June 14 - Today's 153rd Then 154th Mass Shootings So Far in 2017; What is Driving America's Unique Epidemic of Mass Shootings?; The Bogus Excuses For the Saudi Siege of Qatar

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the 153rd mass shooting so far in the U.S.A. in 2017, this time with the victims being a congressman, an aide, a lobbyist and two Capitol Policemen. But later today the 154th mass shooting took place in San Francisco at a UPS facility that left four dead. Joshua Horowitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and author of “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea”, joins us to discuss whether the unity and bipartisanship on display in the House today as well as President Trump’s call that “our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace”, will lead to an easing of the deadlock over guns rights versus gun safety, over the right to bear arms versus the right to be safe from gun violence. We assess whether any change will come from this latest tragedy that hit so close to home for lawmakers, or since the perpetrator once supported Bernie Sanders, will right wing media fan the flames as they blame the shooting on Trump-haters.

 

Travis Vaughn Photography // TravisVaughn.com

Part 2

Then we explore the broader issue of what is behind the proliferation and availability of firearms and with so much access to data, why is it we as a nation are unable to prevent people with a history of mental illness, or in the case of the gunman who shot the congressman, a history of domestic violence and the reckless discharge of a firearm, from getting hold of lethal military-style weaponry and causing multiple deaths and injuries. Tom Diaz, a former senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center and author of “The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What to do About It”, joins us to discuss what is driving America’s disproportionately-high civilian death toll from guns.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the siege of the tiny Gulf state of Qatar and speak with an Arabic-speaking expert on the Middle East, Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council who is currently a professor of history at Simon Frazer University. He joins us to refute the bogus claims by Donald Trump and the Saudi rulers that they are fighting terrorism and confronting Iran when in fact it is all about the self-preservation of autocratic monarchs who can’t stand the freedom of expression on al-Jazeera and want to spread Saudi Wahhabism to dominate the Gulf.

Home

 

mp3audio: 

June 13 - Sessions Stonewalls the Senate; Russia's High School Kids Revolt Against Putin; The Writer/ Director of a New Film Starring Brad Pitt "War Machine"

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

 

Part 1

We begin with today’s testimony by Attorney General Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee and speak with Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department. She joins us to discuss Sessions’ stonewalling as he easily answered softball questions from Republican senators but dragged out his answers to probing questions from Democrats to run out the clock by either pretending not to understand the questions, or answering a question not asked. We assess how theatrical Sessions’ indignation was when confronted with his stonewalling and the Attorney General’s assertion that he could not speak about what he discussed with President Trump on the grounds of executive privilege even though Trump himself has not invoked executive privilege.

Lisa Graves

Part 2

Then we speak with Russia expert David Satter, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of “The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin”. We discuss his latest article at The Wall Street Journal “From Russia With Chaos” and analyze the impact of the demonstrations that took place across Russia on Monday’s national holiday in which young Russians, some in high school, were roughed up and arrested by riot police and assess what this means for Putin’s open-ended rule into the future.

Image result for David Satter

Part 3

Then finally David Michôd joins us in the studio. He is the writer/director of a new film starring Brad Pitt “War Machine”, now out on Netflix, that is based on the Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hasting’s book “The Operators”. We discuss his satirical dark comedy set around the downfall of the former commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and, on a day when the Defense Secretary General Mattis testified to Congress that “we are not winning in Afghanistan” and that a new strategy will emerge in mid-July, we examine why after 16 years we keep doing the same thing in Afghanistan yet expect a different outcome.

Image result for David Michod

 

June 12 - States Sue Trump Under the Emoluments Clause; Bernie Sanders' Warning to the Democratic Establishment; Analogies Between Trump's Base and the Know Nothings of the 1850's

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin on a day when the Trump Administration’s travel was again struck down by the Federal Appeals Court with more trouble for him looming on the legal front from lawsuits the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland filed alleging that Trump has violated Article 1 of the Constitution known as the foreign emoluments clause. Leah Litman a professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and writes for takecareblog.com where she has an article “States and the Emoluments Clause”, joins us to discuss a new theory of standing into emoluments litigation. Since Maryland is not a private litigant but a state, they are putting forward the argument that the president’s violation of the Emoluments Clauses is violating the terms under which Maryland surrendered some of its powers over foreign affairs to the federal government and that they have suffered harm to their “sovereign” and “quasi-sovereign” interests.

