July 11 - The Dangers of Trump Labeling Humans as Vermin; Why Does Trump Insult Merkel While Fawning Over Putin?; Trump Doubles Down on His Demand NATO Allies Pay More for Defense

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We begin with the neuroscience behind the success of Trump’s divisive strategy to “Make America Hate Again.” Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst who has an article at CNN “Be Alarmed When a Leader Tries To Make You Think of Humans as Vermin”, joins us to discuss the insula, the part of the brain that is responsible for responding to disgust.  And since the research shows that Republicans have a lower threshold for disgust compared to Democrats, we will assess how, in comparing the recent wave of migrants and refugees to an infestation of vermin, Trump and the Republican party have seized upon the age-old strategy of weaponizing disgust as the Nazis did by calling Jews rats and the Hutu in the Rwandan genocide did in calling Tutsis cockroaches. Despite the human capacity to hate, recent polling indicates that 67% of the population sympathizes with the 3,000 plus children seized from their parents at the border, demonstrating that hate can be outweighed by empathy.

Robert Sapolsky

Part 2

Then we discuss Trump’s counterintuitive and destructive approach to foreign relations on display at today’s NATO summit in Brussels where he chose to alienate our closest allies rather than form a common front against our most aggressive adversary. Daniela Schwarzer, Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, joins us to discuss Trump’s consistently adversarial stance toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is leading a frail Christian Democratic Union under pressure from a growing right wing backlash against immigrants in Germany.

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Part 3

Then finally we turn to Trump’s main demands at today’s summit: that NATO allies increase their alliance contributions from 2% to 4% of their GDP and that Germany recognize its “captive” dependence on Russian oil and gas. Thomas Berger, a professor of International Relations at Boston University who specializes in German politics and is the author of Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan, joins us to discuss the state of the German military and the scandals that have come to light in recent years regarding the lack of readiness of the underfunded German military.

 

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July 10 - Did Trump Choose Kavanaugh as Insurance Against Mueller?; Kavanaugh the Corporatist; How to Make Sure Senators Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly Don't Vote for Kavanaugh

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We begin with Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh and whether he was chosen by the president as insurance in Trump’s fight for self-preservation. Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society where she focuses on judicial nominations, joins us to discuss her article at The New York Times “Will Kavanaugh Provide Cover for Trump?” We assess how much Brett Kavanaugh’s 2009 law review article in which he advocated that Congress consider a law exempting a president from criminal prosecution, swayed Trump. And whether some kind of loyalty assurance was given that if and when the Supreme Court has to rule on a Mueller indictment, or Trump’s claim he can pardon himself and his underlings under investigation, Kavanaugh would rule to protect Trump.
 
 

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Then we discuss the future of workers' and consumers' rights in a 5-4 Supreme Court with a conservative majority in lockstep with the Republican agenda as it furthers the empowerment of corporations and the protection of “corporate rights.” Gigi Sohn, who served as a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and is a distinguished fellow at Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy, joins us to discuss Kavanaugh’s May 2017 dissent opposing net neutrality in favor of corporate “First Amendment” rights. We consider whether the most important question for Democrats to ask in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings is if we want a Supreme Court stacked with corporatists who are opposed to workers and consumers.
 
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Part 3

 
Then finally we look into the religious right’s opposition to Kavanaugh’s appointment given Trump’s slighting of Amy Barrett, the Catholic fundamentalist championed by Vice President Pence and Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Sarah Posner, an expert on the intersection of religion and politics and author of God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, joins us to discuss her article at The Nation, “Will Brett Kavanaugh Pass the Religious Right’s New Litmus Test?” We assess what strategy the Democrats could pursue to make sure the Democratic Senators who voted to confirm Gorsuch-- Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly--will oppose Kavanaugh’s appointment. 
 
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July 9 - The British Government's Impending Collapse Over Brexit; Collateral Damage from Putin's Poisoners; Trump Bullies Nations at the Behest of Big Corporations Marketing Baby Formula to the Third World

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We begin with disarray in the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet following the resignation of her chief negotiator on Brexit David Davis who is joined today by Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson who quit in protest of May’s Brexit plan. The author of “Brexit – Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union”, Harold Clarke, the co-investigator of the British Election Study at the University of Manchester where he also is a visiting professor, joins us. We discuss this political earthquake rattling the British government which is likely to lead to a leadership challenge and a power struggle within the ruling Tory party who hold a slim majority. And with President Trump scheduled to visit the U.K. on Thursday, we assess what further mischief Trump might cause given his support for Brexit and his sympathy for the Brexiteers like Boris Johnson who makes rosy promises about a halcyon new world of free trade while wanting a crash exit or hard break from Europe and damn the consequences.

