Why Trump Should Not Have Our Nuclear Arsenal At His Fingertips
Trump is Both a Threat to Our Democracy and a Product of Its Weaknesses
Erdogan Inflames Tensions Between the US and Turkey
We will begin with President Trump’s threat to go after NBC’s FCC license because he does not like the news that they are reporting about his own Secretary of State calling him a moron and now revelations that Trump called for the U.S. nuclear arsenal to be increased tenfold. An historian of science who specializes in the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear secrecy, Alex Wellerstein, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology, joins us to discuss how different Trump is from previous presidents who upon learning of the power they have at their fingertips to destroy the world, felt the weight of enormous responsibility that came with their stewardship of the nuclear arsenal. But unlike his predecessors who found it a sobering burden, Trump sees nukes as instruments of power to be used, as he has said cavalierly, “otherwise why do we have them?”, and will also look into the sobering truth is that there is nothing stopping Trump from unleashing America’s arsenal of 7,100 nuclear weapons if he feels like it.
Then we speak with Norman Ornstein, a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the co-author of a new book, just out, “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported”. We discuss how Trump is both a threat to our democracy and a product of its weaknesses and look ahead to the challenges we face in fixing our broken democracy so that we don’t have more Trump’s elected by a minority via the reactionary Electoral College. And because of demographic changes underway from the depopulation of rural Red States and the concentration of populations in urban areas, in a few decades 60% of the U.S. Senate will be elected by 40% of the American population.
Then finally we examine the growing tensions between the U.S. and Turkey as Turkey’s authoritarian leader becomes more and more unhinged with his government-controlled press demonizing America to the point where the U.S. is blamed for everything including earthquakes. A former senior advisor and foreign affairs expert to the State Department during the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, David Phillips, joins us to discuss how the U.S. and Turkey are on a collision course because of a trial in New York that will expose Erdogan and his family’s massive corruption.
We speak first with Steve Andreasen, who was director for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council and is currently a national security consultant at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Is Trump Scheming to Kill the Iran Deal?” and assess whether the adults in the room, Generals Mattis and McMaster and Secretary of State Tillerson got rolled by the hardliners like Bannon who have Trump’s ear. Although the adults were able to get Trump to certify that Iran was sticking to the P5+1 agreement for now, the price they paid was to have Bannon put in charge of a group of ideologues who will look for a way to de-certify Iran within the next 90 days to find a pretext to resume sanctions and open the way for military action.
Then we examine further the likelihood of Trump starting a war with Iran and speak with Dr. Trita Parsi, the co-founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy”. He joins us to discuss his article at Alternet “This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War With Iran: Trump plans to sabotage the nuclear deal” and explain how Saudi Arabia’s ruling family wants to fight Iran to the last American soldier and what a gift it would be to the hardline mullahs and Revolutionary Guards to have the “great Satan” go to war against Iran.
Then finally we look into why Trump is imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s new dictator Maduro for killing democracy via a phony referendum while praising Erdogan for his recent electoral coup as Turkey’s wannabe dictator rolls back democracy and jails thousands of political opponents. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director for National Security and international Policy at the Center for American Progress where his research focusses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss Erdogan’s show trials underway and the reshuffling of the top brass of Turkey’s military.
We begin with the possibility that Donald Trump has compromised a vital intelligence operation against the Islamic State and speak with a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent who investigated and supervised highly sensitive international terrorism cases such as the East Africa embassy bombings by Al Qaeda and their attack on the USS Cole. Ali Soufan joins us to discuss how painstakingly difficult it is to penetrate terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS compared to how easy it is to blow an operation as apparently Trump has done, and his latest book, “Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State”, which is a compelling and definitive account of how and why bin Laden’s ideology keeps rising from the dead with his son Hamza now poised to take over the growing organization that his father founded.
Then we look into today’s White House meeting between President Trump and President Erdogan of Turkey that was bound to end in disappointment for Erdogan who is demanding the extradition of the cleric he blames for the coup against him, Gulen, and that the U.S. cut ties with the Syrian Kurds, who are the only fighting force the Pentagon can count on to defeat ISIS and take their Syrian capitol Raqqa. Max Hoffman, a Policy Analyst on National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress who focuses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss Trump’s business ties in Turkey and why the U.S. president was almost alone in congratulating Erdogan’s power grab in narrowly winning the recent disputed referendum.
Then finally we speak with Joshua Landis,the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who writes “Syria Comment” a daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics. He joins us to discuss a comparison that the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has made between the Assad regime and the Nazis, following the revelation that a crematorium has been installed in a Syrian prison to dispose of the bodies of the thousands of Syrians the regime systematically murders.
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.
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”.
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.
