We begin with an analysis of the daunting task ahead for the Democrats who hope to take back the House and even the Senate in 2018 and speak with George Lakoff, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley and author of ”The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant” and “The Political Mind”. He joins us to discuss the recent Democratic defeat in the most expensive congressional race in history and offer an alternative strategy for Democrats as they try to reach out to disaffected Republican voters in potential swing districts. Facing a gerrymandered electorate with unlimited Republican money pouring in, Lakoff argues that the Democrats are doomed as long as they fail to learn from recent defeats while clinging to the vain hope Trump will self-destruct or be impeached. He urges them to stop running the same campaigns with bland candidates who continue to run on facts and figures, platforms and policies, while ignoring the political mind and the importance of values and emotions.

Then we examine the consequences of having a commander in chief who delegates decisions to the military as the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq gets more complicated and potentially explosive while the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. 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 on the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and Intelligence, joins us to discuss that in the absence of hands-on leadership, there is a growing possibility that a clash between the U.S. and Syrian or Iranian forces could spark a wider war in Syria.

Then finally we speak with Mel Goodman, an expert on U.S. relations with Russia who served as a senior analyst and division chief at the CIA and is the author of six books on U.S. intelligence and international security, the latest of which is “Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence”. He joins us to discuss the inner workings of the intelligence community and how corruption, intimidation and misinformation can lead to disastrous foreign interventions.

Background Briefing

Alternative Strategies to Stop Democrats From Losing

The Danger of Delegating Presidential Decisions to the Military

A CIA Insider on Trump's War With the Intelligence Community

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We begin with an analysis of why the Democrats lost the uphill race they hoped to win in Georgia’s sixth congressional district and speak with Ian Haney Lopez, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and author of “Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class”. We will discuss how the successful demonization of Hillary Clinton by the Republicans in the last election was updated to target Nancy Pelosi in yesterday’s election and tie her to Jon Ossoff who was depicted as her puppet. We explore why people prefer to believe that Nancy Pelosi is a monster without any apparent evidence to support the demonized portrait of her GOP operatives so successfully employed. Using dog whistle coded appeals they implied Jon Ossoff was not one of us, but a gay-loving San Francisco sanctuary city type who wants to hand out benefits to undeserving minorities while looking down at hard working white folks who the Democrats don’t care about that have been left at the back of the cue.

Then we examine the absence of American leadership with a commander in chief who is AWOL on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, where the Russians appear to be running the show and making the rules. Kate Brannen, the Deputy Managing Editor of Just Security and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council joins us to discuss her latest article at Foreign Policy “White House Officials Push for Widening the War in Syria Over Pentagon Objections” and how hawks on the National Security Council are working behind the backs of the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor to confront Iran and its proxy forces.

Then finally we assess the elevation of Saudi Arabia’s 31 year old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the role of Crown Prince by his father King Salman, passing over his older uncle Prince Nayef. Dr. Ali Alyami, the founder and director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia joins us to discuss this palace intrigue and his latest article at cdhr.info “Settling Scores with Qatar in the Guise of Defeating Terrorism” and how the Saudis are shamelessly stroking Trump’s ego while playing him like a gullible fool.

Background Briefing

How Demonizing HIllary and Then Pelosi Has Paid Off

Our Commander in Chief is AWOL

Saudi Arabia's Boy King Moves Closer to the Throne

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We begin with the most expensive congressional race in the nation’s history in Georgia where the polls closed an hour ago and speak with Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science at Emory University who served as a Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar in Political Science at MIT and was an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. She joins us to discuss this tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel that has been flooded with outside money since it is widely seen as an early referendum on the troubled Trump Administration. We look into whether Ossoff can squeak by with a narrow victory this time with the help of the African/American vote, the absence of which some analysts say cost Ossoff an outright win in the primary in which he fell just short of the 50% threshold.

Then following the shoot-down of 2 Iranian drones and a Syrian fighter-bomber by U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria, we assess the warning from the Russians that any coalition aircraft venturing west of the Euphrates will be painted by Russian radar and treated as targets. An expert on Syria, Nicholas Heras, a Middle East researcher at the Center for a New American Security, joins us to discuss how Syria and Iran are trying to capture territory in the east of Syria, attempting to fill the vacuum as the Islamic State is defeated in the hope that they can create a land corridor from Assad-controlled territory across Iraq to Iran.

Then finally we speak with Jonathan Marshall, an award-winning journalist and researcher who has a 5 part series of articles on foreign lobbying at Consortium News, the latest of which is “Saudis Win Hearts by Lining Pockets”. We discuss how other nations, apart from Russia, interfere in our elections by pouring money into hiring lobbyists and former officials while funding think tanks and political issues using the dark money channels opened up the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Background Briefing

An Update on the Georgia Congressional Race

Could an Accidental War Between the US and Russia Break Out in Syria?

How Other Nations, Apart From Russia, Interfere in Our Elections

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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

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