May 28 - Will the FIFA Scandals Undo Russia's 2018 World Cup?; Can FIFA's Monopoly on World Soccer Be Undone; Theocrats in the Republican Presidential Primaries

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We be begin with the geopolitical implications of the indictments of 14 top FIFA officials that has Russia’s President accusing the U.S. of meddling outside of its jurisdiction as Putin defends the embattled head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, who is up for reelection on Friday and is facing calls to resign from world leaders, sponsors and prominent players.  Daniel Treisman, a leading specialist on the politics and economics of post-communist Russia, joins us to discuss the likelihood that as more details about the corruption-riddled soccer organization emerge, that pressure will build to revisit FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia.

Part 2

Then we speak with Andrei Markovits, the author of “Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism” and “Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture”. He joins us to discuss FIFA’s monopolistic domination of football as it know in most of the world or soccer as it is called in the United States, and whether the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA could break away, since UEFA’s president Michel Platini told a press conference Thursday that he had already called on the FIFA head to resign but Blatter refused, leaving Platini to fume to reporters “I’m disgusted, I’ve had enough, enough is enough.”

Part 3

Then finally we get an assessment of the religious right’s influence in the Republican primaries with Frederick Clarkson, a Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates and the author of “Eternal Hostility: the Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy”.  With presidential candidate Scott Walker belonging to a church whose members speak in tongues and believe the Apocalypse is imminent, and Ted Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate a practicing Dominionist, we discuss the role of theocrats in the presidential primaries

 

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May 27 -Indictments of FIFA Officials Rattle Sepp Blatter's Organized Crime Family; Ending the "One Person One Vote" Basis of Our Democracy; Rick Santorum and the Clamoring for the Evangelical Vote

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Part 1

We be begin with the indictments of top FIFA officials by the Justice Department, FBI and IRS and their pledge that they are only just beginning to cleanse the international soccer organization of its endemic and systemic corruption. Investigative reporter Andrew Jennings, the only reporter to be banned from FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s press conferences and author of “Omerta: Sepp Blatter’s Organized Crime Family”, joins us. Since Andrew helped the FBI with their investigations into FIFA, we discuss how long it will be before the nine figures arrested today in Switzerland start ratting out their Godfather, Sepp Blatter.

Part 2

Then we examine the Supreme Court taking up the case of Evenwal v. Abbott that will require states to draw their legislative districts according to the number of people registered or eligible to vote rather than the total population. Nationally recognized expert on election law and campaign finance, Richard Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, joins us to discuss how this case brought by conservatives could overturn the “one person one vote” basis of our democracy by diluting the political clout of cities, shifting power to rural areas that vote Republican.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the entry of Rick Santorum into the already crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls, and speak with Sarah Posner, a contributing writer at Religion Dispatches and author of “God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values”.  We discuss whether the influence of the religious right in the early primaries will be diluted by Santorum, Cruz, Huckabee and Walker all competing for the same voters.

 

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May 26 - The Filmmaker of the PBS FRONTLINE Special "Obama at War"; The Rush to Build Nuclear Power Plants in the Troubled Middle East; A Marine Ecologist on the Lasting Effects of Oil Spills

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We begin with the most complicated foreign policy challenge President Obama faces, the collapse of Syria and the rise of the self-declared Islamic State that is now poised to destroy the ancient Roman city of Palmyra that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Veteran Middle East correspondent Martin Smith joins us. He has covered the Middle East for PBS’s FRONTLINE for more than a decade, most recently with “The Rise of ISIS”, and we discuss his follow up FRONTLINE report that premieres tonight on PBS stations and online at pbs.org/frontline, “Obama at War

Part 2

Then as if the region is not complicated enough, we discuss the explosive addition of civilian nuclear power reactors with Russia set to build 4 reactors in Turkey this year, having secured agreements to build more in Algeria, Egypt, Iran and Jordan, joining South Korea with contracts to build four plants in the United Arab Emirates. Bennett Ramberg, who served in the Bureau of Politico/Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush Administration and is author of “Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy”, joins us to discuss his article in Foreign Affairs, “Nuclear Power to the People: The Middle East’s New Gold Rush” and the competition between Argentina, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, the U.K., Russia and the U.S. who are bidding to enter the Saudi market to build up to 18 nuclear power reactors.

 

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Robert Miller, a Marine Ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, about the impact that the oil spill on the beaches near where the UCSB campus is situated is having on marine life, birds and mammals. He joins us to discuss the lasting damage that oil spills inflict on the marine environment after the surface oil is skimmed with the use of controversial dispersants.

 

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May 25 - On Memorial Day, A Veteran of the First Iraq War; A Veteran of the Second Iraq War; A Veteran of the Vietnam War

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Today, on this Memorial Day, we are joined by veterans of first and second Iraq wars and the Vietnam war, focusing on what the wars achieved and the lasting effects these wars have had on veterans, as well as how much the governments who sent these vets off to war, have kept their promises in terms of taking care of those we honor on Memorial Day. We will begin with a veteran of the first Iraq war, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat veteran and author of four books who led the largest tank battle since World War 11 in the Gulf War and has since testified to the House Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He joins us to discuss the recent wars, what they achieved and whether they were worth the sacrifice of lives and treasure.

 

Part 2

Then we speak with a veteran of the second Iraq War, Kayla Williams, who served in the U.S. Army for 5 years as an Arabic Linguist and is the author of “Plenty of Time When we Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War“. We discuss the issues that veterans from our latest wars face and the extent to which they are met, given the alarming numbers of young vets from Iraq and Afghanistan who are homeless and have drug problems.

 

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Philip Butler, who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 and spent 8 years as a prisoner of war. We will discuss how the Vietnam War haunted our politics for decades and now the Iraq War appears to be doing the same for Republican presidential candidates, with a fellow former POW of Phil’s, Senator John McCain championing the presidential run of his friend Lindsey Graham who is calling for an additional 10,000 American troops to be sent to Iraq. 


 

 

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May 24 - Another Oil Spill and "The Sea Party Rebellion"; A Police Acquittal in Cleveland; The Iraq War Blame Game

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We begin with the Santa Barbara oil spill and discuss the largest citizen lobby for ocean conservation in U.S. history that took place last week in Washington where delegations from 24 states held 163 meetings on Capitol Hill to oppose new offshore drilling in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. David Helvarg, executive director of Blue Frontier, an ocean conservation and policy group joins. His latest book is “Saved by the Sea: Hope, Heartbreak and Wonder in the Blue World” and he has an op-ed at the Los Angeles Times “Lessons of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill: Leave Petroleum in the Ground”, and an article at The Huffington Post with Ralph Nader, “The Sea Party Rebellion”.

Part 2

Then we examine the unrest in Cleveland following the acquittal of a police officer who fired 49 shots at two African/Americans after a car chase prompted by the vehicle backfiring, with 15 of the shots fired a point black range through the windshield as he stood on the hood. Ronnie Dunn, a professor of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University, whose research focuses on social policy, racial profiling, racial inequality and the criminal justice system, joins us.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He joins us to discuss his article at CNN “Iraq, the war that won’t go away” and we discuss the critical comments by Secretary of Defense Carter about the Iraqi military and the recent history of American presidents blaming other presidents for the wars they inherit, as well as presidential challengers blaming incumbents for contemporaneous wars that are not going well. 

 

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