August 26 - What Progress Is Being Made to Stop the NRA?; An In-Depth Analysis of China's Economy; Congressman Alan Grayson on Running for Marco Rubio's Vacated Senate Seat

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We begin with the impassioned plea by the father of the journalist who was murdered on camera along with her cameraman, to our gutless politicians calling them out that it is past time for them to stand up to the NRA. Ladd Everitt, Director of Communications at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence joins us to discuss the sickening pattern in America where mass shootings take place in cinemas, churches, and now live on TV, then the vast majority of the population share the nation’s and the world’s outrage and demand something be done to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Then the NRA steps in and cowers enough politicians to do nothing so that the gun lobby can continue ensuring that America’s criminals are the best armed in the world, and that any loner, loser, misfit or mentally disturbed person in America can buy an arsenal and murder as many of their fellow citizens as possible.

 

Part 2

Then, since the recent upheavals on the global markets were related to China’s economy, we examine the Chinese fiscal, banking and political situation in depth with Minxin Pei, a Professor of Government and Director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. We discuss the problems posed by debt bubbles not burst yet and the endemic corruption, as well as assess the leadership’s vain efforts to revive communist ideology and its more aggressive nationalism that seems to have backfired.

 

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Florida Congressman Alan Grayson who is running for Marco Rubio’s vacated U.S. Senate seat as an economic populist against a former Republican in the Democratic primary. We discuss the peculiar politics of the important electoral state of Florida where a criminal who paid a record fine for bilking millions of elderly folk was elected twice as governor in a state dominated by retirees, as well assess the electoral chance of the two Floridians running for president, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

 

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August 26 - "Why Trump Could Win the GOP Nomination";Behind the Buzz About Biden's Run for the Presidency; What is Behind the Riots in India?

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We begin with the growing political phenomenon that is dominating the headlines and causing the GOP establishment serious heartburn, and that is the continuing rise of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary race where the latest PPP poll in New Hampshire has Trump at 35%, with Bush trailing at 7%, Walker at 7% and Rubio at 6%, meaning that all three of them combined are trailing Trump by 15%. Robert Creamer, a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win” joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Why Trump Could Win the GOP Nomination” and why the unbridled egotism of Trump and his right wing populist demagoguery is striking a cord with Republican primary voters.

Part 2

Then we investigate the burgeoning rumors that Vice President Joe Biden is considering a run for the presidency in 2016, thus challenging Hillary Clinton who already has a serious challenge on her left from Bernie Sanders. Ed Kilgore, the principal writer for the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog and the Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist joins us to discuss what substance there might be behind the buzz about Biden and what the consequences for the Democrats holding onto the White House might be for whichever candidate emerges from a bruising primary.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the riots in India and speak with Sumit Ganguly, the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University in Bloomington. We discuss the violence that has taken Prime Minister Modi’s home state by storm, perpetrated by the affluent and powerful Patel clan who curiously want to benefit from India’s affirmative action program that gives government jobs and university placements to members of the OBC (Other Backwards Classes) in a quota system designed to help the country’s historically lower castes.

 

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August 25 - Perceptions Versus the Reality of the Chinese Economy; A Possible Settlement of the War in Syria, Then the Next One; Obama's Speech At the National Clean Energy Summit

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We begin and go to Beijing, China and speak with John Gruetzner, the principal and founder of Intercedent, a Canadian business and investment advisory firm. He served as the head of the Canada-China Trade Council in Beijing and has lived and worked in China for over 30 years. We discuss the health of the Chinese economy in terms of reality and perceptions, following Black Monday on the Shanghai stock exchange that triggered a global selloff of stocks that wiped out about three trillion dollars of value to investors worldwide.

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Then we examine the behind-the-scene diplomacy involving meetings between Russia, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as well as meetings between Iran and Syria that raise the possibility of a settlement of the Syrian civil war that has killed over 250,000 and displaced half the population. David Lesch, a professor of Middle East History at Trinity University in San Antonio and the author of “Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad” joins us to discuss the ruling Assad clan’s loss of 83% of the country’s territory as the Islamic State destroys historical treasures at the UNESCO world heritage site at Palmyra, as well as the end of the current war and the beginning of the next war in Syria.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into President Obama’s speech at Monday’s National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas and get an assessment from David Freeman, leading authority on the production, management and delivery of energy to large populations. He is the former head of the TVA, New York Power and the Los Angeles DWP and we discuss the need for political courage in mandating a total and complete switch to renewable energy instead of replacing one atmospheric poison coal, with another, natural gas that emits methane.

 

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August 24 - Markets Around the World Plunge; Retirement Accounts at Risk on the Stock Exchange; Police as Guardians of Communities, Not Warriors Against Crime

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We begin with stock markets around the world tumbling today following what is being called Black Monday on the Shanghai exchange, after which as the opening bell sounded, the New York Stock Exchange plunged over 1,000 points in its biggest nosedive ever, as the DAX, the FTSE and other markets around the world also tanked. A former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Wallace Turbeville joins us to discuss the global contagion of falling prices as investors hedge against predictions of slower growth in China that is driving down oil prices and raising concerns about China’s economic stability.

 

Part 2

Then we look into the consequences for the millions of Americans with 401(k) retirement accounts that are subject to the turbulence of the stock market since for the past 30 years corporate America has shed itself of the more stable and secure defined benefit pensions obligation and rewarded Wall Street who charge higher fees while delivering lower returns with vulnerable 401 (k) plans. Scott Klinger, the Director of Revenue and Spending Policies at the Center for Effective Government who previously worked as a security analyst and portfolio manager for Walden Asset Management, joins us to discuss how American’s retirement security was gutted by moving workers into privatized 401 (k)-style accounts.

Part 3

Then finally with the recent announcement by the Los Angeles Police Department that its officers should no longer see themselves as warriors against crime but as guardians watching over communities, we speak with award-winning investigative journalist and author Joe DomanickHe is the Associate Director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and we discuss the rash of police shooting and the cries for justice from groups like “Black Lives Matter” in the context of police reform and his latest book, “Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing”.

 

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August 23 - The End of the GOP's Greatest Strength: National Security; The Destruction of Yemen by Saudi Arabia; The Filmmaker of "We Come as Friends"

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We begin with the drumbeat for a new war in Iran and a war with Iran that a dubious poll by Fox News claims 65% of Americans support. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, joins us to discuss his call that if that percentage of Americans support military action against Iran and want to use ground forces against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, “then I suggest we have a draft and draft those 65% to lead the way". We also examine the squandering of the Republican Party’s strongest suit as the preferred custodians of our national security, that the current crop of Republican presidential hopefuls are making a mockery of with their fatuous and amateurish bombast.

 

Part 2

Then we examine the humanitarian tragedy underway in Yemen about which the U.N.’s humanitarian chief, who just returned from Yemen, warned the U.N. Security Council that “the scale of human suffering is almost incomprehensible”. An expert on Yemen, Dr. Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond, joins us to discuss how, with military assistance and intelligence from the U.S., Saudi Arabia's brutal and wanton bombing of Yemen, along with a blockade, has brought the country to the brink of famine.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with acclaimed Academy Award-nominated director Hubert Sauper, whose new documentary feature “We Come as Friends” opens this weekend in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. We discuss his powerful and visceral cinematic journey into how slavery, colonialism, corruption, and now globalization, have devastated Africa, in particular the world’s newest country, South Sudan.

 

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