September 9 - Kavanaugh Should Be Impeached for Lying to the Senate; A President Pence Would Not Be Worse Than Trump; A Possible Path for Democrats to Take the Senate; The Trump Administration's Ill-Considered Coup Plotting Against Venezuela

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Part 1

We begin with the call to not just reject the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but to impeach him for lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee in last week’s hearings. Lisa Graves, Co-director of Documented who was Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and wrote the documents which were stolen by GOP Senate aide Manual Miranda, joins us to discuss how Kavanaugh lied under oath in his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings about whether he had received stolen memos from Miranda, and did so again when questioned last week by Senator Leahy. After having zealously pursued perjury charges against Bill Clinton in a civil case for lying about an extra-marital affair to have a president impeached, Lisa Graves argues that Kavanaugh should be held to his own standard and be impeached for doing something far more egregious.

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Part 2

Then, with rumors swirling that Vice President Pence, who alone can initiate the 25th Amendment to remove Trump for office, could be the author of the anonymous op-ed revealing a dangerous and dysfunctional presidency, we look into whether a President Pence would be worse than the current occupant of the Oval office. Neil J. Young, a research scholar at George Mason University and author of “We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics”, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post, “No, President Mike Pence Would Not Be Worse Than Trump”.

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Part 3

Then we speak with Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and the Lone Star Project, about remarks made by the White House’s Federal Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that the Democrat’s Beto O’Rourke could win Ted Cruz’s senate seat in Texas. We examine the narrow but possible path the Democrats have in taking back the senate in November.

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Part 4

Then finally, we assess the blowback from revelations in The New York Times that the Trump Administration discussed coup plans against Venezuela’s President Maduro with rebel Venezuelan Military officers, one of whom is under U.S. sanctions for corruption. Javier Corrales, a Professor of Political Science at Amherst College and author of “Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela”, joins us.

 

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September 6 - The Warning from Inside Trump's Inner Circle; What Will It Take for Trump's Enablers to Abandon Him?; Russian Assassins Behind Nerve Agent Attack in UK Identified

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We begin with the anonymously authored op-ed in The New York Times by a senior Trump Administration official “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” which has the president lashing out in a fury as a flurry of denials are issued from his senior White House staff in an ominous atmosphere of threatened purges. Dr. Michael Carpenter, the former foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and director for Russia on the National Security Council who has an article at Foreign Affairs co-authored with Joe Biden, “How to Stand up to the Kremlin: Defending Democracy Against Its Enemies”, joins us. We discuss the op-ed’s charge that Trump fought against sanctioning Russia for the nerve agent attack in Britain and how the unnamed author describes the resistance inside the administration as not the work of the “deep state” but “the work of the steady state”. We examine the possibility that the few adults in the room could be purged by a paranoid president who could install Ivanka and Jared to run the show. And on top of what both the op-ed and Bob Woodward’s book make clear that our president himself is a danger to America’s national security, we explore the even grimmer possibility that Trump is a compromised tool of a malign foreign power.

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Part 2

Then, with the November elections fast approaching, we assess the likely political impact of the charges against their leader on the supine and craven House and Senate GOP enablers of Trump by a Republican official on the inside of Trump’s administration who is sounding the alarm about a dangerous and dysfunctional presidency. David Rothkopf, a visiting professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the former editor of Foreign Policy and author of “The Great Questions of Tomorrow”, joins us to discuss the anonymous author’s invocation of John McCain at a time when there is an ugly partisan determination by GOP senators to seat Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court.

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Part 3

Then finally we go to the U.K. to speak with Nico Hines, the London editor of The Daily Beast who previously was a reporter for the Times of London and their Washington correspondent. He joins us to discuss his article at The Daily Beast “How Russian Spies Used a Fake Nina Ricci Perfume Bottle to Smuggle Novichok Nerve Agent Into England” and what steps the unpopular British government can take to retaliate against Russia to deter future attacks.

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September 5 - Kavanaugh Stonewalls Democrats While Republicans Heap Unctuous Praise Upon Him; Will the Shocking Revelations in Woodward's Book Impact Trump's Base?; Policing Hate Speech Online

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We begin with the testimony today from Brett Kavanaugh where he obfiscated tough questions from Senate Democrats with layers of lofty legalism while being handed groveling softball questions from Republicans about how his kids feel about the way the hearings are going. Paul Campos, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School and author of “Jurismania: The Madness of American Law” who blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money, joins us to discuss the fatuous nature of this political theater in which one side plays hardball and the other fumes in impotence. And while Kavanaugh’s confirmation appears to be a foregone conclusion, there were hints in questions from Senator Leahy that the nominee may have been less than truthful about the hacking of Leahy’s email which if pursued, might tip the scales. But given the lock-step nature of the Republicans on the committee and the determination to get Kavanaugh confirmed as a trophy for the GOP base before the election, it is doubtful that anything short of a video of Kavanaugh drowning kittens or cavorting with Satan would derail the confirmation of Trump’s second Justice onto the Supreme Court. In part because of the saturation of scandal fatigue from the constant outrages of our porn-star-prone president.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the possible political effect of Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in the White House” which is already getting enormous media attention ahead of it publication next Tuesday. Paul Farhi, The Washington Post’s media reporter joins us to discuss the difference between Woodward’s book and earlier exposes of a chaotic and dysfunctional White House and whether the shocking revelations about a president who himself is a threat to our national security, could move the needle in terms of influencing Trump’s base inside the Fox News bubble.

