May 4 - Trump's Historical Upheaval of the Political Life of the USA; "It's Even Worse Than It Was"; NATO and Russia's Buildup in Eastern Europe

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We begin with the extraordinary historical upheaval in the political life of the United States as a hotel and casino developer with no discernable political platform or affiliation, the reality TV star Donald Trump, becomes the presumptive head of one of America’s two major parties and the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States. Jacob Heilbrunn who is a Editor at The National Interest and author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons”, joins us to discuss dismay and division within the GOP over Trump’s triumph in the Republican primaries and whether the presumptive candidate can assuage the foreign policy anxiety of the neocons and soften his misogyny by choosing a woman as his running mate.

Part 2

Then we assess the reaction to Donald Trump by traditional conservatives and his chances of beating Hillary Clinton with Norman Ornstein, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and co-author of the best-seller “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism”, now in an updated version “It’s Even Worse Than It Was”. He joins us to discuss how the Republican Party’s embrace and enabling of the anti-government Tea Party has resulted in the capture of the GOP by an outsider who has capitalized on the alienation and anger the party encouraged.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the tit-for-tat military buildup in Eastern Europe with NATO planning to rotate battalions and Russia threatening to deploy divisions as the two sides appear to be drifting into a new Cold War confrontation. Gordon Hahn, a Professor and Researcher in the Terrorism Research and Education at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey who was a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, joins us to discuss growing tensions between a paranoid Russia in distress and an E.U. facing disintegration.

 

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May 3 - Reality Television Has Taken Over the Presidential Primaries; The Irony That Donald Trump is Threatening the Same Press That Enabled Him; How the Poisoners of Children Have Ruined Detroit's Schools

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As voters in Indiana decide the fate of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, we begin with the blistering attack by Ted Cruz who warned that “if Indiana did not act, this country could well plunge into the abyss”, calling Donald Trump a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar” after Trump had needled Cruz by suggesting his father Rafael was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and author of “Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House” joins us to discuss how reality television has taken over the presidential primary debates with insults being hurled instead of chairs and whether Trump will be able to needle Hillary Clinton with the barrage of tabloid smears and salacious scandal-mongering that he is ready and waiting to level at her.

Alan Schroeder 2

Part 2

Then on World Press Freedom Day we look into the irony that the same press that enabled the rise Donald Trump to possibly become the next President of the United States with $2 billion’s worth of free publicity, could face a president who refers to journalists as “lying disgusting people” and vowed to make it easier to sue news organizations. Trevor Timm, a U.S. columnist with The Guardian and Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation joins us to discuss how Trump, who appears to be a shape-shifter with no core beliefs, can both use the press and threaten its freedom.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Tom Pedroni, a professor of sociology and director if the Detroit Data and Democracy Project at Wayne State University about the second day of the teacher’s sick-out that has closed 94 of Detroit’s 97 public schools. He joins us discuss how the same type of ideologically-driven numbers-crunching emergency managers appointed by the Republican governor who poisoned the children in nearby Flint, Michigan, have run Detroit’s schools into the ground.

Thomas Charles Pedroni

 

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May 2 - Commercialism Trumps Democracy; A Critique of Bernie Sanders From the Left; What's Behind Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis

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We begin with commercialism trumping democracy reflected in the recent statement by the head of CBS, Les Moonves, who said the Trump campaign “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS”. Victor Pickard, a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania joins us to discuss the symbiosis between the TV and cable monopolies and Donald Trump who serve each other’s interests as the press enables Trump with up to two billions dollars of free publicity covering his headline-grabbing antics which feeds their ratings and generates their profits with little to no regard for the public good which used to be an obligation the mainstream media had for the use of the public’s airwaves.

This is a picture of Victor Pickard at Annenberg School for Communication ASC UPenn

Part 2

Then we get an unusual critique from the left of Bernie Sanders and his campaign from Kevin Drum, a political blogger at Mother Jones where his latest article is “Here’s Why I never Warmed Up to Bernie Sanders”. He joins us to discuss his concern that in calling for a revolution that may not come about and not offering inspiration is service of attainable goals, the likely failure of the Sanders’ campaign will result in a net increase in cynicism about politics with Bernie’s young followers giving up in disgust.

