February 1 - Trump's Brazen Desperation to Kill the Russia Inquiry; Trump is the Gift That Keeps on Giving to Putin; Is Turkey Becoming More of an Ally of Russia Than a NATO Ally?

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Part 1

We begin with the White House signing off on the Nunes memo without any redactions ahead of its release on Friday, in spite of objections from the DOJ and the FBI which issued a statement “the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy”.  Andrew Cohen, a senior editor at the Marshall Project and a fellow at the Brennan Center as well as a legal analyst for “60 Minutes” and a contributing editor to The Atlantic, joins us. We discuss his article at The New York Review of Books, “The Nunes Memo Kremlinology” and assess whether the brazen acts of the Trump Administration and their enablers in Congress will finally get the attention of the American people. With Nunes obstructing justice while the White House obstructs justice to aid the Russian who Trump just let off the hook by defying Congressionally-mandated sanctions against Putin’s oligarchs and cronies, when will it become clear that our president will stop at nothing to prevent the Mueller inquiry from revealing whatever ever it is that Trump is so desperate to hide? 

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Max Bergmann, a Senior Fellow for national security and Director of the Moscow Project at the Center for American Progress. He served at the State Department as special assistant to the undersecretary for Arms Control and as a speechwriter for Secretary of State John Kerry and we discuss how Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to Putin and how crippling FBI counterintelligence is a gift to Russian spies and as long as Nunes is Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, allied intelligence agencies will not cooperate with U.S. intelligence, which is another win for the ex-KGB man in the Kremlin.

Max Bergmann

Part 3

Then finally, while Washington is being torn apart by America’s enemies within, foreign policy challenges abroad grow more acute as the U.S. stands poised to lose all of the blood and treasure it has invested in the Middle East in Iraq and in Syria to the Russians and Iranians. David Phillips, the Director of Columbia University’s Program on Peace-Building and Rights and the author of “An Uncertain Ally: Turkey under Erdogan’s Dictatorship”, joins us to discuss his article at Axios “Turkey’s Widening Rift with the U.S.” and how Turkey appears to be more of an ally of Russia than our so-called NATO ally.

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January 31 - Democrats Should Run With Joe Kennedy's Righteous Anger at Trump; Trump's Big Apple Lie in His SOTU Speech; The Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway Health Plan

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Part 1

We begin with the response to President Trump’s State of the Union from the designated Democrat, not to mention other opposition voices who weighed in and speak with Paul Waldman, a senior writer at The American Prospect and author of “Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success” about his article at The Washington Post “What Joe Kennedy’s speech says about Democratic anger at Trump”.  He joins us to discuss how Democrats should resist the call by centrist pundits to reach out to conservative voters but instead energize and mobilize voters to vote in November using the growing and palpable anger across the land at Trump which is shared by 57% of the country who feel he is reckless, profane and sexist together with the alarm 46% of Americans feel who believe Trump is a greater danger to America and the world than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

 

Part 2

Then we look into one of the more glaring lies in Trump’s hour and a half long string of jingoistic patriotic platitudes mixed in with hyper-salesmanship and focus on his claim that “Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers…This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream”. Economist, lawyer and investigative journalist James Henry, the co-founder of the new investigative reporting service DCReport.org joins us to discuss Trump’s massive giveaway to the 1% dressed up as middle class tax relief and his bogus infrastructure plan which is based on a disastrous experiment that rewarded contractors but failed miserably for the public in the UK.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the health care project put forward by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that is long on promises and short on details and speak with Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist with the Los Angeles Times about his latest article at the LA Times “Reducing healthcare costs doesn’t require Bezos/Buffett/Dimon magic: Every other country already knows how”. We try to analyze why so many Republicans cheered Donald Trump at last night’s State of the Union when he proudly announced he was taking healthcare away from millions of his fellow Americans.

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January 30 - Nunes' Unprecedented Release of Manipulated Classified Information; Nunes and Trump Target Rod Rosenstein; Again Trump Gives Putin a Free Pass

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We begin with the Nunes memo which for the first time has the House Intelligence Committee releasing classified information to the public which is clearly designed for the partisan purpose of scuttling the Mueller investigation using the drumbeat of the Fox News propaganda machine to reinforce the lie that Trump is a victim of the Russia “hoax” and is under attack by the so-called Deep State. Joshua Geltzer, the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection who served as Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the DOJ, joins us. We will discuss his article at Just Security “You Don’t Need to Know What’s in the Nunes Memo to Worry About Its Release” and the move by Nunes and the Republicans to block the rebuttal by the Committee’s Democratic minority so that the public will only get Nunes’ headline-grabbing, cherry-picked sensationalized version cobbled together to support the Trump talking points without context or any regard for the truth.

