We begin with the unmasking of Donald Trump by Donald Trump in an impromptu press conference yesterday in Trump Tower, revealing in public who the president is in private in spite of the efforts by aides who try to dispel Trump of his far-right wing fringe beliefs fed to him by Fox News, Alex Jones and Breitbart. Sarah Posner, an investigative journalist, author and expert on the intersection of religion and politics, who is one of the few journalists to have interviewed Stephen Bannon who boasted to her that Breitbart was the platform for the alt-right, joins us to discuss how Trump showed his true colors as an ignorant racist with no sense of history or decency who has debased the presidency and fanned the flames of hate and division in this country by pandering to a violent extremist minority of followers of a genocidal maniac responsible for World War 11 and the slave-masters responsible for America’s bloody Civil War.
Then we examine Trump’s reference to Southern “heritage” and his claim that there were “very fine people” in Charlottesville protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee decrying that in doing so “you are changing history, you are changing culture”. Karen Cox, a Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, joins us to discuss the mythology of the Confederacy Trump espoused where the institution of slavery is whitewashed in the name of a noble “Lost Cause” and her article at The New York Times “Why Confederate Monuments Must Fall”.
Then finally we look into the move by Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department to demand that the web hosting company Dreamhost turn over data detailing all visits to an anti-Trump protest website. Marc Rotenberg, the President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, EPIC, joins us to discuss whether Dreamhost will prevail in its refusal to comply with a government warrant on the basis that Trump’s DOJ is seeking “to identify political dissidents of the current administration”.
We begin with the extraordinary reopening of self-inflicted wounds by Donald Trump today who reversed his reluctant acknowledgement that neo-Nazis and white supremacists were responsible for the violence in Charlottesvile to blame what he called the alt-left, reviving his inexplicable compulsion to pander to the far right fringe of his base for reasons that remain unclear unless our president is in fact a racist. Antony McAleer, Board Chair and Co-Founder of Life After Hate, a non-profit working to de-radicalize Neo-Nazi and white supremacist youth whose funding grant from the Department of Homeland Security was rescinded by Katherine Gorka, the wife of White House deputy Sebastian Gorka who vowed to shut down the DHS’s Countering Violent Extremism program and shift funds away from white supremacist domestic terrorism to target American Muslims, along with getting his wife a job. From a former member of WAR, the White Aryan Resistance, we will learn about the mainstreaming of white racism today away from tattooed skinheads to clean-cut people in suits such as Richard Spencer who look like our neighbors.
Then we speak with Michael Greenberger, the Founder and Director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland where he teaches courses on counterterrorism and emergency response. He joins us to discuss the shift in focus of Trump’s DHS away from the main and well-documented problem of domestic terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists to the imaginary problem of a Muslim invasion and imposition of Sharia Law, and the role of alt-right advisors at the highest levels inside the White House pushing this racist and counter-productive agenda.
Then finally we look into Trump’s renewed attacks on the press as he tries to shift blame away from his own failure of moral leadership and speak with Lewis Friedland, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin where he directs the Center for Communication and Democracy. He joins us to discuss the right wing media eco-system being built by Fox’s Murdoch and Sinclair’s Smith to serve as the Ministry of Truth and propaganda outlet for the Trump administration, and presidential aide David Gergen’s remark that Trump can’t heal hate in America because HE has so much hate in is his heart.
We begin with the grudging acceptance by Donald Trump of the need to condemn Saturday’s violence by neo-Nazi white supremacists in a television address today in which he insisted on first emphasizing what a great economy he has created before addressing the burning issue of Charlottesville as if it were an afterthought. A witness who was part of an interfaith protest by clergy who faced Saturday’s phalanx of heavily armed white supremacist Stormtroopers spewing racist hatred, Bryan Mann, joins us. He is in his sixth year of studies at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston and will be an ordained rabbi in June of 2018. With his prayer shawl and kippa, linking arms with other clergy led by Cornell West, Bryan faced the Nazi taunts of “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”, and he describes how the police did nothing to protect the counter-protesters who were defended by the Antifa, the anti-fascists who came to their rescue meeting violence with violence which has led many, including Trump, to assign blame to “many sides”.
