James Henry – Trump’s Gangster Partner Offers Up Putin

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On August 29 we got an update on the Russia inquiry following stories in The New York Times and The Washington Post that reveal efforts to contact Putin’s inner circle by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and a Russian-born gangster and business partner of Trump’s, Felix Sater who is a childhood friend of Cohen’s. James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who is a Global Justice Fellow at Yale, a co-founder with David Cay Johnston of DCReport.org and the author of “Blood Bankers”, joins us to discuss a rider attached to an appropriations bill by Florida Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis blocking the Mueller investigation and whether or not the special counsel will come up with a “smoking gun” that could convince Trump’s base that he should be impeached.

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Marc Rotenberg – DOJ Targets Political Protesters

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On August 16 Ian spoke with Marc Rotenberg, the President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, EPIC, 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”. Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is demanding that the web hosting company turn over data detailing all visits to an anti-Trump protest website.

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Lili Bayer – Sebastian Gorka, Global Alt-Right Chameleon

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On August 10 Ian spoke 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. We examine Gorka’s extraordinary putdown of Secretary of State Tillerson and his attempt to calm the situation with North Korea.

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Edward Kleinbard – Dodging a Looming Debt Ceiling Crisis

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On August 9 Ian spoke with 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 the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. They 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.

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Bob Kincaid – What’s the Matter With West Virginia?

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On August 6 Ian spoke with Bob Kincaid the co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign and the President of the Coal River Mountain Watch to learn about Trump’s popularity in a state with the nation’s worst opioid addiction crisis and the highest death rate from opioids yet is the most dependent on Medicaid funds to address the crisis as Trump plans to cut Medicaid and proposed a 95% cut in funding for the agency leading the charge against the country’s opioid epidemic.

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Allan Lichtman – Is Ignorance Impeachable?

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On August 3 Ian spoke with the American political historian who teaches at American University, Allan Lichtman. He is the author of “The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President”, a system that has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984 including the last election when, against all odds, he predicted a Trump victory. His latest book is “The Case For Impeachment” and they discussed whether Trump’s alarming lack of qualification for the job of president that the transcripts reveal, could be considered grounds for his impeachment.

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Phil Gunson – Venezuela’s Anti-Democratic Constituent Assembly

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On July 30 Ian spoke with Phil Gunson, the Andes Project Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group. He joins us to discuss today’s vote that the opposition are boycotting for a Constituent Assembly that will end democratic representation in Venezuela leading to the possible arrest of elected legislators and the installation of a Cuba-style government led by President Maduro who is supported by less than 20% of his countrymen.

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Fadel Gheit – U.S. Sanctions, a Loss for Russia, a Win for Europe

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On July 26 Ian spoke with Fadel Gheit, the former Senior Energy Strategist for Oil and Gas with Oppenheimer and Company to discuss what inroads U.S. shale gas and Qatari LNG have made into the European market and how much the new sanctions will affect Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany that bypasses Ukraine and Poland. The House recently passed a sanctions bill that would impact the European gas market dominated by Russia’s Gazprom.

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Thomas Nichols – American Dismissal of Knowledge and Expertise

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On July 24, Ian spoke with Thomas Nichols, a professor of national security affairs in the National Security Affairs Department of the Naval War College and author of the new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters”. They discussed his belief that “the abysmal literacy, both political and general, of the American public is the foundation for all these problems. It is the soil in which all of the other dysfunctions have taken root and prospered, with the 2016 election only its most recent expression”.

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James Marone – Finding Republican Morality in Healthcare Debate

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On July 19 Ian spoke with  James Morone, a professor of Political Science at Brown University and editor of “Healthcare Policy in the USA and Germany” whose latest book is “The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office”, joined Ian to discuss how not just Obamacare is proving to have a powerful political constituency, but also Medicaid is proving durable since it covers the costs of retirement homes for most of the nation’s elderly citizens. Given these facts Republicans are having a hard time repealing and replacing Obamacare, a seven-year-long mission if not obsession that is in disarray.

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James Kirchick – How the GOP Became Russian Collaborators

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On July 18, Ian spoke with James Kirchick, a journalist and foreign correspondent who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age”, who discussed his article at Politico “How the GOP Became the Party of Putin”. Since Trump’s core supporters live in a bubble of delusion impervious to facts and evidence, they assessed the extent to which Trump’s advisors like Bannon and Gorka have followed the playbook of Putin’s media guru Vladislav Surkov to create a parallel universe of alternative facts in which there is no objective truth, but where only subjective truth matters.