 

Joshua Geltzer Profile

Part 2

Then we examine further this dramatic escalation in the war the Trump Administration and their Republican enablers are waging on the DOJ and the FBI and speak with Mark Zaid, a Washington-based Attorney who handles national security cases and has represented clients ranging from high-profile Members of Congress to covert CIA operations officers.  We  discuss how Nunes and Trump are targeting Rod Rosenstein on the bogus grounds he asked for an extension of a FISA warrant on Carter Page who had previously been caught on surveillance being recruited by two Russian spies who were arrested.

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Part 3

Then finally we try to assess why Trump has again given Vladimir Putin a free pass by not imposing new sanctions on Russia called for by an overwhelmingly majority in Congress that Trump reluctantly signed into law last year. Instead Trump put out a list of 210 senior Russian political figures and oligarchs that appears to have been lifted from a Forbes list of billionaires. William Pomeranz, the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center who also teaches Russian Law at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, joins us to analyze why Trump is so soft on the Russians.

 

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January 29 - Trump Forces McCabe Out of the FBI to Then Move on Rosenstein; Nunes and His Bogus Memo of a "Secret Society" Within the "Deep State"; The Game the Koch Brothers Play With Their Useful Idiot Trump

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We begin with the exit of the number two official at the FBI who has been under pressure to resign from President Trump, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump’s congressional cheer squad led by Devon Nunes, along with the Fox News echo chamber. Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department who in now a Professor of Political Science at the University of California San Diego, joins us to discuss what appears to be a successful effort by Trump to force Andrew McCabe out from his position as Deputy Director of the FBI. We look into how Trump is working in concert with Devon Nunes to create an alternative narrative to Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation which rests on smearing the integrity and independence of those investigating his ties to the Russians by insinuating  they are a part of plot by Democratic sore losers led by Hillary Clinton out to discredit Trump’s amazing and unappreciated election victory.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine further how the bogus Nunes memo of cherry-picked classified details from a FISA warrant extension application of surveillance of Carter Page was first enabled by Speaker Paul Ryan who turned down pleadings from the Justice Department and the FBI not to allow Nunes to release his version which Fox News and right wing media have turned into an expose of the machinations of a “secret society” within the “Deep State”.  Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security, joins us.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into what transpired at a luxury hotel in Palm Springs at this last weekend’s gathering of millionaire and billionaire donors in the 550-member Koch Brothers network. Lee Fang, an investigative journalist with The Intercept who was the first to uncover and detail the role of the billionaire Koch brothers in financing the Tea Party, joins us. We discuss the game the Koch Brothers play by pretending to distance themselves from Trump and his antics, while they are the main beneficiaries from almost everything that the Trump Administration has achieved, all of which the Koch Brothers and their hirelings in the Trump cabinet and Congress are pushing behind the scenes.

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January 28 - Could American Democracy Die?; Russians Demonstrate Against the Lack of Electoral Choice; Could Ramped-Up Taliban Attacks Render America's Investment in Our Longest War Futile?

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the state of American democracy and the durability of our democratic institutions which are under attack by President Trump. Added to this, the traditional checks and balances provided by the constitution’s separation of powers no longer function because the Republicans in Congress are enabling Trump rather than curbing his abuse of power. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, both Professors of Government at Harvard University, join us to discuss their new book “How Democracies Die” and their article at the New York Times “How Wobbly is Our Democracy?” We examine how durable our democracy is with rising political polarization in America that is racial and cultural and assess the global retreat of democracy and the rise of authoritarian regimes as democracies in Turkey, The Philippines, Hungary and Poland are under attack from the right while democracy in Venezuela and Bolivia is under attack from the left.    

Steve Levitsky

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Part 2

Then we speak with Ambassador Steven Pifer, who was U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. We discuss the demonstrations today across Russia against the lack of choice in the upcoming elections and Putin’s latest move to silence the pro-democracy campaigner Aleksei Navalny.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the latest Taliban atrocity in Afghanistan with a suicide bomber using an ambulance as a bomb killing 95 civilians, this following a recent slaughter at a hotel in Kabul and the murder of Save the Children aid workers in Jalalabad. Christine Fair, a former U.N. Political Officer in Afghanistan who is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, joins us. We discuss her latest article at The Atlantic “Pakistan Will Try to Make Trump Pay” and the ramped-up attacks on Afghanistan’s divided government which threatens to render America’s investment is our longest war futile.

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