We begin with a veteran journalist and editor of a progressive publication whose interview with Stephen Bannon appears to have been the final straw that led to the firing of the White House’s chief strategist. Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and a former chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee whose latest book is “Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility”, joins us. We will discuss his article at the American Prospect ”Steve Bannon, Unrepentant” and the battle lines in the White House that Bannon declared between the economic nationalists who want to make American great again and Bannon’s enemies at the Defense Department, State, Treasury and the National Economic Council, and those inside the White House who want to “contain” Trump. Now that Bannon is gone, will the war still rage on with Trump poised to stir up ethno-nationalism again on Tuesday in Arizona where he will insist on building the border wall and may pardon a racist sheriff famous for his harsh treatment of Latinos?
Then we speak with Robert Weissman, the President of Public Citizen about the contrast between Trump’s plans to slash government spending and cut the budgets of agencies that protect public health and the environment and help low-income Americans, and Trump and his family’s lavish spending on frequent travel to and from luxury resorts at home and abroad for which the taxpayer picks up the tab for the 1,100 Secret Service agents protecting Trump and his family. Spending which has drained the Secret Service budget with costs already meeting federally mandated caps for overtime and expenses meant to last for all of 2017.
Then finally we get an analysis of why there have been four expensive ships of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet involved in collisions or run aground this year prompting the Navy’s top admiral to order a fleet-wide “operational pause”. A former commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy who served aboard the USS Ticonderoga, Christopher Preble, the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and author of “The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe”, joins us to discuss the latest collision off Singapore between a tanker and the USS John S. McCain that has left 10 sailors missing.
We begin with growing awareness that Donald Trump is dangerously unqualified to be president and that he is neither stable nor competent as Republican Senator Bob Corker suggested, yet he is wildly popular with 80% of Republican voters. Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace joins us to discuss the tribal division in America between those inside government who have dealt with this deluded and possibly deranged individual in the Oval Office and the 65% of Americans who are beginning to understand the deeply embarrassing and frightening nature of this electoral aberration while on the other side, 35% of the country are happy with the economy and love what Trump is doing trashing the press and praising the Confederacy. And now since Stephen Bannon has his hands back on his Breitbart weapons, we can expect the country to be further polarized by right wing radicals who see themselves at war with the Marxist liberal establishment, globalists and cosmopolitans.
Then with Trump ignoring the 40,000 overwhelmingly peaceful marchers in Boston yesterday protesting a gathering of about 100 neo-Nazis as he tweeted out “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston”, we will examine the role of the remaining white supremacist and fascist sympathizer in the White House, Sebastian Gorka, who with his wife Katharine apparently influence Trump’s thinking and have managed to curtail Homeland Security’s efforts to monitor white supremacist domestic terrorists in the country. David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University joins us to discuss the Trump Administration’s willful blindness towards who is responsible by far for most of the domestic terrorism in America.
Then finally we look into the use of vehicles as instruments of terrorism both in Charlottesville and Barcelona and speak with Mia Bloom, an expert on terrorism at Georgia State University and author of “Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror” and the forthcoming “Small Arms: Children and Terror”. She joins us to discuss the teenage terrorist involved in the Barcelona massacre and the different approach Spanish authorities take towards their Muslim communities as opposed to the Trump Administration’s demonization of whole communities who now no longer feel they can cooperate with local police.
We begin with a prominent Republican Senator Bob Corker sounding the alarm today that Trump hasn’t demonstrated the stability or competence to be successful and that radical changes are needed at the White House. An expert on the GOP, conservatism, the Tea Party, social movements, race and elections, Joseph Lowndes, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon and the author of “From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism”, joins us. We discuss the despair being expressed by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a time when President Trump is defending neo-Nazi’s, one of whom mowed down pedestrians with his car in Charlottesville killing Heather Heyer, at a time when a similar terrorist act for which the Islamic State has claimed credit, has taken place in Barcelona where a van mowed down tourists killing 13 and injuring 50. We will discuss Trump’s focus on Confederate statues at a time when moral leadership in renouncing acts of terrorism is needed both at home and abroad.
Then we speak with Leonard Zeskind, the President of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and author of “Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream”. He joins us to discuss the changing face of white nationalism and neo-Nazism in America with clean-cut, college-educated leaders like Richard Spencer exploiting the fear of demographic changes that will make whites a minority in this country, to inflame the anxiety that simply being born white will no longer confer privilege.
Then finally, now that President Trump, who ran as a businessman who would attract the best and brightest of America’s CEO’s to his administration, had to preemptively disband his White House Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum before an exodus of CEO’s abandoned it, we speak with the Executive Director of ColorOfChange, Rashad Robinson. He has led the effort for some time to persuade America’s top CEO’s who joined the president’s councils to unsure that Trump’s actions comport with their own corporate cultures which stress inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
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”.