January 11 - Trump Punishes the Poor With a Bogus Work Requirement; Trump's Tweets Almost Scuttle FISA Reauthorization; The Alt-Right Disowns Bannon for the True Hero Donald Trump

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We begin with the announcement from the Trump Administration that states may now impose work requirement on Medicaid recipients with Trump’s director of the federal Medicaid office arguing that “higher earnings are positively correlated with longer lifespan” and there is “strong evidence that unemployment is generally harmful to health”. Judith Solomon, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she focusses on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, joins us to discuss this reversal of the Obama era effort to expand access to Medicaid, with the Trump Administration now trying to restrict it. And we  assess whether most if not all of the states who rejected Obama’s Medicaid expansion are the states that now want to run demonstration projects to test work requirements.

 

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Then with the House passage of the reauthorization of the controversial FISA surveillance law on a vote of 256 to 164 today, we look into the chaos that preceded the vote with first Trump tweeting out his increasingly hysterical distortions about FISA and the Steele dossier and the imagined Obama surveillance of the Trump campaign, only to reverse himself two hours later with another tweet presumably in response to adult supervision. Michelle Richardson, the Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Freedom, Security and Technology Project, joins us to discuss the six year renewal of the controversial 702 statute that critics argue allows the government to spy on Americans without a warrant.

Part 3

Then finally, with neo-Nazi and white nationalist leaders like Richard Spencer and Andrew Anglin disowning Steve Bannon and making it clear that their true heroes and leaders have been and still are Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, we speak with an award-winning journalist, author and expert on American right wing extremism, David Neiwert, the author of the new book “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump”. He joins us to discuss how we have a classic authoritarian, fascist leader in Trump, but without the fascist ideology, and mercifully, so far America’s democratic institutions have been able to prevent the authoritarian in the Oval Office from engineering a totalitarian takeover of America.

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January 10 - Trump's Tangled Ties With Deutsche Bank; The Impact of Bannon's Banishment on the Alt-Right and the Conservative Movement; Will Arpaio Hurt Republicans and Help Democrats in Arizona?

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We begin with Trump’s call today to Republicans to take control and scuttle the Russia investigation and his attack on Senator Feinstein for releasing the transcripts of the Fusion GPS testimony that the Republicans were suppressing. A white-collar criminologist and founding member of Bank Whistleblowers United, William K. Black, distinguished scholar in research for financial regulation at the University of Minnesota, joins us to discuss money laundering and Deutsche Bank which were the main concerns expressed by the Fusion GPS founders in their testimony released by Senator Feinstein. We discuss how over the holidays Trump quietly waived punishment for convicted megabanks including Deutsche Bank, and whether Mueller, who has the records of Trump’s tangled dealings with Deutsche Bank who Trump still owes as much as $300 million, will be able to complete his investigation before the Republicans, urged on by the likely guilty party Donald Trump, will be able to get his findings to the public before he is shut down.

 

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Part 2

Then we assess the impact on the alt-right and the broader conservative movement of Steven Bannon’s spectacular fall from grace from the top Trump-whisperer to “sloppy Steve” who has been dumped like a dog, cut off from his financial patron which in our money-driven political system, means you are roadkill. Joseph Lowndes, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon and an expert on conservatism, the Tea Party, social movements, the GOP, race and elections, joins us to discuss where the battle between the far right and the far-far right stands and whether the government will be soon shut down over Trump’s insistence on building a wall.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we examine the unsettled political landscape in Arizona which has been upended by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s announcement he is running for the U.S. Senate to replace Jeff Flake in a move that may hurt Republicans and help Democrats. A retired Judge in Maricopa County, Donna Hamm, the Executive Director of Middle Ground Prison Reform, joins us to discuss the likelihood Donald Trump will endorse the 85 year old former sheriff he pardoned whose lawless behavior cost Maricopa County millions in settlements as a result of Arpaio’s racist, cruel and sadistic practices.    
 
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January 9 - Senator Feinstein Drops a Bombshell; Trump's Amazingly Light Work Schedule; A Book Will Not Force Trump Out of the Oval Office

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We begin with the bombshell dropped today by Senator Diane Feinstein who unilaterally released the transcripts of the testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the co-founder of Fusion GPS which the chairman Senator Grassley has been sitting on. One of America’s leading experts on the nation’s intelligence organizations, Loch Johnson, the Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia who served as staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to discuss this uncharacteristically bold move by Senator Feinstein. We will look into how both Senator Grassley and Senator Graham have been going out of their way to divert attention from the evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians and possible compromise Putin has on Trump in the Steele Dossier. Instead they are re-investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and the bogus Uranium One story while going after the messenger by instigating a criminal investigation into Steele in the hope of preventing the message from getting to the American people.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine President Trump’s amazingly light work days revealed today in a scoop by Axios who managed to get a copy of this week’s private presidential schedule which show that most of the day Trump is engaged in what it euphemistically referred to as “Executive Time”, meaning he is watching cable television, calling friends on the phone and tweeting. Matthew Dallek, a professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and a political historian, joins us to discuss how little Trump works governing the country compared to his predecessors and how dangerously ill-informed Trump is because he watches so much of Fox News.

