Adele Stan – The “#MeToo” Movement and Women Running for Office
Today we look back at the story in the news that began the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated and has grown steadily into both a powerful political and social movement which has already exposed men in high office and promises to sweep Trump from office in 2020 if not earlier. Lisa Graves, who served in all three branches of the federal government – as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us to discuss the emerging political clout of American women who are both running for office and mobilizing at the grassroots. We will also examine the attempt underway led by Fox News to create an alternative reality of manufactured scandal to mirror the Mueller investigation and diminish its impact by dredging up fictional ties between Hillary Clinton and the ludicrous “Uranium One” deal while the real uranium scandal is that Trump has opened up protected national parks in Utah that belong to the American people to uranium mining which will desecrate national monuments and destroy native American history as well as sites of prehistoric dinosaur fossils.
Then we continue the conversation about 2017 being the year of the woman withAdele Stan a journalist based in Washington who is a weekly columnist for the American Prospect where her latest article is “On the Road to Kleptocracy”. She joins us to discuss the extent to which the emerging “#MeToo” movement has exposed sexism, misogyny, harassment and discrimination in the workplace across corporate America, inside the Congress and the U.S. government and in the entertainment business. We also assess how the #Metoo movement relates to the emerging political activism of women in our politics and examine the growing number of women running for local, state and national office and the prospects for a number of women on the Democratic side likely to run for president.
Register at TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw in Anticipation of Trump Firing Mueller
The Deadly Amtrak Train Derailment
We begin with the new national security strategy President Trump outlined today based on “four pillars”, protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, demonstrating peace through strength and advancing American Influence. Without mentioning human rights or climate change, he did label Russia and China as “rival powers” but pledged to attempt to build a “a great partnership with them”. Brian Katulis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress who focuses on U.S. national security policy in the Middle East and South Asia, joins us to discuss Trump’s criticism of his predecessors who he claimed “drifted” and “lost sight of America’s destiny” while he proudly proclaimed that “America is coming back and America is coming back strong”.
Then with the possibility that Trump will soon fire the special counsel Mueller looming, we will speak with Lisa Gilbert, the Vice President for Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division. She joins us to discuss a coalition that has formed with Public Citizen and dozens of other organization who are encouraging concerned citizens to register at a new website TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw.org in anticipation of a constitutional crisis erupting and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Americans protesting nationwide.
Then finally we examine the deadly Amtrak train derailment south of Seattle in which rail cars plunged off a bridge over an interstate highway jammed with traffic. George Bibel, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of North Dakota and author of “Train Wreck: The Forensics of Rail Disasters” joins us to discuss the derailment on the inaugural run of a new Amtrak high-speed train service from Seattle to Portland and why the train was travelling at 81 miles per hour on a curve.
Could Democrats Become the Party of Anti-Trust and Economic Populism?
The Role of African American Women in Defeating Roy Moore
We begin with the increasing likelihood that President Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller, possibly as early as Friday in a desperate attempt to shut down the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. AsCongressional Republicans and Fox News ramp up inflated rhetoric and invented charges to discredit Mueller, we are joined by Joe McLean, a veteran political strategist, to discuss his article at The Guardian “What is the Republican playbook for the Mueller investigation?" and whether in joining Trump’s cover-up the Republicans will succeed in the short term to avoid the damage of the public finding out their leader is a traitor, or will they be punished in the long term when the truth eventually comes out.
Then we look into what outraged citizens can do to reverse last Thursday’s FCC vote to overturn net neutrality which effectively ended the free internet thus enabling oligopolies that provide internet access to begin discriminating based who can afford to pay for content as they lower the quality of service for those who can’t. Matt Stoller, who was recently fired from the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute for his criticism of tech monopolies, joins us. We look into how the “cableization” of the open internet will help monopolies consolidate their power, and, with 80 percent of registered voters opposing the decision, we will also discuss whether such unpopular legislation could backfire on Republicans at the polls and provide Democrats with a counter-message around anti-trust and closing the income gap to expose Trump’s corrupt and phony populism and recapture authentic economic populism.
