We begin with the first round of presidential elections in France and go to Paris to speak with Richard Robert, the Executive Editor of the Paris Innovation Review who knows some of the candidates personally.  We will discuss the peculiar affection that three of the four leading candidates Melenchon, Fillon and Le Pen have for Vladimir Putin and the possibility that France may go back to the 1930’s and end up with a choice between a communist and a fascist in the next round. We will also analyze the reasons why the French appear to be less afraid of Russia and the east and more afraid of the south in terms of immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

Then, because the youth vote in key to this election since youth unemployment is at 25%, we will speak with Clemence Penard, a 21 year-old law student at the Pantheon-Assas University in Paris who studies criminology, sociology, international law and politics.  She joins us to discuss the sophisticated campaign outreach by Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon with the fascist candidate employing a good ground game and the Communist exhibiting the most tech-savvy use of holograms, YouTube and video games with a Robin Hood theme of stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

Then finally we will examine the impact of the global demonstrations in yesterday’s March For Science in support of science and in protest of the Trump Administration’s denial of climate change, disregard for facts and budget cuts on research for medicine and for monitoring global warming. Lawrence Krauss, the director for the Origins Project at Arizona State University and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, joins us to discuss whether in standing up for science and against junk science, the demonstrations in the nation’s capitol and across the country and around the world will have any impact on the Trump Administration.

Background Briefing

Could France End Up With a Choice Between a Communist and a Fascist?

The Youth Vote in the French Election

The Impact of the March for Science

SHOW NOTES

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We begin with more heated rhetoric from the White House and accusations of “alarming ongoing provocations” from a country that the Secretary of State just said “has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it”.  That country, Iran, is the same country which the Trump Administration on April 18 just certified as abiding by the nuclear of 2015, the same Obama deal that Trump promised to tear up. Joining us to try to make sense of the flip-flopping and incoherence of Trump’s Middle East policy, which is headed up by his son-in-law who has no government or diplomatic experience other than being in New York real estate, is Mansour Farhang, a professor of international relations at Bennington College. He resigned as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations when Khomeini’s regime refused to accept the U.N.’s recommendations to release its U.S. hostages.

Then with Attorney General Jeff Sessions poised to revive Nancy Reagan’s “war on drugs” prioritizing his personal obsession against marijuana over the very real problem of a nation-wide opiate addiction scourge, we will speak Norm Stamper, a retired Seattle police chief and advisory board member of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a drug policy advocacy group. The author of “To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police”, he joins us to discuss Sessions’ coming war on legal marijuana.

Then finally we will discuss President Trump’s threat to kill the Affordable Care Act by taking away subsidies to insurers as a way to get Democrats to negotiate changes in the 2010 health law.  Wendell Potter, who was chief spokesman for CIGNA and head of corporate communications at Humana before becoming a senior analyst on healthcare at the Center for Public Integrity  joins us in the studio to discuss this cruel and callous tactic designed to make Trump’s prediction that Obamacare would “explode”, come true.

Background Briefing

Syria, Then North Korea and Now Iran as Enemy Number One

Jeff Sessions' Coming War on Legal Marijuana

Trump's Cruel and Callous Tactic to Make Obamacare "Explode"

SHOW NOTES

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We begin with the firing today of Bill O’Reilly, Fox News’s top rated anchor which was announced in a letter to staff by Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlin. Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Farleigh Dickinson University and author of “Fox News and American Politics: How One Channel Shapes American Politics and Society”, joins us to discuss the accumulating accusations of sexual harassment that continue to emerge even after The New York Times revealed settlements with five women who were paid a total of $13 million. This prompted at least 60 advertisers to boycott O’Reilly and Fox and, with the O’Reilly scandal on top of the Ailes scandal, apparently the message finally reached Rupert Murdoch that serial sexual harassment is not only bad, it’s bad for business.

Then we will look into the snap election called for June 8 by Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May in the hope that she can increase her majority to get through the next two years of the “Brexit” transition out of the E.U. The author of “Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union”, Harold Clarke, a Professor of Political and Policy Studies at the University of Texas, joins us. He is co-investigator of the British Election Study and a visiting professor at the University of Manchester and we will discuss the likelihood that the U.K’s. opposition Labour Party will suffer even greater loses that they did in the last election.

