2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

November 29 - Despite Trump's Threats, North Korean Missiles Can Now Reach the US; How Republican Tax "Reform" Will Reward America's Plutocracy and Shred Our Democracy; Trump Makes Common Cause with Despots Who Murder and Jail Their Press

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We begin with the latest North Korean missile test that indicates their missiles now have a range to hit all of the continental United States and Australia. George Lopez, a Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University who was on the United Nations Panel of Experts for monitoring and implementing UN sanctions on North Korea, joins us to discuss the extent to which Kim Jong-un has called Trump’s “fire and fury” bluff resulting in the president’s limp response promising today to increase sanctions on the Kim regime, tweeting lamely that “this situation will be handled”. We will examine the lack of military options and the need for a diplomatic initiative and whether Trump who is re-tweeting far right anti-Muslim fake videos, reviving the Obama birther conspiracy, suggesting that Joe Scarborough murdered his intern and claiming that the Donald Trump captured on the “Access Hollywood” video was not him, has the competence or the stability to handle an increasingly dangerous situation that he has made worse.

 

George A. Lopez

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Then we get an analysis of the extremely unpopular so-called tax reform bill before the extremely unpopular Congress which in spite of exploding the deficit, rewarding the already-rich while shafting 99% of Americans, looks like it will pass and be signed by an extremely unpopular president. Dr. Jacob Hacker, a professor of Political Science at Yale University and an expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy and author with Paul Pierson of “American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper”, joins us to discuss how the Republicans are clearly more afraid of their donors than their voters and will empower the plutocracy even further no matter how much is shreds our democracy.

Jacob Hacker's picture

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Alexandra Ellerbeck, the North America Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists about the global implications of Trump’s attack on the press who he has labelled as “the enemy of the people” and “fake news”. Not only is he putting foreign correspondents for CNN International and other outlets in greater jeopardy, but since Trump has taken his complaints about the press abroad and made common cause with leaders who are either murdering, jailing or taking control of their press in Poland, China, Turkey and The Philippines, he is contributing to the global retreat of democracy and empowering the spread of autocracy.

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November 28 - A Major Battle Over the Separation of Powers at the CFPB; Trump Exposes Foreign Correspondents to Even More Danger; Mainstreaming Extremism

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We begin with the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which is now in the hands of a Trump-appointed Federal judge to decide whether Leandra English who was appointed acting director by outgoing Director of the CFPB Richard Cordray is in charge or Mick Mulvaney who Trump has appointed as acting director. Kimberly Wehle, a Professor of Law at The University of Baltimore School of Law and a former federal prosecutor, joins us to discuss her concern that Trump is constitutionally out of line and in creating this showdown between two branches of government, a major battle over the separation of powers is shaping up. And if Mulvaney is allowed to be seated by the courts as the head of the CFPB, it would give the President new powers to pick and choose which federal law Trump wants to comply with.

 

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Then we look into Trump’s latest attack on CNN, calling CNN International fake news, and what consequences this could have for foreign correspondents abroad covering the news in countries runs by despots and criminals who are now calling criticism of their corrupt and brutal regimes, fake news. Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickerson University and author of “Fox News and American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics and Society”, joins us to discuss Trump’s tweet that Fox News “is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN” which he claims “represents our nation to the world very poorly”.

cassino HALF

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Then finally we speak with David Neiwert, an award-winning journalist, author and expert on American right wing extremism about his new book “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump”. He joins us to discuss accusations against The New York Times for normalizing a suburban neo-Nazi they profiled and whether the issue is not so much about right wing extremists entering the mainstream, as America itself being in the process of mainstreaming extremism.

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November 27 - Trump Moves to Cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; The Pope's Delicate Diplomacy in Myanmar; Punishing Ph.D. Students to Give Tax Cuts to the Richest Americans

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We begin with the standoff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which now has two acting directors, one Leandra English is the deputy to the outgoing Director of the CFPB Richard Cordray, and the other is an avowed enemy of the CFPB Mick Mulvaney who Trump has appointed as acting director. Dennis Kelleher, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets Inc., a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the U.S. and global financial markets, joins us. We discuss a bureau that has been under constant political assault from Republicans since it was created under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and how President Trump, who ran against Wall Street but has since proven to be the financial industry’s most faithful servant, will reward Wall Street by crippling the most effective watchdog against financial abuse and predatory behavior that has resulted in 30 million American consumers collecting $12 billion in refunds.

