February 2 - Iran's Hawks and America's Hawks Head for War; The "Religious Freedom" Executive Order That Will Change American Life; Trump Disses the Australian PM

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We will begin with the saber rattling coming Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn putting Iran “on notice” which was followed by a tweet from Trump himself making the same vague threat. Abbas Milani, the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and co-author of “Politics and Culture in Iran: Challenging the Status Quo”, joins us to discuss the symbiosis between the hawks on both sides and how much Trump’s threats play into the hands of the IRGC, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, who got rich off the sanctions and are not happy with the nuclear deal that Trump also opposes. We assess the consequences of a naval clash in the Persian Gulf that would likely close the Straits of Hormuz and cause a catastrophic rise in global oil prices which would greatly benefit Trump’s friend Putin.

 

Image result for Abbas Milani

Part 2

Then, following today’s National Prayer Breakfast at which Donald Trump asked the attendees to pray for better ratings for “Celebrity Apprentice”, we will examine the aggressive agenda of the Religious Right that Vice President Pence is enacting and the forthcoming White House Executive Order on so-called “Religious Freedom”. Matthew Sutton, Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University and author of “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism” joins us to discuss how the new nominee to the Supreme Court is a part of a tectonic shift underway in American life where the often fanatical beliefs of a religious minority will soon be imposed on the majority of citizens in the name of religious freedom.

Matthew Sutton

Part 3

Then finally we look into the reality TV treatment Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull got from Donald Trump in last Saturday’s call from the Oval Office in which the leader of one of America’s closest allies was informed by Trump that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day – including Russia’s Putin - and “this was the worst call so far”, all-but telling Turnbull “you’re fired” before hanging up on him. Toby Miller, a Visiting Professor at Tulane University and a regular contributor to Australia’s national newspaper, “The Australian”, joins us to discuss the embarrassing antics of the most undignified and unhinged head of state in American history. 

Image result for Toby Miller

 

mp3audio: 

February 1 - Time For Democrats to Play Hardball; Withholding Consent Until the Trump-Putin Ties Are Fully Investigated; Steve Bannon's Takeover of National Security Policy

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the call by a former deputy chief of staff to Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, for the Democrats to hold the new minority president accountable and to play hardball. We begin with Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy at Princeton University who is the author of “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society”, and discuss his article at CNN “What Democrats Should Learn From Republicans”. We assess President Trump’s advice that Senate Republicans should use the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster if Democrats filibuster his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. And, with a radical Republican agenda underway threatening transformative changes, will the Democrats borrow from the Republican obstructionist tactics of shutdowns, fiscal cliffs, financial chaos and procedural warfare to stop an unpopular and divisive president and his unqualified cabinet by playing hardball?

Image result for Julian Zelizer

Part 2

Then we speak with a 21 year veteran of the US Senate Jim Manley, who served as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for six years and before that 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He joins us to discuss his former colleague’s call for the Democrats to play hardball and offers his insight into whether, because of the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over the president as investigations into how much Vladimir Putin helped elect Trump continues, the tactic of withholding consent is a viable strategy until a credible investigation either indicts or clears Trump.

Jim Manley

Part 3

Then finally we investigate the takeover of national security policy and process by the Trump Administration’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who appears to have accrued so much power so quickly that he is being seen as the de facto President of the United States. Kate Brannen, the deputy managing editor of Just Security and a nonresident fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at The Atlantic Council, joins us to discuss her article at Foreign Policy “Steve Bannon is Making Sure There’s No White House Paper Trail, Says Intel Source”. 

Brannen Kate

 

mp3audio: 

January 31 - Trump Announces His SCOTUS Choice of Neil Gorsuch; Gorsuch is More Reactionary Than Scalia; Will the Democrats Make a Stand Against a Stolen Seat?; Gorsuch as an Extreme Corporatist

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the announcement expected at any minute by President Trump of his nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left since the death of Antonin Scalia that President Obama attempted to fill but the Republicans played hardball and would not allow Obama’s choice of a moderate Merrick Garland even a hearing let alone a vote.

 

Part 2

We begin with an initial response to Trump’s choice from Lisa Graves who served 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.

Then we speak with Paul S Ryan, the Vice President of Litigation and Policy at Common Cause about the highly-charged atmosphere in Washington as Democrats consider delaying a vote on Senator Jeff Sessions to head up the Justice Department, which has just had its acting Attorney General fired by the White House, after today boycotting key votes on two of Trump’s cabinet nominees, Stene Mnuchin at Treasury and Congressman Tom Price as the new head of H.H.S. We discuss the possibility of this just-announced nominee to the Supreme Court being filibustered in the Senate by Democrats, many of whom feel they should not vote to confirm any Trump nominee to the Supreme Court since the appointment to fill Scalia’s seat has already been “stolen” by the Republicans.

Image result for Lisa Graves

Paul Ryan

Part 3

Then we discuss Trump’s just-announced Supreme Court nominee’s qualifications, record and likelihood of confirmation with Caroline Fredrickson, the President of the American Constitution Society which is a progressive counterweight to the Federalist Society, a Koch brothers-funded group of conservative judicial activists who have been influential and successful in getting right wing judges in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas appointed to the federal bench.

Part 4

Then finally we discuss the chances of the confirmation of this nominee just put forward by President Trump being confirmed and whether and for how long the Supreme Court could function with an evenly divided court of eight justices. Daniel Goldberg, the Legal Director at the Alliance For Justice who served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs, joins us to discuss whether the Democrat’s decision to stand up to the Trump train was sparked by the firing of the acting Attorney General or is the growing resistance to the Trump/Bannon presidency being fueled by a fury at the grassroots.  

 

mp3audio: 

January 30 - What Motivated the Canadian Mass Shooter?; Trump Puts a Target on the Back of US Soldiers in Iraq; Trump's Radical and Unworkable "Two Out, One In" Executive Order

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with the unusual mass shooting in Canada at a mosque in Quebec City that left six worshipers dead, five in critical condition and 12 others injured. Mubin Shaikh, the author of “Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 – Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown Terrorism in the West”,  joins us. A former jihadist, Mubin came to see how his extremism was inconsistent with the teachings of the Quran and he became an undercover counterterrorism operative for the Canadian security intelligence service. We discuss what motivated the suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, who on his Facebook page says he “likes’” Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, France’s anti-immigrant right wing political leader, and how the shooter got hold of an AK-47 assault rifle which is banned in Canada but readily available across the border in the U.S.

Mubin Shaikh

Part 2

Then we look into the extent to which Donald Trump’s remarks about redoing the Iraq war and this time stealing Iraq’s oil, as well as his Muslim ban that named Iraq as one of the seven Islamic countries whose citizens are banned from entering the U.S., are going down with Iraqis and how it is effecting the seven thousand U.S. soldiers and contractors who are fighting alongside Iraqis against the Islamic State. Iraq expert Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, joins us to discuss the blowback in the Islamic world from Trump’s Muslim ban and how much it plays into the hands of the Islamic State.

Image result for Juan Cole

Part 3

Then finally we speak with an expert in administrative procedure and regulatory policy, Sidney Shapiro, the Vice-President of the Center for Progressive Reform and Chair of Administrative Law at Wake Forest University. He joins us to attempt to understand Trump’s latest “Two-out, One-in” Executive Order to scrap two regulations for each new one which appears to be as radical as it is unworkable. We discuss the coming legal entanglement and the arbitrary “Sophie’s Choice” aspect of enacting a new regulation to protect public health which means you are forced to get rid of two older regulations that have protected public health. 

Sidney Shapiro

 

mp3audio: 

January 29 - Mysterious Murders in Moscow; Stephen Bannon, The De Facto President of the United States; Backlash From Trump's Muslim Ban

Full Program

LISTEN TO FULL PROGRAM  

Part 1

We begin with arrests of top officials in Russia’s Intelligence service dealing with cyber-espionage and the mysterious death on Boxing Day of Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB and FSB general who was a key liaison between Igor Sechin the head of Rosneft and Vladimir Putin, a murder which appears to be linked to the release of the dossier on the Kremlin’s hold over Trump prepared by the former MI-6 officer Christopher Steele who is now in hiding. A former Swedish diplomat who served in Moscow, Anders Aslund, now a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russia and East European Studies at Georgetown University, joins us to discuss the phone call between Donald Trump and Putin and whether Putin will help Trump bury the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin by claiming that a rogue FSB operation has been shut down and that Putin has decisively dealt with the traitors.

 

Image result for Anders Aslund

Part 2

Then we examine the shakeup at the National Security Council engineered by the de-facto President of the United States, Stephen Bannon, who has inserted himself onto the NSC and kicked off the Director on National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Roger Morris, who served on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under presidents Johnson and Nixon before resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia, joins us to discuss the extraordinary power the new White House chief strategist has accrued for himself to essentially run the country while Donald Trump watches himself on cable TV and tweets about his coverage into the wee hours of the morning.    

Image result for Roger Morris

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Dr. Trita Parsi, the co-founder and the president of the National Iranian American Council and author of the forthcoming book “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy”. He joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and the chaos it has created at American airports with spontaneous demonstrations erupting in support of travelers from the seven Muslim nations who are now prevented from entering the U.S., while those that come from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, countries from which terrorists attacks against the homeland were inspired, planned and financed, are free to enter.  

 

mp3audio: