January 17 - Betsy DeVos' "Christian" Agenda; Trump as an Authoritarian Leader; "A Practical Guide For Resisting the Trump Agenda"

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We begin with the testimony today of Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a billionaire conservative political activist and major donor to Republicans including most of the majority members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee conducting today’s hearing. Diane Ravitch, a Professor in New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, a former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush and author of “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools”, joins us to discuss the religious zeal that underpins Betsy DeVos’s determination to promote Charter Schools and Vouchers for Religious Schools and Home Schooling which will further de-fund public schools where 85% of American kids get their education.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with cultural critic Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University who has spent decades studying authoritarian and fascist regimes. She joins us to discuss her latest article at CNN, “Trump is Following the Authoritarian Playbook” and the extraordinary defense of Trump that came today from a fellow authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin who argued that the intelligence dossier the president-elect was fake news because Donald Trump would only consort with high class hookers and that Russia’s prostitutes are the best in the world.

Part 3

Then finally we look into a growing movement to resist the Trump agenda and speak with the co-author of a practical guide on how to do so. Ezra Levin, a D.C.-based domestic policy wonk who served as a congressional staffer and the Associate Director of Federal Policy at the Corporation for Enterprise Development joins us to discuss “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” which he co-authored with another former congressional staffer Angel Padilla. 

 

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January 16 - A Congressman Who is Boycotting Trump's Inauguration; Trump's Public Feud With Congressman Lewis; Race Relations in a Trump Administration

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We begin with one of a number of Congressmen and women who are boycotting Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, in part because of Trump’s disrespectful tweets denigrating the civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis who marched with King. Congressman Ted Lieu, who represents California’s 33rdDistrict and serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, joins us to discuss his reasons for boycotting Trump’s inauguration and Congressman Lewis’s recent remarks questioning Trump’s legitimacy in light of recent revelations that Putin and the Russians meddled in our election to help elect Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

 

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Then with Donald Trump’s meeting today with Martin Luther King’s eldest son, we discuss the incoming president’s relations with African Americans following his public feud with Congressman Lewis which adds to the bitter and distrustful mood amongst minorities in this country, many of whom were offended by Trump’s racist remarks during the campaign and were alarmed by how much his candidacy drew support from white supremacists. Christopher Parker, a Professor of Social Justice and Political Science at the University of Washington who is the principal investigator of the Multi-State Survey on Race and Politics, joins us to assess the level of resistance already emerging against a Trump presidency.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Anthea Butler, a Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She joins us to discuss what change is likely to come in a Trump Administration and how much an Attorney General who is a relic of the Old South could turn back the clock in terms of civil and voting rights, along with the head of HUD who is against public housing, and a Labor Secretary who is against worker’s rights, and a Secretary of the Treasury who got rich by evicting people from their homes. 

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January 15 - What's the Matter With James Comey?; The White House Press Corp's Shameful Lack of Solidarity; Obama's Legacy

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We begin with the contentious intelligence briefings that took place last week which left Democratic members of the House of Representatives fuming at FBI Director Comey for apparently stonewalling on investigating Russian connections to the Trump campaign while being all too eager to release unverified and damaging information about Hillary Clinton which she claims cost her the election. Nick Akerman, a former Federal Prosecutor and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York as well as an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor, joins us to discuss whether James Comey is intensely partisan or spectacularly incompetent since members of Congress leaving the intelligence briefing accused him of having no credibility, of being condescending and arrogant, while the ex-MI-6 intelligence officer responsible for the explosive dossier on Trump was frustrated by the lack of response from Comey who apparently sat on his dossier, a digest of which was recently presented to the president and the president-elect in a major intelligence briefing on Russian meddling in our recent election.

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Then we look into the lack of solidarity shown by the White House Press Corps who submissively sat by while president-elect Trump refused to let a journalist ask a question while accusing CNN of broadcasting fake news. Jeff Jarvis, a Professor and Director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, joins us to discuss how the press has allowed Trump to established a standard where he decides which questions to answer and which news outlets he favors and the similarities between the incoming Trump Administration’s treatment of journalists and how Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian regimes manage the press.

