April 16 - Ukraine on the Brink of Civil War Thanks to Putin; The Smoking Gun Revealing the Cost Culture and Cover-Up at GM; Bloomberg Takes on the NRA

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We begin with the crisis in Ukraine the main instigator of which, Russian President Vladimir Putin, is warning is “on the brink of civil war”. The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer joins us to discuss whether talks between the U.S., Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers scheduled in Geneva on Thursday will avert a shooting war, and what the weak government in Kyiv can do to reassure its citizens in the East to prevent further destabilization of the country by Russian political tourists and intelligence and paramilitary agents who have thoroughly infiltrated Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

 

steven pifer

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Then wespeak with Joan Claybrook, the former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who wrote a joint letter with Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety to GM’s CEO Mary Barra saying that newly-released GM documents are an obscure but smoking gun that “paint a tragic picture of the cost culture and cover-up at GM”. We discuss revelations in these internal GM documents that show the company considered, then rejected a safer ignition switch in 2001, which they later in 2006, quietly provided as a replacement part, after 32 crashes in which 13 people died.

 
joan claybrook

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Then finally, we look into former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million challenge to the NRA, aimed at “the hearts and minds of America, so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people” from gun violence. Daniel Webster, a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research joins us to discuss the launch of Everytown for Gun Safety and whether it will curb gun violence in what Bloomberg notes is “the only civilized country in the world that has this problem”.

daniel webster

 

April 15 - How Wal-Mart and the Waltons Avoid Billions on Tax Day; Why America's White Supremacists are Not Labelled Terrorists; Nigeria's Brazen Home Grown Insurgency

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We begin on this tax day and speak with Frank Clemente, the Executive Director and co-founder of Americans for Tax Fairness who is the lead author of a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness, “Wal-Mart on Tax Day: How Taxpayers Subsidize America’s Biggest Employer and Richest Family”. We discuss how America’s richest family, the heirs of the founder of Wal-Mart, avoid an estimated $607 million in taxes, and how Wal-Mart that had $15 billion in profits last year, receives an estimated $6.2 billion in taxpayer subsidies while avoiding an estimated $1 billion in federal taxes.

 

frank clemente

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Then on the anniversary of the Boston bombing terrorist attack, we examine why white so-called “Christians” who engage in murderous attacks against other religious groups in America are not labeled terrorists. Brian Levin, a criminologist, civil rights attorney, professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, joins us to discuss the latest attack on a Jewish Community Center in Kansas in which three Christians were shot by a white supremacist who yelled “Heil Hitler”, a neo-Nazi who had previously organized a “Christian Army” with heavy weapons stolen from U.S. armories.  

brian levin

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Then finally, following Monday’s bombing in Nigeria’s capital in which 71 died and 124 were injured, we will look into Tuesday’s abduction of over 100 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the same Islamist insurgent group responsible for the bombing, Boko Harum, which translated means “opposition to Western education.” Aneidi Okure, the executive director of Africa Faith and Justice Network who is a member of the Order of Preachers in the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker in Nigeria, joins us to discuss the Nigerian government’s failure to deal with this increasingly dangerous and destructive home-grown terrorist organization. 

aneidi okure

 

April 15 - A Nightmare Scenario in Ukraine; The Wrong Enemy in Afghanistan; Who Gets What From Your Tax Dollars?

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With the increasing likelihood of a military conflagration in Ukraine as armed Russian political tourists occupying government buildings clash with Ukrainian riot police, we look into the nightmare scenario of Ukraine’s civilian nuclear power reactors becoming military targets in the event of a Russian invasion. Bennett Ramberg, who was a foreign policy analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs and is the author of “Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons For The Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril” joins us. He did extensive investigations following the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine and has an article at Project Syndicate, “The Chernobyl Factor in the Ukraine Crisis”.

 

bennet ramberg

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Then we will speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall, about her provocative new book “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001 – 2014”. Since 2001 she has spent longer than any other Western reporter in Afghanistan and we will discuss some of the explosive revelations in her book that indicate Pakistan, a country that has received close to $30 billion in taxpayer money since 2001, has been America’s real enemy in Afghanistan, largely responsible for the 1,000 NATO troops killed as well as the 2,300 American soldiers who have died in America’s longest war.

 
carlotta gall

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Then finally with tax day upon us, we will examine how our tax dollars are spent with Jasmine Tucker, a research analyst at the National Priorities Project, where you can get your own personalized tax receipt of where your money goes at nationalpriorities.org  She will break down who get’s what from our tax dollars, with the military at the head of the line with 27 cents of every dollar, followed by 22.7 cents for Medicare and health programs, all the way down to education that gets a measly 2 cents and energy and environment, a mere 1.9 cents.

jasmine tucker

 

April 13 - America's Record on Avoiding Genocide; How American Bankers Took Over Washington; "Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before it is Too Late

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Today we broadcast from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Our first guest is American University Historian Allan Lichtman discussing his new book "FDR and the Jews" allan lichtman

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Then we speak with Nomi Prins, a Journalist and senior fellow at the Demos think tank, about her book, "All the President's Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power." nomi prins

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Finally, we are joined by Joe CirincionePresident of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, discussing "Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before it is Too Late." joe cirincione

 

April 10 - Will the Public Mobilize to Stop the Time Warner / Comcast Megamerger?; Is Blocking Iran's Envoy to the U.N. Meant to Humilate Obama and Rouhani?; Exposing the Real Enemy to the U.S. in Afghanistan

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We begin with the Senate hearing considering the Time Warner/Comcast megamerger and get an assessment of whether monopoly power will trump citizen and consumer opposition from Michael Copps, an FCC Commissioner from 2001 to 2011 who now heads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause. We discuss this test case of hypocrisy that exposes champions of the free market in support monopoly capitalism, and see if consumers will stand up to monopolies and force their elected representatives, who receive campaign cash from Time Warner and Comcast, to act in the interests of their constituents instead of serving their paymasters.

michael copps

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Then  we look into what is going on behind the scenes at the U.N. since the U.S Senate and now the House have voted overwhelmingly to deny an Iranian diplomat his seat at the U.N. representing Iran, an appointment the White House has labeled as “not viable”. Former New York Times U.N. correspondent Barbara Crossette, who now covers the United Nations and writes on international affairs for The Nation, joins us to discuss whether this will lead to the State Department denying Ambassador Aboutalebi a visa to enter this country, a move likely to complicate nuclear negotiations underway and undercut Iran’s president Rouhani’s authority, since Rouhani is close to this Iranian diplomat who has already served as Iran’s ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, Italy and Australia.

 barbara crossette

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Then finally we speak with Christine Fair, a Professor in Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, about revelations by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall that the head of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence General Pasha knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan and examine the decades of duplicity by an ally responsible for the deaths of thousands of American and NATO soldiers and the disastrous and dysfunction relationship the U.S. has with our other so-called ally the Afghan president, who Obama inherited from Bush, but nevertheless Karzai was allowed to “win” the rigged 2009 election after having lost the first round.

christine fair