January 26 - Trump Humiliates His Lackey Peña Nieto; The Hollowing Out of the State Department; Moving Closer to Midnight and the Apocalypse

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We begin with the president of Mexico’s cancellation of a scheduled visit to Washington to meet with his friend Donald Trump who effectively gave him no choice after humiliating Pena Nieto by insisting that Mexico will pay for Trump’s wall with a 20% tax on import from Mexico. We will go to Mexico City and speak with Dr. John Mill Ackerman, an author and a professor at the Institute of Legal Research of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and discuss his article at The Atlantic “How Mexico’s President Laid the Foundation for a Wall” and look into Pena Nieto’s fealty towards Donald Trump whose presidential campaign was helped immensely by Mexico’s president who staged a photo op for Trump back in August to make him look presidential and shore up his foreign policy credentials in an apparently vain hope that Trump would reciprocate. We  also examine the consequences of tearing up NAFTA which has been a disaster for Mexicans while benefiting U.S. farmers and corporate America.

 

John M. Ackerman

Part 2

Then we assess the damage to U.S. foreign policy from the hollowing out of the State Department with abrupt departures of many of its top officials. Wayne White, who served as the Deputy Director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and was an advisor/expert to the Iraq Study Group joins us to discuss Trump’s appointment of two callow political neophytes from a right wing website and a Koch brothers front group who are now running the Voice of America which will soon lose its global credibility and become a Fox News-like propaganda arm of the new administration.

Part 3

Then finally we look into today’s turning of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ doomsday clock closer to midnight in a symbolic recognition of a drift towards Armageddon that we have not seen since 1953 when the Soviet Union exploded its first Hydrogen bomb. Lawrence Krauss, the director of the Origins Project and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Department at Arizona State University, joins us to discuss growing concerns that Donald Trump’s reckless talk about nuclear weapons and denial of scientific facts is moving us closer to midnight, midnight being the apocalypse.  

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January 25 - Trump's Imaginary 5 Million Illegal Voters; Trump's Selective Muslim Ban; The New Authoritarian Threat

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We begin with Donald Trump’s latest tweets as he doubles down promising a "major investigation" into his bizarre conspiracy theory that between 3 and 5 million illegals voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election thus robbing him of a victory in the popular vote. A nationally-recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, Richard Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, joins us to discuss how the Republicans, who since the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, have been proactive and aggressive in pushing strict voter ID laws and other voting restrictions that Democrats and the courts have labelled as voter suppression, could somehow have allowed the Democrats to keep 5 million extra illegal votes up their sleeves for so long without saying anything about it.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Arun Kundnani, a Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and the author of “The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror”. He joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s forthcoming executive order banning entry of Muslims into the U.S. from 5 countries the U.S. is currently bombing, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. We also discuss the absence on the list of countries from which perpetrators of domestic terrorism came or from where attacks were planned, launched or financed, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the creeping authoritarian nature of the new presidency of Donald Trump where already signs of censorship, propaganda, fake news, alternative facts, lies, intimidation and a thirst for adulation are emerging. Kevin O’Leary, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine and the author of the forthcoming book “The New Authoritarian Threat and What to do About It” joins us to discuss Pope Francis’s concern expressed about the rise of populism in the United States and Europe, warning that “Hitler did not steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people”.

 

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January 24 - Handing Over the Environment to Big Oil; Will Trump's "America First" Bring Back Jobs?; Trump Keeps Comey Inside the Tent

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We begin with Donald Trump’s executive orders to revive the Keystone XL pipeline that was rejected by Obama and the Dakota Access pipeline that was stalled by the Army Corps of Engineers because of protests from the Standing Rock Sioux. Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University joins us to discuss the broader issues involved in the reversal of energy policies to deal with climate change from global warming. With Trump’s installation of global warming deniers in his cabinet, we look into the choice of an oilman to head up the State Department, Rex Tillerson,  who previously made a deal with Putin for Exxon to extract Russian Arctic oil because the melting of the icecaps due to global warming was making it more economical to do so, and assess the extent to which handing over the environment to big oil will reinforce the cycle of burning fossil fuels which contributes to global warming and in effect enables dying industries to profit from the planet’s destruction they are accelerating.

Dr. Michael E. Mann

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Then we examine whether Trump’s “America first” approach to threatening tariffs and the tearing up of T.P.P. and NAFTA will bring back jobs when other factors beyond globalism such as robotics and the rise of the dollar are at play. Jared Bernstein a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the former Chief Economist and Economic Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, joins us. We discuss his article at The New York Times “Ditching the T.P.P. Won’t Solve the Trade Deficit” and whether Trump, who has argued that American workers are paid too much and that unions are responsible for jobs being outsourced abroad, will lose more American jobs than create new ones.

