We begin with Trump’s latest distraction as he keeps the disgusting lie that Obama did not console families of the fallen alive by doubling down, questioning whether Obama consoled the family of Trump’s Chief of Staff General Kelly with a letter when they lost their son in Afghanistan, when in fact General Kelly and his wife sat at Michelle Obama’s table at a White House breakfast for Gold Star families. David Graham, a staff writer for The Atlantic joins us to discuss his latest article at The Atlantic “How Trump Changed the Topic to Obama’s Consolation Calls” and the method to Trump’s madness as he continues to distract the press and the public with outrageously false claims and inflammatory statements instead of addressing questions of policy and leadership in particular why were the Green Beret’s in combat in Niger and what is the U.S. doing there and what is our military strategy in Africa etc.

Then we will look into the brimming issue of impeachment and speak with the author of a new book, just out, “A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment”. Joining us is Barbara Radnofsky, who has practiced law for nearly four decades and was the first woman in Texas to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate and for Texas Attorney General. We discuss her article at The Washington Post “The Founding Fathers designed impeachment for someone exactly like Donald Trump” and her article at The Los Angeles Times “The Founding Fathers provided us with a way out of troubled presidency – the direct, doable process of impeachment”.

Then finally with the fall of the Syrian city of Raqqa, the last stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria, we speak with Middle East expert and a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, Nicholas Heras. He joins us to discuss how a city that was once a prize is now a pile of rubble requiring billions in funds to restore it, and the challenges facing the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces of mostly Kurdish fighters who have liberated a Sunni Arab city but have Russian and Iranian forces and Assad’s Shia Army poised just miles away.

Background Briefing

Trump's Latest Distraction: Lying About Obama Not Consoling Families of the Fallen

"A Citizen's Guide to Impeachment"

What Follows the Fall of Raqqa?

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We begin with Trump’s de-certification of the P5+1 deal with Iran which was kicked to the Congress as a compromise worked out by the adults in the White House day care center following a tantrum by Trump who insisted on repealing another Obama initiative against the advice of his top advisors and America’s allies with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Israel who want America to fight a war on their behalf against Iran. We begin and go to Iran and speak with Ali Arouzi, the NBC bureau chief in Tehran who is one of the few Western journalists operating out of the country. We will discuss the local reaction to Trump’s attempt to destroy an agreement put together by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the uncertainty that ensues from having the fate of America’s adherence to the deal in the hands of Congress.

Then following the Secretary of State’s denial that Trump is “castrating” him and Tillerson’s ambiguous statement that diplomacy goes on until “the first bomb drops”, we will look further into the political forces trying the preserve the deal and those trying to scuttle it. Iranian/American historian Maziar Behrooz, a professor of History at San Francisco State University joins us to discuss the symbiosis between hawks in the Trump Administration and in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and how this reversal of an American opening with Iran is seen by the majority of Iranians who are young.

Then we speak with Kurt Andersen, the host and co-creator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and bestselling author whose new book is “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500 Year History.” We discuss the post-truth “fake news” age of Trump in the context that America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, true believers and by hucksters and their suckers. And with the lines between reality and illusion blurred, we assess whether a consensus on what is real and true could be restored in America.

Then finally we examine the likely consequences of Donald Trump second and perhaps fatal blow against Obamacare following his cutoff of health insurance subsidies to the poor. Jonathan Oberlander,a Professor of Social Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina joins us to discuss whether this spiteful and destructive act will backfire since the pain from these cuts will be felt most acutely in Red States that support Trump.

Background Briefing

The Trump Tantrum That Tore Up the Iran Deal

The Post-Truth Fake News Age of Hucksters and Suckers

Will Trump's Spiteful Destruction of Obamacare Backfire?