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Alexander Klimburg – Even the Russians Can’t Control the Algorithms

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On July 16, Ian spoke with Alexander Klimburg, a program director at The Hague Center for Strategic Studies about his new book, just out, “The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace”. He joined Ian to discuss the weaponization of information and the global struggle over the future of the Internet with democracies wanting to keep the Internet free and open while autocracies like China and Russia argue for sovereign control of information using appeals to nationalism to control their populations through censorship and propaganda.

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Nancy MacLean – The Man Who Planned the Death of Liberal Democracy

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On July 12, Ian spoke with  the author of an important new book “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America”. Nancy MacLean, Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University joins Ian to discuss her latest book, just out which explains how we got to the current situation where just two plutocrats, the Koch brothers appear to have captured the congress and are having their agenda enacted at the expense of the American people. She explained how James Buchanan, an economist out to preserve white privilege in the Jim Crow South, figured out a way to deploy plutocratic power while preventing the majority of Americans from using their voting power to better their lives.

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Timothy McCarthy – Our Multiple Alternative Political Universes

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 On July 6 Ian spoke with Timothy McCarthy, a Lecturer on History, Literature and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “”Protest Nation: Words That Inspired a Generation” and “The Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings or the People’s Historian”. They discussed the extent to which Trump has laid the groundwork with his supporters by convincing them that the press propagates “fake news” so that when the real news about Trump’s ties to Putin comes out, 35% of Americans won’t believe it.

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David Rothkopf – After Trump, Then What?

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On July 6 Ian spoke with David Rothkopf, a columnist for The Washington Post and a visiting professor at Columbia University and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. They discussed Donald Trump’s unprecedented attacks on American political leaders and institutions on foreign soil as he stood next to Poland’s authoritarian leader who is cracking down on his press and was no doubt pleased to hear Trump’s attacks on the American Press, along with his trashing of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the U.S. Intelligence community. The jumping-off point of their conversation is a new NPR/PBS/Marist poll that finds 54% of Americans think Trump’s dealings with Russia were unethical or illegal while 73% of Republicans believe Trump did nothing wrong with only 4% saying he has done something illegal.

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Andrew Gumbel – Trump’s Bogus Voter Fraud Commission

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On July 3 Ian spoke with Andrew Gumbel, an award-winning investigative reporter and author of “Down For the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America”. They discussed the bogus commission that Donald Trump has set up chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who is the country’s leading crusader against the imaginary scourge of voter fraud. Needless to say, Trump’s commission which is not looking into the role of the Russian hacking of our election but is comprised of voter-suppression zealots, will be using the specter of voter fraud to deny the votes of minorities who vote Democratic as has already happened in Kobach’s Kansas. We also look into why the majority of the nation’s Secretaries of State have rejected the commission’s demand for personal data on voter’s voting habits, partial social security numbers and other personal data which will be housed on an unsecured website.

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Elaine Pagels – SCOTUS Un-Separates Church and State

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On June 28 Ian spoke with  Elaine Pagels, a Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of “Revelations: Vision, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation”, joins us to discuss how churches are now eligible for public funds. We will assess the warning issued in an impassioned dissent from the bench by Justice Sotomayor that the decision “discounts centuries of history and jeopardizes the government’s ability to remain secular” and how right wing “Christian” fundamentalists cheering the ruling like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Vice President Pence could use the decision to drive their agenda of promoting religious schools and voucher programs to the extent that, quoting Justice Sotomayor, “leads us to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment”.

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Victoria Bruce – China Monopolizes Rare Earths

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On June 28 Ian spoke with  Victoria Bruce, the author of a new book just out “Sellout: How Washington Gave Away America’s Technological Soul and One Man’s Fight to Bring it Home”. They discussed her alarming and true story of one citizen’s fight to preserve a U.S. stake in the future of clean energy and the rare earth elements essential to high-tech industries and national defense. We will examine why China has a monopoly over rare earth minerals and why the U.S. let it happen.

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Masha Gessen – Oliver Stone and Putin’s Trump Miscalculation

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On June 27 Ian spoke with Masha Gessen, the author of “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin” who is now a contributing writer for The New York Times where she has an article “How Putin Seduced Oliver Stone, and Trump”. They discussed her critique of the four, hour-long interviews of Vladimir Putin that Oliver Stone made for Showtime which were widely panned as a platform for Putin to parry sycophantic softball questions into a propaganda exercise. We will also examine whether Putin’s meddling in the U.S. election has backfired.

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Eric Segall – Roe v. Wade if Justice Kennedy Retires

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On June 25 Eric Segall, a Professor of Law at Georgia State College of Law, joined Ian to analyze the impact on the country of a shift to the hard right with Trump appointing another arch conservative to the Supreme Court, given that Trump’s new lawyer Jay Sekulow is the former lawyer for the anti-abortion evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

Hear the Full Interview Beginning with Erwin Chemerinsky