May 16 - The Senate Releases Transcripts of the Infamous Trump Tower Meeting; As Technology Overruns Privacy, What Can Be Done to Restore the 4th Amendment?; The US Senate Votes to Reverse the FCC's Overturning of Net Neutrality

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We begin with today’s statement from the Republican Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Russians did indeed help elect Trump, contradicting the widely-panned opposite conclusion of the House Intelligence Committee which Trump has celebrated, as well as the release today by the Senate Judiciary Committee of the transcripts of interviews with the participants in the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Trump’s inner circle and Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. A former senior State Department official, Max Bergmann, the Director of the Moscow Project and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, joins us to assess whether there are any more “smoking guns” in the over 2,000 pages of testimony released today, the most incriminating of which appears to be phone logs that indicate Donald Trump Jr. was communicating with a blocked phone likely his father’s, as though reporting in on the meeting before engaging in follow-up conversations with some of the participants. We will discuss the issue Trump constantly rails against, collusion, which has no legal relevance since the crime is conspiracy against the United States, and if meddling in our elections is at appears to be, a Russian intelligence operation, Putin would not have wanted or needed to collude with Trump to have achieved the results he got.

Max Bergmann

Part 2

Then we speak with Cyrus Farivar, the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica and author of the new book, just out “Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech” and discuss how as citizens we are under attack on two fronts from government and big tech companies who have us under more and more surveillance as technology has overrun privacy and the slow pace of legal reform is being eclipsed by the rapid transformation of technology. We assess what citizens can do to restore protections under the 4th Amendment in the digital age in which the law desperately needs to catch up with Big Brother.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into today’s surprising and encouraging vote in the U.S. Senate of 52 to 47 reversing the recent deeply unpopular ruling by the FCC to overturn net neutrality and speak with Craig Aaron the Managing Director at Free Press. We discuss how his organization and others are leading the grassroots effort to overcome the lobbying power of the big cable and telecomm companies who have the House of Representatives and President Trump in their pockets even though citizens and consumers hate these monopolies providing their cable and internet access as they continue to charge more for less service.

 

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May 15 - Racists, Bigots and Anti-Semites Offer Blessings at the Opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem; An Adviser to the Palestinian Leadership on Conditions in Gaza; How in 50 Years Politics Went From "Camelot" to “Game of Thrones" and “House of Cards"

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We begin with today’s observance by the Palestinians of the 70th anniversary of the “Nakba”, the catastrophe, following violent protest yesterday which left many dead and wounded from Israeli gunfire that Nikki Haley the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. applauded as “restraint” by the IDF as she vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a probe into the violence. We speak with Heather Hurlburt the director of the New Models of Policy Change project at the New America Foundation’s Political Reform Program. She previously served as a speechwriter for President Clinton and Secretaries of State Albright and Christopher and was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff and we will discuss the prayers offered at yesterday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem by a racist rabbi and two bigoted anti-Semitic American “Christian” preachers and her article at New York Magazine, “Status Quo Minus’ in Israel and Palestine.”

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Part 2

Then Khaled Elgindy, a Fellow in 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 “Blindspot: America and the Palestinians from Balfour to Obama”, joins us. We will discuss the sharp drop in protest activity today along the Gaza border perhaps due to a deal Egypt made with Hamas to open its Rafah border crossing to let much needed food and medical supplies into the besieged and blockaded Gaza strip. We  assess whether Egypt in acting in concert with the Israelis to temporarily ease the suffering in the crowded outdoor prison of 1.8 million Palestinians controlled by the militant group Hamas who the U.S. and Israel blame for the deaths yesterday.  

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Part 3

Then finally a leading U.S. political analyst Bill Schneider joins us in the studio. He is a visiting professor at UCLA and was CNN’s senior political analyst from 1990 to 2009 and his latest book, just out, is “Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable”. We discuss how in a little more than 50 years, American politics has gone from “Camelot” to “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards” and how American voters have increasingly placed values over interests and now have elected a leader who most voters – 61 percent – did not think was qualified to serve as president.

Bill Schneider

 

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May 14 - Ivanka Smiles While Palestinians Are Shot Down; Why Does the "Christian" Betsy DeVos Have No Problem With Destroying the Lives of Young Americans?; The Kilauea Summit Crater is About to Explode as it Did in 1924

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We begin with a day of stark contrasts between Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin gleefully announcing the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem while 40 miles away Palestinian protesters were being shot down by Israeli snipers with more than 60 killed and 2,700 wounded. Dr. Guy Ziv, a professor at American University’s School of International Service and Director of the Israeli National Security Project and author of “Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel”, joins us to discuss Prime Minister Netanyahu’s soaring popularity in Israel where he is seen as having got Trump to tear up Obama’s Iran deal and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We will look into whether today’s carnage could be topped by massive demonstrations planned for Tuesday, the day which Palestinians observe as the “Nakba”, the catastrophe, when in the 1948 war Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes. And we will assess whether the U.S. has extracted any concessions from Israel in exchange for handing Netanyahu such massive political gifts and if there is any hope of reviving the two-state solution and the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinian.  