Part 3

Then finally we examine Puerto Rico’s debt crisis with Charles Venator Santiago, Professor of Latino Politics, Public Law, and Political Theory with the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut. He joins us to discuss Congressional inaction in the face of Sunday’s default on a $422 million debt payment and the deceptive campaign by so-called vulture funds, shadowy hedge funds that are blanketing the airwaves with ads featuring middle class Puerto Rican grandmas worried about losing their life savings when it’s all about the vulture funds squeezing every last dollar out of the island.  

 

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May 1 - Obama Chastises the Press for Elevating Trump; Election Desperation in Indiana; The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats in Electing Supreme Court Nominees

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We begin with President Obama’s remarks at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner where he needled the press noting that Donald Trump had entered the presidential race to promote his hotel business and look where he is today thanks to all the free publicity the press has given him.  Award-winning investigative correspondent for CNN, ABC and NBC, Mark Feldstein, Chair of Journalism at the University of Maryland, joins us to discuss the press as enablers of Donald Trump who, like Ben Carson, entered the primaries to promote his business brand but because of his headline-grabbing antics, has received as much as two billion dollars-worth of free press, which the president gently reminded the press corps last night is astounding if not disgraceful.

Work, 4-10

Part 2

Then we get an update on the political landscape in Indiana where Ted Cruz is making his last stand to stop Trump on Tuesday and speak with Marjorie Hershey, Professor of Political Science at Indiana University whose research focuses on political parties, campaigns and elections. She joins us to discuss the almost-comical nature of the Hoosier-pandering with Cruz referring to the basketball “ring” instead of the hoop and Trump introducing coach Bobby Knight who praised the Republican frontrunner as one who, like Harry Truman, would have the guts to drop the atomic bomb.

Part 3

Then finally we discuss the importance of the Supreme Court in presidential elections with Lisa Graves who was Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, she joins us to discuss how this year’s election is critical in deciding who will replace Supreme Court Justice Scalia and the accuracy of the HBO movie about Clarence Thomas, “Confirmation”, which portrays the Republican senators as ruthless and determined while the Democratic Majority Leader of the Judiciary Committee appears gutless as he sells out the star witness against a demonstrably unqualified candidate.  

Lisa Graves

 

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April 28 - Trump and Cruz’s Economic Fantasy; In the Year of the Outsider, Trump Could Win; Could China and the US Drift Into a New Cold War?

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We begin with President's stinging rebuke of the economic plans being offered up by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz which Obama described as "fantasies". Economist Bruce Bartlett, who served as a domestic policy advisor to Ronald Regan and deputy assistant for economic policy in the Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration, joins us to discuss the absurdity of Trump's economic plans that would add $9.6 trillion to the deficit in a decade while Cruz's plan would add $8.5 trillion over the same period. We also discuss a prescient article Bruce Bartlett wrote for Politico last July "A Moderate Republican's Case for Trump: Only Trump Can Make the GOP Sane Again - By Losing in a Landslide to Hillary Clinton". 

Part 2

Then Matthew Rothschild joins us in the studio. He is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and the former editor of The Progressive Magazine and we discuss his efforts to get money out of politics in Wisconsin where Governor Scott Walker has benefited greatly from outside billionaire money that has financed a reactionary agenda in the state. We also discuss the presidential race now increasingly narrowing to a Clinton/Trump face off that, in this year of the outsider, could see Donald Trump elected as the next president of United States.

Part 3

Then finally historian Alfred McCoy joins us in the studio to discuss President Obama's pivot to Asia and the strategy that underlies it and the possibility of the U.S. and China drifting into a new Cold War. A TomDispatch regular, Alfred McCoy holds the Harrington Chair in History at the University of Wisconsin and is the author of "Policing America's Empire: the United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State" and a forthcoming book on U.S. global power "Ending the American Empire".    

 

Alfred W. McCoy

 

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