July 30 - A Clue to the Mystery of the Disappearance of the Malaysian Airliner; Jeb Bush: Medicare's 50th Anniversary Party Pooper; Drones Avoid Putting Our Troops in Danger but Put the Rest of Us in More Danger

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We begin with the discovery of debris that is likely to be from the Malaysian airliner that disappeared over the Indian Ocean 17 months ago prompting the most extensive and expensive search in history. Dr. John Hansman, a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT where he is the Director of the MIT International Center for Air Transportation joins us. The Chair of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Research Engineering & Development Committee, we will discuss the significance of this discovery and whether it will help explain the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the Boeing 777 that vanished on March 8, 2014 with all 239 passengers and crew on board.

Part 2

Then on the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid that was signed into law by President Johnson on July 30, 1965, we look into the health and durability of Medicare that serves 54 million Americans along with Medicaid that covers 70 million people. Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and author of “The Political Life of Medicare”, joins us to discuss the current attacks on these popular programs from Congressman Paul Ryan who was recently joined by Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who, speaking before a Koch brothers-sponsored event, called for the phasing out of Medicare claiming it was not solvent.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with one of America’s premier military experts William Arkin, who co-authored the landmark “Top Secret America” investigation and is the co-author of the national best-seller of the same name. He joins us to discuss his latest book “Unmanned: Drones, Data, and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare” and how our security is undermined by the impulse to gather too much data and that by using drones to avoid putting our troops in danger, we put the rest of us in more danger.       

 

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July 29 - The World Mourns Cecil the Lion; "Kayactivists" Block Shell on Icebreaker; If Mullah Omar Has Been Dead for Two Years, Who is Negotiating for the Taliban?

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We begin with Cecil the lion who in life was a favorite fixture in a Zimbabwean wildlife park and now in death has become the object of international outrage since he was lured out of the park so that a dentist from Minnesota could shoot him with an arrow then 40 hours later finish him off with a gunshot then have him skinned and beheaded while trying to destroy the GPS collar that researchers from Oxford University had placed on Cecil. George Wittemyer, a professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, who is chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Save the Elephants in Africa, joins us to discuss the effects of poaching and trophy hunting on endangered wildlife populations in Africa.

Part 2

Then we speak with Daphne Wysham, the director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy who is at the Cathedral Park boat ramp in North Portland watching Greenpeace activists dangle from the St. Johns Bridge across the Willamette River who, along with “kayactvists” in kayaks, are blocking the passage of an icebreaker Shell oil plans to send to the Arctic to help it drill for oil under the Arctic Sea. We discuss why these activists are risking their lives in taking this stand to say “Shell No!”

Part 3

Then finally we examine reports that the Taliban leader Mullah Omar has been dead for two years which calls in to question who is speaking for the Taliban in peace talks set to resume on Friday in Pakistan between the Afghan Government and the Taliban. Shuja Nawaz, the former Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States joins us to discuss why Pakistan wants the talks to succeed and whether the parties can find common ground to end decades of ruinous fighting in one of the world’s poorest countries.

 

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July 28 - Loopholes in Preventing Sales of Firearms Used in Recent Massacres; Leaked Report on the F-35 $1.4 Trillion Gold-Plated Turkey; Obama's Criticism of Kleptocratic African Strongmen

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We begin with questions arising after the recent rash of mass shootings about the loopholes and gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that allowed a mentally ill Hitler-loving anti-abortion zealot to buy a gun at a pawnshop used in the cinema massacre in Lafayette, enabled a young racist with outstanding criminal charges to buy the automatic used to gun down worshippers at the AME Church in Charleston, and made it easy for the shooter in Chattanooga to purchase assault rifles over the Internet used to kill American servicemen. A former Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Dr. William Vizzard, Professor Emeritus and former Chair in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento, joins us to discuss what can be done to shore up a broken system that is supposed to prevent felons and the mentally ill from getting hold of lethal firepower.

Part 2

Then we look into a leaked test report from a series of dogfight tests between the brand new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and a 30-year-old F-16 trainer at Edwards Flight Test Center that demonstrated that the performance of the F-35 is inferior to the current fighters it is designed to replace. Mandy Smithberger, Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight joins us to discuss Lockheed’s $1.4 trillion gold-plated turkey that is the world’s most expensive weapons system, and her article at the Center for Defense Information and pogo.org, “Leaked F-35 Report Confirms Serious Air Combat Deficiencies”.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Francis Njubi Nesbitt, a professor of Africana Studies at San Diego State University who previously worked as a reporter and sub-editor for the Daily Nation in Nairobi, Kenya. He joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Policy in Focus, “Obama’s Last Chance in Africa” and President Obama’s address to the African Union in Ethiopia where he criticized kleptocratic African strongmen who cling to power indefinitely.

 

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July 27 - Huckabee Panders to Christian Zionists; The Damage Israel's Spy Pollard Did to the US; Obama and African Leaders Meet to End South Sudan's Civil War

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We begin with remarks by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckerbee who invoked the holocaust in criticizing President Obama’s deal with Iran, saying that Obama “will take Israelis and march them to the doors of the ovens”. Matthew Sutton, a Professor of History at Washington State University and author of “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism” joins us to discuss Huckerbee’s attempt to appeal to Christian Zionists who love Israel because it is central to bringing about the rapture at the end of times according to their interpretation of the Bible’s book of Revelation. We examine the relationship between American evangelicalism, apocalyptic thought, and political activism during times of national crisis and war.

Part 2

Then we look into the possible release of Jonathan Pollard who is coming up for parole after serving 30 years for spying for Israel. CIA veteran Melvin Goodman, a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism”, joins us to discuss the damage that Pollard did to America’s national security and why this spy, who first tried to sell America’s most valuable secrets to Libya, then Saudi Arabia, has become a hero in Israel and a bargaining chip in U.S./Israeli relations.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the talks underway in Ethiopia with President Obama and leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and the African Union over the future of South Sudan which is mired in a brutal fratricidal war between two warring tribal factions. Lako Tongun, a professor of International and Intercultural Studies and Political Studies at Pitzer College, who was born and raised in South Sudan, joins us to discuss what pressure can be brought to bear on South Sudan’s president and vice president whose personal war with each other has cost the world’s newest country tens of thousands of its citizens killed with 2.2 million displaced.

 

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July 26 - The Threat of Homegrown Right Wing Terrorism; Is China Dumping US Treasuries?; Turkey Attacks ISIL and the PKK

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We begin with the latest incident of domestic terrorism with the shooting rampage in a cinema in Louisiana carried out by an admirer of Adolph Hitler who was an anti-abortion fanatic with an extensive record of mental illness, yet was able to purchase the handgun he used to murder innocent young women, legally. David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in the School of Public Policy at Duke University joins us. He had a recent article at The New York Times “The Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat” and we discuss how while 74% of the nation’s police and sheriff’s departments listed anti-government violence at their top priority, compared to 39% who listed jihadist-inspired terrorism, Washington appears to be fixated on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Part 2

Then we look into a story doing the rounds on the Internet that Goldman Sachs in alarmed that China is dumping U.S Treasuries while hundreds of billions in capital is flowing out of China. Scott Kennedy, the Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and author of “Beyond the Middle Kingdom”, joins us to discuss whether there is any instability with the Chinese economy that has had record sustained growth for some time, and how significant its current slowdown is.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Edmund Ghareeb, an internationally recognized expert on the Kurds and Iraq. He is the first Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies at the Center for Global Peace at American University and we discuss the Turkish military assault on both the Islamic State in Syria and the Kurdish PKK in Iraq, breaking a two-year truce between Turkey’s military and the PKK.    

 

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