August 24 - Fox News and the Injured White Identity; The Koch Brothers' Connections to Mike Pence; Although Clinton Leads Now, Her Victory Could Be Narrow

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We begin with the Trump campaign’s claim on British TV today that hidden or “undercover” voters will come out of the woodwork to elect Trump in November and examine the influence of the “alt-right” on the campaign now that it is headed by Stephen Bannon who boasted his Breitbart Media is the platform for the alt-right.  Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of “Fox News and American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics and Society”, joins us to discuss how a sense of injured white identity defines the alt-right whose founding myth is that the disadvantaged groups in American politics, minority voters, are actually running things through a combination of fraud and intimidation that ends up oppressing white men.

 

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Part 2

Then we be joined in the studio by Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy who served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government – as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as Deputy Chief at the U.S. Courts. We will discuss the Koch brothers’ connections to Mike Pence and the lack of moral fiber on the Republican side in accepting Donald Trump as their nominee, as well as complacency among liberals and progressives who were alarmed by the prospect of Reagan and George W. Bush but don’t seem to recognize that the danger Trump poses is off the charts compared to them.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Jonathan Darman, a former correspondent for Newsweek who covered the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton for Newsweek and is the author of “Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan and the Dawn of a New America”.  He joins us to discuss whether the current double-digit lead that Clinton has is some polls is likely to shrink as no presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, who beat Walter Mondale by 18 points in 1984, has won the presidency by a wide margin.

 

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August 23 - Do Leftists Actually Like Losing?; The Little-Known $2 Billion Nuclear Accident; Investigating Trump's $650 Million Debt

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We begin with Rutger Bregman, the author of “Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-hour Workweek”. We will discuss his article at The Guardian “The Left needs fresh ideas and a new language if it is to win again” and his critique of underdog socialists who he sees as being against austerity, privatization and the establishment while it is not clear what they are for, and whether “leftists actually like losing as if the failure, doom and atrocities mainly serve to prove they were right all along while their activism is more about bolstering identity than achieving results”.

 

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Then following a front page story in Monday’s Los Angeles Times that investigated the consequences of a nuclear accident two years ago at W.I.P.P., the nuclear Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, we speak with Edwin Lyman, a Senior Scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists who specializes in nuclear power safety and security. We discuss the rising cost of this little-know nuclear accident that will likely cost $2 billion, more than the Three Mile Island cleanup, and the daunting problems associated with the disposal of nuclear waste from civilian power reactors and the nuclear weapons industry, that in spite of billions spent, remain largely unaddressed.

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Then finally we speak with William Cohan, the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World” and a columnist with The New York Times Dealbook section and a writer for Fortune Magazine. He joins us to discuss the New York Times investigation into Donald Trump’s finances that reveal he has at least $650 million of debt, twice the amount gleaned from public filings, and that while beating the drum on Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, he is in debt to Goldman Sachs for tens of millions along with the Bank of China, the state bank of a Communist country Trump regularly condemns. 

 

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August 22 - Clinton Leads Trump in the Money Race; Trump Calls the Clinton Foundation "The Most Corrupt Enterprise in Political History"; Trump's "Alt-Right" Campaign Chief

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We begin with an assessment of the money race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in which in July alone, Clinton raised $140 million compared to $78 million for Trump who got 64% of his money from donations under $200 while 36% of Clinton’s money came from small donors. Rebecca Ballhaus, a reporter in the Wall Street Journal’s Washington D.C. bureau where she writes about national politics and campaign finance, joins us to discuss how far ahead in fundraising and media buying the Clinton campaign is and whether Trump can catch up.

 

Rebecca Ballhaus

Part 2

Then we look into the latest scandal, whether manufactured or real, that the Republicans hope will dog Hillary Clinton all the way until the November 8 election, and that is the Clinton Foundation about which Donald J. Trump announced today in a statement...“It is clear that the Clinton foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history”. John Wonderlich, the Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, one of the foremost authorities on transparency policy, joins us to offer some proportionality and perspective to claims of alleged Clintonian corruption in an election where in closed-door enclaves with Republican donors, the Koch brothers raise billions to be spent in secret while Trump himself refuses to even release his own tax returns.