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We begin with President Trump’s executive order that he held up to the press today with a self-satisfied smile which the Democratic Leader in the Senate says is aimed at sabotaging the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare.  Sarah Lueck, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities who works on healthcare reform implementation, health insurance exchanges and private market reform included in the Affordable Care Act, joins us to discuss her article at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “Trump Order Could Destabilize Health Insurance Markets, Hurt Those With Pre-Existing Conditions”, and the likely impact of Trump’s executive order combined with efforts within HHS by its former head Tom Price to sabotage the ACA via administrative obstacles. We analyze the extent to which the insurance pool essential to the ACA’s economic viability will be rendered ineffective as younger healthier participants are encouraged to pay less for less coverage ensuring that there will be less money in the pool to take care of older sicker patients and those with pre-existing conditions.

Then we speak with Robert Jay Lifton, an award-winning psychiatrist, historian and public intellectual about his article at The New York Times “”Our Changing Climate Mindset” and his new book, just out, “The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival”. We will discuss how climate change is turning weather events from disasters into catastrophes forcing us to change our collective consciousness to look upon ourselves as members of a single species in deep trouble aboard lifeboat earth.

Then finally we examine the Republican tax plan with Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research who has an article at The Huffington Post, “The Republican Plan to Slow Growth”. We discuss how allowing “pass through” businesses to pay less in taxes has crippled revenues and almost bankrupted the state of Kansas and will surely explode the deficit if adopted at a national level, and how the plan to eliminate the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes is aimed at punishing successful states like California who largely vote for Democrats.

Background Briefing

Trump's Executive Order to Sabotage Obamacare

The Psychiatrist, Historian and Public Intellectual, Robert Jay Lifton

The Republican Tax Plan Aimed at Hurting Successful States That Vote For Democrats

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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.

Background Briefing

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

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We begin with a president who instead of governing is lashing out at an ESPN sportscaster, challenging his Secretary of State to an IQ test and tweeting out a new round of insults against the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to him as “Liddle” Bob Corker in a snide reference to Corker’s height.  Tim Naftalia clinical professor of history and public policy at New York University, who was the first director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, joins us to discuss his article at The Atlantic, “The Problem with Trump’s Madman Theory” and Corker’s rejection of the notion that there is some kind of madman strategy akin to Nixon’s behind Trump’s belligerent threats against North Korea. We will also examine the historical record of the waning days of the Nixon administration regarding an impaired Nixon’s access to the nuclear button, compared to the concerns raised by Senator Corker that “Trump may be setting us on a path to World War III”.

Then we assess the impact of the repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan by the head of the EPA who declared that the phony war on coal is over. David Freeman, who helped bring about the EPA, headed the TVA, New York Power and the LA DWP, and is the author of “All Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future” and a new autobiography “The Green Cowboy”, joins us. We will discuss the commonly- held delusion that switching from coal to natural gas is a move in the right direction and the need to immediately outlaw fossil fuels as poisons to the planet while rapidly converting to available clean solar and wind alternatives.

Then finally we examine the withdrawal of Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga from the rerun of the disputed August election overturned by Kenya’s Supreme Court and scheduled for October the 26th. Kefa Otiso, A Professor of Geography and Director of the Global Village at Bowling Green State University and the founding president of the US-based Kenya Scholars and Studies Association joins us to discuss the standoff between Odinga’s followers who want election reforms instituted before a new election and the Kenyetta government who are treating Odinga’s withdrawal as a concession instead of the protest that it is.

Background Briefing

Comparing Nixon's Madman Strategy to Trump's Mad Threats

Trump's EPA Kills Obama's Clean Power Plan

The Withdrawal of Kenya's Opposition Leader From the Rerun of the Overturned August Election

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We begin with Donald Trump’s tweet storm attacking the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker who replied by tweeting “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning”. Derek Shearer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland who is currently a Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College where he serves as Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, joins us to discuss the state of U.S. diplomacy and Corker’s fear Trump is treating the presidency like “a reality show” and is steering the US “on a path to World War 111”. We will assess whether Senator Corker’s warning that Trump “Concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation”, will prompt other Republican senators to express in public what they say in private since Corker is apparently not alone in being alarmed about Trump, claiming “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here”.

