October 5 - The Thin Line Separating Us From Chaos; Trump is a Clear and Present Danger; Republicans and the NRA Head Off Real Gun Safety Reform

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We begin with the crisis in American foreign policy with our Secretary of State calling the president an “f-ing moron” and the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warning that Rex Tillerson, General Mattis and General Kelly are the “people who help separate our country from chaos”. David Rothkopf, a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a columnist at The Washington Post and the former editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Magazine, joins us to discuss reports that Trump’s top cabinet secretaries have formed a “suicide pact” in which if one is suddenly fired by an unstable and impetuous president, the others will walk out of the White House, and how Trump has undercut Tillerson publically to the point where he has no credibility abroad. We will also look into the consequences of Trump’s intention to pull out of the Iran deal next week which will sow further chaos in U.S. foreign policy and lead to more isolation and self-marginalization of the United States on the world stage.

 

Part 2

Then we are joined in the studio by Dr. Lance Dodes, who was a clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is a contributor along with 26 other Psychiatrists and Mental Health experts who have contributed to the new book assessing President Trump, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”. We examine the consensus that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the United States and the world as long as he has access to the nuclear codes allowing him to start a nuclear war because of a childish tantrum or some other trigger that could unhinge Trump’s frail psyche.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we look into the signals by the Republican Congress and the NRA that they will head off any serious moves on calling for gun control following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history by banning so-called “bump stocks” on semi-automatic assault rifles that allow the weapon to fire bullets at a rate similar to fully automatic machine guns. An expert on the 2nd Amendment and the history of gun control, Saul Cornell, Chair of American History at Fordham University, joins us to discuss whether any real reform will happen after the Las Vegas massacre.
 
Saul Cornell

 

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October 4 - How Trump's "Tax Reform" Rewards the 1% of the 1%; Trump Could Go from the Oval Office to a Federal Pen; An Activist Who Helped Get a Background Check Law Passed in Nevada That the AG Blocked

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We begin with an analysis of the Trump Administration’s tax overhaul plan from the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation Edward Kleinbard.  Now a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, he joins us to discuss his article at Vox.com “The GOP says its business plan will help workers and small business. It won’t”, and the cynical way Republicans are trying to sell this latest giveaway to the 1% or the 1% claiming it will help the middle class and working Americans. And while this so-called “tax reform” is clearly a gift to the donor class by the Republicans, these lackeys of the plutocrats are counting on satisfying their political masters by conning their voters into believing they are getting the government off their back when in fact Trump and the Congress are making ordinary Americans shoulder more of the tax burden so that the already-rich can get even richer.

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Part 2

Then we speak with one of the country’s leading experts on taxation who, because of his investigative journalism, has been called the nation’s de facto tax enforcer-in-chief.  Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston, the founder and editor-in-chief of DC Report.org whose latest book is “The Making of Donald Trump”, joins us to discuss how the soulless hirelings of the rich in Congress are trotting out the same tired old trickle-down lies, and the real possibility that Donald Trump could be the first American president to do a perp walk in an orange jumps suit, on his way from the oval office to a federal penitentiary.

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Part 3

 
Then finally we speak with Natalie Hernandez, a Nevada gun violence prevention organizer with Battle Born Progress, a part of a coalition of gun safety activists who successfully passed Question 1 on last November’s ballot only to have the law stymied and the will of the people trampled on by Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt. We will discuss what impact the massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday might have on finally instituting the background check law and whether Adam Laxalt will be punished in his expected race for governor in the 2018 elections. 
 
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October 3 - Offering Prayers Instead of Prevention; Blaming Insane Shooters Instead of Politicians Who Prevent Sane Gun Safety; How the NRA Prevents Data Collection on Crime Scene Guns

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We begin with the reaction to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history from the White House and the Republican Congress who, with new-found reverence, piously intone the talking point that now is the time to honor the dead, not talk about gun control. Joshua Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and author of “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea”, joins us to discuss how an NRA-sponsored bill to make silencers legal and allow concealed-carry permits from permissive states to be legal in states like California where concealed weapons are banned, was just pulled for a second time by the Republican leadership because of the Las Vegas shooting after it was taken of the table earlier following the shooting at a Congressional baseball game.  We will look into the difficulty Las Vegas police had in finding where the shots were coming from, and if the shooter had used silencers on his guns, how many more lives would have been lost had concert-goers not heard the gunfire and taken cover.