Then finally we speak with Anthea Butler, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania whose latest book is “From Palin to Trump: Evangelicals, Politics and Race”. She joins us to discuss the role of African/American women in the victory against Roy Moore in Alabama and the need for a sustained movement of the religious left, women and the 65% of Americans opposed to the president to get active and relentlessly demand Trump’s removal from office.
The Tax Bill’s Increasingly Narrow Prospects in the Senate
The Death of Net Neutrality and Murdoch’s Windfall
Will a Corporate Hireling Get Away with Thwarting the Will of the People
We begin with the Republican’s frantic search for ways to pay for tax cuts as last-minute holdouts like Senator Rubio demand concessions in the tax bill that is expected to be finalized on Friday and voted on next week. Edward Kleinbard, a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law who was the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation whose latest book is “We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money”, joins us. We discuss how the Republicans are rushing the bill through without independent scoring and any consultation with Democrats to get it passed and on Trump’s desk before the new Democratic Senator Doug Jones is sworn in. And even then with Senator Corker remaining a no vote and Senators McCain and Cochran hospitalized, due to the Republican’s narrow majority in the senate, Vice President Pence, who would break a tie vote, has had to delay an overseas trip, indicating the vote in the senate is on shaky ground.
hen we examine the blow to Internet freedom resulting from the 3 to 2 vote today by the FCC to overturn net neutrality in a victory for a few corporate monopolies at the expense of broad democratic opposition from consumers who will soon find that their Internet will be like their cable TV service, a poverty of choice in a rigged market where Comcast, Verizon and AT&T foist their content on you while slowing down or blocking the content you want. David Carroll, a professor of media design at the New School where he explores the intersection between media design, culture, policy and journalism, joins us to discuss how Rupert Murdoch is likely to use the $52 billion from the sale of his entertainment assets to Disney to boost Fox News and expand the number of local TV stations Fox has.
Then finally we will look further into the killing of net neutrality by the FCC Chair and explore Ajit Pai’s ties to movement conservatives following his appearance in a video produced by The Daily Caller that mocks supporters of net neutrality and features Pai dancing with a producer with The Daily Caller who promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy. Victor Pickard, a Professor at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform”, joins us to discuss whether a corporate hireling will get away with thwarting the will of the people.
An Optimistic Leftist Sees the Political Tide Turning
Will the Punishment of California in the Tax Bill Backfire on the State’s Republican Delegation?
We begin with the extraordinarily scathing editorial from the centrist national newspaper USA Today that asks “will Trump’s lows ever hit rock bottom” then goes on to say “a president who would all but call Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or shine the shoes of George W. Bush”. Jennifer Mercieca, a professor in the Department of Communications at Texas A&M University where she teaches courses on Political Communication and Presidential Rhetoric, joins us to discuss how Trump has broken the mold of traditional presidential decorum and to quote the editorial “if recent history is a guide, the unique awfulness of the Trump era in U.S. politics is only going to get worse” because of “Trump’s utter lack of morals, ethics and simple humanity”. We will assess whether, just as the people in Alabama grew tired of Roy Moore’s antics and the baggage of sexual assault accompanying him, the American people may well tire of the daily embarrassment the vulgarian in the White House brings to the office of the presidency.
Then, following an election victory in Alabama that many see as a repudiation of Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, we will explore whether the political tide in turning in America and the bad guys are no longer winning as the good women in particular make a stand with a good guy like Doug Jones elected to the U.S. Senate instead of fire and brimstone theocrat and child molester. Ruy Teixeira, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of a new book “The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think”, joins us to discuss the beginning of what he sees as a revival of the American left galvanized in opposition to Trump and mobilized to vote for change.
Then finally we speak with Marc Sandalow,the editor-in-chief of the California News Service who spent 21 years with the San Francisco Chronicle including 11 years as the paper’s Washington Bureau Chief. We will analyze whether the punishment of California in the Republican tax bill and the double standard of relief for hurricane victims in Florida and Texas but not for fire victims in California, will backfire on California’s Republican delegation in the 2018 election since 11 of the 14 voted for the tax bill.