We begin with the role of Trump’s friend Rudy Giuliani, who was apparently behind the infamous Comey letter that Hillary Clinton blames for her loss, and examine his latest and sleaziest machination as he now lobbies for the release of Reza Zarrah, Iran’s biggest sanction-buster, to help out Turkey’s dictator Erdogan who is implicated in profiting from the Turkish/Iranian businessman’s racket of selling gold to the Iranians on phony invoices for food and medicine that generated $11 billion in profits. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at Columbia University and author of “An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdogan’s Dictatorship”, joins us to discuss how Giuliani and his partner former Attorney General Mukasey are trying to get Trump, who fired the U.S. Attorney prosecuting Zarrah, to replace Preet Bharara with Mukasey’s son Marc, so that he would be in charge of the prosecution of the man his father is trying to get out of jail.
Then we will speak with Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch who served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. He joins us to discuss the investigation by Wells Fargo Bank that led to its announcement that it would claw back $75 million in severance it paid to two senior executives, former CEO John Stumpf and community bank head Carrie Tolstedt, who presided over the fake accounts scandal where Wells Fargo customers were ending up with an average of six accounts per household whether they wanted them or not.
Then finally we will go to Wichita, Kansas and speak with Neal Allen, a professor of political science at Wichita State University to get an update on the special congressional election taking place today to fill the seat left by Mike Pompeo who Trump appointed to head up the CIA. With the polls having closed 40 minutes ago, we will look into whether this solidly Republican district could be a bellwether for a Democratic resurgence as resistance to the Trump Administration grows.
We begin with escalating threats from Turkey’s President Erdogan against the Dutch government he accuses of Nazism as he cuts off high level diplomatic contacts and threatens to flood Europe with Syrian refugees in camps in Turkey. Michael Werz, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress’s National Security Team who specializes in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora in Germany and Holland, joins us to discuss the worsening quarrel with Europe that Turkey’s autocratic leader appears to using cynically to fire up Turkish nationalism and anti-European sentiments ahead of a referendum in Turkey on April 16 aimed at giving Erdogan even more power to stifle the press, purge the military, judiciary and academia and create more problems for Turkey and its neighbors which ironically is the exact opposite of Erdogan’s promise when he first came to power.
Then we examine the Congressional Budget Office’s finding that Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act designed to repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act, will increase the number of Americans without healthcare coverage by 24 million, making a liar our of President Trump who repeatedly promised that the Republican alternative would provide universal coverage at lower prices. Dr. John Geyman, a professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine whose new book is “Crisis in Healthcare: Corporate Power Versus the Common Good”, joins us to discuss how “Ryancare” could be such a disaster for the American people and the GOP that it might make single payer healthcare a realistic option in the future.
Then finally we look into the reasons behind Trump’s firing of Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his rumored replacement Marc Mukasey, who happens to be former Fox News head Roger Ailes’s personal lawyer. Craig Harrington, a researcher at Media Matters who edited the new article at Media Matters,“U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was Investigating Fox News When Trump Fired Him”, joins us to discuss an impending cover-up of an epidemic of sexual harassment at Fox News.
We begin with the poisoning of a Kremlin critic for the second time and the kangaroo court conviction of Alexei Navalny on trumped-up charges that bars him from running for president next year against Vladimir Putin. Joining us is Russia expert, Kathryn Stoner, the Director of International Policy Studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. We discuss the new bill, The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017, introduced today by a bipartisan group of six senators designed to prevent President Trump from easing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval and assess why Trump continues a conciliatory approach to Russia and doggedly refuses to criticize Putin while a cloud of suspicion about Trump’s legitimacy hangs over him and his presidency because of the intelligence Community’s findings that Putin interfered in our recent election to help elect Trump.
Then with the announcement that White House will be providing press credentials to the Washington Bureau Chief for Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy website, we will look into the extent to which Donald Trump is informed by Alex Jones whose disgusting false assertions are echoed faithfully and repeatedly by Trump. Arthur Goldwag, the author of “Isms & Ologies, Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies” and “The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right”, joins us to discuss how every recent crazy statement Trump has made from 5 million illegal voters, terrorist incidents deliberately ignored by the press and protesters being paid, to the crime rate being the highest in 47 years, all come from the fevered fantasies of Alex Jones. Not to mention the Obama birther conspiracy, the 9/11 truther conspiracy and the thousands of imaginary Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.
Then finally we discuss the two red lines that Turkey’s president laid down in last night’s conversation with President Trump, demanding that the U.S. cut ties with the Kurds, America’s “boots on the ground” and most capable fighters taking on the Islamic State, as well as an insistence that the U.S. hand over Fethullah Gulen, a U.S. resident living in exile in Pennsylvania. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss this and the report by Amnesty International “Human Slaughterhouse” that documents how the Assad regime murdered 13,000 of its citizens in secret prisons.
