January 25 - Trump Starves Palestinians Because They Snubbed Pence; Trump Tries to Kill Solar While Reviving Coal; Updating the Timeline on the Trump-Russia Story

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We begin with the President’s threat which Trump issued after meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerlandto withhold aid to the Palestinians because they snubbed Vice President Pence during his recent visit to Israel. Khaled Elgindy, a Fellow with the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution who served as an advisor to the Palestinian leadership on permanent status negotiations with Israel and is the author of the forthcoming book “Blindspot: America and the Palestinians from Balfour to Obama”, joins us. We discuss Trump’s abandonment of any pretense that the U.S. is an honest broker in bringing about peace between Israelis and Palestinians and his blithe disregard for the consequences of his actions in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital which Vice President Pence further aggravated by declaring before Israel’s Knesset last week that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem next year.

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Part 2

Then we assess the damage that Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels will do in reducing jobs in the fastest-growing job category in what is the world’s fastest-growing energy industry with solar attracting over $160 billion in investment in 2017. Tyson Slocum, the Research Director for Public Citizen’s Energy Program, joins us to discuss how Trump, who listens to the disgraced coal baron and head of Murray Energy, has moved to throttle the clean energy of the future while he tries to revive the dirty energy of the past, coal. We look into how raising the cost of solar will affect U.S. research and development in promising new solar technologies that will reduce the costs of solar energy even further.

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Part 3

Then finally we get an update on the twists and turns of the Mueller investigation as every day brings more and more revelations with the latest the possibility that transcripts of Donald Trump Junior’s testimony to congress might expose him to charges of perjury. Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University and a regular contributor to The American Lawyer, joins us to discuss his comprehensive timeline of the Trump-Russia story which he has compiled at billmoyers.com and how difficult it is to keep updating information as more shoes drop every day while the Republicans frantically manufacture their alternative reality as they wage war on the DOJ and FBI.

 

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January 24 - Oxfam's Alarming Report as Trump Joins the Billionaires in Davos; The Golden State Fights Back in Trump's War on California; Grassroots Candidates Versus the Democratic Estabilishment

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We begin with a new report from Oxfam, “Reward Work, Not Wealth”, which coincides with the Davos World Economic Forum that President Trump in attending in Switzerland, the theme of which this year is “Creating a shared future in a fractured world”. Paul O’Brien, the Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America, joins us to assess whether the sudden growth in income inequality across the globe that in a period of one year has created a new billionaire every other day, will be adequately addressed by a group of world leaders and billionaires at this Mar-a-Lago in the Alps. We look into what drives this reversion towards a form of global feudalism where the world’s eight richest people have the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the planet and why this trend of a having a handful of oligarchs sitting on top of a vast global peasantry is accelerating with 82% of the wealth generated last year going to just 1% of the global population, while 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world, saw no increase in their wealth.

 

Part 2

Then we speak with Peter Schrag, the former editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee who has written for The Nation for nearly a half century, about his latest article at The Nation “California Shows How to Beat Trump, Now and in November”. We discuss how the Golden State is fighting back in Trump’s war on California as his administration tries to reverse the legalization of marijuana, open up offshore drilling, defund sanctuary cities, round up the undocumented and punish the world’s sixth largest economy by raising taxes on its citizens in a so-called tax reform bill that is not just a gift to the 1% but a petty act of Republican partisanship.  

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Part 3

Then finally progressive activist and blogger at DownWith Tyranny.com, Howie Klein, joins us in the studio. A concert promoter, disc jockey, music producer, record label founder, record label executive and professor of music who was President of Reprise Records, he joins us to discuss how California can go a long way towards flipping the House in November by unseating Republican congressmen who sold out their constituents. And we will assess the difference between grassroots candidates running for office and those the Democratic Party establishment favors.

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January 23 - Trump's War on the FBI; Russian Money Funneled Through the NRA to Help Elect Trump; How Right-to-Work Laws Are Disadvantaging Democrats

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We begin with the nation’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions acting as Trump’s hatchet man as he conducts a purge of the FBI to validate Trump’s narrative that the special counsel’s investigation into Trump’s Russia ties and obstruction of justice are a Democratic-inspired witch hunt by a bunch of sore losers out to delegitimize Trump’s glorious victory in the Electoral College. Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School and a former Special Agent at the FBI specializing in counterintelligence, joins us to discuss how Sessions has leaned on the Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire the Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI’s former general counsel James Baker, both of whom were close to the fired FBI Director James Comey and are witnesses in possible obstruction of justice charges against Trump. We will also examine warnings given to Jared Kushner from the FBI that his friend Wendi Deng, the former wife of Rupert Murdoch, could be working for the Chinese.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Peter Stone, a special correspondent for McClatchy D.C. Bureau who since 1990 has covered a wide array of lobbying, legal and campaign finance issues in Washington, about his article at McClatchy with Greg Gordon, “FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump”. We look into an FBI inquiry into a former Russian senator with ties to organized crime who is close to Putin, suspected of funneling money through the National Rifle Association to help elect Trump.