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Then finally we speak with a former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley and discuss Donald Trump’s warm embrace of James Comey over the weekend and his decision to keep Comey on as the head of the FBI even though Trump had criticized him earlier for finding there was no basis to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server. We look into whether keeping Comey inside the tent will ensure that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia will go nowhere. 

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January 23 - Trump Hands China a Massive Victory; The Subtext of the Hearing for the Head of the CIA; Could Saturday's Demonstrations Evolve Into a Tea Party of the Left?

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We begin with Donald Trump’s tearing up of the T.P.P., the transpacific trade partnership which in effect hands China a great victory making its alternative, the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the only game in town, thus empowering China to write its own rules going forward, the very criticism that Trump levelled at China during his campaign. Alfred McCoy, Chair of History at the University of Wisconsin and the author of “Policing America’s Empire: the United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State” joins us to discuss how Trump is weakening America at warp speed by undoing the architecture of America’s global strategic and economic power built up over decades. Added to which, as Trump hands over the Asia/Pacific to China, he is threatening to abandon NATO as is encouraging the breakup of Europe, which in turn hands victories beyond Putin’s wildest dreams to Trump’s favorite autocrat in the Kremlin.

 

Alfred W. McCoy

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Then we examine the possible subtext to today’s hearing to confirm Congressman Pompeo as the next head of the CIA, following the nomination of another partisan politician to become the Director of National Intelligence. A long-time senior staffer on the House and Senate Intelligence Oversight Committees, Loch Johnson, the Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and author of “The Threat on the Horizon: An inside Account of America’s Search for Security After the Cold War”, joins us. We will discuss whether the counterintelligence investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin can be stopped by Trump’s political appointees and if the Intelligence Community will still be able to speak truth to power.

Loch K. Johnson

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Michael Kazin, Professor of History at Georgetown University and co-editor of Dissent magazine. He joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Policy “Trump’s Civil Religion has an Angry God” and whether Saturday’s massive demonstrations against Trump could evolve into a Tea Party of the left that could influence the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has intimidated the GOP, as well as how lessons in Kazin’s new book “War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918” apply to today’s demonstrations.

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January 22 - Trump's Dark Vision and Insecure Narcissism; Women Lead the Way; Will Trump Stop the Investigation Into His Campaign's Collusion With the Kremlin?; The Crying Need of a Strategy From the Democratic Party

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We begin with the new regime taking charge in Washington D.C. led by an insecure narcissist who paints a dark vision of life in America then promises to fix the very problems he is exaggerating and in some cases inventing. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, joins us to discuss a cabinet and an executive branch that appears to be the most disorganized, amateurish and inexperienced in recent history as well as Donald Trump’s remark on Saturday at CIA headquarters where he announced that he might re-do the Iraq war but this time get it right and take the country’s oil. With a Democratic opposition adrift and Republicans in Congress more interested in power than principle, we assess when and what opposition might emerge to stop an authoritarian takeover of America.

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Then we speak with Heidi Hartmann, the president of the Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research whose areas of expertise are: women and the economy, workforce participation, employment pay equity and retirement security. We discuss yesterday’s historic march for women in the nation’s capitol, across the country and around the world and analyze the extent to which yesterday’s extraordinary manifestation of political energy can be coupled with a political strategy which appears to be lacking in terms of a Democratic opposition.

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Then we examine Donald Trump’s petulant and infantile display on Saturday in front of the CIA’s wall of fallen officers who died in anonymity in service to their country. A former 23-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service who retired as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats, Glenn Carle, the author of “The Interrogator: An Education”, joins us to discuss the new Trump Administration’s frantic efforts to shut down counter-intelligence investigations into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin.

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Part 4

Then finally we discuss the extent to which the Democratic Party is adrift with much of its top officials in the DNC and among Hillary Clinton operatives like David Brock, in denial about their recent defeats which they portray as a “black swan” event and blame of the FBI Director and Putin. Democratic strategist Mike Lux, the President of American Family Voices and the co-founder and CEO of Progressive Strategies, joins us to look into the dogged refusal of the Democratic Party establishment to acknowledge the Bernie Sanders’ revolution and populist messages coming from the millennial generation, labor organizers and grassroots activists.

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