February 13 - "Survivor: The West Wing"; The Knives Are Out in the White House; The Meeting Between Canada's PM and America's President

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We begin with a White House in chaos with a torrent of leaks fanning the flames of intramural fighting amongst top officials blaming each other for the dysfunction. David Grahama staff writer at The Atlantic, joins us to discuss his latest article “Who Will Be the First Victim of White House Chaos” and the tenuous fates of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who appears to have lied to the Vice President, Press Secretary Sean Spicer who has been mercilessly lampooned by Melissa McCarthy, Reince Priebus who is increasingly isolated from Trump’s inner circle and Kellyanne Conway who has managed to provoke the slavishly friendly Republican Congress into questioning her ethics. We look into how the real world is colliding with reality TV inside the White House as it emerges that Trump is running the U.S. government like  “The Apprentice” in what is becoming “Survivor: The West Wing”.

 

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Part 2

Then we look further into the fate of General Michael Flynn who Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today is being “evaluated” by Donald Trump. William Danvers, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, who served as a special assistant to President Clinton for National Security Affairs and worked for Leon Panetta at the CIA and the Pentagon in the Obama Administration, joins us. We will discuss the extent to which the knives are out in a White House in a state of turmoil that could soon be thrown into even more chaos.

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Part 3

Then finally Rodrigue Tremblay, professor emeritus of economics and international finance at the University of Montreal, who was a member of the Committee of Dispute Settlements of the North America Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, joins us to examine the discussions that took place today in the White House between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump as well as the women’s business forum that Trump’s daughter Ivanka presided over to set up a cross-border council to advance women into executive positions and encourage entrepreneurship.    

 

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February 12 - Corroboration of the Intel Dossier on Trump; Rumors of War with Iran; A North Korean Missile Upstages the Abe-Trump Meeting

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We begin with the corroboration by U.S. investigators of details in the controversial intelligence dossier of compromising information the Russians have on Trump and suspected links the Trump campaign had with the Kremlin. Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former member of the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, the advisory body to the U.S. Department of State, joins us to discuss the countervailing efforts of the Republicans to slow walk the Senate Intelligence Committee Inquiry and shut down the Justice Department Inspector General’s investigation into the alleged Russian interference in our recent election and calls by Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for an independent and thorough investigation to clear the air and come to a complete understanding of what was an apparent attack on American democracy itself.

Part 2

Then Middle East expert and veteran former CIA officer Robert Baer joins us. He is now the National Security Analyst for CNN and we will look into rumors of war with Iran as the Trump Administration, working closely with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, are recruiting Sunni Arab allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in what appears to be a coming confrontation with Iran. We also investigate off-the-books intelligence and paramilitary private armies that General Flynn, Stephen Bannon and Erik Prince are reported to be setting up that would appear to be a fulfillment of Oliver North’s dream team from a previous disastrous era of White House covert action against Iran.

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Part 3

Then finally Ellis Krauss, professor emeritus of Japanese politics and policy-making at the University of California, San Diego, joins us to discuss North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile which occurred during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weekend retreat to Florida where he met with President Trump for a round of golf and some male bonding. We also discuss the hawkish responses from both leaders and Trump’s reassurance to our ally that the U.S. “stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent”.

Ellis Krauss

 

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February 9 - Will the Biggest Political Scandal in Washington be Buried?; Bannon and the Vatican"Rad Trads" Who Oppose the Pope; The Bully in the Pulpit

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We begin with the growing concern that the biggest political story since the Watergate scandal, the Russian interference in our elections and the yet-to-be-explained connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, is in the process of disappearing from the political-media landscape in Washington as the daily antics of Donald Trump distract the public and consume the news cycle. David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones, joins us to discuss his latest article at Mother Jones “The Mysterious Disappearance of the Biggest Scandal in Washington” and the concerns that political appointees to head up the CIA and the DNI, along with a partisan Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee who worked on the Trump campaign, could slow-walk the inquiry into a political graveyard unless sufficient Democratic and grassroots pressure is brought to bear and sustained.