From the Front Lines of Workplace Sexual Harassment
The Alabama Race Observed by a Former College Student Who Marched in Selma 52 Years Ago
The Fastest Decline in Arctic Sea Ice in 1500 Years
We begin with the issue of sexual harassment that is now migrating from Roy Moore’s past in Alabama back to the occupant in the Oval Office’s past with 56 female members of Congress asking the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s chairman to investigate charges by at least 17 women who claim they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Donald Trump.Christina Giorgio, an attorney in Manhattan who represents employees in workplace discrimination and sexual harassment disputes joins us to discuss Trump’s response to a call for his resignation from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who he then smeared, implying that she was willing to trade sex for a campaign contribution from him. Since Christina represents a wide range of clients, we explore the broader landscape of what women have to deal with in the workplace in corporate America, government jobs and small businesses, not to mention waitresses and barmaids, and assess what kinds of changes in the law and in our culture are necessary to achieve dignity, safety and equality in the workplace.
Then with the polls just having closed in Alabama in what is expected to be a close race, we speak with Mark Denbeaux a Professor of Law at Seton Hall’s School of Law who as a young college student 52 years ago joined the march for civil rights in Selma, Alabama and in 2015 returned to Selma for the commemoration of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday”. We discuss how much Roy Moore is a throwback to the days of George Wallace but, given the terror and brutality that Mark and the other marchers endured back then, even Moore’s election will not turn back the clock to when African Americans had no rights and were lynched with impunity.
Then finally we examine the latest annual Arctic Report Card for 2017 with its authorJeremy Mathis, the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. He joins us to discuss the unprecedented record rate at which the Arctic ice cap is melting, the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1500 years, thus reducing the amount of light reflected back into space trapping heat which adds to global warming as the melting ice causes sea levels to rise.
Comparing Roy Moore and Doug Jones’ Approach to Law and Order
Erik Prince and Oliver North’s Alternative to the CIA Could Become a Reality
How the Attempted Suicide Bombing by a Bangladeshi Immigrant Might Impact the Bangladeshi Community
With Donald Trump having accused the Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in Alabama of being “soft on crime”, we will begin with an analysis of the difference between Judge Roy Moore and the former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in terms of their approach to law enforcement with Moore having a record on the Alabama Supreme Court of siding with those accused of sexual crimes while Doug Jones is famous for successfully prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen for a church bombing that killed four black girls as well as convicting Eric Rudolph for the bombing of an Alabama abortion clinic along with targeting voter fraud, drug dealers and corrupt police.Joyce White Vance, a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law at the University of Alabama School of Law who served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama for 8 years and prior to that was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama for 18 years, joins us. She will discuss the role of the fired White House strategist Steve Bannon who is campaigning with Moore and what it will mean for the alt-right movement and those bent of destroying the administrative state to have their candidate in the U.S. Senate which Roy Moore alone could grind to a halt.
Then we look into reports that Erik Prince and Oliver North are lobbying the White House to set up a private sector “off the books” alternative to the CIA as a way around what Donald Trump sees as the “deep state” that is out to get him. While this could be dismissed as the fantasy of the founder of the mercenary army Blackwater, if Trump were to appoint Senator Tom Cotton as head of the CIA, it could quickly become a reality. Publisher, journalist, filmmaker and explorerRobert Young Pelton, author of “Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror” and former biographer of Erik Prince, joins us.
Then finally we speak with Chaumtoli Huq, a Bangladeshi-American lawyer with[email protected]in New York City about how the attempted suicide bombing at the busy Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City this morning by an Bangladeshi immigrant Akayed Ullah, might impact the Bangladeshi community of drivers, food vendors, retail workers and newspaper-sellers. We discuss a climate of fear and scapegoating on the rise in the Trump era in which Muslims and Latinos have been vilified and targeted.