Then finally we will speak with Christopher Arndt, who serves on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and is the author of a new book “The Right’s Road To Serfdom: The Danger of Conservatism Unbound From Hayek to Trump”. He joins us to discuss the “freedom fraud” foisted on America by the Koch Brothers and the authoritarian strong-man conservatism that drives the American Right today which run counter to the principles of liberty that conservatives and libertarians espouse.

Background Briefing

Fox News' Top Rated Anchor and Serial Sexual Harasser Fired

A Snap Election in Britain

Authoritarian Conservatism and the Koch Brothers' "Freedom Fraud"

SHOW NOTES

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We begin with the fraud-ridden and rigged referendum in Turkey that the Europeans and half of the Turkish population are disputing, but nevertheless, the President of the United States gave it his blessing and called Turkey’s new dictator Erdogan to congratulate him on his “victory”. Turkish-born Asli Bali, the Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies and a professor of law at the UCLA School of Law, joins us. We will discuss the possibility that Trump is either acting out of ignorance, amateurism or cynicism in undercutting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe who have disputed the vote and complained about the un-level playing field, and the educated and urban half of Turkey who are now under the thumb of a repressive and illegitimate regime bent on further eroding their democratic rights, the freedom of the press and Turkey’s secular traditions.

Then on this last day to file income tax returns, we will look into Donald Trump’s continuing refusal to release his taxes as he and House Speaker Paul Ryan prepares a “tax reform” package that will benefit billionaires, hurt the poor, con the middle class and blow up the deficit. Edward Kleinbard, a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, joins us to discuss the Democrat’s demand that Trump reveal his taxes before the tax code is overhauled with changes that will further enrich Trump and his family.

Then we will get an update on the special election in Georgia where the Democrats are pinning their hopes on an upset victory in a Republican district which could be seen as an early rejection of the Trump administration before its first one hundred days. Andra Gillespie, a professor of Political Science at Emory University who worked as an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, joins us to discuss the results that require 50% plus one vote for an outright win by Jon Ossoff the Democratic challenger, otherwise there will be a June 20 runoff that could favor the Republicans.

Background Briefing

Trump Praises a Dictator on Stealing an Election

Show Us Your Taxes Before So-Called "Tax Reform"

Results in Georgia's Special Election

SHOW NOTES

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We begin with Donald Trump’s recent discovery that dropping bombs and threatening war distracts the public and the press from the inquiries into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians and the many questions yet to be answered about Trump and his team’s financial ties to oligarchs close to Putin. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harpers in legal affairs and national security, joins us to analyze the latest explosive revelations from the former British MP Louise Mensch who claims intelligence sources say that Carter Page went to Moscow with a videotape of Donald Trump offering Putin a change in U.S. policy to Russia in exchange for his help in hacking our election.  We will investigate this and other claims that General Flynn was compromised by the Russians and coordinated with Putin to have fake news created by the Russian state fed into the campaign to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump.

Then we will get a further analysis of the narrow victory in Sunday’s referendum in Turkey with European election monitors questioning the legitimacy of the results while the winner, Turkey’s new dictator-for-life President Erdogan, admonishes them imperiously with “Know Your Place”.  Nicholas Danforth, a senior policy analyst for the national security program at the Bipartisan Policy Center joins us to discuss his new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center “Dark Cloud of Illegitimacy Hovers Over Turkey Vote” and Trump’s call congratulating Erdogan which undercuts the European case against Erdogan.

Then finally we will examine alternatives to the collision course the U.S. is on with North Korea as its regime warns that thermonuclear war could break out at any minute. Adam Mount, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress who is the project director at the Council on Foreign Relations independent task force chaired by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, joins us to discuss their new report “A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia”.

Background Briefing

Explosive Revelations of Trump's Collusion With Putin

Trump Congratulates Erdogan on His Illegitimate Victory

Alternative to the Collision Course We Are on With North Korea

SHOW NOTES

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We will begin with North Korea’s failure to launch a missile in conjunction with the “Day of the Sun” celebrations commemorating the birth of Kim Il Sung. We will look into speculation that the U.S. has a covert program to sabotage North Korea’s missile and nuclear program and speak with John Pike, one of the world’s leading experts on defense, space and intelligence policy. He is the Director of GlobalSecurity.org and previously worked for more than two decades with the Federation of American Scientists where he directed the Space Policy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects. He joins us to discuss whether the U.S. has managed to insert a kind of “Stuxnet” malware into the North Korean’s missile and nuclear program or if Kim Jong Un is simply pushing the envelope too hard in a rush to get a long range missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

Then we will get an analysis of an apparent shift underway in the White House with the adults in the room beginning to take over as Donald Trump seems to have recognized the need to govern and that ideologues like Stephen Bannon offer little in that regard beyond heated rhetoric. Andrew Nathan, a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and the author of “China’s Transition: the Tiananmen Papers”, joins us to discuss the Trump Administration’s tilt towards China and whether that means Trump has given up on working with Putin and reneged on whatever covert deal they might have had.

