October 12 - Trump's Executive Order to Sabotage Obamacare; The Psychiatrist, Historian and Public Intellectual, Robert Jay Lifton; The Republican Tax Plan Aimed at Hurting Successful States That Vote For Democrats

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We begin with President Trump’s executive order that he held up to the press today with a self-satisfied smile which the Democratic Leader in the Senate says is aimed at sabotaging the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare.  Sarah Lueck, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities who works on healthcare reform implementation, health insurance exchanges and private market reform included in the Affordable Care Act, joins us to discuss her article at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “Trump Order Could Destabilize Health Insurance Markets, Hurt Those With Pre-Existing Conditions”, and the likely impact of Trump’s executive order combined with efforts within HHS by its former head Tom Price to sabotage the ACA via administrative obstacles. We analyze the extent to which the insurance pool essential to the ACA’s economic viability will be rendered ineffective as younger healthier participants are encouraged to pay less for less coverage ensuring that there will be less money in the pool to take care of older sicker patients and those with pre-existing conditions.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Robert Jay Lifton, an award-winning psychiatrist, historian and public intellectual about his article at The New York Times “”Our Changing Climate Mindset” and his new book, just out, “The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival”. We will discuss how climate change is turning weather events from disasters into catastrophes forcing us to change our collective consciousness to look upon ourselves as members of a single species in deep trouble aboard lifeboat earth.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the Republican tax plan with Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research who has an article at The Huffington Post, “The Republican Plan to Slow Growth”. We discuss how allowing “pass through” businesses to pay less in taxes has crippled revenues and almost bankrupted the state of Kansas and will surely explode the deficit if adopted at a national level, and how the plan to eliminate the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes is aimed at punishing successful states like California who largely vote for Democrats.

 

October 11 - Why Trump Should Not Have Our Nuclear Arsenal At His Fingertips; Trump is Both a Threat to Our Democracy and a Product of Its Weaknesses; Erdogan Inflames Tensions Between the US and Turkey

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We will begin with President Trump’s threat to go after NBC’s FCC license because he does not like the news that they are reporting about his own Secretary of State calling him a moron and now revelations that Trump called for the U.S. nuclear arsenal to be increased tenfold. An historian of science who specializes in the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear secrecy, Alex Wellerstein, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology, joins us to discuss how different Trump is from previous presidents who upon learning of the power they have at their fingertips to destroy the world, felt the weight of enormous responsibility that came with their stewardship of the nuclear arsenal. But unlike his predecessors who found it a sobering burden, Trump sees nukes as instruments of power to be used, as he has said cavalierly, “otherwise why do we have them?”, and will also look into the sobering truth is that there is nothing stopping Trump from unleashing America’s arsenal of 7,100 nuclear weapons if he feels like it.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Norman Ornstein, a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the co-author of a new book, just out, “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”. We discuss how Trump is both a threat to our democracy and a product of its weaknesses and look ahead to the challenges we face in fixing our broken democracy so that we don’t have more Trump’s elected by a minority via the reactionary Electoral College.  And because of demographic changes underway from the depopulation of rural Red States and the concentration of populations in urban areas, in a few decades 60% of the U.S. Senate will be elected by 40% of the American population.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the growing tensions between the U.S. and Turkey as Turkey’s authoritarian leader becomes more and more unhinged with his government-controlled press demonizing America to the point where the U.S. is blamed for everything including earthquakes. A former senior advisor and foreign affairs expert to the State Department during the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, David Phillips, joins us to discuss how the U.S. and Turkey are on a collision course because of a trial in New York that will expose Erdogan and his family’s massive corruption.

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October 10 - Comparing Nixon's Madman Strategy to Trump's Mad Threats; Trump's EPA Kills Obama's Clean Power Plan; The Withdrawal of Kenya's Opposition Leader From the Rerun of the Overturned August Election

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We begin with a president who instead of governing is lashing out at an ESPN sportscaster, challenging his Secretary of State to an IQ test and tweeting out a new round of insults against the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to him as “Liddle” Bob Corker in a snide reference to Corker’s height.  Tim Naftali, a clinical professor of history and public policy at New York University, who was the first director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, joins us to discuss his article at The Atlantic, “The Problem with Trump’s Madman Theory” and Corker’s rejection of the notion that there is some kind of madman strategy akin to Nixon’s behind Trump’s belligerent threats against North Korea. We will also examine the historical record of the waning days of the Nixon administration regarding an impaired Nixon’s access to the nuclear button, compared to the concerns raised by Senator Corker that “Trump may be setting us on a path to World War III”.

