2016 Programs

2016 Program Archive

August 30 - Republicans Fast Track Kavanaugh Before He Is Properly Vetted; US Complicity with Saudi and UAE Atrocities in Yemen; The Nationwide Prison Strike Against Prison Slavery

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We begin with the upcoming battle next week in the Senate to decide whether or not to confirm a new Supreme Court justice who has made it clear he wants to give presidents more power which many people find alarming since Brett Kavanaugh was chosen by a president who is himself under investigation. Lisa Graves, Co-director of Documented who formerly served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us to discuss what could emerge from the mountains of emails and documents Democrats are pouring over from the long record that Brett Kavanaugh has generated as both a political operative and a federal judge. And although Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially advised President Trump not to pick Kavanaugh, the expectation is that all of the Senate Republicans will vote to confirm Kavanaugh with Vice President Pence as an extra vote if needed. Given that mathematical problem, we look into what options the Democrats might have in stopping someone who will move the Supreme Court in an even more right wing direction overturning abortion and LBGTQ rights and what is left of labor and voting rights to name a few.

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Part 2

Then with the U.N. issuing a blistering report blaming Saudi Arabia and the UAE for most of the civilian deaths in the war in Yemen which is finally getting the attention of U.S. lawmakers, we will speak with Ali Al-Ahmed, the founder and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. An expert on Saudi political affairs and Saudi-American relations, he joins us to discuss plans by the Pentagon to train Saudi Arabian military pilots on U.S. soil and the latest evidence that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince known as MBS is not the reformer many gullible Western journalist proclaimed him to be.  

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Part 3

Then finally, we speak with Erik Loomis, a professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and author of “Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe” and his latest book just out, “A History of America in Ten Strikes”. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Serving Time Should Not Mean ‘Prison Slavery’” and the national strike by prisoners underway which is the largest prison strike in the nation’s recent history aimed at ending forced labor under state coercion which should be a top priority for the American labor movement to put an end to.

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August 29 - Are GOP Donors Funding Conservative Democratic Candidates?; Trump's Spiteful Punishment of Canada; McGahn Exits After Stacking the Courts

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We begin with the results of Tuesday’s primaries in Florida and Arizona and speak with a progressive activist Howie Klein who blogs at downwithtyranny.com and supports and advises progressive candidates, one of whom, Andrew Gillum, the African-American mayor of Tallahassee, pulled off a surprise upset win in Florida’s gubernatorial race and now faces Republican Ron DeSantis, a cartoon Trumpster who right out of the gate urged Floridians in a racist dog-whistle call not to “monkey up” the GOPs chances of winning in Florida. We discuss the battle within the Democratic Party between the establishment and progressive insurgents like Andrew Gillum who generated grassroots enthusiasm and support while across most of the House and Senate races in Florida and Arizona well-funded establishment Democrats won most of the races. We will also look into reports that Republican donors are engaged in a subversive form of political triage by funding conservative Democratic candidates in primaries. Resigned to the prospect that the Democratic Blue wave will sweep Republicans out of the House, apparently some big GOP donors are secretly funding the other side of the aisle to ensure that the next congress will not move too much in a progressive direction.

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Part 2

Then with Trump punishing Canada out of pure spite because he is out to destroy Prime Minister Trudeau who he has labelled “weak and dishonest”, we will speak with Rodrigue Tremblay, professor emeritus of economics and international finance at the University of Montreal. He served as a member of the Committee of Dispute Settlements of the North America Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, the very agreement Trump is undoing with a new U.S. – Mexico accord which has blindsided the Canadians who have only a few days until Friday to negotiate their way into the new deal or be left on the sidelines at the mercy of the giant American economy ten times the size of Canada’s.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the apparent surrender by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a deal with Mitch McConnell to confirm a bunch of Trump’s judges so that they could get out of town, a craven move which prompted Schumer’s former spokesman Brian Fallon to fume “Trading this many lifetime positions away for a couple of days back home in the dead of August is a metaphor for how myopic the Democrat’s approach has been at this dark moment in history”. Andy Kroll, the D.C. bureau chief for Rolling Stone joins us to discuss White House Counsel Don McGahn’s departure and his article at Rolling Stone “Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover”.

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August 28 - Trump is Undermining the Rule of Law and Trust in Our Justice System; A Criticism of McCain, His Record and Legacy; The Communications Director of the McCain 2000 Presidential Campaign

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We begin with growing concerns about the damage Donald Trump is doing to the rule of law and trust in the justice system in this country as he undermines the Department of Justice and attacks the credibility and impartiality of the FBI almost on a daily basis. Richard Primus, a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and has a new paper at the Michigan Law Review “The Republic in Long-Term Perspective", joins us to discuss Trump’s bad man attitude to the law. Now, as a result of the ceaseless trashing of the FBI by the President of the United States, FBI agents testifying in court are being seen by some jurors as agents of the “Deep State”. Furthermore Trump’s call to outlaw what he called “flippers”, confidential informants who “flip” and testify against other criminals, is seen by prosecutors as an invitation to wholesale criminality since “flipping” is an essential tool used across the board by federal, state and local law enforcement, without which mob bosses and drug King Pins would have impunity. With our president sounding more and more like a mob boss instead of the leader upholding the rule of law which underpins our democracy, we will assess how long the damage Trump is doing to the law will last. And as the social fabric of the country is shredded by his incivility, division and desecration, whether since Trump has shown the way, another bad leader could emerge as an effective would-be strongman, rather than a bumbling one we have now.