Then finally we will get an update on the referendum in Turkey where from early returns, it appears the Turks have voted away democracy in favor of dictatorship. Henri Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who served as a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, joins us to discuss President Erdogan’s the new powers that will enable his megalomaniacal vision of himself as Turkey’s new Sultan who can now rule until 2029.

Background Briefing

Did the US Sabotage a North Korean Missile Launch?

Trump Tilts to China and Away From Russia

Erdogan's Narrow Win in a Rigged Referendum

SHOW NOTES

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We begin with the looming nuclear showdown between the U.S. and North Korea as Pyongyang gets ready for Saturday’s “Day of the Sun” celebration of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. With a U.S. carrier task force heading for Korean waters and Donald Trump tweeting that Kim is “looking for trouble” and that Trump would “solve the problem”, we will speak with a former CIA officer Donald Gregg who was Vice President George H.W. Bush’s national security advisor and United States Ambassador to South Korea. He joins us to discuss the “full range of options to remove the threat to the American people and to our allies and partners in the region” that General McMaster has said President Trump asked for and whether there will be another North Korean nuclear test or missile launch accompanying Saturday’s celebration.

Then we will examine the conservative pipeline to the Supreme Court, the title of a New Yorker article by Jeffrey Toobin that profiles Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society who has succeeding in getting John Roberts, Samuel Alito and now Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Caroline Fredrickson, the President of the American Constitution Society, the progressive alternative to the Federalist Society, joins us to explain how Leo, a zealous foe of abortion, has built the farm team of judicial nominees and reared a generation of originalists to turn the American judiciary as far to the right as possible.

Then finally we will get an update on Saturday’s marches across the country and around the world on Tax Day, April 15, and speak with the organizer of the Los Angeles Tax March, Delia Brown, an artist and activist who is demanding Donald Trump release his tax returns. She joins us to describe both the serious side of the demonstration with Congressmen and celebrity speakers, and the fun side with a giant inflated chicken with a Trump hairstyle and golden beak and claws that appropriately is made in China, which will be joining the march.

Background Briefing

The Looming Nuclear Showdown With North Korea

The Right Wing Anti-Abortion Pipeline to the Supreme Court

Calling Out Don the Chicken on Tax Day

SHOW NOTES

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We will begin with the organizer of a national and international protest that will take place on Saturday April 15, otherwise known as Tax Day.  Jennifer Taub, a law professor at Vermont Law School, whose research focuses on corruption, corporate political spending and the links between money and politics, joins us to discuss how she was inspired by Kellyanne Conway’s dismissive remark that voters don’t care whether Trump releases his tax returns. She, along with some comedians and the creator of “House of Cards” have created a movement that has stimulated 130 national and global events in a Tax March taking place on Saturday to point out that while ordinary folks have to pay taxes, Trump does not even feel he owes voters the transparency of whether or not he pays taxes.  Meanwhile Trump and the Republicans are preparing what they refer to a tax reform that will give even more tax breaks to the rich and begin the dismantling of Social Security.

Then we will speak with Steven Pifer, the Director of the Brookings Institution’s Arms Control Initiative. He served on the National Security Council as senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia and joins us to discuss today’s meeting in Moscow between Secretary of State Tillerson and Vladimir Putin. We will discuss the wild swings in U.S. foreign policy of late and speculate whether Putin regrets helping elect Trump now that his former friend finds it beneficial to distract the public from the Russia investigation by bombing Putin’s Syrian ally Assad.

Then finally George Lakoff joins us in the studio. He is a professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley and author of “The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant”. We will discuss what strategies of resistance are forming in response to the Trump Administration in the absence of any strategy coming from the Democratic Party, and look into ways in which progressives can engage conservatives who support Trump even though he has no empathy for them or the issues they care about.

Background Briefing

Organizer of Saturday's Tax March to Get Trump to Release His Tax Returns

Putin's Buyer's Remorse Over Trump

Strategies of Resistance in the Absence of a Democratic Party

SHOW NOTES

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