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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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.

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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.

 

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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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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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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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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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February 6 - Trump Trashes Allies While Making Excuses for Enemies; Another Trump Betrayal, His Chair of the FCC; A Senate "Talk-a-Thon" to Stop Billionaire Betsy DeVos From Becoming Education Secretary

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We begin with the unease in foreign policy circles and among leaders of long-time allies of the U.S. about Donald Trump’s undiplomatic approach to international relations and the anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian leanings of his chief strategist Stephen Bannon who appears more and more to be the power behind the throne. A veteran diplomat, Ambassador Peter Galbraith, who was also a professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College and is the author of “Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America’s Enemies”, joins us to discuss the “dissent” memo signed by 1,000 Foreign Service Officers objecting to Trump’s Muslim ban. We also try to analyze why Trump trashes America’s closest allies while going out of his way to make excuses for a leader not widely seen as friend of the U.S., Russia”s President Putin, who along with meddling in our elections, has been accused of financing far-right white nationalist parties in Europe to undermine democracy and pluralism.

 

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Then, as Trump moves to gut financial reforms aimed at protecting retirees from being ripped off by crooked financial advisors, we will look into Trump’s latest betrayal of his supporters as the new head of the FCC stops discounted high speed internet service to low-income working families while preparing to kill net neutrality rules that ensure equal access to content on the internet. Matt Wood, Policy Director at Free Press joins us to discuss the aggressive agenda of a former lawyer for Verizon, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who promised transparency but has already acted swiftly and in secret.

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Then finally as Democrats tie up the Senate in a day and night-long “talk-a-thon” in the hope that one more Republican Senator will break ranks and bite the hand that feeds them by rejecting the nomination of a billionaire Republican donor Betsy DeVos, who Trump wants as his Secretary of Education. Mitchell Robinson, chair of music education at the Michigan State University College of Music who has written extensively about Betsy DeVos’s lavishly-financed campaigns against public education in Michigan, joins us.

 

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February 5 - Could Trump Be Tried For Treason?; Could Erik Prince Start a War For His Friend Bannon?; Wilbur Ross's Bank For Dirty Russian Money

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We begin with the growing possibility that Donald Trump could be put on trial for treason given the extraordinary lengths he goes to in making excuses for Putin and his unwillingness to lift the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over his presidency, a refusal to clear the air which suggests Trump has something to hide. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security joins us to discuss the latest evidence that Donald Trump is the main beneficiary of the most successful covert operation in history run by a former KGB Colonel who managed to get his asset Donald Trump placed in the White House as the head of the most powerful nation on earth. We discuss the roll-up of America’s network of spies inside the top levels of the Russian government which has resulted in many senior FSB and former KGB officers arrested and some murdered, and the coincidence that Putin’s purge began shortly after officials in the Trump Administration were given access to secret information on sources and methods inside Russia that were providing intelligence to the U.S.

 

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Then we look into the role of Erik Prince, the founder of “Blackwater”, the notorious mercenary army and cutout for intelligence paramilitary operations, who is a close friend of Stephen Bannon and the brother of Trump’s nominee for education secretary Betsy DeVos. Joining us is Robert Young Pelton who was hired by Prince to write his biography. He is author of “License to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror” and the “Adventurist” and is a Strategic Advisor to MOAS, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station that operates ships to rescue migrants at sea. We will examine whether Bannon will use Prince’s shadowy outfit now called “Frontier Services Group” to provide the spark to start a new war.     

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Then finally we speak with an expert on offshore tax havens, kleptocracy and pirate banking, investigative economist James Henry.  He is the co-founder of DC Reports and author of “Blood Bankers” and joins us to discuss Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross’s partnership in a Cyprus bank with a Russian mobster and money launderer, and whether Trump is the secret beneficiary of a recent sale of 19% of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, the proceeds of which went into a myriad of hidden accounts in the Cayman Islands.   

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