January 24 - Instead of the Best Candidate, the GOP Front-Runners Are a Choice of Who is the Worst; The US and Turkey Prepare For a Military Solution in Syria; The Political Impact of Russia's Failing Economy

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Part 1

We begin with the peculiar dynamic emerging in the Republican presidential primary race that has inverted the logic of who is the best leader to represent the party into the opposite, where the GOP is arguing over which of the two frontrunners are the worst candidates. Following the latest edition of the National Review titled “Against Trump”, which is a compilation of essays from prominent conservatives ranging from Glenn Beck to Bill Kristol to Cal Thomas, all of whom are alarmed at the prospect of trump becoming the GOP presidential nominee, Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest and author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” joins us. We discuss the panic amongst the neocons over the rise of Trump who is the only presidential candidate calling out the neocons for orchestrating the disastrous Bush/Cheney war in Iraq that cost thousands of lives and wasted untold amounts of treasure and has spawned the current the Islamic State threat.

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Part 2

Then we assess the implications of Vice President Biden’s statement after meeting with Turkey’s Prime Minister, that the United States and Turkey are prepared for a military solution against the Islamic State in Syria should the peace talks planned for Monday in Geneva fail. An expert on Syria and the patchwork of militias fighting in that country’s long civil war, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us. We discuss where the U.S. and Turkey’s interests align and where they do not as military plans move forward to cut off the Islamic State west of the Euphrates by sealing the border between Turkey and Syria.

Part 3

Then finally Nina Khrushcheva, a Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School and author of “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind”, joins us in studio for an update on the political impact of Russia’s failing economy that is battered by economic sanctions, falling oil prices and systemic corruption. We discuss the contradiction between widespread anger across the country at the endemic corruption while Vladimir Putin, the new czar who presides over the kleptocracy, remains popular and untouchable.

 

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