 

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Part 2

Then we assess the impact of the repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan by the head of the EPA who declared that the phony war on coal is over. David Freeman, who helped bring about the EPA, headed the TVA, New York Power and the LA DWP, and is the author of “All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future” and a new autobiography “The Green Cowboy”, joins us. We will discuss the commonly- held delusion that switching from coal to natural gas is a move in the right direction and the need to immediately outlaw fossil fuels as poisons to the planet while rapidly converting to available clean solar and wind alternatives.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we examine the withdrawal of Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga from the rerun of the disputed August election overturned by Kenya’s Supreme Court and scheduled for October the 26th. Kefa Otiso, A Professor of Geography and Director of the Global Village at Bowling Green State University and the founding president of the US-based Kenya Scholars and Studies Association joins us to discuss the standoff between Odinga’s followers who want election reforms instituted before a new election and the Kenyetta government who are treating Odinga’s withdrawal as a concession instead of the protest that it is.
 
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October 9 - A Reality Show Presidency in a White House Adult Day Care Center; Trump's Cynical Game on Immigration; The Growing Tyranny of the Minority in Trump's America

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We begin with Donald Trump’s tweet storm attacking the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker who replied by tweeting “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning”. Derek Shearer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland who is currently a Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College where he serves as Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, joins us to discuss the state of U.S. diplomacy and Corker’s fear Trump is treating the presidency like “a reality show” and is steering the US “on a path to World War 111”. We will assess whether Senator Corker’s warning that Trump “Concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation”, will prompt other Republican senators to express in public what they say in private since Corker is apparently not alone in being alarmed about Trump, claiming “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here”.

 

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Then Wendy Young, the Executive Director of KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, the leading organization for the unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone, joins us to look into the cynical game Donald Trump is playing by trying the fate of the 800,000 DACA “Dreamers” to a hardline wish list that is dead on arrival with Democrats who Trump can then blame for the failure of immigration reform. We discuss how Trump again throws red meat to his base as a way to distract from his failure to govern, by insisting on building his wall, hiring 10,000 more border patrol, denying federal funds to “sanctuary cities” and closing the door on thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America.

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Then finally we explore the growing tyranny of the minority in America as an increasingly unpopular president whose approval rating continues to shrink, throws the full weight of his Administration behind satisfying the wish-lists of right wing extremists and religious zealots. Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center, joins us to discuss how the vast majority of American women can now be denied birth control coverage in order to satisfy a vocal minority of anti-abortionists who have succeeded in making abortions more likely, numerous and frequent. 
 

 

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October 8 - Trump Forces North Korea to Move to a Nuclear Hair Trigger; An Update on the Mueller Investigation; Employers Can Now Deny Women Contraceptive Coverage Based on Specious "Moral" Objections

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We begin with the reality TV president teasing upcoming episodes of the Apprentice in the Oval Office by cryptically warning about “the calm before the storm” then tweeting that “only one thing will work” with North Korea, implying military action. Mark Fitzpatrick, the Executive Director of the Washington-based Americas office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and head of their Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program and author of “Asia’s Latent Nuclear Powers, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan”, joins us to discuss how Trump’s threats are forcing Kim Jong-un into a hair trigger posture with North Korea’s nuclear weapons based on the “use them or lose them” logic of striking first. We examine the symbiosis of hawks on both sides leading us into a holocaust and the dangers of provoking a cult-like regime whose hardliners are buoyed by delusional propaganda and the belief that they could not only survive a nuclear war with the United States, but win.

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Then we get an update on the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and speak with investigative journalist James Henry, the co-founder of DCReport.org and a global justice fellow at Yale and the lead researcher for the Tax Justice Network. He joins us to discuss the significance of the special counsel’s interviews with the author of the Steele dossier and Robert Mueller’s focus on the Trump campaign’s use of data mining in social media and micro-targeting voters in key swing states with the possible magnification of their messaging involving help from Russian bots and troll farms.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the consequences of the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obamacare contraceptive mandate which will now allow employers to deny their female employees contraceptive coverage under health plans on the specious basis of a moral objection. Frances Kissling, a feminist activist and the former President of Catholics for Choice and a consultant to the Western Hemisphere Region of the International Planned Parenthood Federation joins us to discuss how employers can now save money by claiming to have a moral objection to birth control which will likely result in many more women seeking abortions.

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