 

Leah Litman

Part 2

Then we speak with Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University about his article at CNN “Democrats take your cues from Bernie Sanders” and discuss the warning Sanders issued to the Democratic establishment on Saturday at a meeting of progressive activists in Chicago that “Trump did not win the election – the Democratic Party lost the election”. We look into whether the Democrats can seize the great opportunity they have for 2018 as Trump is consumed by growing scandals and the Republicans are getting little done in a Congress they control except for harmful and unpopular legislation.

Image result for “Democrats take your cues from Bernie Sanders

Part 3

 
Then finally we examine analogies between today and the America of the 1850’s when the vehemently anti-immigrant Know Nothing movement was a national political force just as Trump’s Tea Party Republican base is today, and speak with Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Bill Clinton. He is the author of a new book just out, “Wrestling with his Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Volume 2 1849 – 1856” and we will discuss how the house divided against itself then over ‘’half slave and half free”, is now divided between half educated and half fact-free.  
 
Image result for Sidney Blumenthal

 

mp3audio: 

June 11 - The Uncertain Political Situation in the UK; An Analysis of the Impeachment Process; What is Behind the Hate Marches Across America?

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with political uncertainty in the U.K. following an inconclusive election that was another catastrophic miscalculation by a Conservative leader following David Cameron’s fateful miscalculation to call for the Brexit referendum. Craig Calhoun, the Global Distinguished Professor at New York University and Centennial Professor and former head of the London School of Economics who is now the President of the Berggruen Institute joins us. We  discuss whether Prime Minister Theresa May, who former Tory Chancellor George Osborne called a “dead woman walking”, can put together a government with the D.U.P., the tiny ultra-conservative Northern Ireland Unionist party, and whether in doing so she will undermine the “Good Friday Agreement” that has brought peace between the north and south of Ireland which could be threatened by putting up a wall along a border that has been largely erased by cross-border commerce.

Image result for Craig Calhoun

Part 2

Then we examine whether there is a real possibility of an impeachment against President Trump happening soon as the special counsel Robert Mueller begins an investigation that is impacted daily by new revelations in the press, not to mention recent testimony by fired FBI Director Comey and contradictory claims by Trump that Comey both vindicated him in his testimony and lied. Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor of law at Duke University who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and was a federal prosecutor in the Chicago United States Attorney’s Office, joins us to offer a practical assessment of the complexity and duration of Mueller’s investigation that may be completed around the time of the 2018 elections.

Lisa Kern Griffin

Part 3

Then finally we look into the explosion of hate and ignorance erupting around the country as “March Against Sharia” demonstrations took place in St. Paul, Seattle, Washington, New York City and San Bernardino, California, attracting counter-demonstrations that led to violence and a massive deployment of police to separate the sides. Brian Levin, a criminologist, professor of criminal justice and Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, joins us to discuss why a non-existent threat such as Sharia Law is inspiring right wing hate groups to emerge from the fringes.  

Image result for Brian Levin

 

mp3audio: 

June 8 - Believing the Truth-Teller Over the Serial Liar; Outrage at Russian Meddling Overshadowed by Political Polarization; UK's PM Theresa May's Grave Miscalculation

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with today’s much-anticipated testimony from the fired FBI Director James Comey about his meetings with Donald Trump that after petty partisan attempts on the part of Republican senators to defend the indefensible, Comey’s damning testimony now leaves the American people with a momentous choice, do they believe the truth-teller Comey or the serial liar Trump? We speak with Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice about her op-ed at The New York Times, “James Comey’s Testimony: Comey was Playing Chess” and look into how Comey took careful notes from the outset because he saw Trump as different from Bush and Obama; as a president who could not be trusted and might lie about what was said. We discuss how Comey appears to have set the special counsel process in motion by leaking a memo to The New York Times which Trump’s private attorney has seized on claiming Comey should be investigated for illegal leaks.   

Image result for Elizabeth Goitein

Part 2

Then an expert on political polarization, Daniel Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution joins us to discuss his new book “The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas”. We assess the extent to which the alarming significance of the Russian attack on the very foundation of American democracy has been lost in a blizzard of spin and counterspin as tribal politics, plutocratic patronage and partisan propaganda have blurred the difference between lies and truth, selfishness and service, power and principle and demagoguery and decency.

Daniel W. Drezner

Part 3

Then finally we analyze the results of the British election that Prime Minister Theresa May called for to increase her majority, but now in what looks like a grave miscalculation, it appears from exit polls that she may not even eke out a majority and that the U.K will be mired in political paralysis. One of the world’s leading analysts of popular culture, media and their connection to the politics of everyday life, Toby Miller, a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, joins us to discuss how Theresa May’s hand will be weakened in negotiations with the E.U. over Brexit.

Image result for Toby Miller

 

mp3audio: