May 2 - The Escalating War Between Trump and Mueller; Pompeo Promises to Get the State Department's Swagger Back; The Symbiosis Between the White House and Its Press Corps

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We begin with the escalating war between the White House and the Special Counsel with Trump tweeting a warning today that “At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the presidency and get involved”, this following news of an apparent threat by Robert Mueller to subpoena President Trump and force him to testify before a grand jury. Since Trump’s former lawyer John Dowd had tried to avoid his client testifying and quit last month, now the White House Special Counsel Ty Cobb who has been urging the president to cooperate with Mueller, is also quitting, indicating a less conciliatory and more aggressive approach is underway. A former prosecutor with the International Criminal Court and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Alex Whiting, a Professor at Harvard Law School who is Editor of Just Security where he has an article “What Mueller’s Questions to Trump Reveal About the Future of the Russia Investigation”, joins us. We discuss the latest shake-up of Trump’s legal team and whether, now that Mueller’s questions have been made public, it would be worse for Trump to contest having to testify before Mueller all the way to the Supreme Court and in doing so, appear even to his supporters to be hiding something.

Alex Whiting

Part 2

Then we assess Mike Pompeo’s first trip abroad as Secretary of State and Trump’s visit to the State Department today to show his support for Pompeo who told the department’s dispirited employees that he wants the State Department to get its “swagger’ back. Stephen Walt, a Professor of International Relations at Harvard University and author of “Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy” and “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”, joins us to discuss the extent to which Trump and Israel’s Netanyahu appear to be laying the groundwork for the U.S. to pull out of the P5+1 deal with Iran on May 12.   

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent for The Week where he has an article “The worthless Washington media”. He joins us to discuss how the indignant reactions to Michelle Wolf’s biting comedy at the White House Correspondent’s dinner by the elite of the Washington Press corps represents the reversal of the muckraking tradition of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable”. With the latest revelation of Mueller’s questions to Trump emerging as a deliberate leak by the White House, we will examine the symbiosis between those in power and those covering them.

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May 1 - Mueller's Questions For Trump Point to Collusion; Teacher Pay Gaps and Why They Are Fighting Back; Tacking a Cue From Teachers and Demanding Better Wages and Fairer America

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We begin with the revelation in The New York Times of 49 questions Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump which has Trump tweeting indignantly that the leak is “so disgraceful” even though there is a very real possibility the leak of these questions came from the White House since they did not come from the Special Counsel’s office.  Steven Harper, a lawyer and professor at Northwestern University who has compiled a comprehensive timeline of the Trump-Russia story at billmoyers.com and at investigaterussia.org, joins us to discuss whether the leak is part of a determined strategy on the part of the White House and the Republicans to shut down the Mueller probe. With Rudolf Giuliani now supposedly negotiating with Robert Mueller to bring the inquiry to a swift end, the suspicion arises that this may be a setup to close it down by claiming Mueller is uncooperative and is dragging out what Trump calls a “witch hunt”.  If indeed the White House leaked these questions, while it may feed the “deep state” hysteria in the Fox News bubble, it may also backfire with the broader public who can easily see from the questions which Trump is being asked to answer, that Mueller know a lot more and he is looking at real collusion between Trump’s family and his top officials and the Russians.

 

Part 2

Then on this May Day we discuss the growing number of teacher’s strikes in Red States in which teachers are not just demanding living wages since from 1996 to 2015 teacher’s pay actually fell by $30 per week on a national average, but they are striking on behalf of their students for more investments in schools, pupils and school supplies. Sylvia Allegretto, the co-chair of the Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley who has co-authored several editions of The State of Working America, joins us to discuss the teacher pay gaps and why teachers are fighting back.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine further the erosion of America’s middle class with 63% of Americans one paycheck away from the street and unable to deal with a $500 emergency, while over one third are running out of food, not being able to afford a place to live or have money to pay for medical treatment. Sarah Jaffe, a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor and economic justice and author of “Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt”, joins us to discuss how working and middle class Americans should take a cue from the teachers and mobilize to demand better pay and a fairer country.

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April 30 - Netanyahu Reveals Iran's Secret Nuclear Weapons Program; Trump Threatens to "Close Down the Country" Unless He Gets His Border Wall; Trump Force-Feeds the "Deep State" While Claiming It Is Out To Get Him

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We begin with the announcement today by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu that he was exposing Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program contained in 55,000 documents secretly obtained by Israeli intelligence. With President Trump quickly claiming Netanyahu’s revelations prove him 100% right, and with the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling Iran “the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world”, we will analyze what appears to be an orchestrated campaign ahead of an expected U.S. pullout of the P5+1 Iran agreement by Trump on May 12.  Mansour Farhang, a professor of international relations at Bennington College who resigned as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations and is the author of “The U.S. Press and Iran: Foreign Policy and the Journalism of Deference”, joins us. We will discuss what appears to be an impending collision between Iran and Israel over Syria where a number of bases were struck by missiles and Iranian personnel were killed on Sunday night. We will assess the extent to which both the right wing government of Israel and the theocratic regime in Iran feed off each other’s propaganda and the possibility that they could stumble into a war that neither wants which could engulf the region.