We will begin with the stealth attempt by House Republicans to get rid of the Office of Congressional Ethics as their first priority that backfired, igniting a firestorm of protest which prompted Donald Trump to tweet out a message to them to back down in the name of draining the swamp, which they did. Noah Bookbinder, the Executive Director of CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, joins us to discuss the about face reversal of a secret vote of 119 to 74 by House Republicans to strip the independent Office of Congressional Ethics of its powers on day one of the new Congress that was quickly dropped from the rules package of measures the next day due to public outcry which allowed Donald Trump to take credit while House Republicans ended up looking corrupt and weak.
Then we will explore the irony that President Erdogan’s lslamist government in Turkey encourages religious and nationalist hatemongers while jailing a prominent journalist for predicting weeks ago that Islamists might target New Year celebrations. Natana DeLong-Bas, a Professor of Theology at Boston College who researches modern and contemporary Islamic thought and practice, joins us to discuss whether Erdogan is trying to create his own Islamic State in Turkey while the terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria that he previously enabled, are now attacking him for turning on them and allying with Russia.
Then finally we will speak with Daniel Rodgers, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University whose recent book “Age of Fracture” won the 2012 Bancroft Prize. He has an article at The Guardian “Liberals Risk Becoming a Permanent Minority in America” and we will discuss how anger overrode optimism in the recent election and the need for liberals to find new means of talking truth to Americans and making sure they hear them, while a populist billionaire spins fairy tales and trickle-down fantasies about freeing up the billionaires to make America great again.
We will begin with the New Year’s massacre in Turkey which the Islamic State has taken credit for and assess the exploding blowback to President Erdogan’s misrule across a broad front of issues, not just his earlier support for Islamic State fighters and their entry into Syria, but his resumption of a war against the Kurds, his wholesale purging of teachers, lawyers and judges, and more recently his uncritical embrace of Russia which calls into question Turkey’s membership in NATO. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and author of “The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East” joins us to discuss what it will take for the people of Turkey to wake up to what a dangerous and destructive autocrat they have in Erdogan. As he dismantles democracy, ruins the economy and divides the country between its secular traditions and a resurgent Islamic fundamentalism of the ruling AKP Party, the irony becomes clear that Erdogan and the AKP are increasingly similar in outlook and ideology to the Islamic State terrorists who are just beginning to strike at their former patron.
Then, with the editor of the Wall Street Journal saying that in their coverage of the new Trump Administration, they will not call Trump’s lies, lies, we will explore what the role of the press is likely to be in covering Trump since so far he has written his own rules which the press has dutifully followed, as well as not demanding his tax returns, not getting him to do press conferences, and all the while giving Trump $5 billion’s worth of free media. John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent and author of “People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy” joins us to discuss what can be done to expose the real Donald Trump and whether he is in any way up to the job of president when the press has so far been unable to lay a glove on him while our political opposition appears unwilling to question Trump’s legitimacy let alone his competence to be president.
Gulen Explains His Movement While Turkey’s Leader Purges All Enemies, Real and Imagined
We begin with the op-ed by Fethullah Gulen in Tuesday’s New York Times “I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy” which debunks all claims by Turkey’s President Erdogan that Gulen is the mastermind behind the recent failed coup. Graham Fuller, the former Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA and author of “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East”, joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “The Gulen Movement is Not a Cult – It’s One of the Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today”. We assess whether Washington will give in to the demands and blackmail that Erdogan is using to pressure the Obama Administration to extradite Gulen who Erdogan is using as an excuse to purge Turkey of all enemies, real or imaginary, as this autocratic leader seeks dictatorial powers following the failed coup that he has proclaimed was “a gift from God”.
PA Pollster on Trump’s Lead and How Much Protests are Hurting Clinton
Then we go to the floor of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia and speak with Dr. Terry Madonna, a Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College where he directs the Franklin and Marshall College Poll. A pollster for the Philadelphia Daily News and many other newspapers and television stations in Pennsylvania, he joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s lead in the polls following a bounce from the Republican convention and whether the fratricide on display at the Democratic convention will deny Hillary Clinton a similar bounce in spite of the array of political heavyweights in her corner.
What is Driving the Thousands of “Bernie or Bust” Protesters in Philadelphia?
Then finally we try to comprehend the thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters both inside and outside the convention hall whose boos and chants of “A Vote for Hillary is a Vote for Trump” prompted comedienne and Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman to remark last night “to the Bernie or bust people, you’re being ridiculous”. Will Bunch, an award-winning senior writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and author of “The Bern Identity” joins us to discuss why Bernie’s supporters are even booing him and in spite of him warning them “it’s easy to boo, but it’s harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under a Donald Trump presidency”, they seem determined to disrupt the convention and hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected.
