September 27 - The Strongman Exposed as Weak and Childish; Hacking the Votes of the 7.6 Million Overseas Americans; Will McConnell Shutdown the Government to Protect Secret Corporate Political Spending

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the first presidential debate and speak with Tom Rosshirt, who served as a national security speechwriter for President Clinton and wrote a prescient article about Donald Trump, whose weakness was on display in last night, in Politico back in July warning that, “nothing is more dangerous than a weak man with power, and Trump is weak. Very weak. He can’t take the pain of arguments and evidence that contradict his self-image”.  We discuss the wilting of Trump before the eyes of 80 million viewers as his bluster increasingly rang hollow, and he resorted to campaign slogans with meandering responses that became more and more childish when challenged on his “birther” crusade and hyped-up record as a businessman. We also try to assess whether in our poisonous, polarized and tribal political climate, minds can be changed by such an obvious exhibition of an empty suit barking at a composed and accomplished woman.

Tom Rosshirt

Part 2

Then we examine the impact of the 7.6 million overseas votes in this election that are vulnerable to hacking and speak with John-Paul Bernbach, who was spokesperson for Democrats Abroad and the Democratic Party in Europe in the 2008 presidential campaign. The author of a new book “Beyond Reason: Debunking Conservative Lies, Delusions, and Falsehoods and What You Really Need to Know Before You Vote”, he joins us to discuss how far American politics have moved to the Right compared to Europe, with no representative for the political Left, except for Bernie Sanders, as the center right and the far right candidates battle it out for leader of the free world.    

 
John-Paul Bernbach

Part 3

Then finally, we look into whether the government will run out of money on Friday with the Continuing Resolution stalled in the Senate because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has excluded funds for Flint, Michigan while including emergency help for flood victims in Louisiana. As he insists on a rider that would block the Securities Exchange Commission’s new rule to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending. Rachel Curley, a Democracy Associate at Public Citizen, joins us to discuss the Republican priority of keeping corporate political spending secret from the voters while holding up $220 million of water infrastructure for Flint where citizens have been exposed to lead poisoning from drinking the water.

Rachel Curley

 

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September 26 - The Vulnerabilities in Our Election System; Putin's Real Motive in Disrupting Our Election; Personality, Not Policy, Will Determine Who Wins the Upcoming Debate

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We begin with an assessment of the vulnerability of U.S. elections systems to a possible concerted effort by Russian Intelligence to influence the outcome of the November election that Senator Feinstein and Congressman Schiff of the Intelligence Committees have warned is happening. An expert on the machinery and operations of U.S. elections, Pamela Smith, the President of Verified Voting, joins us to discuss the narrow window Russia would have to alter the election which lies in states that have paperless DRE machines that only give electronic results and could be hacked without verification. Most, Louisiana, South Carolina, Delaware and New Jersey are not swing states, but Georgia could be and Pennsylvania is an important swing states with half of the state having vulnerable voting machines as well as some of Virginia.  But given the earlier intrusions into Arizona’s and Illinois’ voting rolls by a foreign power, if the Russians wanted to alter the rolls as new voters register in October, or gum up the works and sow confusion on election day, they could manipulate the voting rolls which Homeland Security is aware of and is trying to prevent.

Part 2

Then we speak with David Satter, who has written about Russia for almost four decades and is a fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of “The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship Under Yeltsin and Putin”. An advisor to former Republican presidential candidate Governor Kasich of Ohio, he is skeptical of speculation that Trump is owned by Putin but believes that Putin’s main focus is to convince the Russian people whose brief window of democracy he has closed, that democracies in the West are corrupt and hypocritical and can be manipulated.

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Part 3

Then finally, just before the first presidential debate begins, we assess how much Donald Trump has lowered expectations and how much weight is on Hillary Clinton’s shoulders to, not only win over a lot of Americans who have been conditioned to dislike her, but to save her supporters from the specter of a Trump presidency that terrifies them. David Graham, a staff writer for The Atlantic, joins us to discuss his article at The Atlantic, “How Trump Lowered Expectations for the First Debate” and how this debate is likely to about personality and not policy. 

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September 25 - Sounding the Alarm on Russian Intelligence's Interference in the US Election; Is Trump the Manchurian Candidate? The Filmmaker of the Searing Documentary "4.1 Miles"

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We begin with the question of whether Donald Trump is the so-called "Manchurian Candidate”, a fictional Cold War book and twice a movie of an American patriot who becomes President of the United States all the while under the control of America’s Communist enemies. With growing concerns expressed by the ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Senator Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff, warning “Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian Intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election”, we speak with Karen Dawisha, a Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and author of "Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Own Russia?”  We look into questions that are beginning to surface about the extent to which Putin is not just orchestrating the SVR and GRU’s efforts to manipulate the outcome of the election, but also has ties to Trump that go beyond alleged covert financing of Trump’s enterprises and seem to indicate Trump is owned by Putin, who is rumored to have compromising video of Trump with very young women ensnared in a so-called “honey trap” by the FSB when Trump was in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.  

