September 6 - Is Trump Mentally Ill or Just a Horrible, Hateful Person?; The Futility of Relying on China to Solve the Nuclear Standoff With North Korea; 15 Sates Sue Trump Over DACA

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We begin with a just-released poll in Michigan, a state that Trump won narrowly, that found 53% of respondents are either very or somewhat worried that Donald Trump has access to the nuclear codes with 43% believing the president is not mentally stable while 12% are undecided on the question of his mental fitness. Dr. Allen Frances, a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University joins us to discuss his new book “Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump” and the question of whether Trump is mentally ill or is just a horrible, hateful person. He will also offer a broader diagnosis of the sanity of America itself, a society in which Trump was not only considered a plausible candidate, but was elected President of the United States in spite of his manifest flaws and appalling history.

Allen J Frances M.D.

Part 2

Then we examine the futility of the U.S. relying on China to solve the nuclear standoff with North Korea in light of the recent provocation of an H-bomb test coinciding with President Xi’s opening of the BRICS summit in China and his meeting with Putin that were upstaged by Kim Jong-un’s insult and insolence. James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program and a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of “Abolishing Nuclear Weapons”, joins us to discuss what other options exist to avoid an escalating nuclear crisis between the U.S. and North Korea.

Part 3

 
Then finally we look into what legal remedies are available at the state level to reverse the rescinding of DACA by Trump and Sessions and speak with Kamal Essaheb, an Immigration Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. We discuss the lawsuit filed on Wednesday by 14 states and the District of Columbia against Trump’s decision and how a similar argument is at play as there was in overturning Trump’s Muslim ban, which was based on evidence from Trump himself who made racist statements against Muslims as he has often done hurling racist insults at Latinos.
 
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September 5 - Trump Crushes the "Dreamers"; The Likely Electoral Blowback From Rescinding DACA; Texas Politicians Reverse Secessionist Rhetoric as They Ask for Federal Aid

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We begin with the announcement by Attorney General Sessions that the Trump Administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA, in yet another reversal of an Obama program that afforded the so-called “Dreamers” who arrived in the U.S. as children, a refuge from deportation and an ability to go to school and college, to work, and serve in the military. A well-known authority on the policy and politics of immigration, Angela Maria Kelley, the Senior Strategic Adviser on Immigration at the Open Society Foundation joins us to discuss the reasons why the DACA program was established and why Trump reversed his earlier pledges to deal with the “Dreamers” he professed to love with heart. We will examine the flimsy legalistic arguments from right wing governors in Texas and other Republican states Trump is using as the excuse for this cruel and unnecessary act, and why Trump, Sessions and Stephen Miller prioritize pandering to a minority of far right nativists instead of respecting the will of the vast majority of Americans.

 

Angela Maria Kelley

Part 2

Then we assess the likely political backlash and electoral blowback from Trump’s highly divisive move that appears to be motivated by racism and is a slap in face to all Latinos. Antonio Gonzales, President of the largest and oldest non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in the U.S., the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, joins us to discuss the extent to which Trump has awoken a sleeping giant and that in 2018, Republicans are bound to be punished at the polls, with the likely loss of their majority in the House.

 
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Part 3

Then finally, with anti-government sentiment and secessionist rhetoric rampant in the state of Texas, we examine the sudden reversal by Texas politicians away from vilifying the federal government to now wanting federal aid for the recovery of the areas around Houston and the Gulf coast following the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. Joining us is Wayne Slater, a political writer emeritus for The Dallas Morning News who has covered the administrations of every Texas Governor from Bill Clements, Ann Richards, George W. Bush and Rick Perry to the current avowed “Christian” Governor Greg Abbott.

Wayne Slater (Twitter)

 

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September 4 - Closing the Income and Opportunity Gap; The Multi Billion Dollar Union-Busting Industry; Reagan Joins Trump's Labor Department's Hall of Fame

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We begin on this Labor Day with an assessment of what is driving the growing income and opportunity gap in America as our democracy is increasing captured by plutocrats. Chuck Collins, the co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good and the Patriotic Millionaires and author of “Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good” joins us to discuss his new report at The Next System Project “Reversing Inequality: Unleashing the Transformative Potential of an Equitable Economy”. We look into the growing divide that is not so much the result of technological change and globalization but is embedded in our economic and political system since we have reached the point where the top one tenth of one percent own as much as the bottom 90% of U.S. households combined.