Then Wendy Young, the Executive Director of KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, the leading organization for the unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone, joins us to look into the cynical game Donald Trump is playing by trying the fate of the 800,000 DACA “Dreamers” to a hardline wish list that is dead on arrival with Democrats who Trump can then blame for the failure of immigration reform. We discuss how Trump again throws red meat to his base as a way to distract from his failure to govern, by insisting on building his wall, hiring 10,000 more border patrol, denying federal funds to “sanctuary cities” and closing the door on thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America.

Then finally we explore the growing tyranny of the minority in America as an increasingly unpopular president whose approval rating continues to shrink, throws the full weight of his Administration behind satisfying the wish-lists of right wing extremists and religious zealots. Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center, joins us to discuss how the vast majority of American women can now be denied birth control coverage in order to satisfy a vocal minority of anti-abortionists who have succeeded in making abortions more likely, numerous and frequent.

Background Briefing

A Reality Show Presidency in a White House Adult Day Care Center

Trump's Cynical Game on Immigration

The Growing Tyranny of the Minority in Trump's America

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We begin with the reality TV president teasing upcoming episodes of the Apprentice in the Oval Office by cryptically warning about “the calm before the storm” then tweeting that “only one thing will work” with North Korea, implying military action. Mark Fitzpatrick, the Executive Director of the Washington-based Americas office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and head of their Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program and author of “Asia’s Latent Nuclear Powers, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan”, joins us to discuss how Trump’s threats are forcing Kim Jong-un into a hair trigger posture with North Korea’s nuclear weapons based on the “use them or lose them” logic of striking first. We examine the symbiosis of hawks on both sides leading us into a holocaust and the dangers of provoking a cult-like regime whose hardliners are buoyed by delusional propaganda and the belief that they could not only survive a nuclear war with the United States, but win.

Then we get an update on the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and speak with investigative journalist James Henry, the co-founder of DCReport.org and a global justice fellow at Yale and the lead researcher for the Tax Justice Network. He joins us to discuss the significance of the special counsel’s interviews with the author of the Steele dossier and Robert Mueller’s focus on the Trump campaign’s use of data mining in social media and micro-targeting voters in key swing states with the possible magnification of their messaging involving help from Russian bots and troll farms.

Then finally we examine the consequences of the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obamacare contraceptive mandate which will now allow employers to deny their female employees contraceptive coverage under health plans on the specious basis of a moral objection. Francis Kissling, a feminist activist and the former President of Catholics for Choice and a consultant to the Western Hemisphere Region of the International Planned Parenthood Federation joins us to discuss how employers can now save money by claiming to have a moral objection to birth control which will likely result in many more women seeking abortions.

Background Briefing

Trump Forces North Korea to Move to a Nuclear Hair Trigger

An Update on the Mueller Investigation

Employers Can Now Deny Women Contraceptive Coverage Based on Specious "Moral" Objections

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We begin with the crisis in American foreign policy with our Secretary of State calling the president an “f-ing moron” and the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warning that Rex Tillerson, General Mattis and General Kelly are the “people who help separate our country from chaos”. David Rothkopf, a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a columnist at The Washington Post and the former editor and publisher of Foreign Policy Magazine, joins us to discuss reports that Trump’s top cabinet secretaries have formed a “suicide pact” in which if one is suddenly fired by an unstable and impetuous president, the others will walk out of the White House, and how Trump has undercut Tillerson publically to the point where he has no credibility abroad. We will also look into the consequences of Trump’s intention to pull out of the Iran deal next week which will sow further chaos in U.S. foreign policy and lead to more isolation and self-marginalization of the United States on the world stage.

Then we are joined in the studio by Dr. Lance Dodes, who was a clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is a contributor along with 26 other Psychiatrists and Mental Health experts who have contributed to the new book assessing President Trump, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”. We examine the consensus that Trump is dangerously mentally ill and that he presents a clear and present danger to the United States and the world as long as he has access to the nuclear codes allowing him to start a nuclear war because of a childish tantrum or some other trigger that could unhinge Trump’s frail psyche.

Then finally we look into the signals by the Republican Congress and the NRA that they will head off any serious moves on calling for gun control following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history by banning so-called “bump stocks” on semi-automatic assault rifles that allow the weapon to fire bullets at a rate similar to fully automatic machine guns. An expert on the 2nd Amendment and the history of gun control, Saul Cornell, Chair of American History at Fordham University, joins us to discuss whether any real reform will happen after the Las Vegas massacre.

Background Briefing

The Thin Line Separating Us From Chaos

Trump is a Clear and Present Danger

Republicans and the NRA Head Off Real Gun Safety Reform

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We begin with an analysis of the Trump Administration’s tax overhaul plan from the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation Edward Kleinbard.  Now a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, he joins us to discuss his article at Vox.com “The GOP says its business plan will help workers and small business. It won’t”,and the cynical way Republicans are trying to sell this latest giveaway to the 1% or the 1% claiming it will help the middle class and working Americans. And while this so-called “tax reform” is clearly a gift to the donor class by the Republicans, these lackeys of the plutocrats are counting on satisfying their political masters by conning their voters into believing they are getting the government off their back when in fact Trump and the Congress are making ordinary Americans shoulder more of the tax burden so that the already-rich can get even richer.

Then we speak with one of the country’s leading experts on taxation who, because of his investigative journalism, has been called the nation’s de facto tax enforcer-in-chief.  Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston, the founder and editor-in-chief of DC Report.org whose latest book is “The Making of Donald Trump”, joins us to discuss how the soulless hirelings of the rich in Congress are trotting out the same tired old trickle-down lies, and the real possibility that Donald Trump could be the first American president to do a perp walk in an orange jumps suit, on his way from the oval office to a federal penitentiary.

Then finally we speak with Natalie Hernandez, a Nevada gun violence prevention organizer with Battle Born Progress, a part of a coalition of gun safety activists who successfully passed Question 1 on last November’s ballot only to have the law stymied and the will of the people trampled on by Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt. We will discuss what impact the massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday might have on finally instituting the background check law and whether Adam Laxalt will be punished in his expected race for governor in the 2018 elections.

Background Briefing

How Trump's "Tax Reform" Rewards the 1% of the 1%

Trump Could Go from the Oval Office to a Federal Pen

An Activist Who Helped Get a Background Check Law Passed in Nevada That the AG Blocked

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We begin with the reaction to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history from the White House and the Republican Congress who, with new-found reverence, piously intone the talking point that now is the time to honor the dead, not talk about gun control. Joshua Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and author of “Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea”, joins us to discuss how an NRA-sponsored bill to make silencers legal and allow concealed-carry permits from permissive states to be legal in states like California where concealed weapons are banned, was just pulled for a second time by the Republican leadership because of the Las Vegas shooting after it was taken of the table earlier following the shooting at a Congressional baseball game.  We will look into the difficulty Las Vegas police had in finding where the shots were coming from, and if the shooter had used silencers on his guns, how many more lives would have been lost had concert-goers not heard the gunfire and taken cover.

Then with Trump and Republicans attempting to dismiss the massacre as an act of evil by a madman, we look into the sanity of the American body politic that continues to prevent sensible gun safety measures from being enacted after repeated mass shootings that cost the lives of increasingly-high numbers of innocent American citizens.  Dr. Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus and Former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University and author of “Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump”, joins us to discuss what little chance there is of changing the cultural myths surrounding guns and American manliness compared to the attainable goal of background checks to prevent dangerous criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring arsenals.

Then finally, now that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the arsenal of 42 guns and explosives that the Las Vegas shooter had in the hotel room he shot from and at his home, we will speak with a former ATF Special Agent  William Vizzard, Professor Emeritus in the Division of Criminal Justice at California State University, Sacramento. He joins us to discuss how the NRA has prevented efforts to collect data on the history of guns found at crime scenes and the lax laws that make machine guns legal in many states.

Background Briefing

Offering Prayers Instead of Prevention

Blaming Insane Shooters Instead of Politicians Who Prevent Sane Gun Safety

How the NRA Prevents Data Collection on Crime Scene Guns

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We begin with an assessment of the relief effort underway on the devastated island of Puerto Rico that Donald Trump has turned into a contentious political issue in flurry of 18 tweets on Saturday that were full of anger and blame and completely lacking in compassion, inspiration, hope and leadership that presidents usually offer to their fellow Americans at a time of need and a time for unity.  Alexander Betancourt, the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, joins us to provide a local perspective on what is happening in Puerto Rico compared to the rosy self-congratulation coming from Trump who again is addressing the alternative universe of his base inside the Fox News, Sinclair, right wing talk radio bubble, feeding them his brazenly cynical lies while attacking the rest of the media for reporting what they are seeing with their own eyes as the American citizens on this small, hurricane-ravaged island search for food, water, medicine and their missing loved ones.

Then we go to Spain for an update on today’s violently contested referendum over independence for Catalonia that the Madrid government is forcefully shutting down by closing polling places and arresting voters trying to cast ballots injuring up to 500.Anthony Geist, a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature who is the Vice Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives and author of “They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Drawings from the Spanish Civil War” joins us to discuss how much this referendum is exhuming the ghosts of the Spanish Civil War as Catalonians young and old are being beaten up by the national police for expressing their independence.

Then finally we get a critique of the PBS series on the Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick from Roger Morris who served on the senior staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon until resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia. He joins us to discuss how the Vietnam War was many wars, not just in Vietnam, but inside the White House, between the press and the government and on the streets of America between protesters and supporters of the war.

Background Briefing

Trump Turns the Puerto Rico Tragedy Into a Twitter War

An Update From Spain on the Violently Contested Referendum in Catalonia

A Critique of the PBS Series on the Vietnam War From Inside the White House at the Time

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We begin with Trump’s proposed overhaul of the tax code that White House economic advisor Gary Cohn is insisting will not benefit the wealthy while other experts insist the opposite is true and speak with Bruce Bartlett, who served as a senior policy advisor in the Reagan White House and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy in George H.W. Bush’s Treasury Department. He joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Post “I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong. Tax cuts don’t equal growth” and how the Republicans are going to push through a tax bill in the same way they tried to repeal Obamacare by excluding the Democrats, hiding the details and steamrolling the experts and analysts to get tax cuts for the rich passed before the public finds out later that they have to pay for them and that the promises made to benefit middle class and working Americans were yet another lie.

Then we examine Trump’s latest racist outburst from the safe confines of his sycophantic softball news outlet “Fox and Friends”, where the president revived his phony fight with the NFL by dog-whistling that the all-white NFL owners are going along with the protests by the mostly black players because they are being intimidated by them, claiming NFL owners are afraid on their players. David Steele, who writes about the NFL for Sporting News as a columnist and is the co-author of Olympic champion Tommie Smith’s autobiography “Silent Gesture”, joins us to discuss Trump’s unmistakably racist inference and cheap exploitation of patriotism when the NFL owners and players are linking arms in a statement of unity as their president does everything he can to encourage division and fan hatred across the United States of America.

Then finally we look into the desperate and perhaps dangerous measures Spain’s conservative government is resorting to in an effort to thwart and frustrate Sunday’s referendum in Catalonia. Becquer Seguin, a professor of Iberian Studies at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of an article at The Nation “Have Spain and Catalonia Reached a Point of No Return?”, joins us to discuss the Madrid government’s deployment of thousands of riot police to Barcelona and threats to fine and jail secessionist politicians while shutting down polling places and arresting those printing ballots.