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Part 2

Then Kenneth Briggs, a professor at Lafayette College and a former New York Times religion editor who writes for the National Catholic Reporter, joins us to discuss the alliance between Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon and hard liners in the Vatican who oppose Pope Francis. We will examine Bannon’s friendship with the conservative traditionalist American Cardinal Raymond Burke who the pope fired as head of the “Knights of Malta”, an elite secret society whose theological underpinnings go back to the crusades and align with Bannon’s apocalyptic vision of an impending war with Islam.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Andrew Faas, an author, activist, philanthropist and management advisor promoting psychologically healthy, safe and fair workplaces. He joins us to discuss his new book “From Bully to Bull’s-eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire” and we assess the extent to Senator Elizabeth Warren is a victim of bullying or of just old-fashioned misogyny and male chauvinism in Majority Leader McConnell’s put-down and shut-up of her on the senate floor, and whether Donald Trump is a bully when he threatens to destroy someone’s career, supposedly in jest.

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February 8 - Senate Acts to Prevent Trump From Easing Russian Sanctions; Trump Faithfully and Repeatedly Echos Alex Jones; Will Trump Give Into Turkey's New Red Lines?

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We begin with the poisoning of a Kremlin critic for the second time and the kangaroo court conviction of Alexei Navalny on trumped-up charges that bars him from running for president next year against Vladimir Putin. Joining us is Russia expert, Kathryn Stoner, the Director of International Policy Studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. We discuss the new bill, The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017, introduced today by a bipartisan group of six senators designed to prevent President Trump from easing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval and assess why Trump continues a conciliatory approach to Russia and doggedly refuses to criticize Putin while a cloud of suspicion about Trump’s legitimacy hangs over him and his presidency because of the intelligence Community’s findings that Putin interfered in our recent election to help elect Trump.

 

Part 2

Then with the announcement that White House will be providing press credentials to the Washington Bureau Chief for Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy website, we will  look into the extent to which Donald Trump is informed by Alex Jones whose disgusting false assertions are echoed faithfully and repeatedly by Trump. Arthur Goldwag, the author of “Isms & Ologies, Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies” and “The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right”, joins us to discuss how every recent crazy statement Trump has made from 5 million illegal voters, terrorist incidents deliberately ignored by the press and protesters being paid, to the crime rate being the highest in 47 years, all come from the fevered fantasies of Alex Jones. Not to mention the Obama birther conspiracy, the 9/11 truther conspiracy and the thousands of imaginary Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.  

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Part 3

Then finally we discuss the two red lines that Turkey’s president laid down in last night’s conversation with President Trump, demanding that the U.S. cut ties with the Kurds, America’s “boots on the ground” and most capable fighters taking on the Islamic State, as well as an insistence that the U.S. hand over Fethullah Gulen, a U.S. resident living in exile in Pennsylvania. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss this and the report by Amnesty International “Human Slaughterhouse” that documents how the Assad regime murdered 13,000 of its citizens in secret prisons.

 

February 7 - Alternative Facts at the National Security Council; Neocon Royalty as Number 2 at the State Department; Inside Trump's "Successful" Raid in Yemen

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We begin with the extra jeopardy the United States finds itself in with not just a president who is delusional and operates according to his own belief system, but the National Security Council that is meant to provide Trump with real-world information and intelligence is also operating in an alternative universe tailoring its own reality with NSC Advisor General Flynn reportedly rewriting the Presidential Daily Briefs. Ali Watkins, who covers national security and foreign policy for BuzzFeed News joins us to discuss the bizarre claim that Trump made to a military audience at CENTCOM headquarters in Florida that the “very dishonest press” have not reported terrorist incidents and what kind of information and from what sources is intelligence being fed to Trump about what is happening in the real world.

 

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Part 2

Then Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest and author of “They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons” joins us to examine reports that the number two job at the State Department is about to be filled by Elliot Abrams who is considered neocon royalty. If today’s meeting with Trump goes well for Abrams then his nomination will be a clear repudiation of everything that Donald Trump said on the campaign trail about the disastrous Bush/Cheney Middle East misadventures. And since this former Reagan Administration and George W. Bush Administration official was so scathing in his criticism of Trump in his role as advisor to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Abrams closeness to Netanyahu and Jared Kushner and his hawkish stance in favor of a war with Iran would indicate the reasons why Abrams got the job.

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Part 3

The finally we look into the recent U.S. raid in Yemen against AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that the Trump White House is claiming as a great success although the evidence presented by the Pentagon of a captured al Qaeda video turned out to be a decade old and available online. An expert on Yemen, Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf” joins us. 

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