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Part 2

Then we explore the reasons why union representation in the private sector has shrunk to below 7% compared to 35% in the 1950’s and why it has been attributed to American workers turning away from unions rather that the real cause which is the hidden war against unions by the multi-billion dollar union-busting industry financed by the Koch Brothers and other billionaires.Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley joins us to discuss the judiciary as an arm of the union-busting industry with corporatist judges like Neil Gorsuch now poised to eviscerate public sector unions.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Sam Pizzigati a veteran labor journalist and author of “The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class” who has an article at inequality.org “A Hall Of Fame Turns Shameful”. We  discuss how the portrait of the union-busting President Reagan has been put up in the Labor Department’s Hall of Fame alongside true heroes of labor like Cesar Chavez by Labor Secretary Acosta who was appointed by Trump BECAUSE of his hostility to American workers.

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September 3 - North Korea Calls Trump's Bluff With an H-Bomb; Could Putin Recast Himself as a Global Leader and Peacemaker?; Russia's Election Hacking More Widespread and Invasive

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We begin with the latest North Korean nuclear test that appears to indicate they have made a rapid advance in thermonuclear technology with a test explosion at least ten times greater than the last one about a year ago. Sue Mi Terry, the former deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council and the Director of Japan, Korea and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council, joins us. We will discuss whether Kim Jong-un has called President Trump’s bluff following Trump’s earlier threat to rain “fire and fury” down on North Korea. And while condemning the North’s nuclear test as “very hostile and dangerous to the United States”, Trump also had harsh words for our South Korean ally scolding the South’s new leader for “their talk of appeasement” while his top economic advisers threaten to scuttle the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration.

Part 2

Then we speak with Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security. He joins us to discuss the alarm expressed by Russia’s President Putin that the confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea could lead to nuclear war and the possibility that Putin could reset his image and emerge as the sober, global leader and peacemaker who is a responsible steward of Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal. Drawing a contrast to his counterpart in the White House with HIS hand on the nuclear button as Trump makes America’s allies nervous and has the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioning his own president’s “stability and competence”.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine recent revelations that Russian election hacking efforts were much more widespread and invasive than previously thought and speak with David Jefferson, a computer scientist formerly with the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory who is also the chairman of the board of Verified Voting. We will look into the penetration by Russian hackers ahead of voting in 2016 of VR Systems which operates in seven states including the battleground states of North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

 

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August 31 - How the Koch Brothers and the American Chemistry Council Bought Texas Governor Abbot; How Chemical Plants Ended Up in Texas Suburbs; Google Flexes Its Monopoly Muscle

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We begin with the possibility that a huge chemical plant 20 miles from Houston could explode at any moment and investigate the reasons why explosive and hazardous materials are in suburban areas of Texas and why, after the 2013 explosion of a fertilizer plant in Ward, Texas the requirement of make the public aware of where hazardous materials are stored was rescinded by the now governor of Texas, Greg Abbott whose government has given the owner of the volatile chemical plant Arkema, $8.7 million in taxpayer subsidies. An historian at the University of Houston, Dr. Robert Buzzanco joins us to explain how this industrial corridor along the increasingly vulnerable Gulf coast known and the Chemical Coast or “cancer alley” because of the concentration of oil, gas and chemical plants, came about and the extent to which the lobbying group the American Chemistry Council has bought Texas’s entire Republican congressional representation along with its U.S. Senators and, most of all, Governor Greg Abbott.

Robert Buzzanco

Part 2

Then we speak with Michael Barajas, the Civil Rights reporter for the Texas Observer about the disproportionate impact Hurricane Harvey has had and continues to have on the poor and minority communities around Houston and along the Gulf coast. We look into the lack of zoning and regulations that allows dangerous chemical plants in urban and suburban communities and the lobbying power of the oil, gas and chemical industries over the electoral power of minorities in Texas.  

Part 3

Then finally we examine the firing of a group of scholars at the New America Foundation at the behest of Google, a major donor to the foundation that is using its extraordinary monopoly power and political muscle to silence researchers who had the temerity to call Google a monopoly. Jonathan Taplin, the Founder and Director Emeritus of the Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook and Amazon Cornered Culture and undermined Democracy”, joins us to discuss Google’s growing dominance and his article at The New York Times “Google’s Disturbing Influence Over Think Tanks”.

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