October 29 - The Fed Ends the $4.5 Trillion Quantitative Easing Program; Congressional Hawks Preparing to Sabotage Obama's Iran Deal; Demonstrations in Hungary Against an Internet Tax

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We begin with the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it is ending its $4.5 trillion quantitative easing program started six years ago to help Wall Street recover from the 2008 economic crisis it caused by buying bonds. Robert Johnson, the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, who was formerly the chief economist at both the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the Budget Committee, joins us to assess how the global markets will react and in particular the record-high U.S. stock market, which has been the beneficiary of investors looking for higher returns because of record-low interest rates.

robert johnson

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Then we look into the impending sabotage by hawks in Congress, whose ranks will be swelled by the expected Republican takeover of the senate, of the P5+1 agreement President Obama is likely sign with Iran in late November. Dr. Trita Parsi, the co-founder and the president of the National Iranian American Council joins us to discuss his article at Reuters “How Congressional Hawks Plan to Kill Obama’s Iran Deal” and examine the window of opportunity that congressional hawks, who appear to be in coordination with Israel’s Prime Minister, have to kill the Iran deal before it bears fruit and shows how much it is working because of pent-up demand inside Iran for normal relations and the eagerness to do business with the U.S. once sanctions are lifted.

trita parsi

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Then finally we speak with Kim Lane Scheppele, an expert on Hungary who is a Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. We discuss huge demonstrations in Hungary against the increasingly authoritarian right wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban whose government wants to introduce an Internet tax and levy a fee on each gigabyte of internet data transferred. This has prompted thousands across the political spectrum, to take to the streets and hurl old computer parts at the headquarters of the ruling Fidesz party.

 

kim shappele

 

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October 28 - Mexico in Shock Over the Month-Long Disappearance of 43 Students; Turkey Allows Some Kurds to Join the Fight for Kobani; Unsolved Political Assassinations in Venezuela

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We begin with the possibility of a break in the case of 43 missing students that has shocked Mexico and sparked nationwide protests. Mexico City-based journalist Ioan Grillo, who is the author of “El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency”, joins us to discuss the outrage gripping a country that has experienced decades of mayhem and murder perpetrated by drug gangs, and the possibility that a tip-off from members of a drug gang has led authorities to a mass grave that might relieve the anguish of parents agonized over the fate of their children who disappeared a month ago after clashing with police who were ordered by the local Mayor to intercept the students to prevent them from protesting at a speech his wife was giving. She is suspected of being the contact for the drug gang who the police handed the students over to, and she and the mayor have disappeared and are considered fugitives.  

ioan grillo

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Then, we examine Turkey’s decision to allow Iraqi Kurdish pershmerga fighters to cross its territory to join the fight against the Islamic State who have besieged the Syrian border city of Kobani since September. Edmund Ghareeb, an internationally recognized expert on the Kurds and Iraq and author of “The Kurdish Question in Iraq” and “The Kurdish Nationalist Movement”, joins us to discuss the significance of this limited cooperation by Turkey, while at the same time Ankara continues to bar the U.S. access to the NATO base in Incirlik, Turkey, which forces U.S. aircraft engaged in the bombing of I.S. targets in order to lift the siege of Kobani, to fly longer distances and refuel by air.

edmund ghareeb

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Then finally, we go to Caracas, Venezuela for an update on the October first political murder of a rising young star of the governing party, Socialist Deputy Robert Serra, who was stabbed to death along with his partner Maria Herrera. Virginia Lopez a Caracas-based journalist who covers Latin America and Venezuela for the UK Guardian, joins us to discuss what factors prompted Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro to announce on Monday a thorough purge of the police, accusing a group in the Caracas force of  being “at the service of Colombian paramilitary mafias to kill this leader of the Venezuelan youth”. 