Joyce White Vance | Robert Young Pelton | Chaumtoli Huq
Trump is More Interested in His TV Reviews Than His Performance as President
The Alabama Race is Shaping Up as Trump’s Waterloo and a Referendum on America
Thanks to Trump the Saudis Are Losing the “Arab Street” to Iran
We begin with the emergence of an orchestrated campaign led by Fox News to delegitimise the Robert Mueller investigation and cast it as a Democratic plot to undermine Trump’s election victory in the Electoral College. David Mindich, a Professor and Chair of the Journalism Department at Temple University and author of “Just the Facts: How “Objectivity” Came to Define American Journalism”, joins us to discuss how Trump watches between 4 and 8 hours of television a day, tuning into Fox News for the comfort it provides him while occasionally watching MSNBC to get riled up and ready for combat. We will examine this un-American relationship between a sitting government and a volunteer Ministry of Truth which Fox has become under Rupert Murdoch who talks to Trump every day and appears to set the agenda for the White House talking points and policies, as well as assess what work the president actually does given his television watching habit which suggests the reality TV star is more interested in his reviews than his performance.
Then we go to Montgomery, Alabama for an update on Tuesday’s election for the U.S. Senate seat that is both shaping up as Trump’s Waterloo and a referendum on America itself with a child-molester likely to win against a former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted the KKK. Mark Potok, the former Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project who was a spokesman for the SPLC, joins us to discuss the close race and the concern that turnout of the critical African-American vote may not be sufficient to overcome the expected mobilization of the fundamentalist so-called “Christians” who see the tribulations of Jesus Christ in their persecuted champion Roy Moore.
Then finally we speak with Lina Khatib, the head of the Middle East and North African Program at Chatham House and the former Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. She joins us to discuss the demonstrations in front of the US Embassy in Beirut and across the Arab world in response to Trump’s gambit to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and how this is complicating the close ties Trump has forged with the Saudis who are losing the so-called “Arab street” to Iran due to the anger Trump has ignited in the Middle East.
Will Franken’s Resignation Hurt Dems’ Senate Chances?
Trump Wrecks US Foreign Policy to Get Christian Zionist Votes in Alabama
The Republican Tax Plan’s Massive Giveaway to Private Jet Owners
We begin with the resignation of Senator Al Franken today which he announced on the floor of the US Senate, noting with some irony that while he is resigning, a sexual predator who bragged about his ability to assault women is still sitting in the Oval Office. David Schultz, a Professor of Political Science at Hamline University who also teaches election law at the University of Minnesota School of Law, joins us to discuss the local reaction to their senator stepping down under pressure from his Democratic senate colleagues who are doing the right thing while their Republican counterparts in the senate and the White House are brazenly ignoring the record of the child molester they are running in Alabama and the open admission by the head of the GOP sitting in the White House who boasted he can grab women by the private parts and get away with it because he is a celebrity. We will also assess whether the appointment of a placeholder to fill Franken’s vacated seat until the 2018 election will expose the Democrats to a potential loss of a safe seat in a critical election in which Democrats now have to defend 26 senate seats while the Republicans only have to defend 9 seats.
Then we speak with Matthew Sutton, Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University and author of “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism”. He joins us to discuss the main reason why Trump upended U.S. diplomatic history and foreign policy in moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and that is apparently his political calculus that he needs to shore up the Christian Zionist vote in Alabama for accused child molester Roy Moore. We look into the sick theology behind the Christian Zionists’ spiritually pornographic interpretation of the Book of Revelation that has them raptured up to heaven while the rest of us burn in hell as the end of the world begins in Israel.
Then finally we examine a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, “High Flyers 2017”, and speak with its author Josh Hoxie, who heads the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies and edits inequality.org and was a legislative aide to Senator Bernie Sanders. We discuss the big lie in the Republican tax plan that is supposed to help the middle class but massive tax breaks for the owners of the 12,000 private luxury jets in the U.S. whose owners have an average net worth of $1.6 billion, tells another story.
We begin with President Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital announced today and his plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv. The former spokesman for Shimon Peres, Gideon Levy, an Israeli journalist and columnist for Ha’aretz joins us from Tel Aviv to discuss Trump’s gift to Netanyahu that leaves the U.S. totally isolated as the only country in the world to have an embassy in Jerusalem. We assess the likely impact of Trump’s announcement on the Palestinian territories and in the neighboring countries and the extent to which it dims the hope for any future two state solution, a prospect that already appears to be dead in the water. We will also examine the similarities between Trump and Netanyahu in as much as both are pursuing aggressive right wing policies while judicial inquiries close in on them and threaten their political futures.
