February 8 - Praising the White House Wife-Beater Until the Truth Emerges; Can Democrats Use the Threat of a Government Shutdown Without Repeating Recent Mistakes?; A Leading Expert on Intelligence Oversight Assesses the Damage Nunes is Doing

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We begin with the resignation of Rob Porter, the rising star in the White House who is dating Hope Hicks the young woman who spends more time with Donald Trump than any other aide. Although his history of spousal abuse was known, it was not acted upon until a picture of the first battered wife appeared, followed by testimony from the second who claimed he called her an “F-ing bitch” on their honeymoon, then a third woman, an ex-girlfriend working in the Trump Administration, came forward recently and told the White House counsel Porter had abused her as well as his ex-wives. Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor and legal correspondent for Slate where she has an article “Rob Porter’s History of Domestic Abuse Wasn’t a Secret. It’s Just That No One Cared”, joins us. We will discuss how Porter’s boss General Kelly, after defending Porter and praising him effusively, has not just been exposed as a hardline ideologue and hardly the adult in the room everyone was hoping for, but the military disciplinarian is showing signs he is not diminishing the chaos at the White House but instead is adding to the incompetence.

 

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Part 2

Then, after Nancy Pelosi’s 8 hour-long defense of the “Dreamers” before the House yesterday, we assess what strategies the House Minority can employ against a majority of Republicans who are anti-immigrant and a White House that is stirring up xenophobic and nativist anger, we will speak with Margaret Hu a Professor of Law at Washington and Lee School of Law. She served as special policy counsel in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and we will discuss how Democrats can leverage the threat of a government shutdown to achieve their goals without repeating the mistakes of the recent government shutdown.

Margaret Hu

Part 3

 
Then finally we speak to one of the nation’s leading experts on intelligence organizations,  Loch Johnson, the author of a timely new book “Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States”. He was staff director of the Senate Committee on Intelligence and was at the forefront of the reforms that brought about the House and Senate Intelligence oversight committees and we discuss how Trump’s stooge Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House intelligence Committee, is single-handedly wrecking his committee and destroying the bi-partisanship that is essential in protecting our national security.     
                
Loch K. Johnson

 

February 7 - 73% of Republicans Have Fallen for Trump's Smear of the DOJ and FBI; Poland's Law Against Historical Inquiry; Immigration Again Will Be the Trigger for Another Government Shutdown

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We begin with the amazingly successful smear campaign the Trump Administration and the Fox News echo chamber has done on fabricating a distraction from the Mueller probe by demonizing the DOJ and FBI to the point that 73% of Republicans believe these institutions that Trump controls are undermining his presidency. As recently as 2015, 84% of Republicans admired the FBI but today only 38% do and we will look into why Republicans have gone along with Trump in destroying one of the GOP’s major assets as the party of law and order. Alex Whiting, a professor at Harvard Law School who was formerly a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and the Department of Justice joins us to discuss his article at Just Security “President Trump and Concealing Evidence in the Russia Probe” and Trump’s record of not just tearing down democratic institutions, but tearing down people who were widely admired such as Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and now Rod Rosenstein.

Part 2

Then we analyze the criticism from around the world following the right wing Polish government’s attempt to safeguard Poland’s image abroad by passing a law outlawing any accusation of Poland’s complicity in the Nazi crimes committed during the holocaust.  James Kirchick, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution whose latest book is “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age”, joins us to discuss how Poland is joining in an unfortunate trend of outlawing historical inquiry as Putin has done in Russia by passing a law making it illegal to mention the Hitler/Stalin Pact, which ironically set the stage for the Nazi/Soviet invasion of Poland at the start of World War 11.  

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Eric Olson, the Deputy Director of the Latin American Program and Senior Advisor of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars about how immigration again will be at the heart of whether there is another government shutdown. Now that the Senate has passed a budget bill without addressing the “Dreamer” issue which the Democratic leader of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a marathon speech means that her caucus will not support a budget package that does not commit to a debate over DACA. So the prospect of another shutdown, which Trump said he would love, looms large.

 

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February 6 - Behind the Stock Market's Wild Fluctuations; Trump's Cynical Exaggeration of the Threat Posed by MS-13; Trump's Termites Eating Away at the Foundations of American Democracy

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We begin with the wild fluctuation of the stock market after its biggest-ever plunge on Monday and examine the underlying causes with economist James Galbraith, Chair of Government/Business Relations and a professor at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and author of “Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know”. He joins us to discuss how much of a factor the fear of inflation and rising salaries played as the market closed at the end of today up 567 points after a loss of 1175 points on Monday following a loss of 666 on Friday.  All this taking place as the new head of the Federal Reserve was sworn in while the President of the United States Donald Trump displayed even greater volatility, venturing into the rhetorical world of egomaniacal dictators like Qadaffi by calling Democrats who did not applaud during his State of the Union address with the same sycophantic enthusiasm as Republicans , traitors. Then today before law enforcement officials Trump announced his willingness to have the United States government grind to a halt as he threatened to hold the fate of “Dreamers” hostage to his wild exaggerations about an imaginary invasion of the country by the MS-13 street gang who he claims are continuing to kill Americans, warning “I’d love to see a shutdown if we don’t get this stuff taken care of”.

