September 27 - A Report from a Prominent Lawyer Who Attended Today's Hearing; Can We Pretend the Judicial Branch Is Independent and Non-Partisan?; The Opposite of a Judicial Temperament Was on Display Today

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We begin with today’s contentious hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee at which Judge Kavanaugh’s first accuser Dr. Blasey Ford testified followed by Trump’s embattled nominee for the Supreme Court. We begin with Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of the National Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law who joins us to discuss what seemed to be two entirely different hearing, the first half of which was calm and composed and the second half of which was turbulent and emotional with Judge Kavanaugh shouting between tears, fighting to save his reputation. We assess whether the Republicans were able to turn things around after Dr. Ford’s very credible testimony as they indignantly blamed everything on Senator Feinstein for allegedly leaking a letter and delaying the hearings while they avoided any mention of the main issue at hand which is whether or not Judge Kavanaugh engaged in sexual assault of three women and lied about it.

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Part 2

Then we examine the whole process of the Senate confirmation of federal judges and the extent to which we can no longer pretend that the judicial branch is independent and non-partisan. Paul Collins, Director and Professor of Legal Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-author of “Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change” joins us. With judicial confirmations descending into partisan brawls starting with the Bork hearings, then the Thomas-Anita Hill hearings and now today’s drama, we will assess what possible path there is forward to restore dignity and respect for our courts.

Paul M. Collins, Jr.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Aya Gruber, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School who has written widely on rape law and domestic violence reform and has a forthcoming book “The Feminist War on Crime”. She joins us to discuss which one of the witnesses today displayed a judicial temperament after Dr. Ford showed quiet poise and restraint while Brett Kavanaugh went on a wild rant blaming his predicament on the revenge of the Clinton’s while wallowing in a “woe is me” tearful indignation as he exhibited a burning partisan contempt for the Democratic senators. The question then arises what kind of a judge would Kavanaugh be on the Supreme Court and what kind of treatment a Democrat appearing before him should expect.

 

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September 26 - Weaponizing Women's Rage; A Third Accuser of Kavanaugh's Sworn Statement; Trump's Stunning Charge Against China

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We begin with a third accuser of Judge Kavanaugh who provided a declaration under penalty of perjury which not just supports the evidence so far from the first two accusers, but goes beyond what is inferred in the books by Kavanaugh’s best friend Mark Judge. She shows a pattern and a purpose to the heavy drinking at house parties involving the spiking of drinks so that the young women would lose inhibitions and be so drunk that they could be gang raped by a train of boys including Kavanaugh and Judge, lined up outside rooms waiting to take their turn. Soraya Chemaly, an award-winning writer and activist who is the Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and author of the new book “Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger”, joins us to discuss how women’s rage at being overworked and underpaid, called sluts or prudes and when harassed, told they asked for it, is being transformed in the 21st century into one of the most important resources women have. With the #MeToo movement sweeping the country, the Kavanaugh hearing now seems like a watershed moment in which women as victims who have held in anger and humiliation for decades often having it turn into depression, are now bravely speaking out and challenging a ruthless patriarchy intent of ignoring them while placing a misogynist cloaked in piety on the highest court in the land who will roll back women’s rights and criminalize their right to choose.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Michele Gilman, a Professor of Law and the Co-Director of the Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore about the legal ramifications of the sworn statement by the third accuser Julie Swetnick now that the lawyer for Brett Kavanaugh is accusing her lawyer Michael Avenatti of malpractice for not contacting the police about the charges made against Kavanaugh and Mark Judge in her declaration. Even though Avenatti has contacted the Senate Judiciary Committee hoping to get a hearing on Swetnick’s charges.

Michele E. Gilman

Part 3

Then finally we look into the stunning charge President Trump made today before the UN Security Council where he accused China of interfering in the upcoming November election to hurt him because he is so tough on trade with China. Michael Fuchs, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and has an article at The Guardian “Trump is a laughing stock. But if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying”, joins us. We will discuss how Trump embarrassed the U.S. before the world yesterday, then today charged China for something he has never charged Russia with, even though Russia has been and still is, meddling in our elections.