Then we get an analysis of whether the rush to get something passed by the Republicans so that they will not have to run next year as the “do-nothing” congress will result is a worse backlash once their constituents know what is in their so-called tax reform bill and how much it will hurt average Americans. Paul Waldman, who writes for The Washington Post’s Plum Line and is a contributing editor to The American Prospect where he has an article “How Republicans are Digging Their Own Grave for 2018” and another at The Week “Republicans’ remarkable self-deception on tax cuts”, joins us to discuss the possibility that the bill will die in conference as many members from blue states begin to realize how much their vote for the bill will amount to political suicide.
Then finally we speak with the former speechwriter for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mark Seddon, a professor of international relations at Columbia University about his article at The Guardian “Have we got just three months to avert a US attack on North Korea?” He joins us to discuss John Bolton’s recent trip to the U.K. House of Commons where the former US Ambassador to the UN relayed a message from the Trump White House that the CIA head had told Trump he had a “three month window” to strike North Korea before they had the capability to hit Washington with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.
Corporate Backers of GOP Tax Giveaway Are Now Complicit with Who Trump is and What He Does
We begin with the possible resurrection of the 18th century Logan Act under which only two people have been charged and neither convicted, and assess whether Jared Kushner or his father in law Donald Trump could be charged with violating the Logan Act based on what Michael Flynn has told the special counsel Robert Mueller who Flynn is cooperating with. Daniel Hemel, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago who was a law clerk for Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times“Why the Trump Team Should Fear the Logan Act”. And while the Logan Act prevents private citizens from unauthorized communication with foreign officials to influence U.S. foreign policy, as the incoming National Security Advisor to Donald Trump, Michael Flynn was hardly an ordinary private citizen. Furthermore his communications with the Russian Ambassador about easing sanctions and advising them how to react to President Obama’s new round of sanctions in response to Russian meddling in our election, appears to rise to the level of “a high crime and misdemeanor”.
Then we anticipate the reaction in the Middle East and Europe to President Trump’s expected move on Wednesday to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem which is widely seen and an abandonment of any pretext of supporting any future viable Palestinian state. Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author of “The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East”, joins us to discuss the possibility of a new “intifada” erupting, the Jordanian kingdom in turmoil and Saudi influence over Trump because of the friendship between MBS and Jared Kushner exposed as worthless.
Then finally we speak with David Halperin,who served on the Clinton National Security Council and was counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his article at The Huffington Post “GOP’s Unholy Alliance: Trump-McConnell-Moore-Kochs”. We discuss how all the big corporations backing the GOP tax giveaway to the rich including the so called ones that do good like Google and Facebook, are now complicit in screwing the middle class, supporting a sex offender and validating Trump’s bigotry, misogyny, environmental destruction, kleptocratic corruption and his likely treason with Russia.
After Switching Sides, Yemen’s Ex-President is Killed by Houthis
Saudi patriot missiles Failed in Five Out of Five Launches
We begin with today’s unprecedented reversal by Donald Trump of protection of America’s national monuments as he announced the reduction of the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase Escalante by 50%. Robert Keiter, the Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at The University of Utah College of Law and author of “To Conserve Unimpaired: the Evolution of the National Park Idea”, joins us to discuss the peculiar logic of Trump’s remarks today when he said he was bringing the land back to the people from Washington bureaucrats when it is the “people” of the United States who own the land in national parks being preserved for posterity. We will assess what the real motives for Trump’s latest unpopular act might be given that there is no evidence the now unprotected land is rich in oil and gas and minerals that can now be extracted. Could it be that this sick and spiteful man in the Oval Office is simply doing this to undo Obama’s legacy in furtherance of Trump’s obsessive racist hatred of his predecessor.
Then we speak with Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf” about the killing of Yemen’s ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Houthi rebels after he had accused them of “idiocy” for protracting the devastating civil war and had switched sides to joins the Saudi-backed coalition. We discuss the merciless Saudi blockade that is starving the Yemeni population and a proxy war that has no end in sight.
