November 1 - Was the Latest Amateur Jihadi "Inspired" By ISIS?; Trump Demagogues Our Broken Immigration System; How Rupert Murdoch Has Created a Fact-Free Universe in Service of Trump

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We begin with the worst terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11 that claimed 8 lives with 6 of the victims tourists, 5 from Argentina and one from Belgium.  Hassan Hassan, a Senior Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Peace who was previously a fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program in London and is the author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror”, joins us. We discuss the extent to which the perpetrator, a green card holder from Uzbekistan Sayfullo Saipov, a 29 year old truck driver who worked for Uber and is married with 3 children, was “inspired” by ISIS as the Deputy New York Police Commissioner claims. We assess whether Saipov is another amateur jihadi like most of the previous terrorist attackers of the homeland or if, with the fall of Raqqa, ISIS will be exporting battle-hardened terrorists who could be more deadly as the homegrown terrorist in Las Vegas recently proved to be with a readily-obtained arsenal of assault rifles, instead of the paintball gun Saipov was brandishing.

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Part 2

Then we speak with David Schanzer, a professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in the School of Public Policy at Duke University. The former Democratic Staff Director for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, he joins us to discuss Trump’s call to send Saipov to Gitmo and his attack on Senator Schumer for an immigration lottery program that George H W Bush signed into law, and the likely political mileage Trump will get out of demagoguing an immigration system that let Saipov and the Tsarnaev brother into the country.

Part 3

 
Then finally we look into the role that Rupert Murdoch is playing in distracting up to half of the American population from the daily destruction of the disastrous Trump Administration as he and his media empire’s obedient junkyard dogs attack Hillary Clinton for colluding with Putin and James Comey, both of whom played a major role in electing Donald Trump president. Ruth Ben Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, joins us to discuss how Murdoch has borrowed Berlusconi’s political/media business model and the propaganda tactics of Putin to create a fact-free alternative universe in the service of America’s Il Duce, mien Fuhrer, our own “dear leader” Donald J. Trump.   
 

 

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October 31 - The White House-Fox News Propaganda Machine; Can the Reality-Based World Penetrate the Trump Media Bubble?; Trump's Chief of Staff is Even More Reactionary Than He Is

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We begin with the flagrant and cynical use of propaganda by the Trump White House Press Secretary and by so-called news operations like Fox News, along with the right wing echo chambers of Sinclair and Limbaugh and his clones, all of whom have become Trump’s “Pravda” or more Orwellian, his Ministry of Truth. Jason Stanley, a Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of “How Propaganda Works”, joins us to discuss the capture of almost half of the country by a fascist-style propaganda machine similar to what Joseph Goebbels used and Putin uses today. While Trump himself tweets out daily his own fake news to his 40 million twitter followers, the main support for Trump in post-truth America is orchestrated by Rupert Murdoch and other oligarchs like Bannon’s paymasters the Mercers. They have succeeded in creating an alternative media universe immune to facts and evidence and they will resort to any lie or manufacture any fiction no matter how absurd, to keep their president in power and his supporters sealed in a bubble of delusion.  

 

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Part 2

Then we examine the first of 12 counts enumerated in the indictment against Paul Manafort and that is “Conspiracy Against the United States”.  Lawrence Douglas, a Professor of Law, jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “How will Donald Trump respond to the Russia Investigation?” We look into the challenge facing the reality-based majority in this country to convince Trump’s base that he chose an exemplar of the Washington swamp to run his campaign and that when top people in his own party and administration call him a “f-ing moron” and are concerned he might blow up the world, they should pay attention.

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Part 3

Then finally we assess the overwhelming evidence now apparent that Trump’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly is not “containing” Trump but is rather completely compatible if not much further to the right than the spoiled toddler he supposedly has under adult supervision. American historian Adam Goodheart, the author of “1861: The Civil War Awakening”, joins us to discuss Kelly’s opinions expressed on Fox News that “Robert E. Lee was an honorable man and that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the civil war.

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October 30 - A Smoking Gun on Russian Collusion Emerges; Manfort's Millions in Laundered Money and Russian Loans; Why Did Trump Hire Such a Greedy Crook as His Campaign Manager?

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We begin with the indictments against Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates unsealed today and the surprise smoking gun that ties the Trump campaign to Russia with charges against Trump’s former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos who was arrested by the FBI back in July and has been cooperating with the special counsel since then.  Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security joins us to discuss the role of George Papadopoulos who was acting in collusion with higher-ranking officials in the Trump campaign in attempting to deliver “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and “thousands of emails” to the Trump campaign from a “professor” with links to the Kremlin who he met with in London in March, which he lied about to the FBI. Since Papadopoulos told the Trump campaign about the thousands of emails on Clinton hacked from the DNC in April, months before their existence was made public by Wikileaks in July of 2016, it is likely the Trump campaign had access to this material much earlier.