LBJ School faculty member James K. Galbraith

Part 2

Then we separate Trump’s fiction from the facts about the El Salvadoran street gang MS-13 which was founded in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and speak with Cora Currier, a journalist who writes about national security, immigration, human rights, and press freedom for The Intercept where she has an article “El Salvador’s Youth are Trapped Between Gang Violence and Police Abuse”.  We discuss the cynical use by Trump of this criminal gang that mostly preys on immigrant Latino communities while wreaking havoc in El Salvador where its ruthless tactics force young El Salvadorans to flee north to the U.S. or either be killed or become killers.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, the co-founder of DCReport.org about his latest book, just out, “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America”. He joins us to discuss how Trump continues to win with his supporters in spite of how much the majority of Americans are appalled by his behavior and how by concentrating of his daily outrages, the press are missing the damagse that his Administration which Johnston characterizes as “termites”, are doing as they eat away at the foundations of American democracy.

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February 5 - Nunes Has Injected Poisonous Partisanship Into the US Non-Partisan Intelligence Community; Mulvaney is Busy Destroying the CFPB From Within; The US and Russia Move Closer to Nuclear War

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With Trump insulting the 6 foot-tall Minority Chair of the House Intelligence Committee today as “little Adam Schiff”, we will begin with the injection of poisonous politics into America’s non-partisan intelligence community by the Nunes memo and efforts by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to get their rebuttal out to the public following the release of the absurd conspiratorial fiction which Nunes and Trump concocted. Mark Fenster, a Professor at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and author of “Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture” joins us to discuss how the political landscape has been turned on its head now that liberals are defending agencies they have traditionally been more critical of as Trump attacks the integrity of U.S. law enforcement agencies to stop their investigations into his possible criminal activities, in a cover-up which Republicans have not just enabled, but have joined in.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the brazen example of the fox guarding the hen-house with the Director of the OMB Mick Mulvaney, who Trump has moonlighting as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, destroying the agency from within by giving a get-out-of-jail-free pass to Equifax who allowed the personal date of 143 million Americans to get into the hands of criminal hackers. Amanda Werner, the arbitration campaign manager with Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen who is now the campaign strategist for Public Justice, joins us to discuss how Mulvaney is also giving a free pass to predatory payday lenders who will be holding their annual trade association gathering at one of Trump’s resorts.

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Part 3

 
Then finally with the START treaty between Russia and the U.S. set to go into effect on Monday, we examine the new Nuclear Posture Review with Jonathan Granoff, the President of the Global Security Institute and discuss the trillions that Trump will waste from his promise in the State of the Union to “modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal”.  We assess the dangerous folly of mirroring the reckless Russian doctrine of deploying more low-yield nuclear weapons that increases the potential for their use.
 

 

February 4 - From "American Carnage" to "American Disgrace"; Is Trump Winning In His Campaign Against the DOJ and FBI?; What the NFL is Not Talking About at Today's Superbowl

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Part 1

We begin with the differing reactions to the Nunes memo which has underwhelmed many while confirming the darkest conspiracy theories of those already riled up by Fox News and right wing media.  David Schultz, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota School of Law and author of “American Politics in the Age of Ignorance: Why Lawmakers Choose Belief over Research”, joins us to discuss the weaponization of conspiracy theories by Donald Trump who has moved on from his inauguration message of “American carnage” to his current invention of “American disgrace”. With Trump seizing on the Nunes memo which he helped orchestrate as the Fox News echo chamber pumps out pro-Trump propaganda, the president appears to be doubling down on his attacks on the FBI and DOJ with Rod Rosenstein in the cross-hairs as a next target to be forced out by a president who at the very least if he does not succeed in shutting down or neutering the special counsel’s inquiry, will now be able to avoid testifying to Mueller on the grounds which the bogus Nunes memo has provided.

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Part 2

Then we speak with an award-winning journalist Walter Shapiro who has covered the last ten presidential campaigns and is a columnist for Roll Call, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and teaches political science at Yale. He joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “The Nunes memo shows Republicans buy their own conspiracy theories” and whether Trump has succeeded in not just getting away with not releasing his tax returns and making a mockery of the emoluments clause, but creating the pretext for either ending, delaying  or neutering the Mueller investigation.

Part 3

Then finally we assess the aspects of today’s Superbowl that the NFL is not emphasizing and that includes declining attendance, the corporatization of football, what a career playing pro football does to the human brain, and what happened to the #takeaknee protest movement started by the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Ben Carrington, a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC and author of “Race, Sport and Politics” joins us to look into why Trump’s swipe at NFL protesters got the most applause at his recent State of the Union address.

 

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