Then finally, following a recent missile attack on Saudi Arabia from Yemen, we will look into the results of an investigation by The New York Times which finds that the US missile defenses in Saudi Arabia failed five out of five launches in spite of President Trump’s claim that “Our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all around the world”. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists who analyzed the data, joins us to explain how the failure of five of the five Patriot missiles fired at the incoming Houthi Scud-type missile exposes the false assurance that the US and South Korean military have in their Patriot batteries intercepting North Korean missiles.
Leaks From Inside Trump’s Transition Reveal a Need to Pay Back Russia for Throwing the Election
Trump Lashes Out at the FBI
The Republican’s Massive Gift to America’s Oligarchs
We begin with an update on the Mueller inquiry now that Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with the special counsel. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss the emails leaked to The New York Times that shed light on how much Trump’s transition team knew about communications and active involvement with the Russians that are illegal under the Logan Act which prohibits private citizens from working with a foreign government against the United States. We assess how much jeopardy Jared Kushner faces since he lobbied members of the UN Security Council behind the back of the U.S. government on behalf of Israel and whether Trump ordered Flynn to contact the Russian Ambassador and Vice President Pence knew about Flynn’s activities.
Then with Trump now tweeting criticism of the FBI, we will speak with Asha Rangappa, a former FBI Special Agent who specialized in counterintelligence investigations, about the central role that FBI counterintelligence played in revealing secret contacts the Trump transition team was making with the Russians and others, and how the acting attorney general at the time Sally Yates was fired for warning Trump based on evidence from FBI counterintelligence that Flynn was compromised by the Russians. We will also examine what Trump’s Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarlane meant when she wrote to Trump’s top advisors about how Trump should pay back the Russians by easing sanctions because Russia “has just thrown the USA election to him”.
Then finally as the Republican so-called tax reform bill makes its way through conference towards an expected signature by the president, we will look into how this massive reward to the donors will further embed and entrench an American oligarchy while the 99% who have not had a raise since the late 1970’s will be left paying more for less of their share of the American pie and will soon see their social safety net cut in order to pay for the deficits caused by the Republican trillion and a half dollar gift to the oligarchy. An expert on American and global oligarchy, Jeffrey Winters, the author of “Oligarchy”, joins us.
We begin with troubling questions raised in investigative reports by the BBC that in spite of Trump’s talk of bombing the **** out of ISIS and General Mattis’ promise to annihilate ISIS, it seems that some kind of deal was made to allow ISIS fighters to escape from Raqqa, and according to truck drivers who ferried the terrorists to safety, there were huge numbers of foreign fighters among the evacuated ISIS survivors who will likely go on to cause mayhem in the west. Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years working in Congress, the last 16 as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees whose latest book is “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of the Shadow Government”, joins us. We will discuss his article at The Washington Monthly “The Trump Scandal That Democrats Aren’t Talking About: Did ISIS escape Raqqa with Trump’s connivance?” and try to understand how the world’s most dangerous jihadists were allowed to live to fight another day, and whether there will be any inquiry into what happened given how much time, money and attention was devoted to the phony Benghazi story that pales in comparison.
Then we examine the Trump Administration’s reversal of an Obama-era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from big game hunting which was the result of a suit by Safari Club International and the NRA to block Obama’s 2014 ban. George Wittemyer, a professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology who is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Save the Elephants in Africa, joins us to discuss the rapidly diminishing populations of African elephants who have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1978.
Then finally we speak with The Guardian’s former Moscow bureau chief who was expelled from the country by the Kremlin about his new book just out, “Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House”. Luke Hardingwho knows Julian Assange and Edward Snowden well and has interviewed the author of the Steele dossier Christopher Steele, joins us to discuss why Steele believes that his dossier on Trump’s collusion with the Russians is between 70 and 90% accurate, and why Steel feels he will be vindicated as the special counsel’s investigation digs deeper into Trump, his family and associates’ contacts and collusion with Russians close to Putin.
