August 26 - A Remembrance of Senator John McCain; A Report from Ireland on the Pope's Visit; Is It Too Late to Protect the 2018 Election from Russian Meddling?

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We begin with a remembrance of Senator John McCain who died on Saturday a few days short of his 82nd birthday and speak with Norm Ornstein, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and co-author of “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”. He led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold and we will discuss how, now that the GOP has been captured by Trump, John McCain appears to be among the last of an endangered species of Republicans who are principled and patriotic. With McCain gone and Senators Corker and Flake retiring, there are very few Republican senators left who are willing to stand up to Trump and defend traditional Republican values and the legacy of the party of Lincoln at a time when the leader of the GOP is acting and talking like a mob boss as the ugly truth about his associates and business practices emerge. We assess whether this is a moment for the silent majority to speak out against the tyranny of the vocal minority inside the alternative universe of Fox News who seem willfully blind to the growing evidence that America’s president is compromised by a hostile foreign power. And that the Trump Organization’s business model is and was laundering Russian mob money via cash deals through shell companies which bought 1,300 Trump condos for Russian investors.

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Part 2

Then we go to Ireland to speak with Susan McKay, an award-winning Irish journalist and author of “Bear in Mind These Dead”. She joins us to discuss her article at The Guardian “What will the Pope have to say now that Ireland’s dirty secrets are out?” and how Pope Francis dealt with the onslaught of criticism from Irish Catholics and victims of sexual abuse by clergy punished further by the subsequent cover-ups by the church hierarchy. We get a report on the Stand for Truth rally and criticism leveled at the Pope to stop praying and do something about the ongoing crisis in the church.

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Part 3

Then finally we discuss the warning by the former head of security at Facebook, Alex Stamos, who wrote a blog post last week “It’s Too Late to Protect the 2018 Elections. But Here’s How the U.S. Can Prepare for 2020”. David Carroll, a professor of media design at the New School who explores the intersection between media design, culture, politics, privacy, surveillance, social media and journalism, joins us to assess whether Russia will meddle with the midterms to help Trump as they did in 2016.

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August 23 - Trump is Putin's Asset and In Debt to the Russian "Mafiya"; Russia Boasts of Deeper Military Involvement in Syria; Trump Politicizes the Death of Mollie Tibbetts Over the Objections of Members of Her Family

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We begin with the author of the explosive new book which makes the case that the man in the White House, Donald Trump, is an asset of the Putin government and is in debt to Russian organized crime known as the “mafiya”. Craig Unger, the author of the New York Times best-seller, “House of Bush, House of Saud” who has written about the Trump-Russia scandal for The New Republic and Vanity Fair, joins us to discuss his latest book, just out, “House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia”. We will discuss how Trump started doing business with Russian gangsters in 1984 when he sold 5 condos to a Russian mobster David Bogatin for $6 million in cash and how the richer Trump got, the deeper he sank into the Russian criminal underworld, ending up with Trump selling 1,300 condos in the U.S. to Russians in all cash purchases through anonymous sources. We assess why it is difficult for Americans to get their heads around the possibility that their president is a traitor even though the evidence of “kompromat” (compromise) was in plain sight for all the world to see at the press conference that followed the secret meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki at which Trump displayed a sickening submissiveness to his case officer in the Kremlin.

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Part 2

Then we look into claims by the Russian Ministry of Defense that their military involvement is Syria was much more extensive than previously thought, with the head of the Russian Duma defense committee boasting that Russia deployed 63,012 military personnel who saw combat experience in Syria, with its air force destroying 121,466 “terrorists targets” killing 86,000 so-called “militants” while testing 231 new weapons systems. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss how Russia has secured a foothold in the Middle East while increasing its arms sales across the region.

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Then finally we go to Iowa City to speak with Timothy Hagle, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa who teaches judicial politics and behavior, American politics, and public administration. He joins us to discuss how the death of Mollie Tibbetts, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented Mexican farm-hand who worked for a prominent Republican family, has become politicized by President Trump and Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds and amplified by Fox News, over the objections of members of the victim’s family.

Timothy M. Hagle

 

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August 22 - A Veteran Investigator on the Trump Administrations Unprecedented Sleaze; How Wednesday's Events Affect the Timeline of the Trump-Russia Story; The Need to Stop Talking About Climate Change and Start Talking About Climate Damage

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We begin with Jack Blum, a veteran of U.S. Senate investigations who uncovered the Lockheed bribery scandal the B.C.C.I bank scandal and the CIA-Contra cocaine connection.  A Washington lawyer who is an expert on white-collar crime and international tax evasion, he spent 14 years as a staff attorney with the Senate Anti-trust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and joins us to discuss the scandals swirling around Trump and an administration that is breaking all prior historical records in Washington in terms of corruption, compromise, chicanery and sleaze.  As the law closes in on Trump from several directions with his former campaign chairman convicted, along with his deputy campaign chairman pleading guilty, and his former National Security Advisor awaiting sentencing, together with a former campaign advisor, and his personal lawyer and fixer pleading guilty and implicating Trump as a co-conspirator, we will assess what it will take to end this criminal regime which is looting the country and weakening its standing in the world. But while a majority of Americans feel some relief that justice is on the way, a third of the country inside the alternative universe of Trump’s base remain unaware of what is happening as Fox News ignores what happened on Wednesday and blares out headlines about a young woman missing in Iowa who they allege was murdered by an undocumented immigrant whose lawyer says he is in the country legally.