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Part 2

Then with Trump and Republicans attempting to dismiss the massacre as an act of evil by a madman, we look into the sanity of the American body politic that continues to prevent sensible gun safety measures from being enacted after repeated mass shootings that cost the lives of increasingly-high numbers of innocent American citizens.  Dr. Allen Frances, 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”, joins us to discuss what little chance there is of changing the cultural myths surrounding guns and American manliness compared to the attainable goal of background checks to prevent dangerous criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring arsenals.

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Part 3

Then finally, now that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the arsenal of 42 guns and explosives that the Las Vegas shooter had in the hotel room he shot from and at his home, we will speak with a former ATF Special Agent  William Vizzard, Professor Emeritus in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento. He joins us to discuss how the NRA has prevented efforts to collect data on the history of guns found at crime scenes and the lax laws that make machine guns legal in many states.

 

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October 2 - Last Night's Worst Mass Shooting in American History; Spain's Brutal Overreaction to Catalan Independence; The Woman Who Founded American Counterintelligence

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We begin with last night’s worst mass shooting is U.S. history carried out by a 64 year-old man armed with 23 guns, mostly assault rifles, who fired on a crowd at a country music concert from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, killing 59 and wounding 527. Joining us is an expert on the impact that high-powered firearms have on the human body and a researcher who studies death and injury statistics in America where 92 Americans die from guns every day with American kids 14 times more likely to die from guns than children in other developed countries. Dr. David Hemenway, the Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center and author of “While You Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention,” will examine the folklore and romanticism surrounding guns. We discuss the myth pervading our gun culture than firearms offer security, when it is increasingly clear from repeated mass shootings that the greatest threat to our life and liberty is the NRA who place the right of gun owners to acquire unlimited unregulated firepower over the right of American citizens to be safe with the right to bear arms envisioned within “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” as the 2nd Amendment promises.

 

Part 2

Then we get an update on the overwhelmingly negative reaction around the world to the Spanish government’s brutal suppression of the Catalan referendum with riot police beating up citizens trying to vote in a democratic country. Dr. Luisa-Elena Delgado, a Professor of Spanish, Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the European Union Center at the University of Illinois and author of “A Singular Nation: Fantasies of Democratic Normalcy in Spain” and “Engaging the Emotions in Spanish Culture and History”, joins us to discuss how Spain’s heavy-handed overreaction has increased support for Catalan independence.   

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Jason Fagone, the author of “The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies”, a new book about a poet and Shakespeare scholar, who along with her husband, laid the foundation of American counterintelligence. Today as the FBI and the NSA lead a highly visible and potentially regime-changing counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, we discuss how Elizebeth Smith and William Freidman later became estranged from the agency they helped establish after their home was raided by the NSA.

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October 1 - Trump Turns the Puerto Rico Tragedy Into a Twitter War; An Update From Spain on the Violently Contested Referendum in Catalonia; A Critique of the PBS Series on the Vietnam War From Inside the White House at the Time

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We begin with an assessment of the relief effort underway on the devastated island of Puerto Rico that Donald Trump has turned into a contentious political issue in flurry of 18 tweets on Saturday that were full of anger and blame and completely lacking in compassion, inspiration, hope and leadership that presidents usually offer to their fellow Americans at a time of need and a time for unity.  Alexander Betancourt, the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, joins us to provide a local perspective on what is happening in Puerto Rico compared to the rosy self-congratulation coming from Trump who again is addressing the alternative universe of his base inside the Fox News, Sinclair, right wing talk radio bubble, feeding them his brazenly cynical lies while attacking the rest of the media for reporting what they are seeing with their own eyes as the American citizens on this small, hurricane-ravaged island search for food, water, medicine and their missing loved ones.

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Part 2

Then we go to Spain for an update on today’s violently contested referendum over independence for Catalonia that the Madrid government is forcefully shutting down by closing polling places and arresting voters trying to cast ballots injuring up to 500. Anthony Geist, a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature who is the Vice Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives and author of “They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Drawings from the Spanish Civil War” joins us to discuss how much this referendum is exhuming the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War as Catalonians young and old are being beaten up by the national police for expressing their independence.

Part 3

Then finally we get a critique of the PBS series on the Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick from Roger Morris who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon until resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia. He joins us to discuss how the Vietnam War was many wars, not just in Vietnam, but inside the White House, between the press and the government and on the streets of America between protesters and supporters of the war.

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