April 4 - Reviving MLK's Poor People's Campaign; The Key Role of MLK's Strategist Bayard Rustin; Will the Tit-for-Tat Tariffs Become a Test of Wills Between Two Authoritarian Leaders

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We begin on this 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King and speak with Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science at Emory University whose research focuses on the political leadership of the post-civil rights generation. The author of “The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America”, she served as a Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar at MIT and we will discuss the role of the Black Church and religion in the movement that Martin Luther King led and how it compares to the much more secular civil rights movements today like Black Lives Matter, as well as assess the possibility that the Reverend Barber’s Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina can become a national movement as he revives MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign with six weeks of nonviolent civil disobedience across the country planned to begin on May 13, Mother’s Day.

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Part 2

Then we  explore further Dr. King’s planned 1968 march on Washington with an interracial army of poor whites, Hispanics, Native Americans and African Americans to demand Congress stop funding the Vietnam War and instead fight the war on poverty. Jerald Podair, a Professor of History at Lawrence University and author of “Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer”, joins us to discuss the key role that MLK’s strategist and advisor Bayard Rustin played in organizing the 1964 March on Washington and the Poor People’s March King was planning before he was assassinated. And we  assess  how much MLK and Bayard Rustin’s Poor People’s manifesto was borrowed from Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights outlined in FDR’s final address in 1944.

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Part 3

 
Then finally, with the White House today admitting that the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China in a brewing trade war could cause some “short-term pain”, we  examine whether China’s striking back today with $50 billion in tariffs aimed at Trump’s support in the farm belt could be the beginning of an escalation in a test of wills between a two authoritarian presidents indulging in a cult of personality style of leadership. Victor Shih, a Professor of Political Science in the 21st Century China Program at the University of California, San Diego who is constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China, joins us.
 
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April 3 - After Meeting With Leaders of the Baltic States, Trump Calls for Friendship With Russia; Trump's Attacks on Amazon and Its CEO Jeff Bezos; Israel Massacres Palestinians and Not a Peep From the White House

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We begin with the White House meeting today with the leaders of the Baltic states Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania at which President Trump called for better relations with Russia saying “just about everybody agrees to that, except very stupid people”. David Andelman, the author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today” who formerly served as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News and is currently a contributor to CNN and a columnist for USA Today, joins us from Paris. We  discuss his article at CNN “Please don’t start a global trade war, President Trump” and how Trump’s erratic behavior lurching from one tweet to another is seen from abroad, in particular how France’s President Macron feels about Trump’s peculiar fealty towards Putin who Trump has invited to visit the White House at a time when 27 countries including France are kicking out Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s use of a WMD against a NATO country.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with David Dayen, a contributing writer to Salon.com and The Intercept, and a weekly columnist for The New Republic where he has an article “No Sympathy for Amazon”. We  discuss Trump’s continuing attacks on Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos obviously motivated by Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post which is breaking stories investigating the corrupt and chaotic Trump Administration. While Trump is an autocrat without and autocracy, at least for the moment, we will investigate the extent to which the U.S. Postal Service which is being crippled by a Congressional mandate to pre-pay 75 years of pension benefits, is getting a bad deal out of its arrangement with Amazon.

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Part 3

Then finally we go to Israel to speak with the former spokesman for Shimon Perez, Gideon Levy, a columnist and member of the editorial board of Ha’aretz whose latest book is “The Punishment of Gaza”. We  discuss his article at Ha’aretz “The Israel Massacre Forces” and why we have not heard a word from the White House or the State Department after the recent massacre of Palestinian protesters by the Israeli army that left 17 dead and over a 1,000 wounded.

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April 2 - the Market Plunges on Fears Trump Is Starting a Trade War; Sinclair: America's Ministry of Truth; A Teacher on Why She Is on Strike in Kentucky

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While our peripatetic president strikes out in all directions tweeting out attacks on NAFTA, DACA and Amazon, we will begin with the stock market taking a hit today as investors worry that Trump is precipitating a trade war with China. Matt Gold, a Professor of Law at Fordham University where he teaches international trade law, who previously held an appointment within the Executive Office of the President as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America, joins us. We  discuss the dangers of such a woefully ignorant president without impulse control threatening a trade war who has no grasp of history when it comes to the lessons from the nativist boneheaded Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930 which plunged the country and the world into the great depression. We will assess whether Trump will get a reality check as the stock market he takes credit for plunges, and his tariffs start to cause job losses which might also get the attention of Republican congressional leaders facing a tough election year.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Michael Copps, a former FCC commissioner who currently heads the Media and Democracy Reform initiative at Common Cause. He joins us to discuss America’s Ministry of Truth and the Orwellian dictates from  the owners of the Sinclair Group who are forcing their news anchors at their soon-to-be 215 TV stations to all read the same propaganda script in a Soviet-style effort to portray themselves as the “fair and balanced” media while labelling real news fake news. With an overwhelming number of Americans opposed to the Sinclair-Tribune merger, and the FCC’s gutting of net neutrality, we will speculate when the democratic will of the majority will overcome the money and influence power of the inside-the-Beltway minority.