Part 2

Then we examine further the Trump-as-the- “Manchurian Candidate” scenario with Roger Morris who served on the National Security Council under both presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and is the author of the forthcoming comparative history of the inner politics of the U.S. and the USSR, “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and their Failed Ideals”. We look into research he has uncovered from former KGB Generals and other Kremlin insiders that the Trump operation has been underway for years and that within the ranks of Russian Intelligence, there is some dissent about Putin’s increasingly brazen efforts to undermine the U.S. election by in effect, declaring war on American democracy.

Part 3

Then finally, Daphne Matziaraki joins us in the studio. She just graduated from U.C. Berkeley’s Documentary Program at the Graduate School of Journalism and her latest film is “4.1 Miles”, a searing documentary filmed in the 4.1 miles of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos that shows the trauma the already traumatized Syrian and Afghan refugees endure as they make the harrowing journey, packed into unseaworthy boats that often capsize. The film is in the running for an Academy Award and any sentient person who sees it, can no longer be indifferent to the humanitarian catastrophes underway in the Middle East and the human suffering caused by the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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September 22 - The Repetitive Killing of Black Men by Police; "The Insidious (and Totally Legal?) Way That Industry Has Infiltrated Congress"; An Independent Candidate Running For President of the United States

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We begin with the unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina and the killing of an unarmed black man who had his hands up when he was shot and killed by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Kevin Alexander Gray, a civil rights organizer in South Carolina and author of “The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama” and a contributor to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence”, joins us to discuss the flagrant killing of the son of a local minister in Tulsa whose car had broken down yet he was first hit by a Taser then, with his hands in the air, shot dead. And we also look into the apparent built-up rage in North Carolina’s African/American community that was sparked by the shooting of black man by a black police officer, triggering two days of riots in Charlotte.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Lydia Dennettan investigator at the Project on Government Oversight where her latest investigation a POGO is “The Insidious (and Totally Legal?) Way That Industry Has Infiltrated Congress” which reveals that fellows working as Congressional staffers in the House and Senate, are having their salaries paid by outside organizations and interest groups, many of whom have real and potential conflicts of interest as these fellowship programs end up furthering industry goals in important legislation. We examine the lax senate rules on ethics that allow this widespread practice while the House has no rules at all when it come to their staffers being paid by outside sources.

lydia dennett

Part 3

Then finally Evan McMullin joins us. He is running for President of the United States as an independent candidate and was formerly a CIA officer who served in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia then later served as a senior advisor in The House Committee on Foreign Relations and chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.  He joins us to discuss why he is running for president and how he is appalled that the leaders of the party of Lincoln are not taking a moral stand against their racist standard-bearer who panders to white supremacists, as well as his concerns that a former intelligence office like himself, Vladimir Putin, is manipulating Donald Trump who is carrying the Kremlin’s water.

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September 21 - Criticism of the FBI Following the Latest Terrorist Incident; Changing the Law to Go After "The Not Yet Guilty"; A Hearing to Impeach the IRS Commissioner Backfires on the Tea Party Republicans

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Part 1

We begin with the criminal complaint filed in federal court on Tuesday in which the alleged New Jersey bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami was charged with the use of weapons of mass destruction and according to his blood-spattered bullet-holed journal, was inspired by “Brother Osama Bin Laden” and the American jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen. David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at the School of Public Policy at Duke University joins us to address criticism leveled at the FBI following the shootout and capture of the bombing suspect in New Jersey whose father was concerned his son was a terrorist which, like the earlier case involving the father of the Orlando shooter, prompted the FBI to investigate these potential terrorists before closing the cases for lack of evidence. We also analyze Donald Trump’s bombastic anti-terrorism proposals that will make it all but impossible to identify and interdict home-grown terrorists such as Rahami, Orlando’s Mateen, the San Bernardino terrorists and the Boston bombers.

 

Part 2

Then we examine calls by Donald Trump to deny Ahmad Khan Rahami medical treatment and legal representation and a request from Senator Lindsay Graham to the Obama Administration to deny the alleged terrorist due process under the law and have him labeled as an “enemy combatant”. Stephen Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, a Supreme Court analyst for CNN, and the co-editor-in-chief of the “Just Security” blog, joins us to discuss the hysteria over domestic terrorism that Trump is generating in this election and the danger of changing the law to go after the “not yet guilty”, which would as Ben Franklin warned the likes of Donald Trump, that “he who would trade liberty for temporary security, deserves neither”.

Headshot photo of Stephen I. Vladeck

Part 3

Then finally we look into today’s impeachment hearing in the House, called to placate the Tea Party Freedom Caucus who are using the threat of impeaching the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to block any effort to reform IRS rules that allow unlimited and unattributed “dark money” into our elections under the loophole of a 501C-4 “social welfare” tax exemption. Emily Peterson Cassin, Project Coordinator of the Bright Lines Project at Public Citizen joins us to describe today’s hearing at which Democrats turned the tables on the Republicans and used the hearing to get the head of the IRS to debunk Donald Trump’s excuse for not releasing his tax returns to the public.

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