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Part 2

Then with today’s death of a British citizen from contact with the Russian nerve agent Novichok which was used in an assassination attempt to poison Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy and his daughter, we will look into how callous and sloppy Putin’s poisoners appear to have been in discarding the container of the deadly nerve agent which was smeared on the door handle of the Skripals home in Salisbury, resulting in the collateral damage of a lethal dose killing Dawn Sturgess and leaving her partner Charlie Rowley critically ill. Luke Harding, the former Moscow Bureau Chief of The Guardian and author of “A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s war with the West” whose latest book is “Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House”, joins us to discuss the growing outrage in the U.K.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with David Dayen, a contributing writer to Salon.com and The Intercept about his article in The Los Angeles Times “The U.S. bullied the world to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution? That’s the American Way”. We analyze the attempt by the Trump Administration to remove language from a resolution at the World Health Assembly to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” at the behest of the big corporations who make baby formula which they are marketing to the Third World with misinformation, creating a black market in diluted formula which is crippling the growth of children whose parents cannot afford the costly formula.

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July 8 - Alternative Investigations If Trump Shuts Down Mueller; Trump is Quietly Purging the Military of Immigrants Promised Citizenship; By Pretending Russia is Not a Threat, Trump Will Make the Case We Don't Need NATO

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We begin with the efforts underway by House Tea Party Republicans to scuttle the Mueller investigation by pressuring the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into handing over Mueller’s secret evidence or face impeachment which would provide Trump with the excuse to fire Rosenstein. David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who is the co-founder of the investigative news service DC Report whose latest book is “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America”, joins us. We discuss his latest article at The New York Times “How to Initiate a Criminal Inquiry into Trump” and assess whether the call by former Republican Majority Leader of the Senate Bill Frist for the Congress to protect Mueller’s investigation will be heeded and what other avenues of investigation could be pursued in the event that Trump, in league with the Tea Party attack dogs of the House’s so-called “Freedom Caucus”, are able to fire Rosenstein and hobble Mueller.  

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Part 2

Then we examine another aspect of Trump’s vindictive, cruel and racist attitude towards Latino immigrants and that is his stealth program underway to quietly discharge immigrant recruits who joined the U.S. Army with a promised path to citizenship. Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics in the Reagan Administration, joins us to discuss how Trump is using his power as Commander-in-Chief to further his own personal nativist and xenophobic agenda to undermine the structural and moral integrity of the armed forces who have led the way in promoting civil rights since President Truman’s executive order in 1948 ending discrimination in the military.

Lawrence J. Korb

Part 3

Then finally with Trump departing soon for the U.K, the NATO summit, then his meeting in Helsinki with Russia’s President Putin, we look into the possibility that Trump will find a way to undermine NATO at its core by threatening to withdraw American troops and funding as he castigates NATO members for freeloading. An expert on NATO and European Affairs, Charles Kupchan, who spent the last three years of the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security, joins us to discuss the contrast between Trump’s praise for Putin and Moscow’s delight at how well a meeting they hosted with Republican senators on July 4th.went, compared to disquiet among our closest allies that America’s president is pretending Russia is not a threat so he can make the case that we don’t need NATO.

 

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July 5 - A Woman Will Likely Overturn Roe V. Wade; The Stealth Infiltration of Christian Fundamentalists Into the Judiciary; How the Federalists Are Stacking Our Courts

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We begin with the Republican crusade to appoint a Supreme Court Justice committed to the anti-abortion movement. Jessica Mason Pieklo, the vice president of law and the courts at Rewire.News and the 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Online Journalism Award joins us to discuss the list of potential Supreme Court appointees and the likely choice of a woman to overturn Roe v. Wade, former Notre Dame University law professor Amy Barrett, a right-wing Catholic ideologue who believes in fetal personhood. We assess Amy Barrett’s lack of experience in the courtroom and conservative excuses for her underwhelming credentials and Jessica’s view that the true battle in the fight for abortion rights will be played out in the states. And while Roe v. Wade may withstand direct attack, many states will outlaw women’s reproductive rights, creating a Handmaid’s Tale scenario in Red States in the future as “Christian” vigilantes check the papers of young women at Greyhound bus stations fleeing to Blue States for abortions.

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Part 2

Then we turn to the religious groundings of judges in the federal courts and speak with Sofia Resnick, an investigative reporter for Rewire.News who has exposed religious influence on academic research and public policy in the areas of reproductive health. She joins us to discuss the Blackstone Legal Fellowships, a nine-week program of indoctrination of young, Christian, mostly white law professionals in the fundamentalist ideals of the Christian right. This is a movement which believes that religious ideals supercede social structures as they drive for the restoration of the religious practices of the 3rd, 4th and 5th century.

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Part 3

Then finally we  look into the origins of the ongoing movement to stack our courts with conservative judges who strictly adhere to what they claim is the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. Carl Tobias, chair and professor of law at the University of Richmond who specializes in federal judicial selection, joins us to discuss the history of the Federalist Society, a network of “debating societies” which has established strong circles of conservative influence at law schools. The Federalists have already supplied the Supreme Court with Justices Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch, and the Trump White House has outsourced the selection of Kennedy's replacement to them while they stack the rest of the federal bench with their members.

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