November 2 - Trump's Trickle-Down Tax Plan; The Alt-Right Prepares for a Civil War in America That Starts on Saturday; The Tech Giants Who Allowed Russia to Help Elect Trump

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the Trump tax plan hailed today by House Speaker Paul Ryan as “a very important and special moment” for the middle class when it is clear that the main beneficiaries are the super-rich and corporate America.  Pavlina Tcherneva, a professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department at Bard College who is a research scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, joins us to discuss the Republican sleight of hand as they do the bidding of their donor class while selling a bill of goods to their voters who will bear the increased burden as they pay more taxes while the debt and deficit explode. We also examine the choice of Jerome Powell as the new Fed Chairman which appears to be an unusually reasonable choice by Trump whose previous picks for high government posts are all hostile to the notion of government itself and are destroying the government departments they head up as they “deconstruct” Steve Bannon’s mythical “administrative state”.

 

Image result for Pavlina Tcherneva

Part 2

Then finally with a civil war poised to break out in America on Saturday November the 4th, a violent insurrection led by Antifa “super soldiers” out to kill Trump voters, conservatives and gun-owner, all this according to alt-right websites and conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, we speak with Spencer Sunshine, a researcher and activist whose research interests include U.S. white nationalism, post-war fascism, left/right crossover movements, and left wing antisemitism.  He joins us to explore this paranoid fantasy that could have real world consequences since so many right wing gun nuts in the country believe this nonsense. We discuss how a demonstration by Chairman Bob Avakian’s Revolutionary Communist Party that blocked a Los Angles freeway with a sign that said “November 4 it begins”, has morphed into an apocalyptic call for right wing vigilantes to kill leftwing activists trying to spark a civil war.

Image result for Spencer Sunshine,

Part 3

 
Then we examine the hearings that took place in the last few days on Capitol Hill in which representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter were grilled by lawmakers concerned that the tech giants allowed Russian fake news to influence the last election and unless something is done, the Russians will interfere even more with the next election. Jonathan Taplin, the Founder and Director Emeritus of the Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC and author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy” joins us along with Marc Rotenberg, the President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, EPIC, in Washington DC.  
 

Image result for Jonathan Taplin

Image result for Marc Rotenberg

 

mp3audio: 

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

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

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.

Image result for Hassan Hassan

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.   
 

 

mp3audio: 

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

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

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.  

 

Image result for Jason Stanley,\

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.

Image result for Lawrence Douglas

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.

Image result for Adam Goodheart,

 

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?

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

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.

 

Image result for Scott Horton

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.   

Image result for Anders Aslund

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.

Image result for liz kennedy center for american progress

 

mp3audio: 

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

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

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.

 

Image result for Harry Litman

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.

Image result for Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer

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.
 

 

mp3audio: