January 10 - A New Russia Policy as More Damning Evidence is Leaked; An Analysis of Senator Sessions' Confirmation Hearing; Could Sessions Be Disqualified on the Basis of His Record

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We begin with the hearing today before the Senate Intelligence Committee where the Director of National Intelligence and the heads of the NSA, FBI and CIA testified on Russia’s role in hacking our recent election, with the DNI concluding that Russia’s president ordered the influence campaign that helped defeat Hillary Clinton who Putin loathes and helped elect Donald Trump who during the campaign, cited damaging information released by Wikileaks over 100 times.Andrew Kuchins, a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies joins us to discuss a way forward from the current broken and bitter relations between the U.S. and Russia and his new report at the Center for Global Interests, “Elevation and Calibration: A New Russia Policy for America”.

Part 2

Then we assess today’s confirmation hearings for the Trump Administration’s nominee for Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions. Lisa Graves, who served in all three branches of the federal government as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us to discuss the evidence presented against the Alabama senator and the charges of racism highlighted by demonstrators inside the hearing room wearing KKK robes, which Jefferson Beauregard Sessions 111 described as “very painful”, claiming it was because of his name that he was considered a racist.

Lisa Graves

Part 3

Then finally we look further into Senator Sessions’ testimony with Daniel Goldberg, the Legal Director at the Alliance For Justice who was Chief of Staff of the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs. We examine the unprecedented testimony by Senator Cory Booker, the first sitting U.S. Senator to testify against a senate colleague at a confirmation hearing, and whether Sessions should be disqualified to be the nation’s top lawman on the basis of his record on civil rights. 

 

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January 9 - Trump's Son-in-Law as Senior Adviser to the President; The Clean Energy Movement is Irreversible; Catching the Right Wing Stinger in a Sting

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We begin with the appointment of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as Senior Adviser to the President and speak with William Cohan, a former Wall Street investment banker and New York Times best-selling author who writes weekly columns for The New York Times Dealbook section and Bloomberg View and has an article at Vanity Fair profiling the Trump children, “Can Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump Really Run the Family Business”. We discuss Trump’s relationship with the husband of his favorite child Ivanka and Jared Kushner’s own successful real estate empire which will have to be put on hold if he takes the White House job. Although America’s soon-to-be 45th president so far has played by his own rules and has not divested his holdings and meanwhile, thanks to Trump’s new job as leader of the free world, his main asset, the Trump brand, is now more valuable than ever.

 

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Part 2

Then we look into President Obama’s article in the journal Science in which he wrote that the worldwide movement towards clean energy is “irreversible” and that the clean energy sector will move ahead with or without Donald Trump. Jody Freeman, The Archibald Cox Professor at Harvard Law School and the founding director of the Law School’s Environment Law and Policy Program joins us. She served as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in the Obama White House and we will discuss how Donald Trump will handle the promises he made to bring back jobs in coal country when the market is abandoning coal for natural gas while investments in wind and solar are on the rise, making it clear that combatting climate change is good business and good economics.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lauren Windsor, the executive producer of The Undercurrent and the creative director of American Family Voices. She has managed to sting the stinger, having caught the notorious right wing provocateur James O’Keefe in a sting trying to sow chaos at Donald Trump’s inauguration in an effort to portray Trump’s critics as violent radicals from leftwing fringe groups. We discuss how one of O’Keefe’s operatives, Allison Maass, who was already caught trying to infiltrate Russ Feingold’s, Bernie Sanders’, and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, is caught on video offering activists huge amounts of money to disrupt Trump’s upcoming inauguration. 

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January 8 - Why Trump Disparages US Intelligence; A View of the Intel Report From Moscow; Trump Supporter Tries to Fire Georgetown Professor

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We begin with the extraordinarily unequivocal and damning report from the U.S. Intelligence Community outlining the scope and extent of Russian meddling in our recent election directed by Vladimir Putin and aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping elect Donald Trump. David Satter, a fellow of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and author of “The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin” joins us to discuss what possible hidden ties exist between Trump and Putin, given the president-elect’s contorted apologies for Putin’s actions and his disparagement of America’s Intelligence service’s findings that were just made public. We also examine Putin’s possible motives and whether Trump and his nominee for Secretary of State will be able to implement their plans to get along better with Russia.

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Part 2

Then we go to Moscow and speak with Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense analyst, columnist and journalist with Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent non-government media outlets left in Putin’s Russia. He joins us to discuss why Russia’s military intelligence the GRU was used by Putin and what the local reaction is to the U.S intelligence report on the part of government officials and ordinary citizens.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Chris Fair an expert on Pakistan and Afghanistan who is a Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. She is under attack by right wing supporters of Donald Trump who, along with along with a Muslim woman who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post “I’m a Muslim, a woman, and an immigrant, I voted for Trump”, are pressuring Georgetown University authorities to have Chris Fair fired. 

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January 5 - Why Trump Persists in Disparaging the US Intelligence Community; Big Oil Fights Back With a US-Russia "Drill Baby Drill" Union; GOP Maneuvers to Gut the Affordable Care Act

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We begin with an appraisal of the Senate hearings today on Russian hacking ahead of tomorrow’s briefing of president-elect Trump who has persistently disparaged the intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia hacked the election and that President Putin authorized the operation. Steven Pifer, who served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council, joins us to discuss what possible motives Trump has for going out of his way to defend Putin in the face of mounting evidence that the Russian leader was behind an attack that struck at the heart of American democracy itself which may have sowed the seeds of illegitimacy and instability in the U.S. presidency and exposed divisions within the ruling Republican Party.

 

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Part 2

Then we look further into the Senate hearings and the growing rift between the president-elect and the intelligence community with Simon Rosenberg, the President and Founder of the New Democrat Network and a columnist for U.S. News and World Report. He joins us to discuss whether the choice of the head of Exxon as Secretary of State represents big oil fighting back against growing concerns over global warming and lessening dependence on oil with Putin and Trump forming a “drill baby drill” union in the name of the U.S. getting along better with nuclear-armed Russia.

Simon Rosenberg

Part 3

Then finally we examine the dilemma facing Republicans who want to immediately repeal Obamacare but do not have anything to replace it with. A veteran insider from the for-profit health industry who was chief corporate spokesman at CIGNA and head of corporate communications at Humana, Wendell Potter, joins us. He is now a Senior Analyst on Healthcare at the Center for Public Integrity and we discuss Republican plans to pass a budget resolution that would shield repeal legislation from a Democratic filibuster thus enabling them to gut the Affordable Care Act in the form of a reconciliation bill. 

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January 4 - How Trump's Chief Propagandist Reconstructs Reality; Why Does Trump Keep Denying Russian Hacking?; The Trump Administration Will Be Enablers of Monopolies

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We begin with the skillful use of propaganda by the Trump campaign that will continue as they shape the narrative for a presidency based on political stunts by the entertainer-in-chief while the real president Mike Pence enacts the Koch brothers and the DeVos family agendas of resource extraction and “Christian” fundamentalism. Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of “How Propaganda Works”, joins us to explain the key role of Trump’s strategist Steven Bannon as a propagandist who reconstructs reality which in turn Fox News and the right wing press disseminates to an ill-educated population and polarized society in which there is no longer a consensus of what is true anymore, thus providing a fertile landscape for the propagation of fake news and propaganda.

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Part 2

Then we try to understand why Donald Trump is doubling down on his increasingly desperate denials of Russian involvement in the recent elections as he sides with Julian Assange over the Russian hacks while implying that some kind of conspiracy has led the America’s intelligence community to conclude that Putin helped him become our next president. Dr. Michael Sulmeyer, the Director of the Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, who was recently the Director of Plans and Operations for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, joins us to discuss why evidence points to Russian hacking and what possible reason Trump may have for continuing to deny Russian involvement.    

Michael Sulmeyer

Part 3

Then finally we examine the extent to which the new Trump Administration will be enablers of monopolies, given that Trump celebrated the election-night results with a successful monopolist David Koch and an avowed monopolist Peter Theil. Barry Lynn, who directs the Open Markets Program and is a Senior Fellow at The New America Foundation, joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Monthly “Democrats Must Become the Party of Freedom” and how Democrats should embrace small business, entrepreneurs and reengage with unions.

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