 

 

Background Briefing

An Analysis of Trump's Tax Overhaul

Trump's Latest Racist Rant

Spain's Efforts to Shut Down Catalonia's Referendum

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We begin with the U.S. Senate primary election in Alabama that resulted in Judge Roy Moore emerging as the Republican candidate, which raises the possibility an avowed theocrat and Christian dominionist could end up in the United States Senate and grind an already dysfunctional body to a halt, holding up bills and nominees if they do not pass muster with God who is apparently on speaking terms with Roy Moore. Frederick Clarkson, a Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates and the author of “Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy” joins us to discuss Judge Roy Moore’s belief that 9/11 was America’s punishment for Godlessness and how he has defied the constitutional separation of Church and State and the Supreme Court while claiming that Obama is a secret Muslim and parts of the U.S. are under Sharia Law.

Then we look into whether the Democrat who will run against Roy Moore for the senate seat in Alabama in December, a former Federal prosecutor Doug Jones, could pull off an upset victory and speak with political strategist and pollster Zac McCrary, a partner at ALG Research based in Montgomery, Alabama. He served as Communications Director for the Alabama Democratic Party and we will discuss how Alabamans are sick of the state being a joke and will likely vote for the underdog Democrat. They are also weary of political scandals which contributed to Trump’s candidate losing to Moore since Luther Strange was handpicked to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat by the same now-disgraced Governor he was investigating for sexual impropriety with a female employee.

Then finally following Trump’s tweet today attacking Facebook after having praised them for helping elect him, we speak with Ann Ravel, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley who served on the Federal Election Commission until resigning in 2017. In October of 2015 at a meeting of the FEC she warned, “Think of it, do we want Vladimir Putin or drug cartels to be influencing American elections?”, a warning that led to a Republican FEC commissioner ridiculing her on Fox News which resulted in her receiving death threats.

Background Briefing

A Theocrat and Dominionist Could Tie Up the US Senate

Could the Alabama Democrat Beat Roy Moore?

The FEC Commissioner Who Warned About Putin Influencing Our Elections

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We begin with the escalating tension between the U.S. and North Korea following the North’s UN Ambassador Ri Yong Ho’s assertion that President Trump’s comments at the UN that he will “totally destroy” North Korea and his subsequent tweet that the North Korean leadership “won’t be around much longer” constitute a declaration of war by the U.S. giving the North Koreans “every right to make counter-measures”. Charles Armstrong, a professor of History and Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University and author of “Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World” joins us to discuss the nature of the North Korean regime as a mixture of politics and spirituality whose subjects are taught from childhood that they come from the birthplace of civilization and are indoctrinated with the “Juche” self-reliance philosophy, a nationalistic religious cult led by the dynastic Kim family who the North Korean people believe are the royal lineage of Tangun, the mythical founder of Korea 4,500 years ago.

Then we get an assessment of the nuclear threat from North Korea following their recent announcement of their intention to shoot a missile with an H-bomb on it to be detonated somewhere over the Pacific. Philip Coyle, who was associate director for national security and international affairs in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director of Operational Test and Evaluation in the Department of Defense, joins us. We discuss the likelihood of reckless rhetoric leading to a nuclear exchange in Northeast Asia.

Then finally we look into Sunday’s extraordinary display of solidarity and indignation expressed by NFL players and owners in response to Trump’s crude attack on Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem and the president’s contention that the NFL was losing fans because the game was not violent enough. Ben Carrington, a Professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and author of “Race, Sport and Politics” joins us to discuss Trump’s dog whistle to his angry white voters that if the mostly black players in the NFL “want the privilege of making millions of dollars” they “should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag”…if not YOU’RE FIRED”.

Background Briefing

The Nationalist Religious Cult That Rules North Korea

Will Trump's Reckless Rhetoric Lead to nuclear War?

NFL Owners and Players Line Up Against Trump

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We begin with the elections in Germany with the results just coming in and speak with Daniela Schwarzer, Director of the Europe Program at the German Marshal Fund and the co-founder and co-editor of the European Political Economy Review and the eurozonewatch.eu website. She joins us from Berlin to discuss Chancellor Angela Merkel’s victory in winning a fourth term with her Christian Democratic Union winning 32% with the Social Democratic Party at 20% and the far right Alternative for Germany gaining 13.3%. We explore the likelihood of Merkel forming an alliance known as the “Jamaica Coalition” because of the parties’ colors resembling the Jamaica flag, comprising Merkel’s CDU, the pro-business Free Democratic Party and the Greens.

Then we examine further the important political role of Angela Merkel on the world stage where she is increasingly being referred to as the leader of the free world, a title normally assigned to the President of the United States, but because of Trump’s distain for America’s long-standing alliances and his growing unpopularity at home and abroad the role the U.S. has had since the end of World War 11 is being relinquished. Joining us is Charles Kupchan, who up until recently was a Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security and before that was Director of European Affairs on the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration and is now a Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Then finally we speak with veteran sportscaster Robert Lipsyte, a long-time sport and city columnist for The New York Times and the author of a memoir “An Accidental Sportswriter” who was also a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and for NBC Nightly News. He joins us to discuss the fight that Donald Trump has picked with some of the country’s biggest stars in football, basketball and baseball and Trump’s excessively macho contention that NFL football is not rough enough at a time when the debilitating effects of CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy among professional football players is becoming known.

Background Briefing

Merkel Wins a Fourth Term in the German Election

Merkel as the Leader of the Free World

Trump Picks a Fight With the Country's Leading Stars in Sports

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We begin with the additional sanctions placed on North Korea following Trump’s threat before the UN to “totally destroy” the country. Gilbert Rozman, a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University who specializes in Korea and its neighbors in Northeast Asia, China, Russia and Japan, and is the editor of the Asan Forum, joins us. We  discuss whether Trump’s order to ban ships and planes that have visited North Korea from entering the U.S. for 180 days will have any effect and whether Trump’s praise for President Xi and China’s Central Bank that “Their central bank has told their other banks, that’s a massive banking system, to immediately stop doing business with North Korea” is based on reality or wishful thinking since this is a claim that Chinese authorities have yet to confirm.

Then we assess the likelihood that Puerto Rico will get the aid it urgently needs following the devastation from Hurricane Maria which has left the island without water and electricity with the governor estimating that it will take a month or more to get electricity back for the whole island. Charles Venator Santiago, Professor of Latino Politics and Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut joins us to discuss how Puerto Rico’s fate is in the hands of the Republican Congress following a 2016 Federal Law establishing PROMESA, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act which has imposed austerity to deal with an extended debt and bankruptcy crisis.

Then finally, as the Special Counsel Robert Mueller zeroes in on Paul Manafort, we investigate whether Trump’s former campaign manager was a Kremlin asset and an important part of an overall Russian Intelligence operation to manipulate the American election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. Anders Aslund, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and a former Swedish diplomat in Moscow who was an economic advisor to the governments of Russia and Ukraine, joins us to discuss the ties between Manafort, the deposed pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Yanukovych and Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs close to Putin.

Background Briefing

Trump Imposes Additional Sanctions on North Korea

Will Puerto Rico Get the Aid it Urgently Needs?

Was Manafort a Kremlin Asset and a Part of Russia's Active Measures Intelligence Operation?

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We begin with an assessment of where the Russia inquiry into possible Russian collusion in Trump’s election is heading and when there will be definitive proof as the various strands of the broad array of continuing revelations are tied together. Jack Blum, a veteran Washington investigator who spent 14 years as a staff attorney with the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and served as the chair of the expert group on international asset recovery who is currently the Chair of the Tax Justice Network, joins us. We will discuss the status of the various inquiries, in particular the Special Counsel’s investigation, and the denial on the political Left as well as the lack of outrage on the Right about the significance of a foreign power manipulating our election, possibly to the point that voters will be demanding a do-over.

