May 8 - Putin Plays the Arsonist and the Fire Brigade; The Latest House Republican Theatre of the Absurd; A Revival of Polio and the Vaccine-Austism Conspiracy Theory

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the Kabuki theatre following the rejection of Vladimir Putin’s call to postpone a referendum by the pro-Russian secessionists Putin claims not to control that his GRU and Spetnaz have organized. Kevin Platt, a Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution” joins us to discuss how Putin is playing the role of both the arsonist and the fire brigade while delaying sanctions and continuing to destabilize Ukraine.


kevin platt


Part 2

Then we  speak with Mike Lofgren, a 28 year veteran House and Senate Senior Staffer who is the author of “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted” and an important essay at Bill “Anatomy of the Deep State”. He joins us to discuss a whole new level of election year theatre of the absurd with Thursday’s resolution to establish a House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi for the fifth time and Wednesday’s partisan vote by House Republicans to hold an IRS official in contempt for exercising her rights under the Fifth Amendment.

mike lofgren


Part 3

Then finally we look into a revival of polio, a crippling disease that was all but eradicated due to a vaccine, but is now an epidemic the World Health Organization is declaring an international public health emergency. Seth Mnookin, the Associate director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing and author of “The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy” joins us to discuss how a bogus, discredited theory that vaccinating children causes autism has contributed to the revival of polio, measles and whooping cough and that the actress Jenny McCarthy and Oprah Winfrey, not to mention Pacifica Radio, should be held accountable for spreading irresponsible conspiracy theories. 

seth mnookin