rainforests, often referred to as the lungs of the earth. He has also threatened to remove protections which indigenous peoples have been given to save their rainforests and ancestral lands. We also discuss why left of center parties that have ruled for decades in France, Italy and Germany like the worker’s Party in Brazil, have dramatically lost ground to right wing populism. And we will assess what role the military might have in Bolsonaro’s Brazil given the likelihood that they will play a dominate role in the future which many fear could auger a return of right wing military dictatorship.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Ruy Teixeira, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress whose latest book is “The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think” about his article at The Guardian, “Democrats hope Latino voters will help them win. Don’t count on it.” With over 90% of the eligible Latino voters concentrated in 10 states and 56% living in California, Texas and Florida, we discuss polls that indicate the Democrats are underperforming with Latino voters, 55% of whom have not been contacted in any way about the upcoming election. Meanwhile Republicans in California and Texas, including Ted Cruz who is drawing 37% of the Latino vote in spite of the impressive challenge by Beto O’Rourke, are not behind Democrats by a wide margin.

Ruy Teixeira

Part 3

Then finally, with 5,200 troops heading for the Southern border in the Trump Administration’s “Operation Faithful Patriot”, we speak with Ryan Devereaux, an award-wining investigative journalist covering immigration enforcement, the drug war and national security for The Intercept where he has an article “How the Trump Administration is Manufacturing a New Border Crisis”. He joins us to discuss the drumbeat of organized hysteria Fox News and the right wing echo chamber are ginning up, orchestrated by Fox’s Bill Shine at the White House, to make the caravan of migrants from Central America, seem like an apocalyptic alien invasion.

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October 28 - The Week of Hate Inflamed By Trump and Murdoch; How Steve Mnuchin Made the MAGA Bomber Homeless; The Golden Handcuffs on Trump's Women

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We begin with the week of hate in America starting last Monday with a pipe bomb delivered to George Soros then on Wednesday a white supremacist shot two African Americans at random in a store in Kentucky, then as the week proceeded more pipe bombs were delivered to two former presidents, a Secretary of State, an Attorney General, a former head of the CIA, the former Director of National Intelligence, two U.S. Senators and a Congresswoman. By Friday the would-be assassin and bomb-maker was caught after mailing 14 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats singled out by Trump for vilification. And just as the bomber’s pro-Trump profile and burning hatred of Democrats, Jews, gays, Muslims, blacks, Latinos, and CNN emerged, on Saturday a heavily-armed white man shouting anti-Semitic hate opened fire in a Pittsburg synagogue killing 11 worshipers and wounding two more as well as four police officers. David Neiwert, an award-winning journalist, author and expert on right-wing extremism whose latest book is “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump”, joins us. We will discuss the obvious connection between Trump’s rhetoric and his apparent inability to criticize American neo-Nazis and white supremacists which has enabled fringe movements to enter the mainstream, emboldened to act on their sick beliefs and tortured conspiracies that are propagated by Fox News, Breitbart, Limbaugh and Alex Jones.

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Part 2

Then we look into why the alleged bomber Cesar Sayoc was attracted to Trump with cult-like fervor to the point he decided to assassinate Trump’s critics in the leadership of the Democratic Party, along with top former intelligence officials and Trump’s “enemies of the people”, the press.  David Dayen, a contributing writer to Salon.com and The Intercept where his latest article is “Cesar Sayoc’s Home Was Foreclosed on by Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Using Dodgy Paperwork”, joins us to look into how Sayoc became homeless and ended up living in a van and blaming Democrats instead of those who are taking away what’s left of a social safety net this ill and troubled man so clearly needed.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Nina Burleigh, the National Politics Correspondent at Newsweek who latest book, just out is “Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women”. She joins us to discuss Trump’s wives and daughters and the connections that Ivana the mother of Trump’s children Don Junior, Eric and Ivanka has had with Czech intelligence and the KGB and the role of Rupert Murdoch who is not just the major propagandist for Trump and one of his main advisors, but the matchmaker who brought Ivanka and Jared Kushner together.

