April 16, 2018

Can Comey Fight Trump Without Being Contaminated By Him?
Michael Cohen Forced to Reveal Who His Third Client Is
“Can Democracy Survive Capitalism?”
Program Notes

We begin with the former FBI Director James Comey’s book launch and television interview on ABC with George Stephanopoulos and speak with a former Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who specialized in counterintelligence investigations in New York City. Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School who teaches national security law and is a political analyst at CNN, joins us to assess whether Comey can thread the needle between not wanting to appear he is paying Trump back for firing him, at the same time wanting to inform the American public about what kind of man sits in the Oval Office, a person who Comey describes as being “morally unfit to be president”. We also look into how the FBI can fight back against the war Trump is waging on the FBI and DOJ with the help of Fox News who are pushing the narrative that there is a conspiracy by the so-called “Deep State” underway to undermine Trump’s presidency.  And although the FBI is a non-partisan law enforcement agency with a majority of its agents registered Republicans, Trump and Fox are portraying the Bureau and its leadership as Democratic shills for Hillary Clinton, who apparently viewers of Fox News are unaware lost the election and is not in power and running the United States.

Then we speak with Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who writes about national security and civil liberties at emptywheel.net and is a senior fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. She joins us to discuss her article at The New York Times “Trump Pardoned Libby to Protect Himself From Mueller” and today’s hearing before a Federal judge in which Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was forced to reveal that his third and only client after Trump and Elliot Broidy is Fox’s Sean Hannity the propagandist who is leading the charge in ginning up the phony “Deep State” conspiracy while covering up mounting evidence of Trump’s criminality.

Then finally we examine the new book just out, “Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism?” by Robert Kuttner who joins us to discuss how democracies govern nations while global capitalism runs the world. The co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and former chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee, he illuminates the urgent need to defend our democracy which is in retreat as plutocracy takes over America and Americans more and more become passive consumers instead of active citizens.

Asha Rangappa | Marcy Wheeler | Robert Kuttner


Henry Giroux – November 21, 2017

 

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We speak with Henry Giroux, a world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual whose latest book is “The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism”. He joins us to discuss his latest article at Truthout “Disposability in the Age of Disasters: From Dreamers and Puerto Rico to Violence in Las Vegas”. We assess how the Republican Party has been captured by the far right and will be a continuing problem for American democracy and society going forward unless a citizen’s movement can be built to counter a right-wing kleptocratic takeover of America, as growing plutocratic power and the drift towards authoritarianism threatens our economic viability and democratic future.


November 16, 2017

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 Harding who 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.


November 15, 2017

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.


November 14, 2017

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.