 

Part 2

Then we examine the Pope’s visit to Myanmar, Burma and the delicate diplomacy underway with Burma’s small Catholic community urging the Pope not to even utter the word “Rohinga” despite global condemnation of the ethnic cleansing that has driven Burma’s Muslim minority into neighboring Bangladesh where their future in crowded refugee camps is uncertain. David Steinberg, a distinguished professor of Asian Studies Emeritus at Georgetown University and a former member of the Senior Foreign Service and author of “Burma: The State of Myanmar”, joins us to discuss how the Pope is trying to exercise his moral authority while not exposing Burmese Catholics to a backlash of persecution.

David steinberg

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Then finally we speak with Christopher Marsicano, a Ph.D candidate studying higher education policy in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. He joins us to discuss his article at The Los Angeles Times “If the GOP gets its way on taxes, the party could doom post-graduate education in the U.S.” and how the country’s best and brightest who live on $25,000 per year will see a 400% increase in their taxes under the House GOP bill to offset tax cuts for the biggest corporations and the richest Americans. 
 
Christopher R. Marsicano, PhD Student in Leadership and Policy Studies

 

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November 26 - A Timeline and Road Map of the Mueller Investigation; An Analysis of the Republican's So-Called Tax Reform; The Sinai Slaughter Exposes General Sisi as a Fraud

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With the recent news that Michael Flynn is presumably cooperating with Robert Mueller, we begin with a roadmap of the Mueller investigation and explore the “follow the money” strand, the political operatives strand, and the digital Kushner/Bannon/Mercer strand that will likely coalesce into a conclusion by the special counsel to recommend the impeachment of President Trump if Trump does not fire Mueller first to try to shut down the inquiry. Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University who blogs at “The Belly of the Beast” and has an article with Bill Moyers at Billmoyers.com “The Trump-Russia Story is Coming Together. Here’s How to Make Sense of It”, joins us.  Having produced timelines and a map with over 700 entries of the entangles ties between Putin and Trump and the murky world of Russian oligarchs, state officials, hackers, spies and Republican operatives, Steven Harper  discuss how everything that Trump, his cabinet, his campaign and his complicit GOP Congress has said about connections and collusion between Trump and Russia is a lie.

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Then with the upcoming week the crucial test of whether the Republican Senate will pass their version of the so-called tax reform bill, we get an analysis of what we know about it so far from economist James Galbraith the Chair in Government/Business Relations and a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He joins us to discuss the Republican race to get something passed before voters notice how damaging this obscene gift to the super-rich donors at the expense of the middle class will be to the average American, coupled with the pressure on Republican lawmakers to get any legislation passed no matter how disastrous it will be for the American people and the economy.

LBJ School faculty member James K. Galbraith

Part 3

Then finally we look into the slaughter in the Sinai that has outraged the Egyptian people and exposed the central fraud of General Sisi’s military dictatorship, revealing that a military government cannot even provide basic security for its citizens. Samer Shehata, a professor of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of “Islamist Politics in the Middle East” joins us to discuss the blowback from the worst bloodshed of its kind in modern Egyptian history resulting from the ISIS attack on a Sufi mosque in the northern Sinai that killed over 300 worshipers, including 27 children.

 

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November 23 - An Exploration of the Megatrends That Will Impact Our Lives and the Planet; How to Build on the Values of Thanksgiving to End the Trump Nightmare

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We begin on this Thanksgiving with an exploration into the megatrends that will impact our lives and the planet as we gather to celebrate that which we have to give thanks for. The author of “The 8 Laws of Change”, Stephan Schwartz, the editor of the daily web publication the Schwartzreport.net, which concentrates on trends that will shape the future, joins us to discuss his new book “Awakening” and how simply being born white or male will no longer confer privilege in the future and how a new form of global feudalism is evolving with a handful of plutocratic families controlling most of the world’s wealth, while a vast worldwide peasantry scrambles to make a living as competition bids down labor and technological advances make traditional work obsolete. We also explore hopeful trends as a growing mass movement develops as citizens around the world begin to realize what they have in common and how they are all in lifeboat earth together which is threatened by rising sea levels from global warming, presenting a global challenge that transcends national boundaries.

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Part 2

Then we continue the conversation on Thanksgiving with Frank Schaeffer, a best-selling author whose parent Francis and Edith Schaeffer were world-famous evangelical speakers and authors, and Frank previously worked for such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. However he felt increasingly alienated and experienced a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure from the evangelical movement. The author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books, he joins us to discuss his latest iBook “Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption – In an Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies” and talk about how the values of non-commercial family holiday Thanksgiving can be built upon to rescue the country from the Trump nightmare.

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