September 30 - An Update From Hong Kong on China's National Day; Time for the U.S. To Make a Deal With Assad; India's New Prime Minister's State Visit

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We begin and go to Hong Kong for an update on the continuing demonstrations that have grown in size and determination against Hong Kong’s Chief Executive who is increasingly seen as a stooge of the Chinese Government in Beijing. Michael Davis, Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong, joins us on China’s National Day marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, to discuss how far the demonstrators can push the envelope before the leadership in Beijing cracks down.

michael davis

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Then we speak with Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA and author of “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East”. We discuss Turkey’s moment of decision in terms of dealing with the mess they helped create next door in Syria, and Graham Fuller’s article at The Huffington Post, “Embracing Assad in a Better Strategy for the U.S. Than Supporting the Least Bad Jihadis” which makes a case for the U.S. to recognize its policy in Syria has failed and to swallow the bitter pill of joining with the despicable Assad regime to eliminate the Islamic State or ISIL.

graham fuller

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Then finally we look into the two day visit by India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington and the White House where President Obama gave him a State dinner at which Prime Minister Modi did not eat because he is engaged in a religious fast. Sumit Ganguly, the Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University and author of “India Since 1980” and “India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, joins us to discuss the rock-star welcome Modi is getting from the Indian Diaspora and the demonstrations against him.

sumit ganguly

 

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September 29 - As Protests Grow in Hong Kong, China Cracks Down on Social Media; The Shadow of Tiananmen Hangs Over the Chinese Politburo; Is Obama Reading Putin Correctly?

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We begin with the continuing protests in Hong Kong where the use of tear gas by the police appears to have backfired, prompting ordinary citizens to join the students in growing demonstrations that are surely making Communist Party leaders in Beijing nervous. Victoria Hui, a Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame University, who has worked in the democracy movement in Hong Kong and now serves on the Academic Advisors Committee of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, joins us to discuss the Communist Party’s crackdown on social media as Beijing tries to contain the contagion of democratic protest from spreading to the mainland.

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Then we speak with a leading expert on China’s culture, language and people, Perry Link, who edited the “Tiananmen Papers”, a collection of documents leaked by a high-level Chinese official that chronicle the before and after events of the student massacre in 1989, the publication of which led to Perry Link being blacklisted by the Chinese government in 1996. We discuss how the shadow of Tiananmen hangs over the Politburo as President Xi Jinping erects a media firewall to keep the Chinese people in the dark about protests in Hong Kong while promoting an anti-corruption campaign at home largely designed to placate its angry citizens by going after minor local officials and the occasional big fish who is invariably a high-ranking political rival of the president’s.

perry link

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Then finally, we examine the latest fighting in Ukraine where nine Ukrainian soldiers died on Monday from shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the midst of a supposed ceasefire. A former Swedish diplomat, Anders Aslund, the co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Kyiv School of Economics joins us to discuss the devastated state of the Ukrainian economy and the increasingly debilitating effect of Western sanctions on the Russian economy, and whether President Obama’s recent assessment on CBS’s 60 Minutes of Putin’s predicament, rings true.

anders aslund
 

 

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September 28 - How Hard Will China Crack Down on Hong Kong Protests?; The Explosive Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes; Why Wall Street Always Wins

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We begin with the riots in Hong Kong where citizens are protesting China’s imposition of candidates chosen by the PRC in the next election as opposed to local popularly elected candidates.Susan Shirk, the Chair of the 21st Century China Project at the University of California, San Diego, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, joins us to discuss whether China can put down the protest of thousands of people blocking the main road into the financial central district of Hong Kong, and how much the protests will resonate on the mainland as the Communist Party seeks to contain its citizen’s growing demands for greater freedom and accountability. 

