March 9 - The Senate Intelligence Committee Could Exonerate Trump; Will the New EPA Head Move From Climate Change Denial to a Cover-Up?; Should the GOP Be Called the "Grab Our Pussy" Party?

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Part 1

We begin with the growing possibility that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia may not produce the smoking gun revelation that some hope could be grounds for the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump. Ali Watkins, a Washington D.C. based journalist who covers national security for BuzzFeed News joins us to discuss her latest article at BuzzFeed News “Inside the Senate’s Russia Investigation”. We look into whether by focusing on the Trump campaign’s Russia-connected bottom-feeders like Paul Manafort and Carter Page, the press and partisan Democrats have lost sight of the original charges of Russian interference that came in a consensus from the Intelligence Community that Russia meddled in our election and that orders to do so came from Putin. And if it turns out that Trump is exonerated, the earlier findings by the U.S. Intelligence Community will be all but forgotten.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Robert Stavins, a professor and director of the environmental economics program at the Harvard Kennedy School who is a lead author of three reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  He joins us to discuss the remarks by the new head of the EPA on CNBC where Scott Pruitt stated that “I would not agree that (human activity) is a primary contributor to the global warming we see”. We examine the likelihood that Pruitt will escalate from global warming denial to global warming cover-up and that he will act on his belief that the U.S. should pull out of the international Paris climate agreement.

Robert Stavins

Part 3

Then finally we look into the Trump administration’s latest travel ban, otherwise known as a Muslim ban, which already the states of Hawaii, Washington, New York and Massachusetts are challenging in court, and speak with Christine Fair, a Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program who is a specialist in South Asia security issues. She joins us to discuss the reaction to the latest Muslim ban in Muslim countries and how the Republicans are complicit in covering up Trump’s misogyny to the point that the GOP should be called the “Grab Our Pussy” party. 

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March 8 - Protests and Strikes on International Women's Day; How Breitbart News Influences Trump's Mind and the Broader Media Agenda; China Warns That North Korea and the US Are on a Collision Course

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We will begin with today’s International Women’s Day and the strikes and protests it has generated around the world and speak with Ruth Rosen, a pioneering historian of gender and society who is professor emerita of history at UC Davis and a visiting professor at UC Berkeley. The author of “The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America”, she joins us to discuss the second wave of feminism and how the women’s movement has moved from conscious raising to hell raising with an extraordinary grassroots mobilization of women across the country and around the world that took to the streets in record numbers on the day after Trump’s inauguration. She will also give us a history of International Women’s Day that began in New York in 1908 and was largely ignored for decades during the Cold War as being too “socialist” until relatively recently, and today it even got a blessing from Donald Trump who tweeted that “he has tremendous respect for women”.

 

Part 2

Then, since Donald Trump’s extraordinary smear of President Obama that he has yet to explain, justify, provide evidence or apologize for, entered into the President’s mind via a story in Breitbart News, we examine a new study at the Columbia Journalism Review “Breitbart-led right wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda”. One of the study’s authors, Ethan Zuckerman, who directs the Center for Civil Media at MIT and teaches at MIT’s Media Lab, joins us to discuss how the pro-Trump media sphere set the agenda for the conservative media and strongly influenced the broader media agenda, particularly to the detriment of Hillary Clinton.

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Part 3

Then finally we assess what China’s Foreign Minister called the head-on collision course that the U.S. and North Korea are on and the rejection by the U.S. Representative to the U.N. of China’s suggestion that the North Koreans should stop their nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea ending military exercises. David Kang, a Professor of International Relations at USC and the Director of the Asian Studies Center, joins us to discuss Nikki Haley’s remark that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is “not rational” and whether cutting him off from the SWIFT international banking system will moderate the regime’s behavior.

 

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March 7 - Why Does Trump Still Blame Obama For All of His Problems; The Wikileaks CIA Data Dump; Republican Criticism of the Obamacare Repeal and Replacement?

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We begin with Michael Eric Dyson, one of America’s premier public intellectuals who is University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and the author of the new book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”. He joins us to discuss the continuing racist obsession with Barack Obama that President Trump, the Republicans, Fox News and white nationalist America cannot let go of, even after Obama has left office and perhaps the most right wing government in the nation’s history is now in power. We look into why Trump blames Obama for all of his problems when the White House and Trump’s cabinet is largely made up of rich white men and surrogates for rich white men who have a friendly Republican House and Senate to work with. We also try to make sense of Dr. Ben Carson’s remarks he made as the new head of Housing and Urban Development to the HUD employees where he said that “slaves who came in the bottom of slave ships and worked even longer, even harder for less” were immigrants who aspired to the American dream.