We begin with the coup in Zimbabwe that so far has been bloodless and speak with Ambassador John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations who was a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria during South Africa’s first non-racial election. He is the author of “Morning in South Africa” and joins us to discuss the military coup in Zimbabwe that has the 93 year-old President Robert Mugabe under house arrest along with his younger wife Grace Mugabe who has been criticized for her conspicuous consumption in a desperately poor country and likened to Imelda Marcos and Eva Peron. We look into whether the military will bring back Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who Mugabe recently sacked and how the generals who are veterans of the war of liberation from white rule in the 1970’s will neutralize the unpopular Grace Mugabe while treating the popular and revered Robert Mugabe with kid gloves.
Then we examine the exhibition of far right wing nationalism and fascism on display in Warsaw, Poland over the weekend with a march by over 60,000 that coincided with Poland’s 99thIndependence Day with marchers carrying banners with “Clean Blood” and “White Europe” emblazon while white supremacists chanted “Seig Heil” in a country where the Nazis carried out the worst atrocities. Jan Kubik, a Professor of Political Science at Rutgers and a professor in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College, London and author of “Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration”, joins us to discuss the apparent complicity of the Polish government since the only arrests by the police were 45 counter-protesters and Poland’s Foreign Minister called it “a great celebration of Poles…united around the common values of freedom and loyalty to an independent homeland”.
Then finally we get an analysis of the House and Senate’s so-called tax reform bills that have been negotiated in secret with the Democrats excluded which the House might vote on as early as Thursday. Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley joins us to discuss how the Republicans are scrambling to find pots of money to offset the enormous tax cuts to corporations and the richest Americans by going after Blue States, post-graduate students and in the case of the Senate bill, grabbing over $300 billion from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
We begin with the testimony today by Attorney General Sessions before the House Judiciary Committee that was full of memory lapses when it came to discussions about the Trump campaign reaching out to the Russians and Putin himself. Lisa Graves, who served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department and as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, joins us to discuss how Sessions denied that he lied to the Senate in October about contacts with Russians but his memory suddenly got better when he recalled shooting down a proposal for a Trump-Putin meeting. We also examine Trump’s picks for the federal judiciary which he is rapidly filling with far-right bloggers and assess whether the Republicans will stick with the party-line and all vote for a candidate who has never tried a case and is deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. Furthermore this 37 year old Hillary Hater failed to disclose that his wife is the Chief of Staff for the White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who along the Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, control the pipeline for lifetime appointments to the federal bench.
Then we discuss today’s hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the “Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons” which has been prompted by bi-partisan concerns that Donald Trump does not have the stability and competence to be a steward on America’s nuclear arsenal and is so volatile and quixotic that he could wake up on the wrong side of the bed and order a nuclear strike. Jon Wolfsthal, who served at a special assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation, joins us to analyze what barriers could be placed between Trump and the nuclear button without diminishing the deterrence value of the US nuclear arsenal.
Then finally we look into the revelations in The Atlantic of secret correspondence between Donald Trump Junior and Wikileaks that uncover Julian Assange’s close cooperation with the Trump campaign to disseminate damaging information on Hillary Clinton from Russian hacks and show how much Assange was offering advice and guidance to Trump who he was unctuously endorsing. Michael Kelly, an editor and investigative reporter at Yahoo who previously was a senior news editor at Business Insider, joins us to assess how leftist supporters of Assange can reconcile their hero’s bromance with Donald Trump and his hard right wing presidency.
We begin with the emergence of a fifth woman claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Roy Moore when she was a minor, this following a call from the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate demanding that Moore step down as the Republican candidate for the Senate race in Alabama. Asked about Leigh Corfman’s account of being sexually assaulted by Roy Moore when she was 14 and Moore was 32, Mitch McConnell replied, “I believe the woman. Yes”. Diane Winston, who holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and is the publisher of Religion Dispatches, joins us to discuss whether or not a pedophile could be elected to the U.S. Senate by the Republican voters of Alabama. We will also try to assess what possible strategy could be behind Steve Bannon’s championing of far-right fringe candidates and why Bannon thinks Roy Moore, “Chemtrails” Kelly in Arizona and convicted felon Michael Grimm in New York could make America great again.