susan shirk

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Then we look into the explosive story broken by NPR’s “This American Life” in conjunction with ProPublica, that exposes the capture of Federal Reserve regulators by the big Wall Street banks, in this case Goldman Sachs, where a bank examiner who joined the New York Fed as part of a new wave of post-2008-crash examiners, secretly tape recorded meetings in which it is painfully clear that the regulators are pathetically deferential to the bankers, revealing a culture of cowardice and collusion that is designed to deceive the public into believing that here is actually oversight over Wall Street. William K. Black, the Former Litigation Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, who put hundreds of bankers in jail for the S&L rip-offs during the 1980’s, joins us to explain how these revelations answer the question of why bankers today are too big to jail.

william k black

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Then finally, we hear from William Cohan, the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World”. He joins us to discuss his article at Politico, “Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman” and explain the culture of regulatory capture on Wall Street that these secret tapes expose, and what the likely outcome will be from the Congress and the public now that the delusion that there is such a thing as regulation of the banking industry has been laid bare.

william black

 

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September 25 - Attorney General Eric Holder's Exit; The Status of Legal Battles to Overturn Voter ID Laws; How CREW Got the Secret Documents From the Republican Governors Association

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We begin with the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder and speak with Robert Weissman, the President of Public Citizen who has been a critic of the Justice Department’s failure to prosecute Wall Street bankers who not only caused the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression, but were made whole by the taxpayer in the greatest transfer of private debt to public debt in history. We discuss how Holder’s close personal relationship with President Obama has kept him on the job longer than he would have wished and whether the Attorney General will go back through the revolving door to a big law firm that represents Wall Street and lobbies for their interests in Washington.

 

robert weissman

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Then, with the midterm election a little over a month away, we will get an assessment of how the legal battles to overturn voter-suppression laws in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin are proceeding. Myrna Perez, the Director of the Voting Rights and Election Project at the Brennan Center for Justice, joins us to discuss the new voter ID laws pending since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in states with a long and disgraceful history of disenfranchising minorities with poll taxes poor people could not afford and arbitrary requirements targeted at minorities. We also look into the status of a critical case on appeal in Texas she has been working on that, if Governor Perry prevails, will result in 650,000 Texans who have previously voted, some for decades, being denied the vote in November.

myrna perez

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Then finally we speak with Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, about the secret documents CREW obtained from the Republican Governors Association offering access to governors in exchange for campaign donations for some of America’s biggest corporation whose identities have been shielded from the public through a post Citizens United use of a IRS 501c-4 tax-exemption supposed to be used for “social welfare”. We discuss how CREW got the documents and the secret corporate/Republican pay-to-play money pipeline they expose.

melanie sloan

 

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September 24 - Are We Making Assad Stronger?; "Obama's Long War in the Middle East"; Secret Corporate Donors to Republican Governors Revealed

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We begin with President Obama’s call in his speech to the United Nations for the world to join together to fight Islamic State militants as he vowed to “dismantle this network of death”. We examine the daunting challenges and contradictions that expanding the war against ISIL to Syria pose with David Lesch, a specialist on Syria whose latest book is “Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad?”, and analyze the conventional wisdom that by bombing ISIL, the U.S. is helping Assad who is now free to turns his guns on the moderate Syrian opposition the U.S. supports and plans to invest a half a billion dollars in to build up it’s fighting capacity.

david lesch

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Then we speak with veteran journalist William Greider, the national affairs correspondent for The Nation where he has his latest article “Obama’s Long War in the Middle East”. We discuss the orchestrated campaign to paint Obama as a weakling to force his hand into intervening once more in Iraq and the extent to which modern American warfare has become a video game for the media to feed on, as well as William Greider’s contention that we are in danger of becoming deranged by our own militarism.

william greider

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Then finally, we examine the incriminating documents uncovered by CREW, the Center for Responsible Ethics in Washington, that reveal secret GOP records of corporate donors paying for access to Republican governors, with one document listing 17 major corporate members of the Republican governor’s association’s secretive 501c-4 that had previously shielded the identities of donations by major American corporations in an A to Z of America’s largest corporations from Aetna to Walmart. Sheila Krumholz, the Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington DC joins us to discuss the contents of the documents and their impact.

sheila

 

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