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Part 2

Then with this whole week dedicated to praising the memory of John McCain leading up to Saturday’s ceremony at which Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will eulogize the late senator while the current president will be conspicuously absent, we hear from a critic of McCain and his record and legacy. Bill Zimmerman, an author and long-time activist who was a strategic communications consultant to Moveon.org and is the author of “Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties”, join us.

Bill Zimmerman

Part 3

Then finally we hear from the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, Dan Schnur. He is now the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California and we discuss McCain’s recent efforts to bridge the depth of division and heal our polarized politics. With an example of the challenge ahead being how some supporters of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted the rising star on the political left for her sympathetic tweet in support of Senator McCain.

Dan Schnur, political analyst

 

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August 27 - Lessons From the Chicago Riots 50 Years Later; Student Loan Ombudsman Quits as Trump Dismantles the CFPB; The UN Accuses Burma's Government of Genocide

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On this 50thanniversary of the riots surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago we will begin with Marilyn Katz, a writer, consultant and long-time political activist. She was head of security for the anti-war group Students for a Democratic Society at the time and we will look back at this key moment in our history as the forces of the establishment clashed with an insurgent anti-establishment counter-culture protesting a senseless and endless war in Vietnam. We discuss the role of television carrying the riots into the living rooms of America with the CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite commenting on the air on August 25, 1968 as the convention began that “The Democratic Convention is about to begin in a police state. There just doesn’t seem to be any other way to say it”. Amid the mayhem outside and the chaos inside the convention, the unpopular Democratic candidate, the then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey, won the nomination and was subsequently narrowly beaten in the general election by the law and order candidate Richard Nixon. This has led many historians to conclude that the televised riots, later referred to as the “police riots”, cost the Democrats the White House and prolonged the Vietnam War under Nixon. With a resistance movement growing in opposition to the unpopular Trump Administration today, we explore lessons learned fifty years later on how to bring about regime change in America.

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Part 2

Then with the resignation today of the ombudsman overseeing the $1.5 trillion student loan market in protest to the White House’s open hostility toward protecting the nation’s millions of student loan borrowers, we will speak with David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report. He was a special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee and joins us to discuss how the Trump Administration is aggressively dismantling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to free up predatory lenders to indenture America’s students with a lifetime of debt and worthless diplomas.  

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Part 3

 
Then finally we examine the report issued by the United Nations which finds six senior military officials in Burma-Myanmar guilty of genocide against the Rohinga Muslim minority, 700,000 of whom have fled for their live to Bangladesh. A specialist on Burma-Myanmar, David Steinberg, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies at Georgetown University, joins us to discuss the irony that a government ostensibly led by the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace has been referred to the International Criminal Court for “indiscriminate killing, gang raping women, assaulting children and burning entire villages”.
 
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August 26 - A Remembrance of Senator John McCain; A Report from Ireland on the Pope's Visit; Is It Too Late to Protect the 2018 Election from Russian Meddling?

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We begin with a remembrance of Senator John McCain who died on Saturday a few days short of his 82nd birthday and speak with Norm Ornstein, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and co-author of “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”. He led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold and we will discuss how, now that the GOP has been captured by Trump, John McCain appears to be among the last of an endangered species of Republicans who are principled and patriotic. With McCain gone and Senators Corker and Flake retiring, there are very few Republican senators left who are willing to stand up to Trump and defend traditional Republican values and the legacy of the party of Lincoln at a time when the leader of the GOP is acting and talking like a mob boss as the ugly truth about his associates and business practices emerge. We assess whether this is a moment for the silent majority to speak out against the tyranny of the vocal minority inside the alternative universe of Fox News who seem willfully blind to the growing evidence that America’s president is compromised by a hostile foreign power. And that the Trump Organization’s business model is and was laundering Russian mob money via cash deals through shell companies which bought 1,300 Trump condos for Russian investors.

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Part 2

Then we go to Ireland to speak with Susan McKay, an award-winning Irish journalist and author of “Bear in Mind These Dead”. She joins us to discuss her article at The Guardian “What will the Pope have to say now that Ireland’s dirty secrets are out?” and how Pope Francis dealt with the onslaught of criticism from Irish Catholics and victims of sexual abuse by clergy punished further by the subsequent cover-ups by the church hierarchy. We get a report on the Stand for Truth rally and criticism leveled at the Pope to stop praying and do something about the ongoing crisis in the church.

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Part 3

Then finally we discuss the warning by the former head of security at Facebook, Alex Stamos, who wrote a blog post last week “It’s Too Late to Protect the 2018 Elections. But Here’s How the U.S. Can Prepare for 2020”. David Carroll, a professor of media design at the New School who explores the intersection between media design, culture, politics, privacy, surveillance, social media and journalism, joins us to assess whether Russia will meddle with the midterms to help Trump as they did in 2016.

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