Then we go to Jerusalem to speak with Israeli journalist and historian Gershom Gorenberg who is the author of “The Unmaking of Israel” and a senior correspondent at The American Prospect where he has an article “In the Saudi Game of Thrones, a Prince Knocks Over the House of Cards”. He joins us to discuss what machinations and war plans as well as financial deals are underway within the secret alliances between Jared Kushner, the Saudi Crown Prince MBS and his mentor the leader of the Emirates MBZ, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Then finally we look into the war of words between Donald Trump and the former Director of National Intelligence Clapper and Director of the CIA Brennan, following Trump’s remarks in Asia that be believed Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with interfering in our elections. Ali Watkins, a national security correspondent for Politico joins us to discuss Trump’s subsequent correction of his remark to say that he believed Putin believed what he said, then the Russian claim that the conversation never took place, and Brennan’s remark that Trump is being played by Putin.
We begin with the changing political winds one year after the surprise upset election of Donald Trump who, in spite of record low approval numbers, remains popular with Republicans, 82% of whom say in a recent poll by Politico that they would vote for him again. Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a co-founder of Mother Jones magazine and serves on the editorial board of The Nation, joins us to analyze the reasons behind the recent victories for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey and how this new momentum can be built on. He argues that it is all about turnout, something which has dogged Democrats in midterm elections. And since already a substantial majority of Americans see Trump as a disastrous and destructive president, a coalition of pragmatic and populist Democrats, together with rueful Independents and disillusioned Republicans, could sweep enough Republicans out of the House and Senate in 2018 to take back control of the legislative branch and then in 2020, the executive branch.
Then we continue the analysis of the beginning of the end of Trump and Trumpism and the revival of a political opposition energized by recent electoral victories, and speak with Ruy Teixeira, the author of “The Emerging Democratic Majority whose latest book is “The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think”. He joins us to discuss the reasons why the American left should be optimistic in spite on the unlimited dark money behind the Republicans and their cynical use of voter suppression and gerrymandering. And while he cautions the left not to fall into Hillary Clinton’s trap of labeling Trump voters as “deplorables”, he argues there is a way for the party of working Americans to win back the white working class and for progressives to stop being defensive and pessimistic and to be proud of their achievements and determined to make America better again.
We begin with the Senate version of the so-called Trump/Ryan tax reform bill that eliminates some of the most flagrantly egregious giveaways to the ultra-rich in the name of Middle Class tax cuts. Jeff Madrick, a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, a former economics columnist for The New York Times and the author of “Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World” joins us. We will discuss the admission by the White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohn that “the most excited group out there are big CEO’s, about our tax plan”, which Cohn goes on to describe as trickle-down economics. And look into the truth-telling by Republican Congressman Chris Collins who said that his big donors are saying “Get it done or don’t ever call me again” and Senator Lindsey Graham who admitted to blackmail by donors, suggesting that a failure to pass tax reform would split the GOP and result in more well-financed far-right challenges to incumbent Republicans.
Then we assess the impact of the explosive revelations in a Washington Post investigation of Steve Bannon’s candidate for the US Senate in Alabama, Judge Roy Moore, which document the experiences of four women who dated Roy Moore when one of the women was 14 and the others 16 and Moore was in his thirties. Zac McCrary, who served as a pollster and strategist for members of Congress, mayors, state legislative caucuses and public interest groups in Alabama, joins us to discuss the unusually quick response by Republican senators, including Alabama’s Richard Shelby, calling on Moore to step down if the allegations are true, and the staggering hypocrisy of such an aggressively holier-than-thou “Christian” who stands accused of sexually assaulting a 14 year old.
Then finally we speak with a veteran CIA analyst and author of “The Path to Dissent: A Whistleblower at CIA”, Melvin Goodman, about the possibility that Trump’s head of the CIA, who has proven to be a partisan hack and an ambitious toady, could sabotage the Mueller investigation by muzzling the CIA’s counterintelligence unit that he has placed under his personal control and hold back evidence that Mueller may not know exists. We examine Mike Pompeo’s record of distorting evidence of Russian interference in our election to please the beneficiary of Russian hacking, his boss Donald Trump.