Michael Fuchs

 

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September 25 - Plowing Kavanaugh Through in Spite of Mounting Evidence Against Him; Trump Embarrasses America Before the World; John Bolton's Overheated Threats Against Iran

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We begin with a posse of angry old white men in the  White House and the Republican Senate determined to “plow through” with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court regardless of Thursday’s testimony by Dr. Blasey Ford and have a vote of the full senate on his confirmation as early as next Monday or Tuesday. Bob Schiff, an attorney who served as Chief Counsel for former Senator Russ Feingold for 12 years and is the co-author of an article at Time Magazine “Brett Kavanaugh Can’t be Trusted. We Know Because We Worked as Counsel to Senators When He Was in the Bush White House”, joins us. We will discuss the contrast between the growing evidence against Kavanaugh and the increasing resolve of the Republicans to ram his confirmation through the senate, in stark contrast to the 8 months Mitch McConnell held up Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court who never even got a hearing. We will assess whether Kavanaugh’s third accuser who her lawyer Michael Avenatti is scheduled to unveil on Wednesday, could be sufficient for Senators Collins and Murkowski to break from the lockstep of GOP determination not to have an FBI investigation into these new and perhaps even more damning charges. Apparently she is accusing both Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge who the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are preventing from testifying.

 

Bob Schiff

Part 2

Then we speak with the founder of PassBlue, Dulcie Leimbach, who has covered the United Nations for decades and was an editor of The New York Times for more than 20 years. She joins us to discuss President Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly at which his absurd boasts about being the greatest president ever who has achieved a miraculous turnaround having made America great again in just two years, was greeted with mocking laughter from the leaders of the world gathered in the chamber. We assess whether the two thirds of Americans who are embarrassed by Trump’s pandering to the ignorant isolationist delusions of the one third minority of the country who believe a global bureaucracy is about to destroy America’s sovereignty, will stand up and be counted in November.

Dulcie Leimbach

Part 3

Then finally with President Trump chairing tomorrow’s UN Security Council meeting at which he is expected to single out Iran as enemy number one, we will speak with revolutionary Iran’s first Ambassador to the United Nations, Mansour Farhang, a professor emeritus of international relations at Bennington College. He joins us to discuss the overheated belligerent threats today from Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton warning Iran “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be HELL TO PAY’

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September 24 - Congressman Lieu's Call for the House Judiciary Committee to Investigate Kavanaugh; A Veteran of the DOJ on the Chaos Trump is Causing at the Top of the Department; The Republicans Are Stacking the Decks Against Dr. Ford's Testimony

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We begin with Congressman Ted Lieu who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and today called upon the House Judiciary Committee to open an investigation into the allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and a second accuser Deborah Ramirez, whose story of graphic and naked sexual harassment allegedly by Brett Kavanaugh at a drunken party of undergraduates at Yale, was just published by The New Yorker. In addition a third accuser has come forward who is represented by Michael Avenatti and she has made similar accusations which Congressman Lieu feels are sufficiently serious that together they raise the question of whether Judge Kavanaugh should keep his current job on the Federal Appeals Court, let alone the Supreme Court, and whether there are grounds for his impeachment. We also look into how much the White House is leaking reports that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the Mueller investigation is about to resign, and is it a distraction from the chaos and uncertainty now facing the nomination of President Trump’s second pick for the Supreme Court. He is expected to testify on Thursday amid growing calls by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee for an FBI investigation into the accusations from an increasing number of women coming forward who are questioning Kavanaugh’s honesty and fitness to serve on the highest courts in the land.

 

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Part 2

Then with more chaos gripping the leadership of the Department of Justice, with an increasingly tenuous Attorney General Trump claims he does not have, and a Deputy Attorney General Trump is threatening to fire while pressuring him to resign, we will speak with a veteran of the Department of Justice who served for 26 years, assuming a series of management positions, including Acting Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Bill Yeomans, a Senior Fellow for Justice at the Alliance for Justice who is now a lecturer at Columbia Law School, joins us to discuss the repercussions of the recent New York Times story which alleged Rod Rosenstein considered wearing a wire to record Trump and that he questioned whether the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove Trump from office. We assess whether Trump is trying to force Rod Rosenstein to resign at their upcoming showdown meeting on Thursday so that he can replace him under the Vacancy Act and thereby neuter the Mueller investigation, as opposed to firing him which would mean Trump would need Senate confirmation for a replacement for Rosenstein.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lena Zwarensteyn, the fair courts campaign director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights who previously served as the director of strategic engagement at the American Constitution Society where she oversaw judicial nominations. She joins us to discuss the apparent determination by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “plow through” with Thursday’s hearing in spite of growing calls for an FBI investigation into the increasing number of accusers coming forward raising the likelihood that Kavanaugh is guilty of perjury. With Dr. Ford having been denied her request to speak after Kavanaugh and be questioned by the Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee and have Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge testify, we assess the extent to which the Republicans are stacking the decks against her.

 

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