April 5 - Trump's Reality TV Antics on the Border; General McMaster's Parting Broadside; A Former Sinclair News Director on Having to Mouth Pro-Trump Propaganda

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With Donald Trump sending the military to the Southern border to help build his wall, we will begin with President Trump trying to have it both ways taking credit for the drop in border crossings while ginning up fears of a looming invasion from Mexico. Ivan Eland, a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independence Institute who spent 15 years in Congress working on national security issues, joins us to discuss Trump’s latest stunt in reaction to criticism from Ann Coulter which has him shoring up his base by making it seem he is doing something to deliver on his promise to build a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. We will assess how long our reality TV president can keep the press and the public distracted by his daily reality TV stunts to mask the utter incompetence of this dangerous ignoramus who was elected by a minority of Americans. We also look into whether reality will catch up with Trump’s increasingly frenzied performances and at what point will his base tire of his antics and realizes Trump is a fraud, because then presumably, the Republicans in congress will stop defending him thus making impeachment both possible and likely.

 

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Then we speak with Steven Pifer, the Director of the Brookings Institution’s Arms Control Initiative and a former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. He joins us to discuss outgoing National Security Advisor General McMaster’s broadside at the Trump Administration deliberately contradicting Trump’s claim that nobody has been tougher on the Russians than Trump has. We also assess the U.N. Security Council meeting today called by Russia to head off next week’s release of a report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on their investigation into the use of a nerve agent against a Russian exile on British soil.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with a former News Director of a TV station that the Sinclair Group took over and forced the local news anchors to mouth “Must run” pro-Trump propaganda mandated by the owners of Sinclair, the Smith Family. Aaron Weiss, who spent 14 years as a local news producer and news director, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Confessions of a Former Sinclair News Director” and how Sinclair is forcing professional journalists to become state propagandists”.

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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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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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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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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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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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