January 25 - Gingrich's Southern Strategy; A Hostage Rescue in Somalia; A Financial Crimes Unit At Last

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With Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney polling even in Florida and more primaries in southern states to come, we begin with an analysis of Newt Gingrich’s southern strategy with Drew Westen, a political psychologist and neuroscientist and professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Emory University. We discuss what political antidotes could be used against ignorant, racist Republican voters who believe Obama is a Muslim with a fake birth certificate.
 
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Then Robert Young Pelton joins us. He is the founder and publisher of the Somaliareport.com and we will discuss the rescue operation in Somalia that freed an American aid worker and a Dane working with a de-mining unit. We examine the changing tactics of piracy in this lawless failed state as pirates move their activities on-shore because of increased naval activity against them.
 
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Then finally we speak with Ian Kim, the Campaign Manager of Rebuild the Dream, which along with MoveOn.org and other progressive organization recently sent a letter to President Obama urging him to act and provide mortgage relief for 10 million American homeowners underwater as well pursue criminal charges against those who committed the massive fraud that led to the crash in 2008. We discuss the president’s announcement in last night’s The State of the Union of the creation of a Financial Crimes Unit.
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  MUSIC: Built To Spill - Temporarily Blind; Led Zeppelin - Down By The Seaside; Fugazi - Cashout; Xavier Rudd - Shelter  

 

January 24 - Taxing Mitt The Poster Boy For The 1%; "The Bibi Connection"; The Truth About Food Stamps

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We will begin with the partial release of Mitt Romney’s tax returns that could make him the poster boy for the one percent in this election. Jeffrey Winters joins us. He is a professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and the author of the new book “Oligarchy”. He has an article at the Huffington Post “Romney a Nobody Among the Ultra-Wealthy, But Rich Enough to Stick Out as President”. We will discuss the American oligarchy of which Mitt Romney is a junior member. winters

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Then Max Blumenthal joins us. He is an award-winning investigative journalist, a Puffin Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and an investigative reporter with the Lebanese-based Al-Akhbar English where he has written “The Bibi Connection”, an investigative report that outlines a shadow campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to defeat Obama and help elect a Republican president.

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Then finally, since Newt Gingrich has made a campaign issue out of food stamps, repeatedly referring to Barack Obama as the food stamp president, we will speak with Timothy Casey, a senior staff attorney with Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest legal defense and education fund dedicated to advancing the rights of all women and girls. We will get a fact check on food stamps and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, know as SNAP.

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  MUSIC: Shabazz Palaces - Gun Beat Falls; Radiohead - Electioneering (Cover); Das Racist - Sit Down People; Fionn Regan - Lord Help My Poor Soul  

 

January 23 - Cracking the Gingrich Code; China's Iran Dilemma; Arab League Flounders on Syria

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We begin with an analysis of the code used successfully by Newt Gingrich in his South Carolina win that he himself attributed, not to his superior debating skills but, quoting “I articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people”. Alternet’s Washington Bureau Chief Adele Stan joins us to decipher Gingrich’s race-baiting code and discuss what she sees as the likely rhetorical re-fighting of the Civil War with a black Democrat doing battle with a white Republican for president of what is supposed to be the post-racial United States. adele stan

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Then with today’s announcement that the European Union is joining the U.S.-led embargo against Iran, we examine the role of Iran’s largest trading partner, China, in avoiding another Gulf war and the closure of the Straights of Hormuz. Minxin Pei, the director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies and a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College joins us. He has an article at the BBC, “China’s Iran Dilemma”.

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Then finally, Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of “Syria Comment” a daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics, joins us. We discuss Saudi Arabia’s withdrawal from the ineffective observer mission and the Arab League’s demand that Syria’s bloody dictator Basher Assad hand power to a transitional government, a demand that the regime has already rejected as a “foreign conspiratorial scheme”.

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  MUSIC: Sun Airway - Waiting On You; Bonobo - Kiara; Dirty Projectors - Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie; Syrian Protestors - Bashar Must Go  

 

January 22 - Newt's March on Florida; Bain Capital's Dirty Seed Money; Pakistan's Political Soap Opera

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We begin with an analysis of the political landscape in Florida as attention shifts to the next key Republican primary following Newt Gingrich’s surprise and substantial upset win in South Carolina. Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute and the chief spokesman for the Florida polls, joins us to assess whether the angry populism that Newt Gingrich stirred up in South Carolina is ripe for the picking in Florida. peter brown

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Then, as Mitt Romney just announced he is releasing some of his income taxes, we look into the source of the wealth of the company he created, Bain Capital. Joining us is Justin Elliot, a reporter for Salon.com who has an article at Salon “The Roots of Bain Capital in El Salvador’s Civil War”.

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Then finally we speak with Christine Fair who served as a political officer with the UN in Afghanistan and is a Senior Fellow at the Counterterrorism Center at West Point. She is just back from Pakistan where it appears there is a coup in the making.

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  MUSIC: Born Ruffians - Retard Canard II; Vampire Weekend - I Stand Corrected; Shabazz Palaces - Gun Beat Falls; Fugazi - The Argument  

 

January 19 - The Real Winners In This Election; Mitt's First Amendment Problems; "The End of the Christian Right"?

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We begin with author and media critic Robert McChesney and discuss the real winners in the elections so far, and that is the media monopolies who will rake in a record five billion from TV advertizing in 2012, up from 2.8 billion in 2008. Robert McChesney has an article in the Nation “After Citizens United: The Attack of the Super PAC’s”.

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Then we examine the serious First Amendment questions that Mitt Romney’s official position in the hierarchy of the Mormon religion raise, with Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, who previously taught at Harvard Law School where he was a classmate of Mitt Romney’s. We discuss the functional equivalent to the Mormon Pope and his College of Cardinals sitting in their Salt Lake Vatican City giving orders to an Archbishop, President Mitt Romney.

RETRACTION: Exaggerated claims of Romney's connection to the Mormon Church heirarchy made in this interview are corrected in the January 22nd program.

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Then finally historian Michael Kazin joins us. He has an article at The New Republic “The End of the Christian Right”. As Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum make last-minute appeals to Christian conservative voters in South Carolina, we discuss the apparent inability of the power brokers on the religious right to unite behind a candidate who could beat Mitt Romney. michael kazin
  MUSIC: Shabazz Palaces - An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infititum; Monsters of Folk - His Master's Voice; Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit; MGMT - The Youth