May 14 - Ivanka Smiles While Palestinians Are Shot Down; Why Does the "Christian" Betsy DeVos Have No Problem With Destroying the Lives of Young Americans?; The Kilauea Summit Crater is About to Explode as it Did in 1924

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We begin with a day of stark contrasts between Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin gleefully announcing the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem while 40 miles away Palestinian protesters were being shot down by Israeli snipers with more than 60 killed and 2,700 wounded. Dr. Guy Ziv, a professor at American University’s School of International Service and Director of the Israeli National Security Project and author of “Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel”, joins us to discuss Prime Minister Netanyahu’s soaring popularity in Israel where he is seen as having got Trump to tear up Obama’s Iran deal and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We will look into whether today’s carnage could be topped by massive demonstrations planned for Tuesday, the day which Palestinians observe as the “Nakba”, the catastrophe, when in the 1948 war Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes. And we will assess whether the U.S. has extracted any concessions from Israel in exchange for handing Netanyahu such massive political gifts and if there is any hope of reviving the two-state solution and the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinian.  

Part 2

Then we examine the staggering hypocrisy of the overtly “Christian” Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who has just shut down the Department of Education’s investigative unit looking into the rampant abuses by for-profit colleges who are subsidized by the taxpayer to rip students off with meaningless education and worthless diplomas, indenturing them for life with crippling student debt they will never be able to pay off because they will never get the jobs they were promised. David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report who was a special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton and a counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to assess why Betsy DeVos has no problem with ruining the lives of young Americans who, instead of being seen as investments in the country’s future, are seen a profit centers to be milked by Wall Street vultures and bottom-feeding scammers.  

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Einat Lev, a volcanologist and research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University whose research focusses on lava flow dynamics at different volcanos around the world including Hawaii. We  discuss her article at CNN “Why Hawaii’s volcano is in danger of going ballistic” and whether, while the focus is on fissures spewing lava on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone, the Kilauea summit crater where the lava lake is dropping precipitously, is about to explode as it did back in 1924 sending giant 8 ton rocks into the air the size of 4 pickup trucks.

 

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May 13 - Violence and Demonstrations Are Expected When the US Moves Its Embassy to Jerusalem; A New Gulf War Could Both Revive Putin and Be a Boost for Electric Cars; California's Speaker on Republican Efforts to Punish the World's 5th Largest Economy

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We begin with the expected violence and demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank and across the Arab world accompanying Monday’s move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and speak with Asher Kaufman, Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a professor of History and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. who taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was the Director of Middle East Studies at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He joins us to discuss tomorrow’s controversial move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem which President Trump will not be present at but his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both senior White House advisors, will be in attendance for the opening ceremonies.  We also assess the broader roiling landscape in the Middle East following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal and recent exchanges of missile fire between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria and while Ivanka Trump tweeted out that she is praying for peace, we examine the potential for another war in the region.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Robert Bell, the former Chair of the Finance and Business Management Department at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and author of “The Green Bubble”. He joins us to discuss his article in the major French newspaper Le Monde “Is This the Explanation of Trump’s and Putin’s Diplomacy?” which explores the possibility that rising tensions in the Gulf between the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran following the U.S. pullout of the Iran agreement and rising tensions between Iran and Israel over an Iranian military buildup in Syria, could lead to another war in the Gulf which would cause a dramatic rise in the price of oil and be a huge windfall for American oil companies and frackers as well as  Russia and Putin.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with the Speaker Pro Tem of the California Senate Kevin de Leon who is challenging long-time incumbent U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein in the upcoming California primary on June 5th. He joins us to discuss how Trump and the Republicans are punishing the successful state of California which is now the world’s fifth largest economy, and how Democrats can win over alienated centrist Republicans disgusted with Trump’s capture of the GOP.

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May 10 - A Former CIA Interrogator on the Haspel Nomination; Are Pompeo and Bolton Heading for a Showdown?; Caught Between Putin and Trump, Will American Democracy Be Saved by Robert Mueller?

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We begin with Senator McCain urging his colleagues to vote against the confirmation of Gina Haspel to head up the CIA because of her equivocation over renouncing torture as immoral and speak with a former member of the CIA’s clandestine Service who tried to stop the torture program from the inside the agency while Dick Cheney was ordering them to double down on a practice that was both immoral and ineffective. Glenn Carle, who retired from the CIA in 2007 as deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats and is the author of “The Interrogator: An Education”, joins us from Tokyo. We will discuss the local reaction to the summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un now scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, and whether McCain’s thumbs down on Haspel could sway other Republican senators and wavering Democrats to reject her nomination to head up the CIA as well as the failure of senators to question Haspel during the public confirmation hearings on the fact that, in spite of Trump’s claim to the contrary, the CIA has found no evidence that Iran has cheated on its commitments to the JCPOA deal which Trump just pulled the U.S. out of.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Thomas Wright, a fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy, as well as a fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. The author of “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power”, he joins us to discuss his article at Politico “John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Are Headed for a Clash” and how the pragmatic and ambitious Pompeo has his eyes on the presidency while the ideological Bolton, has no sense of strategy beyond nationalism and a hatred of multilateralism.  