Part 3

 
Then finally, with hearings today before the Senate Intelligence Committee at which the CEO’s of Facebook and Twitter testified about Russian election interference and data manipulation, propaganda and hate speech on social media, we speak with Jared Holt, a Research Associate at Right Wing Watch who specializes in Alt-Right and so-called “New Right” media and the influence of the right wing in social media. He joins us to discuss the altercation outside the hearing room between Senator Marco Rubio and the conspiracy theorist and hate-monger Alex Jones.
 

 

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September 4 - The Contentious Kavanaugh Hearing; The GOP Will Control the Senate and Thereby the Courts Into the Future; The Loss of Brazil's Cultural Heritage

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We begin with the first day of the confirmation hearing to seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court which began with protests from the audience and objections from the Democrats that they were given only 10% of Kavanaugh’s paper trail while being rail-roaded by the Republican majority who are both rushing the hearing through while concealing Kavanaugh’s record as if they have something to hide. Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society who focusses on civil and human rights, judicial nominations and the importance of the courts in America, joins us to discuss the limited options facing the Senate Democrats. Do they boycott the hearing which Senator Blumenthal called “a charade and a mockery” or use them to inform the American people via the TV and radio coverage what is at stake and how this obvious rush to confirm Kavanaugh while concealing 90% of his record suggests there is something about this nominee that the Republicans are hiding.

Caroline Fredrickson - Photo: Richard A. Bloom

Part 2

Then on a day when the President attacks his Attorney General for enforcing the law against two crooked Republican Congressmen and we learn from Bob Woodward’s new book that senior staff refer to the White House as “Crazytown” and Trump as “unhinged”, we speak with Paul Waldman who blogs at the Washington Post’s Plum Line and is a columnist for The Week as well as a senior writer at The American Prospect. He joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Post “The GOP’s contempt for democracy is on full display at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing” and the thuggish behavior of the Republican majority whose majority in the Senate will only increase to the point where by 2040 70% of Americans will live in 15 states meaning that 30% from the Red States will choose 70 senators allowing the Republicans to control the senate and therefore the courts into the future.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the tragic loss of Brazil’s cultural heritage from a fire which destroyed the 200 year-old National Museum and 90% of its treasures and speak with Maria Luisa Mendonca, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights as well as a professor in the international relations department at the University of Rio De Janeiro. We discuss this blow to the country’s morale a month ahead of a presidential election which could result in the election of a fascist because the leading candidate is in jail, and now Brazilians have to deal with the loss of a priceless collection of art and artifacts representing their national identity.

 

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September 3 - Labor's Challenge in the Gig Economy as Big Tech Gets Bigger and Bezos Gets Richer; Hopeful Signs for Labor From Popular Teacher's Strikes; Beating Back the Plutocracy

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Part 1

We begin on this Labor Day and assess the damage Donald Trump is doing to the lives of working Americans with his recent assault on unions and his corporatist takeover of the judiciary. As Trump recites right wing idiocy speaking out against big tech, albeit in a dangerous and cynical defense of Alex Jones’ right to spew out his conspiracies and hate speech online, we speak with Stacy Mitchell, the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  She joins us for an update on the real issues facing labor and the threats posed by the gig economy from companies like Google and Amazon, whose founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world with a net worth is over $155 billion, can’t even conceive of paying his workers better wages or his fair share of taxes and instead would prefer to erect a giant rocket ship to Mars as a monument to his wealth.

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Part 2

Then we go to West Virginia, where the recent wave of teacher’s strikes have shown hopeful signs on the ground of what can be accomplished when workers come together and demand economic justice. Anne Marie Lofaso, a Professor at West Virginia University College of Law where she teaches labor and employment law, joins us to discuss how in her red state where super-rich political leaders have conned the electorate into voting for a plutocratic agenda veiled in faux populism, just like in the case of our President’s election, West Virginians are becoming activated as they see the fruits of victory from these massively popular wildcat strikes.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Sam Pizzigati, a veteran labor journalist and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies whose latest book is “The Case for a Maximum Wage”. He joins us to discuss his article at inequality.org “Would You Recognize a Plutocracy If You Saw It?” and give us an update on the state of organized labor in our country which appears to becoming less of a democracy and more of a plutocracy. But on a cheery note, a century ago Americans faced a plutocracy just like ours today and they beat it back just as we can today.

Sam Pizzigati

 

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