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October 25 - A Murderous Prince Will Bribe a Corrupt Dictator; The Consequences of Hate Speech; "Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen"

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We begin with the alarming possibility that the brutal and unconstrained Saudi Crown Prince MbS will get away with a gruesome murder that shocked the world because the corrupt Turkish dictator Erdogan who may or may not have the evidence of what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, is so easily bribed. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and author of “An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship”, joins us to discuss his article at the Globe Post, “U.S. Needs Strategic Balance in Dealing with Saudi Arabia and Iran” and how Erdogan is likely to line his pockets rather than reveal the evidence of MbS’s guilt which he has been dribbling out. And although there are reports that Erdogan is trying to talk King Salman into not having MbS ascend to the Saudi throne, the likelihood is that this reckless, ignorant young leader will be around for decades causing a lot more chaos than the disastrous record so far in his short tenure as Crown Prince.  But with America led by a venal and callous president and his sycophantic Secretary of State, along with our own wrecking ball John Bolton, the kind of strategic balance in the region between Saudi Arabia and Iran that David Phillips is calling for is not likely to come from this administration, unless the American people rise up and vote these corrupt incompetents out of office.   

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University and a cultural critic who writes on fascism, racism, authoritarian rulers and propaganda. She joins us to discuss her article at CNN, “Mail bombs: Hate speech can have consequences” and we examine some historical parallels with the rise of Mussolini in the 1920’s and rise of political violence in America today under a president who has been inciting political violence throughout his campaign and presidency. We also assess whether Trump will resort to a “Reichstag fire” event to distract the public and inflame his base prior to the election.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the latest surge of demonization of immigrants as a threat to U.S. national security from Trump who is unleashing shameless demagoguery at the caravan of migrants heading north from Central America to our southern border where Trump has now deployed the U.S. military. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas, joins us to discuss his new book, just out, “Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen” and what it is like living in the shadows with no fixed address while being subject to deportation at any moment.

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October 24 - The Obvious Connection Between Trump's Rhetoric and Right Wing Violence; The Possible Motives and the Methods of the Bomber; Voter Suppression in the Tight Gubernatorial Race in Georgia

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We begin with the attempted bombing of George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Brennan and Congresswoman Maxine Walters, all of whom Donald Trump has demonized and singled out for abuse. Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist who studies the spread of conspiracy theories in the media and on the Internet, and political cults who is the author of “Right Wing Populism in America: Too Close to Home” and editor of “Eyes Right! Challenging the Right Wing Backlash”, joins us. We discuss Donald Trump’s responsibility for the emergence of right wing radicals, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who have made their way into the political mainstream clearly emboldened by Trump’s election and presidency to now strut their stuff on the streets of America like the “Proud Boys” did recently in front of the Republican Club in Manhattan. We assess whether efforts underway by Fox News, Limbaugh and the right wing echo chamber to blame the attempted assassinations on a Democratic false flag operation will work, and explore the connection between right wing violence and the hateful rhetoric of a president who makes no attempt to be the president for all Americans. Instead Trump consistently riles up his base with fiery, divisive rhetoric rife full of personal attacks on critics and leading Democratic figures to the extent that it is little wonder one of Trump’s acolytes might be motivated to assassinate someone they see as part of a plot to destroy America.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week who joins us to discuss his article at The Week “America has a right wing terrorism problem” and make the obvious connection between Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and the actions of a likely follower of the president who was motivated to blow up the president’s enemies because Trump has cast Democrats and those he has singled out for denigration and demagoguery as enemies of America. We look into the motives and methods of the bomber who may be among the group Trump says he loves “the poorly educated”, because of misspelling on the packages and the fact that John Brennan works for MSNBC, not CNN where a package addressed to him with a pipe bomb inside was intercepted in the mailroom, causing the evacuation of a high-rise building in Manhattan.  

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the neck-and-neck gubenatorial race in Georgia that is tied in the polls and examine the recent debate between the Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams and the Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp who is overseeing his own election while brazenly suppressing the votes of likely Democratic voters. Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science at Emory University who worked as an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, joins us to discuss why the tape that Rolling Stone obtained incriminating Kemp in discussing voter suppression tactics was not brought up in the debate.

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