 

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Part 2

Then we look into the Manafort indictments with someone who knows him and his work in Ukraine which is central to the case against Trump’s former campaign manager.  Anders Aslund a former Swedish diplomat in Moscow who served as an economic advisor to the governments of Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, joins us to discuss the money laundering charges from the $75 million that Manafort funneled through overseas shell companies and the $60 million in personal loan that he got from a Russian oligarch close to Putin, and the lavish lifestyle the indictments charge Manafort with, noting $1.3 million he spent on expensive clothes.   

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Liz Kennedy, the Director of Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress. She joins us to question why Trump hired a campaign manager who is now exposed as an amazingly greedy crook. We examine how much Trump shares Manafort’s disdain for democracy and the rule of law since his campaign manager’s whole history as a lobbyist in Washington has been that of representing third world dictators, kleptocrats and criminals like Mobutu, Marcos and Suharto.

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October 29 - The First Indictments From the Special Council; A Russian Opposition Journalist Whose Daughter Was Just Stabbed; The Political Standoff Between Spain and Catalonia

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We begin with the sealed indictment of the first arrest by the special counsel investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the target of which is expected to be revealed on Monday. Joining us to discuss the procedures involved as the Mueller investigation moves towards indictments is Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant U.S. Attorney General. We speculate on who the first target might be and assess the furious backlash from Trump’s Republican surrogates and the flurry of angry tweets coming from a president who routinely blames Obama and Hillary Clinton for anything and everything.  Although Clinton lost the election and Trump won and is president, she is now being dredged up as Trump turns history on its head by accusing Clinton of colluding with Putin who hates her as he brings up the 33,000 emails that he called upon Russia to hack as well as referring to “the Comey fix” as though the person who many including Clinton consider the main reason she lost the presidency, was in collusion with her.

 

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Part 2

Then we go to Moscow to speak with Russian defense analyst Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, whose daughter Tatyana, the deputy editor in chief of the only opposition radio in Russia Ekho Moskvy, was recently stabbed in the neck and almost died. He joins us to discuss the constant danger that journalists who oppose the Putin line face in an environment of propaganda-induced hyper-nationalism with government media branding critics of the Putin regime “enemies of the people” and America spies. We also discuss how the U.S. nuclear buildup announced on Friday by Vice President Pence will play into Putin’s hands.

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Part 3

 
Then finally, with over 300,000 people demonstrating in Barcelona today in support of the Spanish government, we will go to Spain to discuss the volatile political standoff between Catalonia and Spain following a declaration of independence by the Catalan government on Friday then the firing of the Catalan government by Madrid.  Francisco Rodriguez-Jimenez , a Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of Salamanca, Spain joins us to discuss the popular backlash to the independence referendum which around 40% of Catalans voted for and the Spanish government tried to stop with a heavy-handed crackdown.
 

 

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October 26 - Trump is Already Shortening His Trip to Asia; Is General Kelly in Way Over His Head?; What is the US Doing in Niger?

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We begin with next week’s trip to Asia that a reluctant traveler President Trump is undertaking with a tour of the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii then on to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam for the APEC summit of world leaders and lastly the Philippines where he already cutting short his visit and skipping the East Asia summit being held there. The Director of East and Southeast Asia Policy at the Center for American Progress, Brian Harding, joins us from Japan.  He served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as country director for Asian and Pacific security affairs and we will discuss Trump’s reality TV show tease when asked whether he will visit the DMZ separating the two Korea’s, and the possibility that the North Koreans will upstage Trump with a nuclear or missile test. We will also look into whether or not Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam and assess what might be achieved by the 12 day trip which Trump has already shortened as he did earlier with his first foreign trip abroad about which he expressed dread and cut from nine days to five.  

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Mark Perry, an author and historian specializing in military, foreign affairs, and intelligence analysis about his article at Politico “Are Trump’s Generals in Over Their Heads?” and his article at The American Conservative “How Saddam Hussein Predicted America’s Failure in Iraq” which is a chapter in his new book “The Pentagon Wars”. We assess whether there has been too much expectation placed on the generals around Trump, the so-called “adults in the room”, and examine how much the deeply conservative and politically inexperienced Chief of Staff John Kelly is way out of his depth.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we look into the country that most Americans just learned the U.S. military is involved in, Niger.  A former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger, David Litt joins us. He was a State Department political advisor to the U.S. Special Operations Command from 1998 to 2002 and we discuss his article at Foreign Policy “Why Is the United States in Niger, Anyway?” and how in a region where it is easier to get an AK-47 assault rifle than a job, weak governance and poverty make the region a fertile ground for insurgents.
 

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