Then we examine the rumors of palace intrigue that suggest the alt-right radicals close to Trump, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller and the fascist sympathizer Sebastian Gorka, might be on the way out of the White House. Addy Baird, a reporter for ThinkProgress where she has an article “The subtle dogwhistle in Trump’s belated condemnation of white supremacists”, joins us to discuss today’s nasty tweets by Trump who went after the only black member of his manufacturing council, the CEO of Merck Pharma, who resigned to protest the president’s reaction to what happened in Charlottesville.
Then finally we look into the emerging right wing media juggernaut being enabled by Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that will effectively become the Ministry of Truth for the Trump presidency. Timothy Karr, the Campaign Director for Free Press and the SavetheInternet.com Coalition joins us to discuss how Ajit Pai’s changing of the rules to allow the Sinclair Broadcasting Group to buy up Tribune will create a monopoly that, along with Fox News and Breitbart, will pump out pro-Trump propaganda and create a Putin-like media machine of alternative facts while attacking the rest of the free press as “fake news”.
We begin with the violence that was brought to Charlottesville, Virginia by the Ku Klux Clan, neo-Nazis and white nationalist groups under the banner of “Unite the Right” who organized a Nazi-like torchlight protest Friday night against the removal of a statue of the Confederate leader Robert E. Lee then on Saturday converged on the statue wearing military gear waving Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas chanting “you will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us” as they clashed with counter-demonstrators. Nicole Hemmer, a professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and author of “Messenger of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics”, joins us to discuss her article at U.S. News and World Report “Sounds and Silence in Charlottesville: The violence of white nationalism spilled onto the streets of Virginia” and what she witnessed after a car driven by a white supremacist ploughed into a crowd of demonstrators celebrating the dispersal of the “Unite the Right” demonstrators.
Then we speak with sociologist Randy Blazak, Chair of the Coalition Against Hate Crime which monitors hate groups in the State of Oregon and a professor at the University of Oregon and author of “Hate Offenders”. He joins us to challenge the troubling remarks by the President of the United States that implied liberals and conservatives are equally violent when Trump went out of his way to emphasize that the hate, bigotry and violence on display in Charlottesville came from “all sides”. We discuss what is clear and that is there are members of the alt-right in the highest positions in the Trump White House and that the alt-right is trying to hijack the discussion about who is the victim in American history by encouraging the myth that white men are oppressed.
Then finally we assess the extent to which Trump’s threat of military action against Venezuela is playing into the hands of the Maduro government who have brought Venezuela to the brink of collapse and now, thanks to Trump, can blame the “Yankee imperialists” who have a sorry history of military intervention in Latin America. Jennifer McCoy, the Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University and author of “International Mediation in Venezuela”, joins us to discuss how Trump has set back regional efforts to deal with the worsening tragedy in Venezuela.
We begin with the latest target of Trump’s personal and public attacks, this time it is Mitch McConnell in the crosshairs, the Majority Leader of the Senate who is a member of Trump’s party and a vital ally in moving the president’s agenda forward. A 21 year veteran of the United States Senate, Jim Manley, who served as a senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, joins us. We will discuss the fratricide going on inside the Republican Party and this unprecedented public putdown in response to the Majority Leader’s mild criticism of Trump, and whether Trump’s biggest billionaire donor Robert Mercer who is putting up $300 million to defeat Republican Senator Jeff Flake because he criticized Trump, will go after McConnell and other Republican lawmakers Trump is annoyed with.
Then, with today’s extraordinary putdown of Secretary of State Tillerson’s by the hawkish alt-right Deputy Assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, who belittled Tillerson’s diplomatic efforts to calm the situation with North Korea, we to speak with Lili Bayer, a freelance journalist who writes for Politico and other publications and profiled Sebastian Gorka for The Forward. She joins us from Budapest, Hungary to discuss the letter by 55 Members of Congress asking Trump to fire Gorka and his ties to far right and neo-Nazi Hungarian political parties and the anti-Semitic Vitezi Rend Group whose medal Gorka wore to Trump’s inauguration.
Then finally we speak with Taran Singh Brar, a documentary filmmaker and political activist who erected a giant inflated chicken bearing a striking resemblance to Donald Trump near the White House yesterday. He joins us to discuss why he thinks Donald Trump is too chicken to release his tax returns while he plays chicken with North Korea, and how visitors to the mall in the nation’s capitol reacted to “Chicken Don”.