 
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Part 3

 
Then finally we speak with Dr. Allen Frances, a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University and author of “Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump”. He joins us to discuss how the new book “Fire and Fury” adds to the problem that there is too much focus and expectation being placed on the wish to remove Trump from office because he is mentally unfit while not enough attention is paid to the fact that Trump is a very bad man doing very bad things to the country and the world and he is only just getting started.   
 
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January 8 - Trump Puts One Million on Notice They Face Deportation; Why Children and Families Flee Central American Countries; White "Patriots" Get Away With Threatening Feds With Assault Rifles

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We begin with the Trump Administration’s announcement that 200,000 Salvadorans living in the U.S. for 17 years or more have to get out of the country by September of 2019 or face deportation, this after earlier deportation notices to 45,000 Haitians, 2,500 Nicaraguans and the expected forthcoming elimination of TPS, temporary protection status for 57,000 Hondurans. Martha Arevalo, the executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARACEN), who specializes in immigrant advocacy work, joins us to discuss what she sees as a cruel and arbitrary policy designed to satisfy President Trump’s anti-immigrant base. About one million now face deportation, since Trump has already rescinded DACA, Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals exposing 700,000 kids to deportation. And now he is forcing out 200,000 Salvadorans with roots in this country and about another 200,000 of their U.S.-born children who are American citizens giving them the choice of either staying here without their parents or going back to a gang-infested country with one of the worst homicides rates in the world.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine further Trump’s anti-immigrant purge and go to Honduras to speak with Elizabeth Kennedy, a scholar who focuses on the experiences and needs of child, youth and forced migrants. She has worked as a Fulbright Fellow with returned youth migrants in El Salvador who have fled gang violence and Elizabeth is now in Honduras studying children and families fleeing rampant violence from corrupt police, military and drug traffickers in that country. We look into the extent to which this is a legacy of U.S. foreign policy and what can be done to make these countries more livable for their citizens so that they don’t have to flee and risk their lives trying to get to safety in the United States.

 
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Part 3

Then finally with a judge in Nevada angrily dismissing the charges against the Bundy family who in 2014, along with about 400 so-called patriots, led an armed standoff to stop a Bureau of Land Management roundup of Bundy cattle grazing on federal lands after Cliven Bundy had refused to pay the government grazing fees for 20 years. Eric Herzik, a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Nevada, joins us to discuss how badly the federal prosecutors blew the case, and the double standard that white ranchers can point assault rifles at federal officials and get away with it, but if a black urban youth tried that, he’s be shot dead.

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January 7 - How Donald Trump's Mental Health is Now a Public Health Matter; Is Senator Lindsey Graham Being Blackmailed?; Ryan and the Republicans Are Now Colluding With Trump to Shut Mueller Down

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We begin with Trump’s “when did you stop beating your wife” defense of his mental health in response to the revelations in Michael Wolff’s book with Trump’s claim that he is a “very stable genius”, and speak with a prominent psychiatrist who has been urging lawmakers to act on the dangers posed by a president exhibiting manifest signs of psychological frailty under ordinary circumstances who under stress, could cause catastrophic damage to the country and the world. Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who was the lead organizer of the Duty to Warn conference and the editor of the bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President”, joins us to discuss her warning that the personal health of public figures is their private affair, until, that is, it becomes a threat to public health, and her article at The Guardian “Trump is now dangerous – that makes his mental health a matter of public interest”.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Sarah Kendzior, a journalist who specializes in the authoritarian states of Central Asia and is an op-ed columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail. She joins us to discuss the sudden about face of Senator Lindsey Graham who went from being an acerbic critic of Trump to a gushing sycophant and her concern that Trump is following the playbook of his mentor Roy Cohn and is possibly blackmailing Lindsey Graham using information the Russians hacked from the RNC and the senator’s private email.   

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Part 3

Then finally we look further into the extent to which Republican leaders have thrown their lot in with Trump and are now actively colluding in a purge of the DOJ and the FBI following Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to back the highly partisan White House flunky House Intelligence Chairman Devon Nunes’s sabotage of the Mueller investigation by subpoenaing FBI documents that are evidence in the on-going Russia probe which will surely end up in Trump’s hands and cripple Mueller’s inquiry. 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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