 

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Part 2

Then we examine the latest Wikileaks data dump of CIA cyber tools that has been likened in scope to the Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden caches of secret documents made public by the anti-secrecy website. Alan Paller, the director of research at the SANS Institute, the principal cyber security training school that produces the annual “Greatest Risks in Cyber Security” study, joins us to discuss whether these some 8,000 web pages with 943 attachments are a serious blow to the CIA and its own Center for Cyber Intelligence.

Part 3

Then finally we assess “The American Healthcare Act”, the House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare that was announced today to criticism coming mostly from Republicans, some of whom thought it went too far and others who thought it did not go far enough in killing the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature achievement. A leading authority on the politics of healthcare and healthcare reform, Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina, joins us to look into this new plan that is about to be rushed through Congress before it’s numbers are crunched.    

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March 6 - Comey Asks Sessions to "Publicly Reject" Trump's Smear of Obama; Trump Imagines Violence By Foreigners While Ignoring Domestic Violence; Millionaire Money Backing Charter Schools

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We begin with what appears to be a standoff between the FBI Director and the Attorney General following reports that FBI Director Comey asked the Justice Department to “publically reject” Trump’s claim that President Obama had wiretapped him, a charge that came in a Trump tweet calling Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy!” Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who focuses on issues at the intersection of technology, privacy, civil liberties and new media, joins us to discuss his article at Just Security, “Tapping Trump”. We examine why we have not heard anything from the Justice Department yet, while the White House continues to insist that there is “something going on” without offering any evidence as to what that something is. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is trying to equate the nothing that they are offering up in terms of evidence to support Trump’s smear against Obama, with something real that U.S. Intelligence agencies have established. And that is the reality that the Russians, directed by Putin, interfered with our election to help elect Trump.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Aaron Rupar, a journalist at Think Progress where he just wrote the article “Trump to track “honor killings” by Muslim men while proposing cuts to violence against women grants.” We look into how Trump and his chief strategist Stephen Bannon, both of whom have been accused of domestic assault, demonize and stigmatize minorities like Muslims by instructing Homeland Security in the second Muslim ban signed today, to collect information on an imaginary epidemic of Muslim “honor killing” while cutting $480 million from the Department of Justice to eliminate Violence against Women grants when 1,500 American women are killed each year by their spouses. This follows Trump’ recent launch of an office at DOJ called VOICE, Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, to solve another exaggerated problem of mayhem from Latino immigrants who are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans,

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the money pouring into school board races in Los Angeles to enable the charter school movement backed by multi-millionaires like Eli Broad and the former LA Mayor Riordan, to attain a majority on the school board that will further the so-called “school choice” agenda of Trump and Betsy DeVos. Kevin Kumashiro, the Dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco joins us to discuss what kind of return on investment the funders of charter school candidates want.

 

March 5 - Trump's Unverified Smear of Obama; Deflecting the Press's Attention Away From the Russia Story; How Donald Trump Fits Into the Global Pantheon of Dictators, Despots and Authoritarians

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We begin with an attempt to understand Donald Trump’s outrageous and unsupported smear of President Obama in an historical context, since calling your predecessor a “bad (or sick) guy” seems almost unprecedented in its crudeness and lack of dignity. Princeton Historian Sean Wilentz, the author of “The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln” whose latest book is “The Politicians and the Egalitarians”, joins us to discuss the pre-dawn flurry of tweets from Trump accusing Obama of “Nixon/Watergate” tapping of his phones in Trump Tower and now the call by the Trump Administration for a Congressional investigation into these charges which appear to be based on Breitbart New conspiracies and the musings of a right wing talk radio host for which no evidence has been forthcoming.

 

Sean Wilentz

Part 2

Then we examine further the apparent attempt to deflect the press’s focus away from the continuing breaking news of more evidence of the Trump campaign’s involvement with Russian officials and speak with Roger Morris, who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon until resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia. We will explore the irony that the current dictator in Cambodia Hun Sen, is using Donald Trump’s attacks on the press and accusations of “fake news” as a way to justify this former Khmer Rouge functionary’s crackdown on the press and the jailing of opposition politicians.  

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Alastair Smith, a professor of politics at New York University who has extensively researched the nature of dictatorship and other forms of bad leadership. He is the author of “The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics” and his latest book is “The Spoils of War: Greed, Power and the Conflicts That Made our Greatest Presidents.” We discuss how Donald Trump fits into the global pantheon of dictators, despots and authoritarians who unfortunately make up the majority of leaders around the world who exploit and oppress their beleaguered citizens.

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