We begin with a raid by the FBI that took place at 4 AM on July the 26th at the home of Paul Manafort who was Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and was present in the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower which Donald Trump Jr. set up with representatives of the Russian government who were promising dirt on Hillary Clinton to help elect Trump. Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general, joins us to discuss the significance of the raid in terms of the investigation underway by the special counsel Robert Mueller. And since Manafort, who took notes during the meeting with the Russians and was treated shabbily by the Trump family when they disposed of him, might be persuaded to cooperate with the investigation, could he avoid legal jeopardy by ratting out his former employers including Jared Kushner who callously fired him?
Then we speak with an expert on the North Korean nuclear program, Paul Carroll, who has visited North Korea twice and previously worked on nuclear weapons issues at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Department of Energy. He joins us to assess whether the Trump-Kim schoolyard exchange of belligerence with the bombast of the strong threatening the tyranny of the weak, could get out of hand. And could Trump, who is increasingly paranoid as the Russia investigation closes in on him, and Kim who is paranoid to the point he preemptively killed his own brother with nerve gas out of fear the Chinese might stage a coup against him, lash out with nuclear weapons?
Then finally we assess the possibility that there will be a fourth attempt by the House Republicans led by the Tea Party Freedom Caucus, to shut down the government in October over the debt ceiling as they have tried to do in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Edward Kleinbard, who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “The Debt-Ceiling Crisis is Real” and the likelihood that Mick Mulvaney, the Tea Party zealot who is now the White House Budget Director and his boss Trump, could destroy the full faith and credit of the United States and take away America’s greatest economic advantage of having the U.S. dollar the world’s reserve currency.
We begin with Donald Trump inflaming the combustible situation with North Korea with name-calling and threats that play to his base but could ignite a catastrophic war. Norman Ornstein, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than it Was” whose forthcoming book is “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not Yet Deported” joins us. We discuss whether there is a method to Trump’s madness in continually riling up his base with overheated attacks on his enemies while constructing an alternative reality via propaganda pumped out by Fox News and Sinclair. In addition to unlimited financial backing from billionaires and on-going efforts to suppress the vote, would this be enough to keep him in power? Particularly as long as the Democrats fail to exhibit leadership and offer a narrative beyond Trump is a disaster and if you vote for him you’re an idiot, a refrain which Hillary Clinton ran on unsuccessfully.
Then we get an assessment of why South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has faced six no-confidence votes in parliament and how he dodged the latest bullet in a 189 to 177 vote despite mounting evidence of his corrupt ties to the wealthy Gupta brothers. Ambassador John Campbell, a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria who was political counselor to the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria during South Africa’s first non-racial election and is the author of “Morning in South Africa”, joins us to discuss how long the ruling ANC can excuse corruption while clinging to the moral authority bequeathed to them by Mandela.
Then finally we examine the sudden reversal of the Justice Department in withdrawing support from a case before the Supreme Court challenging how voters were purged from the rolls in the important swing state of Ohio.Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School who served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, joins us to discuss how much the Trump Justice Department’s switching to support Ohio’s aggressive purging of voter rolls in the middle of a case is tied to the Administration’s wider efforts at voter suppression via the Kobach Commission.
We begin with the worsening situation in Venezuela following the electoral coup by the unpopular Maduro government which has defied the will of the majority in a power grab that has shut down the opposition, arrested its leaders and exposed divisions within the ranks of the military. Alejandro Velasco, a historian of modern Latin America at New York University and author of “Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela” joins us to discuss whether in a country racked by crime and awash with guns, the opposition will turn to armed resistance. We will also assess the likelihood of a split within the military between junior officers who want to re-establish constitutional order and the top leadership whose loyalty to the government has been ensured by Maduro who has lavished generals with economic spoils and allowed their active participation in the lucrative drug trade.
Then we will look into the unusual unity on the U.N. Security Council in their unanimous condemnation of North Korea as the world body ramped up sanctions on the isolated country whose exports of coal, seafood, iron ore, lead and cheap labor are now blocked. Kyung Moon Hwang, a professor of history at the University of Southern California and author of “Rationalizing Korea: The Rise of the Modern State”, joins us to discuss the possibility of imaginative diplomacy ending the stalemate if the U.S. were to offer the North a peace treaty and refuse to be the enemy anymore, thus removing the glue that holds the Kim regime in power.
Then finally we will investigate the real reasons behind the opioid crisis in America and why the epidemic is not being dealt with effectively. Stephan Schwartz, the editor of the daily web publication The Schwartzreport.net joins us to discuss his article in the journal Explore, “America’s Deadly Opioid Epidemic From Which Everyone But the Users Profits”.