SCOTUS Strikes Down Sham Texas Anti-Abortion Law
We begin with the Supreme Court’s 5 to 3 ruling striking down a restrictive Texas abortion law H.B. 2 that in the name of women’s health was denying Texas women the right to a safe abortion, a fact not lost of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who noted in the majority opinion that “It is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions”.Sarah Slamen, a pro-choice advocate who was forcibly removed from the Texas legislature while testifying after State Senator Wendy Davis had filibustered an anti-abortion bill three years ago, joins us to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold abortion rights and end the sham that Texas Republicans were forcing the shutdown of clinics in the state in the name of protecting women’s health.
Turkey and Israel Restore Relations
Then we go to Istanbul to look into the announcement today by Turkey and Israel that they were restoring relations that were broken off in 2010 after Israeli forces killed Turkish activists aboard a “freedom flotilla” headed for the besieged Gaza Strip. Henri Barkey the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars who was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, joins us to discuss how Turkey’s President Erdogan buried in the joint announcement with Israel, that Erdogan had apologized to Putin in offering condolences to Russia and the family of a downed Russian pilot whose plane was shot down by Turkey on the Syrian border.
CIA Arms For Syrian Rebels Up On the Black Market
Then finally we speak with an expert on Syria and Jordan, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East Researcher at the Center for a New American Security about reports in The New York Times that Jordanian Intelligence officials had stolen CIA arms meant for the Syrian rebels and sold them on the black market. We discuss the long-standing relationship between the CIA and Jordan’s powerful General Intelligence Directorate or G.I.D. which is largely underwritten by the U.S. taxpayer, and brazen Russia attacks on the American-backed Syrian rebel bases on the Jordanian border.
An Historian of the Armenian Genocide on Germany’s Historic Move
We begin with the German parliament’s overwhelming vote to approve a resolution calling the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915, genocide. Richard Hovannisian, a professor of Armenian and Near East History and Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles, joins us to assess the historical significance of this move by Germany, Turkey’s strongest ally in Europe and its ally during World War 1 when the Armenian genocide occurred. We discuss Turkey’s decades-long dogged resistance to widespread calls from more than 20 countries and Pope Francis to recognize the killings as genocide and Germany’s role as Turkey’s ally during World War 1 when its military did nothing to stop the genocide, a guilt that Germany acknowledged today while Turkey doubled down on denial and withdrew its ambassador as President Erdogan threatened retaliation.
Germany Walks a Tightrope With Turkey
hen we get a perspective on the political tightrope Germany is walking with Turkey as diplomatic relations are increasingly strained by Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule at the same time Berlin needs Turkey’s help in resolving the refugee crisis with more than 1.1 million migrants having been settled in Germany last year. Andrei Markovits, the Karl W. Deutsch Professor of German Studies at the University of Michigan joins us to discuss how much the deal struck between Chancellor Merkel and Erdogan in March to take back migrants arriving on Greek Islands in exchange for money and visa-free travel for Turks in Europe, is now in jeopardy.
Reigning in the Predatory Payday Loan Industry
Then finally we get an analysis of the new Federal regulations for payday lenders proposed today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch who served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. We discuss whether the new rules will be sufficient to stop the predatory practices of loan sharks whose $38 billion industry rips off 12 million poor and unsuspecting Americans every year under the protection of our cash-and-carry Congress.
Turkey’s Megalomaniacal President Grabs More Power
We begin with the sacking of Turkey’s Prime Minister by the country’s power-hungry President Erdogan who is moving to strip immunity for members of parliament under a new anti-terrorism law that appears to be primarily aimed at stifling internal opposition. An expert on Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy, Asli Bali, a professor at the UCLA School of Law who teaches courses on Public International Law, International Human Rights and the Laws of War, joins us. We discuss the recent brawl in the parliament between members of Erdogan’s AKP Party and opposition MP’s and the bombing of Syrian refugees in a camp near the Turkish border which exposes Erdogan’s failed Syria policy while he reignites a civil war with the Kurds.
Will the Big Republican Donors Support Trump?
Then we look into how, while Republican politicians and pundits are falling into line behind Donald Trump, some of the big donors have closed their checkbooks as the former presidents Bush 41 and 43 and the last Republican presidential standards bearer Mitt Romney are making it clear they will not support Trump. Libby Watson, a staff writer at the Sunlight Foundation which advocates for open government, joins us to discuss that while the Koch brother are diverting of their funds to State and Congressional races, most of the big donors will eventually come around to support Trump in the general election in this record-breaking $5 billion election season.
On “Cinco de Mayo,” What Happened to the 43 Students?
Then finally on the Mexican national holiday of “Cinco de Mayo” we speak with Ryan Devereaux who covers national security for The Intercept about the incident that has roiled Mexico for the last year which he describes in his latest article at The Intercept “Independent Investigator Leave Mexico Without Solving the Case of the 43 Disappeared Students” as “the drop that spilled the glass”. We discuss Mexico’s broken justice system and assess why the government has covered up the disappearance of the students.