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Part 3

Then finally we get an insightful briefing on the tenuous state of American democracy as we find ourselves caught between two kleptocratic and autocratic criminals. One, Vladimir Putin, has used fascist tactics to neutralize democracy in Russia and justify rule by wealthy oligarchs. And the other is a wannabe billionaire whose business was rescued by Russian dirty money, Donald Trump, who owes his election to the Russian intelligence services and is attacking the very foundation of American democracy, the rule of law, as the special counsel Robert Mueller closes in on him. Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale and author of “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” joins us to discuss his latest book just out, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America”.

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May 9 - Are Israel's and Saudi Arabia's Leaders Drawing the US Into Fighting Iran on Their Behalf?; Trump's CIA Pick Refuses to Say Torture Was Morally Wrong; How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics

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We begin with an assessment of what is widely seen as a strategic blunder and foreign policy malpractice by President Trump who yesterday tore up an agreement which the U.S. signed together with the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany just as Trump is poised to sign another agreement with North Korea. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who now teaches at the College of William and Mary and has an article at The American Conservative “Gina Haspel and How Torture Deceived Us Into Iraq”, joins us. In the absence of any alternative policy or rational explanation for such a destabilizing and unnecessary act, we  discuss how much Trump is motivated by spite in undoing his predecessor’s achievements following his racist campaign of hatred towards Barack Obama whose birth certificate and legitimacy Trump rose to political prominence questioning. Or could it be Trump’s own ego-driven exaggerated sense of fulfilling his campaign promises, no matter how ridiculous, at the expense of U.S. National Security and global peace? With Iran now free to pursue nuclear weapons as the U.S. moves away from diplomacy towards military confrontation, are the leaders of Israel and Saudi Arabia hoping to draw the U.S. into fighting a war against Iran on their behalf?

Part 2

Then with Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee to head up the CIA, refusing to say in senate testimony today that the torture program she was involved in was morally wrong, we will speak with Stephen Soldz, an anti-torture advisor with Physicians for Human Rights who is the co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and was a dissident psychologist inside the American Psychological Association who opposed their collaboration with the Bush/Cheney torture regime. We discuss America’s ill-fated journey to the dark side and how torture does not work.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with David Faris, a professor of political science at Roosevelt University and the author of a new book just out “It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics”. He joins us to discuss how Democrats have got to battle for democracy as vigorously as Republicans fight for power and undo voter suppression, reverse gerrymandering and stop the capture of the courts by Federalist Society reactionaries by winning electoral power then using it to carry out the will of the majority.

 

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May 8 - Trump's Monumentally Stupid Gift to Iran's Hardliners; The Legal, Moral and Ethical Gap Between Private Behavior and Public Policy; New Extensive Evidence of Trump's Long-Standing Ties to Russian Gangsters

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We begin with the expected withdrawal from the JCPOA Iran agreement by President Trump today which America’s allies tried to warn against because the only winners will be the hardliners in Iran who will be drawn closer into a strategic embrace with Russia and China in spite of the yearning of the Iranian people to join the West and be free of the corrupt theocratic regime which has wrecked and looted their economy but has now been given a new lease on life by Donald TrumpAbbas Milani, the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University who taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, joins us to discuss today’s tragic betrayal of hope for reform in Iran and a dangerous step away from diplomacy towards war. Given the volatile mix of proxies, surrogates and Erik Prince’s mercenary army in the Emirates, it would not take much to spark another war in the Gulf and the wider Middle East that neither the U.S. or Iran wants, but one that Israel’s Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and America’s new National Security Advisor John Bolton would love to see happen.

 

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Part 2

Then we explore the roiling legal, moral and ethical landscape between private behavior and public policy with the sudden downfall of New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman following revelations in The New Yorker of his violent private sexual behavior which four women have come forward to report. Tiziana Dearing, a professor of social work and co-director of the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College joins us to discuss how this latest expose of a prominent liberal politician, who was seen by many as the Plan B of the Russia investigation if Trump fires Mueller, fits in this era of the #metoo movement in the context of the U.S. having a leader who boasts about being a sexual predator and is increasingly mired in tacky sexual scandal, yet his approval is going up in the polls.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Seth Hettena the author of a new book just out today “Trump/Russia: A Definitive History”. An award-winning journalist who was a long-time investigative reporter for the Associated Press, he joins us to discuss the enormous amount of evidence he has complied on Trump’s dealing with Russia that go back to 1984 and reveal a long-standing relationship Trump has had with mobsters and organized crime bosses which makes the case that Trump’s business plan is based on laundering money for Russian and Ukrainian gangsters.

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