 

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October 27 - Healthcare Workers Fight Back Against Ebola Quarantines; A Look at Key Senate Races; Nobel Laureates Urge Obama to Release Torture Report

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We begin with the release of a nurse from involuntary quarantine in New Jersey as both governors Christie of New Jersey and New York Governor Cuomo have relented, lifting their impositions of a quarantine on healthcare workers returning from West Africa which healthcare professionals objected to a being both counterintuitive and counterproductive. Dr. Claire Farel, an infectious disease physician and researcher at the University of North Carolina’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, joins us to discuss the hysteria that U.S. politicians are both responding to and feeding, which is distracting attention from West Africa where the real problem is, and preventing and deterring healthcare professionals from going to and from Africa to stop the epidemic before it spreads globally.

claire farel

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Then, a week away from the midterm elections, we look into the key senate races that will determine who will control the senate and how soon Barack Obama will become a lame duck president. A specialist on the American right and the presidency, Allan Lichtman, a Professor of History at American University who has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984 and is the author of “The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President”, joins us to talk about Jeb Bush’s likely entry into the 2016 presidential race and the wildcards in the upcoming senate races.

alan lichtman

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Then finally, we speak with Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security whose forthcoming book is “Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy”. We discuss the likely impact of a letter from 12 Nobel laureates to President Obama, urging him to release the long-delayed report on torture by the Senate Intelligence Committee that the CIA has been holding up for years.

scott horton

 

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October 26 - Justifying Poll Taxes and the Need for a Constitutional Right to Vote; The Moral Complexities of Political Assasination

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We begin with successful efforts to suppress the vote ahead of the upcoming midterm election, particularly in Texas where the Supreme Court recently upheld a restrictive voter ID law that many consider a poll tax. Jonathan Chait, a writer for New York magazine where he has a new article “How Conservatives Justify Poll Taxes”, joins us to discuss why there is not a constitutional right to vote in the United States and the reasons behind why the Republicans are likely to win the upcoming elections by fair means or foul.

 

jonathan chait

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Then we speak with the former veteran CIA officer Robert Baer, the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including “See No Evil”, the basis of the movie Syrianna which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Robert Baer. Baer is now a national security affairs analyst for CNN and his latest book, just out, is “The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins”. We discuss the recent terrorist attacks in Canada and what motivates the attackers, as well as explore the grey area of political assassination, given that Baer himself, while working for the CIA as its top officer in Iraq between the two Iraq wars, was informed by the FBI that he was under investigation for the attempted murder of Saddam Hussein. We examine the moral complexities of preventing death by killing a Hilter or a Pol Pot, and the current role of drones as America’s weapon of choice, which also appear to be a weapon of executive assassination that Baer was accused of, that today Presidents can use with impunity, in spite of the collateral damage and blowback they cause.

robert baer

 

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October 23 - Canada's PM Vows to Redouble Canada's Anti-Terrorism Efforts; Petty Criminal Turned Terrorist's Possible Links to the Islamic State; A Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Investigative Reporter Who is Facing Jail Time for Doing His Job

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We begin and go to Ottawa, Canada for a day-after appraisal following the killing of a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial and a shoot-out in the Canadian parliament. Thomas Juneau, a professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, Canada, who worked for the Canadian Department of National Defense from 2003 to 2014, chiefly as a strategic analyst covering the Middle East, joins us to discuss Prime Minister Harper’s promise to redouble Canada’s anti-terrorist efforts and his description of the second attacker as a terrorist and the first as having been a part of a plot inspired by the Islamic State.

 

thomas juneau

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Then we speak with Christian Leuprecht, a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada about the extent to which the two recent attacks on Canadian military personnel are in response to Canada’s recent decision to join the ant-Islamic State coalition, and although both assailants had already had been designated as high-risk travelers who had their passports confiscated because of jihadist sympathies, how was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau able to get to the Prime Minister’s caucus room in the parliament and was this recent convert, a petty criminal with drug convictions, acting as a low-tech free-lancer or an agent of the Islamic State?

 

leuprecht

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Then finally, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist, James Risen joins us to discuss Canada’s more measured approach to anti-terrorism and counter-radicalism, compared to the United States’ overzealous reaction to 9/11 that led to the ongoing foreign policy disasters in the Middle East brought about by the continuing war in Iraq, as well as on the domestic front, with warrantless wiretapping by the NSA. We also discuss James Risen’s latest book, just out “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War”.

 

james risen

 

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