August 2 - Trump's Scheme to Kill the Iran Deal; Will Trump Try to Start a War With Iran in October?; Erdogan's Show Trials

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We speak first with Steve Andreasen, who was director for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council and is currently a national security consultant at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Is Trump Scheming to Kill the Iran Deal?” and assess whether the adults in the room, Generals Mattis and McMaster and Secretary of State Tillerson got rolled by the hardliners like Bannon who have Trump’s ear. Although the adults were able to get Trump to certify that Iran was sticking to the P5+1 agreement for now, the price they paid was to have Bannon put in charge of a group of ideologues who will look for a way to de-certify Iran within the next 90 days to find a pretext to resume sanctions and open the way for military action.

Part 2

Then we examine further the likelihood of Trump starting a war with Iran and speak with Dr. Trita Parsi, the co-founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy”. He joins us to discuss his article at Alternet “This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War With Iran: Trump plans to sabotage the nuclear deal” and explain how Saudi Arabia’s ruling family wants to fight Iran to the last American soldier and what a gift it would be to the hardline mullahs and Revolutionary Guards to have the “great Satan” go to war against Iran.

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Part 3

The finally we look into why Trump is imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s new dictator Maduro for killing democracy via a phony referendum while praising Erdogan for his recent electoral coup as Turkey’s wannabe dictator rolls back democracy and jails thousands of political opponents. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director for National Security and international Policy at the Center for American Progress where his research focusses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss Erdogan’s show trials underway and the reshuffling of the top brass of Turkey’s military.

Max Hoffman

 

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August 1 - Fox News Sued Over Conspiracy It Pushed; Will Trump Sabotage Obamacare?; Is Pakistan's Army Behind the Ousting of the PM Nawaz Sharif?

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We begin with accusations in a lawsuit against Fox News by a former longtime Fox News contributor that implicate Sean Spicer and President Trump in an effort to deflect attention from connections between Russian intelligence and Wikileaks who released stolen date hacked from the DNC that was damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Paul Farhi, The Washington Post’s media reporter joins us to discuss his latest article “Sean Spicer claimed to be unaware of Seth Rich story after meeting with donor who pushed it” and how the tragic murder of a DNC IT staffer Seth Rich was used to whip up a conspiracy theory pushed by Fox News and the White House that Seth Rich was the source of the hacked DNC emails, not the Russians and Wikileaks.

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Then we look into the extent that Donald Trump might go to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in order to prove his constant refrain that it is collapsing, by withholding payments of subsidies to health insurers for low-income customers and by generally creating uncertainty in the insurance market to hasten its collapse. Gerald Kominski, a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, joins us to discuss the fate and future of Obamacare and a new report that monthly Covered California premiums will rise by an average of 12.5% with Anthem Blue Cross announcing it plans to end its ACA coverage in most of California.

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Then finally we assess the fallout from last week’s ousting of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court on the basis of corruption exposed in the Panama Papers. Shuja Nawaz, the author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within” joins us to discuss whether the former cricket star Imran Khan, who has campaigned for Sharif’s removal from office, will benefit from this latest removal of an elected leader that many suspect has been engineered by Pakistan’s powerful army which many believe covertly supports Imran Khan.

 

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July 31 - A White House in Chaos Facing a North Korea Crisis; Why Trump Is Putin's Puppet; The "Christian" Jihad Against What They Call "Government Schools"

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We begin with a potential crisis facing a White House in chaos with yet another staff shake-up as Anthony Scaramucci, the newly-appointed Director of Communications, was shown the door today. In response to the latest North Korean missile test and threats coming from the White House, a bi-partisan group of top American officials who have had high-level dealings with North Korea, William Perry, George Schultz, Robert Gallucci, Sig Hecker, Richard Lugar and Bill Richardson, have written to President Trump urging him to open direct talks with Kim Jong-un. Adam Mount, the former project director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ independent task force chaired by Admiral Mullen and Sam Nunn, joins us to discuss how a dysfunctional White House will deal with a clear and present danger that does not lend itself to military force or rhetorical bluster, but rather requires mature and patient diplomacy. 