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Then finally we speak with Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University who is a co-author of a new study at the National Bureau of Economic Research “From the Bargaining Table to the Ballot Box: Political Effect of Right to Work Laws”. We will discuss how the increase in the number of states adopting right to work laws has hurt Democrats by diminishing their fundraising, their ability to organize and get out the vote, and their fielding of blue collar candidates who can relate to working class voters, many of whom voted for Trump.
 
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January 22 - Which Side Won the Battle of Framing the Government Shutdown?; Progressive Senate Democrats Reject the Compromise Deal to Reopen the Government; A Progressive Democrat on What She Sees as a Cave-In By Senator Schumer

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We begin with the Senate vote of 81 to 18 to reopen the government after a brief shutdown which led to an intense blame-game that has pundits assessing who the winners and losers are. We will begin with Paul Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University who was the founding director of the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and is the author of “Government by Investigation: Presidents, Congress and the Search for Answers”. He joins us to discuss the broader political landscape rather than the issues under contention that led to the shut down, and that is how the showdown between uncompromising Republicans and frustrated Democrats was framed in the media and which side was more successful in spinning their narrative. With Trump claiming to act out of love for “Dreamers” he and the Republicans unleashed scurrilous racism and xenophobic charges against the Democrats implying they only cared about “illegal” immigrants, not the American people.   

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Part 2

Then we look into the rejection of the compromise deal to reopen the government by leading progressive Democrats in the Senate with Senator Kamala Harris fuming  that is was “foolhardy” to believe Senator McConnell made “any commitment whatsoever” and that she is “disappointed with a conversation that suggests a false choice. You either fund the government or take care of the DACA kids. We can do both”. Longtime political organizer and strategist Robert Creamer, a partner in Democracy Partners and author of “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win”, joins us.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee who has spent the last 15 years working on labor, electoral and advocacy programs throughout the country. She represents the so-called “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the Democratic Party and joins us to voice her disappointment at what she sees as a “cave in” by Senator Schumer and her concern that “these weak Democrats hurt the party brand for everyone and make it harder to elect Democrats everywhere in 2018”.

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January 21 - The Government Shutdown and the Blame-Game Underway; NATO Allies Turkey and the US at Loggerheads; The North Korean End-Run Around Trump's Belligerence

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We begin with the government shutdown and the blame-game underway with President Trump calling for the “nuclear option” in the Senate to take away the filibuster from the Democrats and leave them completely powerless in the face of a thuggish, uncompromising and unyielding Republican House and Senate and a criminally incompetent president. Jim Manley, a 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate who served as a senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the past six years and before that as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, joins us. We discuss the Republican finger-pointing at Senator Schumer and the feigned indignation coming from Republican Majority Leader McConnell who has shut the Democrats out of any negotiation and when they have been let in on a bi-partisan basis, they soon find themselves hung out to dry and jilted by a joke of a president who does not know what he wants and is easily swayed by the hawkish hardliners he listens to Stephen Miller and his Chief of Staff General Kelly.   

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Part 2

Then we assess the growing crisis with two NATO allies at loggerheads as Turkish jets pound the U.S.’s Kurdish allies in the Syria/Turkey border area while Turkey’s surrogates in the Free Syrian Army along with Turkish troops launch a ground offensive. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress where he focusses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss the dictator of Turkey Erdogan’s vow to “strangle this force at birth” meaning the Syrian Kurdish military force the U.S. has backed and wants to maintain as a long-term military presence in the region.    

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who served as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia. He joins us to discuss his article at MediaVillage.com “Why the News Needs to Deconstruct Trump’s Dangerous Jingoism” and how much the North Koreans have done an end-run around Trump’s belligerent rhetoric by sending their Olympians to compete in the Winter Games under a common flag with their pre-Olympic delegation to Seoul led by a North Korean pop singer who has created a K-pop media frenzy in the South.

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