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Then finally, with strikes by teachers having erupted in West Virginia and now spreading to Kentucky and Oklahoma, we will speak with Tammy Berlin, an arts and humanities teacher at Atherton High School in Kentucky and vice president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association. She joins us from Kentucky’s capital where she is participating in a statewide teachers strike to force the legislature to fund schools and pay teachers a living wage.

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April 1 - Trump is Poised to Sell Out the Kurds and Reward Iran While Handing Syria to Putin; A Former Turkish Counterterrorism Police Chief Questions Whether Erdogan is Still a NATO Ally; Trump Threatens to Rip Up NAFTA and End DACA to Get His Wall

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We begin with indications from President Trump that he is poised to act against American interests and reward Russia and Iran by abandoning America’s Kurdish and Free Syrian allies who have been the U.S. military’s most reliable “boots on the ground” in their fight against ISIS. Malcolm Nance, a career counterterrorism officer with the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security and Intelligence agencies and author of “Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe”, joins us to discuss how Trump is about to give ISIS a new lease on life just as they are on the brink of being finished off, allowing the terrorists to fight another day and infiltrate back to attack Europe. We assess why Trump would hand over Syria to Russia and Iran and engage is such strategic suicide and foreign policy malpractice since the small U.S. military footprint in Northern Syria occupies the valuable oil fields that Assad wants and also sits astride the land corridor that would link Tehran to Damascus.

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Part 2

Then we look into whether Turkey is still a NATO ally since Erdogan is now engaged in military cooperation with Russia in Northern Syria as he attacks the Syrian Kurds who are fighting with the Americans against ISIS, forcing the Kurds to divert fighters from mopping up the jihadis to protecting their lands from a Turkish military onslaught. Ahmet Yayla, a Professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University who was formerly a counterterrorism police chief in Turkey, joins us to discuss Erdogan’s increasingly Anti-American rhetoric and posture as Turkey’s Islamic dictator cozies up to Vladimir Putin.

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Part 3

Then finally, with Trump spending the “Holy Week” Easter weekend with the “Make America White Again” zealot Stephen Miller in the absence of the adult supervision of General Kelly, we speak with Eric Olson, the Deputy Director of the Latin American Program and Senior Advisor on the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He joins us to discuss Trump’s tweets today in which he is threatening to use the leverage of ripping up NAFTA and ending DACA to get his border wall.

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March 29 - Did Trump's Lawyer Obstruct Justice?; Manafort's Right-Hand Man Still Works for Russian Military Intelligence; Trump Fires the Head of the VA at the Urging of a Koch Brothers Front Group

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We will begin with revelations in The New York Times that Trump’s lawyer John Dowd who recently quit, engaged in obstruction of justice when he allegedly signaled to General Flynn and Paul Manafort’s lawyers that their clients would be pardoned by Trump if they did not cooperate with special counsel Mueller, joins us. Jed Shugerman, a professor of law at Fordham Law School and author of “The People’s Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America”. He is currently working on anti-corruption Emoluments litigation against Trump and we will discuss a case against Trump International Hotel now in Federal Court in Maryland as well as the possibility that Mueller is now looking at Dowd. We also address the hazards of working for Trump which is apparently why Trump is scouring the bottom of the barrel in terms of legal talent, since it is likely that Dowd did things for Trump that could result in serious legal jeopardy or disbarment for Dowd. A situation which has prompted a lawyer who was considered by the White House for a job, George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, to troll Trump in a tweet commenting “This is flabbergasting”.

Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman

Part 2

Then we examine the latest court filing by Robert Mueller in which it is made clear that the FBI consider Paul Manafort’s right hand man in Ukraine Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for 10 years for the International Republican Institute in Moscow and before that was with the GRU, is still working with Russian Military Intelligence. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss how it was Kilimnik who offered Putin’s friend the oligarch/gangster Oleg Deripaska who loaned Manaford $30 million, private briefing by the Trump campaign.

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Part 3

Then finally we will speak with Phillip Longman, a senior fellow at the Washington Monthly and the Open Society Institute and author of “Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Healthccare Would Work Better for Everyone.”  He joins us to discuss Trump’s firing of the head of the VA who is to be replaced by the White House physician Ronny Jackson, and the extent to which this change which was championed by the Koch Brothers front Concerned Veterans for America, is all about privatizing the VA to benefit bottom-feeding Trump’s cronies and Republican Beltway Bandits.

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