July 30 - Amateurism in the White House at a Time of International Crises; Lobbying for Israel-Palestine Peace on Capitol Hill; Texans Cruz and Perry Posturing for the Presidency

audio

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

audio

Part 1

We begin with an analysis of President Obama’s national security team and assess the concern that an often disengaged president is surrounded by ex-congressional staffers and academics who lack real-world experience, and that he does not get the counsel of seasoned diplomats, intelligence veterans and statesmen. Roger Morris, who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Between the Graves: America, Afghanistan and the Politics of Intervention” and “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and Their Failed Ideals”, joins us to discuss foreign policy amateurism in the White House at a time of international crises.

roger morris

audio

Part 2

Then we speak with Kate Gould, the Legislative Associate for Middle East Policy for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby that fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists on Capitol Hill. She lobbies for Israel-Palestine peace and we will discuss her article in the Huffington Post, “5 Steps U.S. Can Take to Help Restore Israel/Gaza Ceasefire” and whether the latest war in Gaza is shifting attitudes in Congress where unconditional support for Israel has been the norm for decades.

kate gould

audio

Part 3

Then finally we examine the efforts by Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Congressman Pete Sessions to scuttle House Speaker Boehner’s immigration bill in the last days before Congress adjourns for the summer recess. Wayne Slater, the Senior Political Writer for the Dallas Morning News, joins us to discuss the political posturing of Texas Governor Rick Perry and junior Senator Ted Cruz, both of whom are running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and are trying to get the attention of Christian conservative voters who dominate the Republican primary process.

wayne slater

 

mp3audio: 

July 29 - A Super PAC Designed to Reign in Campaign Spending; Drifting into a War with Russia; Political Grandstanding Trumps Humanitarian Concerns as Congress Debates Immigration Reform

audio

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

audio

Part 1

We begin with an ironic approach to reigning in campaign spending with the formation of the Mayday Super PAC designed to support pro-campaign finance reform politicians. Lawrence Lessig, the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and co-founder of the Mayday Super PAC with former George W. Bush adviser Mark McKinnon, joins us to discuss their PAC’s growing crowd-funded war chest and the candidates they are helping in this year’s mid-term election.

lawrence lessig

audio

Part 2

Then we speak with Dr. Stephen Cohen, a professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University, about his editorial, co-written with Katrina vanden Heuval, “War With Russia?: Kiev’s Siege of the Donbass” that will be posted Wednesday at thenation.com. We discuss the dangerous dynamic driven by hawks in both Moscow and Washington that is inflaming the volatile situation in Ukraine, and an apparently detached President Obama who does not appear to have the counsel of wise and seasoned statesmen at this moment of crisis where urgent diplomacy is needed, instead of incremental confrontation.

stephen cohen

audio

Part 3

Then finally we look into congressional deliberations on the crisis at the border following the influx of unaccompanied children from Central America, that appear to be aimed at removing due process provisions in the law in order to fast-track deportation of the minors. Doris Meissner, the former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service under President Bill Clinton, joins us to discuss the fate of any form of immigration reform in this election year in which humanitarian concerns appear to have been trumped by political grandstanding.

doris meissner

 

mp3audio: 

July 28 - As Netanyahu Makes Obama and Kerry Impotent, He Inflames the Middle East; Taking on Murray Energy, Perhaps the Worst Company in America; As Record Money Pours into this Year's Election, a Profile of the Biggest Spenders, The Koch Brothers

audio

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

audio

Part 1

We begin with an overview of the roiling Middle East and examine how Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is not just making President Obama and Secretary Kerry look impotent, he is also inflaming the region and making life difficult for Americans still stuck in the region, in particular in the Green Zone in Baghdad that could soon be overrun by radicals from the so-called Islamic State. Graham Fuller, the former vice chair of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA joins us to discuss the growing anger and frustration among the young in the region as the killing in Gaza continues in spite of appeals for humanity from the U.N., and the growing territorial gains and swelling ranks of radical movements like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

graham fuller

audio

Part 2

Then we speak with Tyson Slocum, the Research Director for Public Citizen’s Energy Program about the campaign Public Citizen has launched against Murray Energy Corporation, a privately owned coal company that is suing the government to stop federal clean air standards and protection for miners, as well as suing the EPA to stop efforts to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.  We discuss the so-called “war on coal” in important electoral battlegrounds and the power of the coal lobby in fighting environmental rules even as there is a shift underway from coal to natural gas in generating electricity.

