September 12 - Extreme Weather Now the New Normal; The EU Censures Hungary's Victor Orban; Are China and Russia Becoming Allies?

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We begin with the huge hurricane bearing down on the Carolinas and analyze why increasingly destructive and costly floods, fires, droughts and hurricanes are happening with more frequency and intensity as extreme weather becomes the new normal. Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with others on the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change and author of “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy”, joins us. We discuss the disconnect between the reality facing us and the planet and the policies of the Trump Administration which go beyond denial to outright hostility to the modest efforts so far to deal with the worsening climate crisis. As global warming makes the Atlantic Ocean warmer, hurricanes are moving north from their usual trajectory of hitting the Caribbean to striking population centers on America’s East coast, meaning it will be only a matter of time before New York City is directly impacted by a super-storm. Meanwhile Trump and his cabinet in the pocket of the oil and gas lobby, are making it easier for oil and gas companies to pollute with impunity by releasing methane, a virulent global warming gas 100 times worse than CO2.

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Part 2

Then we get an update on the censure vote today in the European Parliament to punish Hungary’s leader Victor Orban for breaches of the core values of the European Union and speak with R. Daniel Kelemen, the Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Center for European Studies at Rutgers University. He joins us to discuss whether the EU rule Article 7 could be triggered to suspend Hungary from the 28 member EU which is unlikely because Poland is likely to veto such a move,

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Part 3

Then finally, we examine what might be going on in terms of some kind of budding relationship between Russia and China as the countries two leaders met today in Vladivostok and made pancakes together on the waterfront at Russia’s Pacific port as a major military exercise involving 300,000 troops, 36,000 tanks and 1,000 aircraft got underway with Chinese troops drilling with Russian service members in the “Vostok 2018” war games. Gilbert Rozman, a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University who specializes in Russian and Chinese relations, joins us to assess whether these historical rivals are becoming allies.

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September 11 - Patriotism as the Last Refuge of the Scoundrel in the Oval Office; The War on Terror 17 Years Later; Evangelical Pastors of Vote Common Good Campaigning Against Republicans

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We begin on this 17th anniversary of 9/11 and speak with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson the former Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and discuss how Mohammed Bin Salman the de-facto leader of the country most responsible for 9/11 and for propagating global terrorism, Saudi Arabia, along with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, are goading President Trump into a war with Iran and possibly Syria too. With National Security advisor John Bolton, a protégé of Trump and Netanyahu’s biggest backer Sheldon Adelson itching for a war and a desperate and paranoid Trump liable to initiate a “wag the dog” war to rescue the Republicans from defeat in November and stave off the possibility of impeachment if the Democrats take the House, conditions could not be more ripe for another catastrophic intervention in the Middle East. If Trump fires Secretary of Defense Mattis as expected and decides he needs the mother of all distractions, the question arises will the war-weary American public rise up in protest? And since Trump has proclaimed today’s anniversary of 9/11 “Patriot Day”, will Trump’s base, urged on by hyper-jingoism from Fox News, create a sufficient war party to con us into another war using patriotism as the last refuge of the scoundrel in the Oval Office.

Part 2

Then we speak with Mary Ellen O’Connell, a Professor of Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame. The author of “What is War? An Investigation in the Wake of 9/11”, she joins us to discuss John Bolton’s attack on the International Criminal Court in defense of America’s longest war in Afghanistan, which 17 years later with trillions wasted and no victory in sight, raises the question of whether we fell into Bin Laden’s trap after 9/11, sending Christian armies to occupy Muslim lands.

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Part 3

Then finally we are joined by two evangelical pastors who, under the banner of a new organization Vote Common Good, have broken with Christian fundamentalism and are now campaigning against the elite evangelicals who are the enablers of President Trump and the Republicans. Robb Ryerse, the founding pastor of Vintage Fellowship in Fayetteville, Arkansas and political director of Vote Common Good and Doug Pagitt, the co-founder of Vote Common Good who founded Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota, join us to discuss their political journey and the destination they want for this country.

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September 10 - Sweden's Far Right Fills the Vacuum Left by the Left; Trump to the Palstinian's - "It's My Way or the Highway"; The Former Cyber Czar on Russian Meddling in the Upcoming Election

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We begin with the elections in Sweden, the results of which many find alarming though not as dire as some predicted with the far right Sweden Democrats gaining 17.6% of the vote to the once-dominant center-left Social Democrats’ 28%, their worst showing in decades. Sheri Berman, a Professor of Political Science at Barnard College of Columbia University and author of the forthcoming book “Democracy and Dictatorship: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day”, joins us. An expert on European history and politics, she analyzes why across Western Europe long-ruling Social Democratic parties are in eclipse while far-right populism is on the rise. We discuss how much the far-right, pro-Russia, anti-immigrant and anti-EU Sweden Democrats profited from the lack of a narrative from the center and left while they were able to demonize Muslims and immigrants without offering solutions. And with Italy embracing far-right populism as Germany’s AFD challenges Merkel and Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic drift further into neo-fascism, xenophobia and white nationalism, we will assess the overall picture of radical politics filling the vacuum left by sclerotic socialists who fail to defend the E.U. and its values and build on its success while offering no alternative narrative to Trump-like demagoguery.