Part 2

Then we examine the staggering hypocrisy of the overtly “Christian” Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who has just shut down the Department of Education’s investigative unit looking into the rampant abuses by for-profit colleges who are subsidized by the taxpayer to rip students off with meaningless education and worthless diplomas, indenturing them for life with crippling student debt they will never be able to pay off because they will never get the jobs they were promised. David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report who was a special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton and a counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to assess why Betsy DeVos has no problem with ruining the lives of young Americans who, instead of being seen as investments in the country’s future, are seen a profit centers to be milked by Wall Street vultures and bottom-feeding scammers.  

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Einat Lev, a volcanologist and research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University whose research focusses on lava flow dynamics at different volcanos around the world including Hawaii. We  discuss her article at CNN “Why Hawaii’s volcano is in danger of going ballistic” and whether, while the focus is on fissures spewing lava on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone, the Kilauea summit crater where the lava lake is dropping precipitously, is about to explode as it did back in 1924 sending giant 8 ton rocks into the air the size of 4 pickup trucks.

 

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May 13 - Violence and Demonstrations Are Expected When the US Moves Its Embassy to Jerusalem; A New Gulf War Could Both Revive Putin and Be a Boost for Electric Cars; California's Speaker on Republican Efforts to Punish the World's 5th Largest Economy

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We begin with the expected violence and demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank and across the Arab world accompanying Monday’s move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and speak with Asher Kaufman, Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and a professor of History and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. who taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was the Director of Middle East Studies at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He joins us to discuss tomorrow’s controversial move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem which President Trump will not be present at but his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both senior White House advisors, will be in attendance for the opening ceremonies.  We also assess the broader roiling landscape in the Middle East following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal and recent exchanges of missile fire between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria and while Ivanka Trump tweeted out that she is praying for peace, we examine the potential for another war in the region.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Robert Bell, the former Chair of the Finance and Business Management Department at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and author of “The Green Bubble”. He joins us to discuss his article in the major French newspaper Le Monde “Is This the Explanation of Trump’s and Putin’s Diplomacy?” which explores the possibility that rising tensions in the Gulf between the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran following the U.S. pullout of the Iran agreement and rising tensions between Iran and Israel over an Iranian military buildup in Syria, could lead to another war in the Gulf which would cause a dramatic rise in the price of oil and be a huge windfall for American oil companies and frackers as well as  Russia and Putin.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with the Speaker Pro Tem of the California Senate Kevin de Leon who is challenging long-time incumbent U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein in the upcoming California primary on June 5th. He joins us to discuss how Trump and the Republicans are punishing the successful state of California which is now the world’s fifth largest economy, and how Democrats can win over alienated centrist Republicans disgusted with Trump’s capture of the GOP.

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May 10 - A Former CIA Interrogator on the Haspel Nomination; Are Pompeo and Bolton Heading for a Showdown?; Caught Between Putin and Trump, Will American Democracy Be Saved by Robert Mueller?

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We begin with Senator McCain urging his colleagues to vote against the confirmation of Gina Haspel to head up the CIA because of her equivocation over renouncing torture as immoral and speak with a former member of the CIA’s clandestine Service who tried to stop the torture program from the inside the agency while Dick Cheney was ordering them to double down on a practice that was both immoral and ineffective. Glenn Carle, who retired from the CIA in 2007 as deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats and is the author of “The Interrogator: An Education”, joins us from Tokyo. We will discuss the local reaction to the summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un now scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, and whether McCain’s thumbs down on Haspel could sway other Republican senators and wavering Democrats to reject her nomination to head up the CIA as well as the failure of senators to question Haspel during the public confirmation hearings on the fact that, in spite of Trump’s claim to the contrary, the CIA has found no evidence that Iran has cheated on its commitments to the JCPOA deal which Trump just pulled the U.S. out of.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Thomas Wright, a fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy, as well as a fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. The author of “All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Power”, he joins us to discuss his article at Politico “John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Are Headed for a Clash” and how the pragmatic and ambitious Pompeo has his eyes on the presidency while the ideological Bolton, has no sense of strategy beyond nationalism and a hatred of multilateralism.  

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Part 3

Then finally we get an insightful briefing on the tenuous state of American democracy as we find ourselves caught between two kleptocratic and autocratic criminals. One, Vladimir Putin, has used fascist tactics to neutralize democracy in Russia and justify rule by wealthy oligarchs. And the other is a wannabe billionaire whose business was rescued by Russian dirty money, Donald Trump, who owes his election to the Russian intelligence services and is attacking the very foundation of American democracy, the rule of law, as the special counsel Robert Mueller closes in on him. Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale and author of “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” joins us to discuss his latest book just out, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America”.

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