April 25, 2018

Assessing the Revolution Underway in Armenia
HUD Punishes the Poor While Rewarding the Rich
Mulvaney’s Brazen Admission Makes a Lie of Draining the Swamp
Program Notes

We begin with a resumption of large-scale demonstrations in Armenia’s capitol Yerevan against Serzh Sargsyan the long-serving president who, like Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan, appointed himself prime minister but provoked so much outrage he was forced to step down because of people power.  Grigor Atanesian, a political commentator and journalist covering Armenia who has an op-ed in the Moscow Times “What Does Turmoil in Armenia Spell for Russia?”, joins us to discuss Putin’s growing alarm at the possibility of a youth-led colored revolution breaking out in Armenia.  With a new round of popular unrest erupting, sparked by the break- off of talks with the opposition by the deputy prime minister Karapetyan who was appointed by the ousted leader and was is a former executive with Russia’s Gazprom, we assess the situation.

Then we examine the proposal by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson to triple the rents that low-income families will be expected to pay for subsidized housing at the same time we are learning that the Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is so close to the president he has been described at Trump’s shadow Chief of Staff, has received sweetheart loans from HUD that have boosted Hannity’s $100 million real estate portfolio. Robert Silverman, a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, joins us to discuss efforts underway to privatize HUD so that instead of providing housing for low-income families, the priority will be making real estate developers and speculators rich.

Then finally we look into the most brazen example of what a cynical lie Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” was with Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s head of the OMB and acting head of the CFPB, speaking yesterday before the American Bankers Association who have donated $32,000 to Mulvaney’s political campaigns, making the extraordinarily honest admission of his corruption telling the bankers that, “If you are a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you are a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you”.  Lisa Gilbert, the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen join us to discuss how Trump and his cabinet are filling the swamp while lining their own pockets.

Grigor Atanesian | Robert Silverman | Lisa Gilbert