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Then we get an update on the comprehensive timeline of the Trump-Russia story at investigaterussia.org and examine how the latest convictions of Manafort, and Cohen’s guilty plea and apparent cooperation with prosecutors, will affect the timeline. The author of the timeline, Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University and a regular contributor to The American Lawyer, joins us to discuss whether Mueller’s secret and silent investigation which Trump publicly and persistently trashes, is in the home stretch as the dots are being connected and the threads of investigations appear to be coming together.

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Part 3

Then finally we  speak with a leading authority on the production, management and delivery of energy to large populations, David Freeman, the former head of the TVA, New York Power, the LA DWP and state energy czar of California who is the author of “All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future”. He joins us to discuss Trump’s peculiar affection for “beautiful” coal and his hatred of what he calls “windmills”, as well as the need for environmentalists to get their act together and stop talking about climate change and start talking about climate damage.

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August 21 - The Law Is Closing in on Trump from Two Directions; America's Growing CEO-Worker Pay Gap; Senator Collins Accepts Kavanaugh's Word He Will Not Overturn Roe v. Wade

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We begin with a dramatic day in federal courts in Virginia with Paul Manafort found guilty on 8 counts, 4 for tax fraud, 2 for bank fraud and I for hiding foreign bank accounts and in Manhattan Michael Cohen pleading guilty to 8 criminal counts of bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations. A former federal prosecutor who now teaches domestic and international criminal prosecution issues at Harvard Law School, Alex Whiting, joins us to discuss how Manafort, who is now facing 80 years in prison and another trial in Washington D.C., is critical to Mueller’s investigation into the extent to which Trump, his family and his associates conspired with Russians. And now that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has plead guilty to serious felonies and has named the sitting President of the United States as a co-conspirator in some of these felonies, we will assess what a volatile and volcanic Donald Trump will do as the law closes in on him from two directions. Presumably in the next day or so we will find out whether we are a nation of laws in which justice flows unimpeded or a divided country led by a vengeful autocrat drunk with power who could plunge the United States into a constitutional crisis by shutting down Mueller’s investigation to save his own skin while inciting his misguided base to rally to his rescue.

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Then we look into a new report from the Economic Policy Institute that finds America’s top 350 CEO’s made an average of $19 million in 2017, 312 times more than the median worker in their corporation, in a telling tale of growing income inequality since back in 1965, CEO’s were paid just 20 times more than the average worker.  James Galbraith, Chair in Government/Business Relations and a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and author of “Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know”, joins us. We discuss what is driving this trend in the U.S. since the CEO-worker pay ratio in the U.K. is 94 to 1 and 40 to 1 in Sweden.

LBJ School faculty member James K. Galbraith

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Ian Millhiser, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of “Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted”. He joins us to discuss his article at ThinkProgress “BREAKING: Brett Kavanaugh thinks Senator Susan Collins is stupid”. Today, in a reversal of her earlier pledge that she would not vote for a Supreme Court Justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the Senator from Maine either naively or cynically accepted Kavanaugh’s assurance that Roe was settled law.

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August 20 - Could Trump Have a Pecker Problem?; The Pope Responds to the Church's Latest Child Sex Abuse Scandal; Is Trump Forcing a Mistrial in the Manafort Case by Jury Tampering

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We begin with another close confident of Donald Trump who has been subpoenaed by Robert Mueller and the Southern District of New York but is not getting the attention Michael Cohen or Omorosa are getting even though he could provide even more damning and damaging evidence if forced to testify. Ann Louise Bardach, a PEN USA Award-winning journalist joins us to discuss her article at The New York Daily News “Donald Trump’s Pecker Problem: The tabloid publisher may have more on him than Putin does”. We examine the long and close relationship Donald Trump has with David Pecker, the CEO of the tabloid empire AMI, and how after almost destroying Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political career, Pecker then threw his support behind him via the tabloids to the point where Pecker takes credit for having Arnold elected as Governor of California. And the same is true of Trump who has always been tabloid fodder, but thanks to Pecker his opponent Hillary Clinton was Pecker’s main target during the presidential election when he ran stories about her such as “Sociopath Hillary Clinton’s secret psyche files exposed” and how she had gained 103 pounds. We assess what it will take for Pecker to rat on Trump given how much during their 20 year relationship they conspired on “catch and kill” stories which are sitting unread in Pecker’s “favor bank”.

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Part 2

 

Then we discuss the latest eruption of child sex abuse scandal bedeviling the Catholic Church involving 1,000 victims molested by 300 priests over 70 years in Pennsylvania which has prompted Pope Francis to issue a letter to the 1.2 billion faithful condemning the “atrocities” of priestly sexual abuse and cover- up, writing “We showed no care for the little ones: we abandoned them.”  David Gibson, Director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Will Pope Francis Take His Own Advice for Church Reform?”

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Part 3

 

Then finally we speak with an expert on criminal law and criminal procedure, Laurie Levenson, who holds the Chair in Ethical Advocacy at Loyola University Law School. She served 8 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles and joins us to discuss whether President Trump tried to force a mistrial in Robert Mueller’s case against Paul Manafort. We discuss whether Trump is guilty of jury tampering since he spoke out on the first day of jury deliberation praising his former campaign manager as a good guy who is getting a raw deal.

 

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