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Then finally we speak with James Kloppenberg, Professor of American History at Harvard University and author of “Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition” and his latest, “Towards Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought”. We discuss Obama’s legacy and his recent farewell address and assess his successes and failures given that Obama has a deep commitment to bi-partisanship yet during his terms in office, the country became much more polarized.

James T. Kloppenberg

 

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January 12 - Trump's CIA Nominee and His Boss's Battle With the Intelligence Community; A Leading Analyst of National Security and Executive Power; The Peculiar Symmetry on the Left and Right in Excusing Trump and Putin

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We begin with the growing rift between President-elect Trump and the Intelligence Community following the release of a devastating dossier on Trump’s potential for alleged blackmail and the testimony today from Trump’s nominee to head up the CIA, Congressman Pompeo. A veteran CIA operative Robert Baer, who is the current national security affairs analyst for CNN, joins us to discuss whether Trump and his new CIA director who does not believe in global warming, could construct their own facts and operate in an alternative universe while the rest of the world continues to convulse and erupt with daily outbursts of reality, many of which result in incidents or events that require understanding, if not attention and happen independently from whatever dogma or ideology presidents and Congressmen might be informed by.

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Then we speak with a leading analyst of national security and executive power, David Rothkopf, the CEO and editor of the FP Group and publisher of Foreign Policy Magazine and ForeignPolicy.com. The author of “Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power”, his latest book is “National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear” and we discuss his latest article at Foreign Policy “There is a Cure for Fake News and Dangerous Leadership” and how thin the support is amongst Republicans on Capitol Hill for the erratic, insecure and unqualified president about to be inaugurated.

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Then finally we explore the peculiar symmetry between elements on the American left and the right who resist or dismiss the growing weight of evidence of Russian meddling in our election and the very real possibility that Trump has been compromised by Putin. John Feffer, the co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies joins us to discuss his latest article “The Russian Honeypot: Russia has big plans for Donald Trump” and why leftists who should be alarmed by Trump’s fascist tendencies, make excuses for the authoritarian bromance between Trump and Putin.

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January 11 - A Former CIA Officer on the Leaked Dossier; The Rise of Authoritarian Populism in the West; Trump's Absurd Ethical Firewall Between Him and His Sons

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We begin with the 35 page appendix of an intelligence report leaked to BuzzFeed, a two page summary of which was presented to President Obama and president-elect Trump last week, which contains damaging and salacious information on Donald Trump as a target of a Russian compromise “Kompromat” operation aimed at influencing our recent election. Phil Giraldi, a former CIA officer now executive director of the Council for the National Interest who has an article at The American Conservative “How a Former CIA Officer Reads the Trump Dossier”, joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s reaction to the explosive charges in the dossier which describes potential blackmail that the Russian Intelligence services could hold over Trump and alleges that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen held secret meetings with Russian officials in Prague during the campaign.

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Then, as Donald Trump continues to defend Vladimir Putin while calling criticism of his alleged ties to Russia “fake news” and the intelligence service, which produced the leaked dossier “Nazis”, we look into the frightening rise of authoritarian populism in the west. A veteran senior Congressional staffer, Mike Lofgren, the author of “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government” joins us to discuss his article at Bill Moyers.com “Maybe This IS How Democracy Ends” and whether Donald Trump, as he assumes the presidency, will be able to replace the Secret Service with private bodyguards as he plans to do, and purge the Intelligence community of critics while corralling the press which he denigrates and despises.  

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the promises made today at Trump’s press conference by his tax lawyer who showed up to make an announcement that Trump would maintain ownership but turn over his businesses to his sons and that he would not engage in foreign deals. Danielle Brian, the Executive Director of POGO, the Project On Government Oversight, joins us to discuss the absurdity of this proposed firewall between Trump and his sons and Trump’s closing remark at today’s press conferences that if his sons failed to do a good job, after his time in office, Trump would turn to them and say “you’re fired!”

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