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Then finally, we analyze the rebooted Trump campaign now headed by Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart Media who is the champion of the “alt-right”, an assemblage of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, ethno-nationalist provocateurs who see the GOP as appeasers and Fox News as tame. Sarah Posner, an investigative journalist, author and expert on the intersection of religion and politics, joins us to discuss her article at Mother Jones, “How Donald Trump’s New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalist” and how Bannon takes credit for fomenting “this populist nationalist movement” long before Trump turned it into a voting bloc or a future audience for Trump TV.

 

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August 21 - Supporting the Women Who Fight ISIS; Nothing Is Being Done To End The War in Syria; The Money Race For the Presidency and Congress

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We begin with the second anniversary of the attack on the ancient tribe of Yazidis by the Islamic State who still hold thousands of Yazidi women as sex slaves and investigate the role of Masoud Barzani’s political party in Iraqi Kurdistan who are about to receive a massive arms shipment from the United States while blockading the Yazidis who have escaped from ISIS because they are seeking autonomy and democracy as opposed to accepting the corrupt patriarchy that Barzani offers. Meredith Tax, a writer, feminist and political activist joins us to discuss her new book “A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State” and her article in The New York Times “When Women Fight ISIS” and how the U.S. celebrates the Kurdish fighters who are the only boots on the ground who have been effective against ISIS, but turns a blind eye to the corrupt political systems that suppress some of the most progressive and promising political movements in a neighborhood mired in violent theocracy and kleptocratic autocracy.

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Then with the head of the U.N. in Syria all but giving up on a situation that he describes as being consumed by killing and destruction with no meaningful peace efforts and zero humanitarian convoys getting through to besieged populations, we speak with James Gelvin, a professor of history at UCLA who specializes in present-day Syria and is the author of “The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Need to Know”. We discuss how the world was recently riveted by the picture of the injured Syrian boy in an ambulance but apart from sympathy for his plight, nothing is being done to stop the death and destruction in Syria.

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Then finally we speak with Thomas Ferguson, a contributing editor for The Nation and the author of “Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Part Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems”. He joins us to discuss the money race that has Clinton ahead of Trump as Republicans fret over losing the Senate, and his new paper at the Institute for New Economic Thinking “How Money Drives U.S. Congressional Elections”.

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August 18 - Is Trump Going to Turn His Voters Into Viewers of Trump TV?; Aetna's Blackmail Threat to Pull Out of Obamacare; The Federal Government Will End Its Use of Private Prisons

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We begin with the latest speculation following the involvement of Roger Ailes and the hiring of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon as the new CEO of the Trump campaign, that Trump is looking past a loss in November to “monetize” his success as a candidate by turning his voters into viewers of Trump TV. Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University joins us to discuss his article at The Los Angeles Times “Maybe Trump’s not trying to win the White House – He’s trying to start Trump TV” and reports that Trump plans to build a media empire with himself as the star attraction having become addicted to the adoration of the crowds at his rallies. We look into how Trump and his new sidekick Bannon, who thinks Fox News is tame, could continue to feed red meat to the far right along with millenarian apocalyptic scenarios and conspiracy theories about the oppression of white America.

 

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Then we assess whether Aetna insurance is blackmailing the Obama Administration with their threat to pull out of Obamacare if the DOJ does not approve Aetna’s merger with the other insurance giant Humana, thus leaving only three big players controlling the private health insurance market. Joining us is Wendell Potter who, after a long career in the for-profit health industry, as chief corporate spokesman at CIGNA Corporation and head of communications at Humana Inc., is now a senior analyst on healthcare at the Center for Public Integrity. The author of “Obamacare: What’s in it for Me?: What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act, we will discuss how much the federal government already subsidizes the insurance giants and why at the end of the day, single payer makes sense.

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Then finally we speak with Robert Perkinson, an American historian and Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and author of “Texas Tough: The Rise of a Prison Empire”. We discuss the Department of Justice’s decision today that the US will end federal use of private prisons, a move that may have a trickle down effect on the states where 90% of prisoners are held in the United States, which has the world’s largest prison population. 

 

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