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Then we assess the move by the Trump Administration to close down the Palestinian mission in Washington while National Security Advisor John Bolton cites Palestinian efforts to prosecute Israelis for alleged violations of international law and the mistreatment of non-combatants in threatening American judges and lawyers working with the International Criminal Court. Khaled Elgindy, a Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brooking Institution who was an advisor to the Palestinian leadership on permanent status negotiations, joins us to discuss how under Trump, the U.S. has taken such a pro-Netanyahu stance that it doesn’t even pretend anymore to be an honest broker between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Richard Clarke who served three consecutive presidents as Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs, National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism and Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace whose latest book is “WARNINGS: Finding Cassandras to Prevent Catastrophes”. He joins us to discuss the probability of Russian cyber-meddling in the November election and the unprecedented dangers in having such a reckless and compromised president who is acting more like a tool of a foreign power than a defender of democracy.

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September 9 - Kavanaugh Should Be Impeached for Lying to the Senate; A President Pence Would Not Be Worse Than Trump; A Possible Path for Democrats to Take the Senate; The Trump Administration's Ill-Considered Coup Plotting Against Venezuela

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We begin with the call to not just reject the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but to impeach him for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee in last week’s hearings. Lisa Graves, Co-director of Documented who was Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and wrote the documents which were stolen by GOP Senate aide Manual Miranda, joins us to discuss how Kavanaugh lied under oath in his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings about whether he had received stolen memos from Miranda, and did so again when questioned last week by Senator Leahy. After having zealously pursued perjury charges against Bill Clinton in a civil case for lying about an extra-marital affair to have a president impeached, Lisa Graves argues that Kavanaugh should be held to his own standard and be impeached for doing something far more egregious.

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Part 2

Then, with rumors swirling that Vice President Pence, who alone can initiate the 25th Amendment to remove Trump for office, could be the author of the anonymous op-ed revealing a dangerous and dysfunctional presidency, we look into whether a President Pence would be worse than the current occupant of the Oval office. Neil J. Young, a research scholar at George Mason University and author of “We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics”, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post, “No, President Mike Pence Would Not Be Worse Than Trump”.

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Then we speak with Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and the Lone Star Project, about remarks made by the White House’s Federal Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that the Democrat’s Beto O’Rourke could win Ted Cruz’s senate seat in Texas. We examine the narrow but possible path the Democrats have in taking back the senate in November.

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Part 4

Then finally, we assess the blowback from revelations in The New York Times that the Trump Administration discussed coup plans against Venezuela’s President Maduro with rebel Venezuelan Military officers, one of whom is under U.S. sanctions for corruption. Javier Corrales, a Professor of Political Science at Amherst College and author of “Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela”, joins us.

 

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September 6 - The Warning from Inside Trump's Inner Circle; What Will It Take for Trump's Enablers to Abandon Him?; Russian Assassins Behind Nerve Agent Attack in UK Identified

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We begin with the anonymously authored op-ed in The New York Times by a senior Trump Administration official “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” which has the president lashing out in a fury as a flurry of denials are issued from his senior White House staff in an ominous atmosphere of threatened purges. Dr. Michael Carpenter, the former foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director for Russia on the National Security Council who has an article at Foreign Affairs co-authored with Joe Biden, “How to Stand up to the Kremlin: Defending Democracy Against Its Enemies”, joins us. We discuss the op-ed’s charge that Trump fought against sanctioning Russia for the nerve agent attack in Britain and how the unnamed author describes the resistance inside the administration as not the work of the “deep state” but “the work of the steady state”. We examine the possibility that the few adults in the room could be purged by a paranoid president who could install Ivanka and Jared to run the show. And on top of what both the op-ed and Bob Woodward’s book make clear that our president himself is a danger to America’s national security, we explore the even grimmer possibility that Trump is a compromised tool of a malign foreign power.

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Part 2

Then, with the November elections fast approaching, we assess the likely political impact of the charges against their leader on the supine and craven House and Senate GOP enablers of Trump by a Republican official on the inside of Trump’s administration who is sounding the alarm about a dangerous and dysfunctional presidency. David Rothkopf, a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the former editor of Foreign Policy and author of “The Great Questions of Tomorrow”, joins us to discuss the anonymous author’s invocation of John McCain at a time when there is an ugly partisan determination by GOP senators to seat Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court.

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Part 3

Then finally we go to the U.K. to speak with Nico Hines, the London editor of The Daily Beast who previously was a reporter for the Times of London and their Washington correspondent. He joins us to discuss his article at The Daily Beast “How Russian Spies Used a Fake Nina Ricci Perfume Bottle to Smuggle Novichok Nerve Agent Into England” and what steps the unpopular British government can take to retaliate against Russia to deter future attacks.

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