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Part 2

Then, with Vice President Pence visiting the southern border today and President Trump calling our immigration laws a “total disaster”, we will examine the plight of immigrants from a caravan of 1,500 mostly El Salvadoran refugees who have crossed through Mexico and have now dwindled to about 300 and are now arriving in Tijuana showing up at the San Ysidro port of entry claiming political asylum. Mae Ngai, a Professor of History at Columbia University and author of “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America”, joins us to discuss how Trump has threatened to “close down the country” if he did not get his border wall and that shutting the door on those claiming political asylum is a form of cruel theater meant to rile up Trump’s nativist base and distract Americans from his ruinous presidency.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with a 28-year veteran of Congress, Mike Lofgren, who was a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees and is the author of “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government”. He joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Monthly “The Deep State Strikes Back – Against Torture: Why generals oppose the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA director” and how Trump is force-feeding the “deep state” while conning his followers into believing the “deep state” is out to get him.

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April 29 - Could Trump Win the Nobel Prize and a Second Term?; Kim Jong-Un's Charm Offensive Undercuts Trump's Leverage; Is Kim Jong-Un Playing Trump?

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 We begin with President Trump’s premature boasts about a successful summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un which has yet to take place and his tweet “KOREAN WAR TO END” which has prompted Senator Lindsey Graham to gush on Fox News “if this happens, President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.” Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Cay Johnston, the best-selling author of ‘The Making of Donald Trump” and his latest “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America”, joins us to discuss whether Trump could get a second term. We will assess the state of the Democratic opposition which in large part is depending on Trump to either melt down and be dragged out of the Oval Office in a straightjacket or be dragged out of the Oval Office in an orange jumpsuit by Robert Mueller. With the crowd shouting “Nobel, Nobel” last night at a Trump rally in Michigan, at the same time a comedian was trashing the president at the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner which Trump boycotted for a second time, we will explore the separate universes in American politics with Trump-haters disgusted at Republicans on one side and Trump-lovers who hate Democrats on the other.

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Part 2

Then we look into the extent that Donald Trump is being played by Kim Jong-un whose charm offensive with the South Koreans appears to be undercutting the leverage Trump has in terms of pressuring North Korea with sanctions and maintaining military threats when the two Koreas are talking peace. Gilbert Rozman, a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and author of “International Relations and Asia’s Northern Tier: Sino-Russian Relations and North Korea, and Mongolia”, joins us to discuss what kind of a deal is likely to emerge from the forthcoming Trump-Kim summit.

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Part 3

Then finally we get an assessment of what denuclearization of the Korean peninsula could mean and whether greater engagement between the two Koreas could lead to the opening of North Korea to the outside world and speak with Sung Yoon Lee, a Professor of International Affairs at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tuft’s University. He joins us to discuss whether either of the summits will lead to the North demobilizing its outsized standing army and the firing of thousands of be-meddled generals and the removal of hundreds of thousands rockets and artillery tubes targeting Seoul.

 

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April 26 - What Changed Between the First and Second Trials of Bill Cosby?; A Psychiatrist Assesses Trump's Unhinged Rant on Fox and Friends; How the DCCC Does Triage Revealed in a Secret Tape

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We begin with the three guilty verdicts in the second trial of Bill Cosby who has fallen from grace as the beloved “America’s dad” to facing the rest of his life in jail for drugging and sexually assaulting women. Deborah Tuerkheimer, a professor of Law at Northwestern University’s School of Law and author of numerous articles on rape and domestic violence, joins us to discuss what has changed in the intervening time between the last trial which ended in a hung jury and this one. We will assess the extent to which the #metoo movement has influenced the broader culture and thus the jury pool out of which the jury of 7 men and 5 women who convicted the 80 year-old Cosby came. And we will also look into whether the new evidence presented was the factor in overcoming the defense who attacked Cosby’s main accuser Andrea Constand for having received $3.38 million in 2006 as part of a confidential financial settlement with Cosby.

 

Tuerkheimer, Deborah

Part 2

Then with President Trump calling in to his favorite program “Fox and Friends” this morning, ostensibly to wish Melania happy birthday, we will examine the unhinged paranoid rant that ensued in which there was a fragmented and psychotic tirade against the press, James Comey and Senator Tester mixed with praise for Kanye West and the pro-Trump African-American social media “personalities”, Diamond and Silk. Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine and editor of the bestselling book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrist and Mental Health Experts Assess a President”, joins us. We assess the extent to which Trump is acting like a trapped animal lashing out and how as investigations close in on him and his chaotic incompetence becomes more apparent, our dangerous president is likely to become more dangerous.                                

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lee Fang, an investigative journalist with The Intercept where his latest article is “Secretly Taped Audio Reveals Democratic Leadership Pressuring Progressive to Leave Race”. We explore how the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee does triage in deciding which of the many Democratic hopefuls running for congress to back, and whether in trying to change red districts blue, by choosing conservative over progressive candidates, grassroots activists will be alienated and the candidates elected will end up voting with the Republicans.

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