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Then with Putin kicking out American diplomats in a tit-for-tat Cold War-like reprisal, we examine Putin’s comments today that in their recent G-20 meeting, Trump agreed with Putin’s version of whether Russia meddled in our elections. David Halperin, who served on the National Security Council and was counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “”The Exxon-Treasury Fight and the Roots of Russiagate” which lays out a credible scenario of what the real ties are between Putin and Trump and why it appears that Trump is Putin’s puppet.

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Then finally we speak with Katherine Stewart, the author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children” about her article in The New York Times “What the ‘Government Schools’ Critics Really Mean”. She traces the history of attacks on so-called government schools, meaning public education by religious fundamentalist who now have a champion in the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who has funded crusades casting public schools as Godless government indoctrination camps.

Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club

 

July 30 - The Historical Role of White House Chiefs of Staff; A Critic of Former Homeland Security Head John Kelly; Venezuelan Democracy at the Crossroads

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We begin with the latest shakeup in the White House with the Chief of Staff Reince Priebus unceremoniously fired to be replaced by General John Kelly the head of Homeland Security. Chris Whipple, a writer, documentary filmmaker, journalist and author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff define every presidency”, joins us to discuss the challenges facing the four-star Marine General in trying to restore regular order to a White House without a chain of command with competing power centers and various aides enjoying walk-in privileges into the Oval Office. We look into whether a mercurial President who enjoys humiliating subordinates and is incapable of taking responsibility for anything, particularly if things go wrong, can be weaned away from his power-hungry delusions that he and his family are America’s rulers and learn to govern.

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Then we look at the new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who might be part of a wider power shuffle in which the embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions is moved to Homeland Security so that Trump can put someone in at DOJ who will fire the special counsel to end the Russia probe. Michael Cohen, a former State Department Chief Speechwriter for the U.S. Representative to the United Nations who is a columnist for the Boston Globe where he wrote an article back in April “Homeland Security’s John Kelly is Unhinged”, joins us to discuss Trump’s new Chief of Staff and whether he can reign in his boss who more and more observers are suggesting is unhinged.

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Then finally we go to Caracas, Venezuela to speak with veteran Latin America journalist with the BBC and The Guardian, Phil Gunson, now the Andes Project Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group. He joins us to discuss today’s vote that the opposition are boycotting for a Constituent Assembly that will end democratic representation in Venezuela leading to the possible arrest of elected legislators and the installation of a Cuba-style government led by President Maduro who is supported by less than 20% of his countrymen.

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July 27 - Is the "Mooch" Trying to Force Priebus Out to Take His Job?; Trump's Reckless Practice of Government By Tweet; America's 20-Year Crusade to Deport Labor Leader Harry Bridges

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We begin with the extraordinary public challenge by the newly-appointed White House Head of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci, who is accusing Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of possibly being a “senior leaker” who should “explain that he’s not a leaker” adding that “He’s gonna need to speak for his own actions”. Following today's expletitive-laden diatribe to The New Yorker in which "The Mooch" promised to fire Priebus and Bannon, we are joined by Paul Waldman, a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect where he has an article “At Last Trump Finds His Mini-Me: Anthony Scaramucci perfectly embodies the Trump administration”. We discuss the open warfare and public humiliation going on in this chaotic White House and what appears to be a parallel effort with Trump trying to force his Attorney General Sessions to quit while Scaramucci tries to force Trump’s Chief of Staff Priebus out.

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Then we examine Trump’s reckless practice of government by Tweet now that it is clear the Commander-in-Chief ignored his chain of command in announcing transgender Americans will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. A former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Lawrence Korb, a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information and author of “A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction”, joins us to discuss the danger of having a leader who has shown he could just as well order a nuclear attack without consulting his Secretary of Defense or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  

Lawrence J. Korb

Part 3

 
Then finally Peter Afrasiabi, joins us in studio. He founded an appellate litigation clinic for civil rights and political asylum in conjunction with the University of California, Irvine School of Law and is the author of the new book just out “Burning Bridges: America’s 20 Year Crusade To Deport Labor Leader Harry Bridges”. We discuss the relentless efforts by the government and an obsession on the part of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, to tie Harry Bridges to the Communist Party in order to deport him for being a champion of the West Coast longshoremen and an honest, incorruptible labor leader.
 

 

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