tyson slocum

audio

Part 3

Then finally, as record amounts of money pour into attack ads early in the mid-term elections, with the Koch brothers-funded Americans For Prosperity taking the lead in the Senate races with $44 million spent so far to make Mitch McConnell the Majority Leader in November, we talk with Daniel Schulman, a senior editor in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones, and a founding member of the magazine’s investigative journalism team. We look into the most powerful players in American politics and discuss Daniel Schulman’s latest book, just out, “Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty”.

daniel schulman

 

mp3audio: 

July 27 - Putin is Afraid of Liberal Democracy, Not NATO; Ex-CIA Head Sanitizes Report on His Role in Torture; Libya Falls Apart

audio

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

audio

Part 1

We begin with Vladimir Putin doubling down in his support for his proxies in Eastern Ukraine to checkmate gains made by the Ukrainian military. Cathy Young, a contributing editor to Reason magazine and author of “Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood” joins us to analyze the real cause of Putin’s exaggerated fear of NATO, which is fear of encirclement by more liberal and modernized societies which would then exert pressure on Moscow to follow the same path, an argument made in her latest article at Reason.com “Vladimir Putin’s Circle of Fear”, that we also discuss.

audio

audio

Part 2

Then we examine efforts by the former head of the CIA George Tenet, to sanitize the long-held up and scathingly critical report compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, joins us to discuss the extent to which the agency is being allowed to vet the report due out next month, that is very critical of them, and the apparent hundreds of pages that Tenet and other officials have managed to get redacted along with slow-walking the declassification process, which has prompted Senator Ron Wyden to complain that “this report should have been public yesterday, and attempts to disrupt and delay it are unacceptable.”

wilkerson

audio

Part 3

Then finally we speak with a leading expert on Libya, Dirk Vandewalle, a professor of Government at Dartmouth College and author of “Libya Since Independence: Oil and State Building”. We look into the chaos enveloping the country that was freed from the Qadaffi dictatorship by a NATO bombing campaign only to descend into factionalism in which it is difficult to determine where ideology ends and criminality begins as various militias, ranging from radical Islamists to former generals, battle over oil exports, the parliament building and the airport in Tripoli.

dirk

 

mp3audio: 

July 24 - Arizona's Botched Execution; Israeli Tourism Takes a Hit; GOP Immigrant-Bashing Will Backfire Over the Long Term

audio

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAMS  

audio

Part 1

We begin with the botched execution in Arizona and speak with a retired judge Donna Hamm, who is the founder and executive Director of Middle Ground Prison Reform in Arizona where she is an expert witness in executive clemency and prison policy and procedure. We discuss the two hour-long drawn-out death of James Wood who gasped and snorted 660 times according a reporter who witnessed his barbarically incompetent execution by lethal injection that the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court described as “a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful…but executions are, in fact, nothing like that. They are brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality.”

 

donna hamm

audio

Part 2

Then we speak with Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author of the new book “The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation are Changing the Middle East”. We discuss the growing strength of the Islamic State in Iraq who are now turning on their erstwhile allies, executing Baathist generals, while making military gains to the point they are threatening Baghdad. We also discuss Juan Cole’s article at truthdig.com “Gaza War Devastates Israeli Tourism Revenue, Points to Fragile Apartheid Future.”

juan cole

audio

Part 3

Then finally with the Texas Governor grandstanding on the border with the National Guard as a prop for Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, we look into the Republican Party’s seizure of the issue of the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border as an election year issue to beat up on Obama and the Democrats, with Dr. Manuel Pastor, a Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He joins us to discuss the extent to which immigrant-bashing may backfire later in terms of the millions of potential Latino votes Republicans will lose, and his article in the Los Angeles Times, “GOP Focused on the wrong set of children”.

manuel pastor

 

mp3audio: