March 2 - "Has Netanyahu Gone too Far?"; "Kremlin Murder Incorporated"; The Failure of the Press to Explain the Steep and Sudden Rise of Gas Prices

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We begin with the tone of reconciliation expressed by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in his address to the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, where he was preceded by the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power who insisted that the “bond between the United States and Israel is still a national commitment”. Guy Ziv, a professor at American University’s School of International Service and Director of the Israel National Security Project joins us to discuss his article at CNN, “Has Netanyahu Gone Too Far?” and whether Netanyahu’s controversial  speech to Congress on Tuesday will be an anti-climax.

 

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Then we speak with 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” about her article at Project Syndicate “Kremlin Murder Incorporated” and what the U.S. and the West can do to avoid a deepening hostility and military arms race with Russia as they try to find a way to deal with Putin who does not care what the West thinks of him, is not bothered by sanctions, and continually reminds the world that Russia is nuclear power.  

 

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Then finally we examine further the real reasons behind the steep and sudden rise in the price of gas that appears to have little to do with supply and demand since the price of crude remains below $50 a barrel. A former investment banker who spent 12 years at Goldman Sachs & Co, Wallace Turbeville, joins us to discuss the direct relationship between the ability of the big Wall Street banks to buy enough congressmen to overturn provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act that then enabled them to speculate in the oil futures market and gouge the American public at the pump while the mainstream press continues to parrot fictions about refinery fires etc., to shield the real culprits who are fleecing their fellow Americans. 

 

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March 1 - “Russia’s Army of Avengers”; Was Boris Nemtsov's Assassination a Kremlin Hit?; The Real Reasons Behind the Rise in Gas Prices

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We begin with the murder of the prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, close by the Kremlin in a brazen act of intimidation on the eve of an opposition rally that Nemtsov had called for where he planned to denounce Russia’s war on Ukraine and expose the role of Russian forces in the war. Russian journalist and author Masha Gessen, the author of “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, joins us to discuss her article at The New York Times “Russia’s Army of Avengers” and the demonstrations in Russia mourning the death of Nemtsov and the intimidation of the few political opponents left in Putin’s Russia.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Mark Ames, the founding editor of the satirical Moscow bi-weekly “The eXile” who is now a senior editor of PandoDaily. He was kicked out of Putin’s Russia but remains in contact with the country now under the tightening grip of a criminal regime with a history of killing off critics of the Kremlin, often in flagrant way meant to intimidate. We try to assess the Kremlin’s involvement in this assassination and the lawless and ultra-nationalist forces unleashed by the regime’s propaganda machine and the war in Ukraine Putin is pursuing.

masha gessen

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Part 3

Then finally we get an analysis of why gas prices are going up and the failure of the mainstream press to look into the real culprit which are the big Wall Street banks speculating on oil futures, which the Congress recently allowed them to do, overturning a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that kept them out of speculating at the expense of the American consumer. Tyson Slocum, the Director of the Energy Program at Public Citizen joins us explain how the big banks bought the politicians who rewarded Wall Street, enabling them to make money for nothing as they gouge us at the pump while hurting the economy. 

 

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February 26 - The Net Neutrality Victory; Fox News Circles the Wagons on O'Reilly's Big Lies; Jihadists from the Former Soviet Union Slip through the Net

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We begin with the historic ruling by the FCC on protecting the Internet from cable and telecom monopolies as well as taking on efforts by those same monopolies to preemptively restrict the abilities of communities to offer competitive high speed Internet service. Craig Aaron, the President and CEO of Free Press, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “How We Won Net Neutrality” and the battles ahead in the Congress as Republicans try to restore monopoly control, as well as the broader battle for the U.S. to play catch-up to Japan, South Korea, France and much of the world in providing universal low cost high speed Internet service.

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Then we speak with David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief at Mother Jones magazine whose reporting uncovering exaggerations and fabrications by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly has been met with character assassination, indignant attacks on the messenger without refuting the message, as Rupert Murdoch’s minions circle the wagons around their popular talk show host and best-selling author. We discuss the irony that NBC’s Brian Williams has been fired for embellishing his war zone credentials far less that O’Reilly has done on many occasions without being anywhere near a war zone, all the while claiming he is the truth-teller in charge of the no-spin zone.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the apparent lapse in screening immigrants from the former Soviet Union who harbor sympathies and have ties to jihadists, as was the case with the Boston bomber and now appears to be the case with the two Uzbeks and the one Azeri charged by the FBI with plotting to kill the president and attempting to joins the so-called Islamic State in Syria. Gordon Hahn, a professor at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterrey and the author of “Russia’s Islamic Threat” and a new book “The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond”, joins us. 

gordon hahn

 

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February 25 - Shutdown of DHS Now In Boehner's Hands; Netanyahu "Destructive" to U.S.-Israeli Relations; The Religious Right's Crusade to Deregulate Political Spending

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We begin with the possibility of a partial government shutdown over funding for the Department of Homeland Security that with two days to go, rests in the hands of House Speaker Boehner now that the Senate has agreed to a clean bill to fund DHS without any measures to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Michael Greenberger, the former director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who is now the Director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, joins us to discuss the political and security consequences of de-funding the Department of Homeland Security at a time of heightened terror alerts and arrests of alleged American jihadists on there way to join the so-called Islamic State.

 

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Then, with the National Security Advisor warning that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress next week will be destructive to U.S./Israeli relations and Secretary of State Kerry telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Netanyahu is wrong on the Iran negotiations and was wrong on invading Iraq, we speak with Daniel Drezner, a Professor of International Politics at Tufts University about his op-ed at The Washington Post “Benjamin Netanyahu’s blinkered view of American politics”. We also discuss Netanyahu’s spurning of an invitation to meet with Senate Democrats on the peculiar logic that it might be perceived as partisan when his address to Congress was arranged by the Republican leadership as a partisan event.

 

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Then finally we look into a new report from Common Cause “Unlimited and Unregulated: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Deregulate Political Spending” and speak with its author Arn Pearson, the Vice President for Policy and Litigation at Common Cause about the 70 lawsuits challenging campaign finance laws at state, local and federal levels brought by religious right front groups, and the millions in political spending these groups give to Republican candidates. 

arn pearson

 

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February 24 - Is Racism and Science Denial the New Republican Presidential Litmus Test?; Obama's Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline; The Dramatic Sea Level Rise on the Northeast Coast

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We begin with the increasingly poisonous political discourse in the country that is likely to get worse as the 2016 elections approach, with a recent poll finding only 11% of Republicans think President Obama loves America, a question pollsters posed repeating the ugly statements from former New York City Mayor Giuliani that none of the Republican presidential candidates have distanced themselves from. Doug McAdam, a Professor of Sociology at Stanford University and author of “Deeply Divided: Social Movements and Racial Politics in Post-War America” joins us to discuss the looming partial shutdown of the government over Obama’s attempt at immigration reform and the apparent litmus test for presidential candidates to make it through the Republican primaries where they have to reject the science of evolution and condone the dog whistle racist canard that Obama is not a real patriotic American who as Giuliani charged “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country”.

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Then we discuss President Obama’s veto of the Republican’s Keystone XL pipeline bill, the third veto of his presidency, which he did in part to protect established executive branch prerogatives but the fight is hardly over as Senate Majority Leader McConnell vowed, “we are just getting started”. Joining us is Connor Gibson, a member of Greenpeace’s Investigations team who obtained documents exposing a prominent climate change denier Willie Soon’s financial ties to the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, the Southern Company and the American Petroleum Institute. We examine the fossil fuel industry’s role of denial and disinformation in selling the Keystone pipeline and frustrating efforts to deal with climate change from global warming caused by methane and CO2.

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Then finally we look into the dramatic sea level rise along the northeast coast of America with the co-author of a new report that shows sea levels north of New York City rose by 128mm in two years. Jianjun Yin, a Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona whose research includes Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and the Ocean’s Role in Climate Change, joins us. 

 

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