Then we will examine Trump’s recent about face in the Oval Office and the Chuck and Nancy romance that might save the DACA program although there have been howls of betrayal from Trump’s base and mixed signals in his tweets and statements about whether or not his wall will be built or be part of a deal to save the “dreamers”. Sarah Binder, a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor of political science at George Washington University joins us to discuss whether Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were secretly relieved that they did not have to face a showdown with their rebellious Tea Party caucuses threatening to shut down the government over the debt ceiling.

Then finally we will look into another outbreak of unrest in St. Louis following the acquittal of a white police officer who was charged with first-degree murder for shooting a black man following a high-speed chase. Garret Duncan, a Professor of African American Studies at the University of Washington in St. Louis joins us to discuss his article “How to Make Black Lives Matter” and how the shooting, that took place not far from Ferguson where Michael Brown was shot by police in 2014, was captured on dashcam video with the officer who was just acquitted saying “I’m going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it”.

Background Briefing

The Status of the Russia Inquiries and When There Will be Definitive Proof

Did Chuck and Nancy Save Paul and Mitch From Having to Deal With the Tea Party Crazies?

Why Race Riots Continue to Erupt in St. Louis

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We begin with today’s unveiling of the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” by Senator Bernie Sanders which has the support of 15 Democratic Senators but has not been embraced by the Democratic leadership in the Senate or House. The author of “The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office”, James Morone, a Professor of Political Science at Brown University noted for his work on health policies, joins us to discuss concerns expressed by Nancy Pelosi that Sanders’ single-payer plan shifts focus away from fighting to save the Affordable Care Act which the Republicans could still try to repeal. We also assess the uphill battle to get politically powerful insurance companies out of the healthcare business even though they contribute nothing but expensive overhead and spiraling costs under our current sickness/profit system called healthcare.

Then we hear from an advocate of “Medicare for All”  Dr. Adam Gaffney, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Secretary of the advocacy organization, Physicians for a National Health Program. He joins us to discuss why the advanced democracies who spend less than half of what we do on healthcare with better results, have adopted a single-payer system and how the overhead for Medicare is just 2% while the cost of overhead at health insurance companies is 14%.

Then finally we will examine the concerns expressed by the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which is shared among leaders of America’s closest allies, that Donald Trump may not have the “stability” to be trusted with the nuclear codes given that there is no impediment between the President and his authority to launch nuclear weapons. Jeffrey Bader, who was a special assistant for national security affairs on the National Security Council where he was the principal advisor to President Obama on Asia, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Time to Restrict the President’s Power to Wage Nuclear War” and concerns about the exchange of bellicose threats between Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Background Briefing

Could Sanders' Medicare for All Shift Focus from Saving Obamacare?

An Advocate for Medicare for All

The Need to Restrict Trump's Power to Wage Nuclear War

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We begin with the “60 Minutes” interview with the recently-fired White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon in which he accused the Republican establishment of “trying to nullify the 2016 election”, saying that the House and Senate leaders “do not want Donald Trump’s populist, economic nationalist agenda to be implemented”. Adele Stan, a weekly columnist for The American Prospect who covers the intersection of religion and politics joins us to discuss how Bannon’s patron the right-wing mega-donor Robert Mercer, is ready to pour millions into primaries to defeat incumbent Republican senators Mitch McConnell supports, replacing them with Tea Party zealots from the fringes of politics and in some cases sanity, such as Arizona’s “Chemtrails” Kelli Ward and Alabama’s Judge Roy Moore who wants to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Ten Commandments.

Then we examine the tragic situation in Myanmar/Burma where according to the U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights, the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority is being ethnically cleansed by Buddhist vigilantes and the Burmese military who have ruled the country for decades. A leading specialist and prominent scholar who has made many trip to Myanmar and is writing a book on the Buddhist/Muslim conflict who, because of his close relationship with political opposition figures at risk inside the country, prefers to remain nameless, joins us. We discuss the roots of this conflict and the silence of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Then finally, on the 16th anniversary of 9/11, we assess the effectiveness of the trillion dollar response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the averted attack on the capitol, and speak with Dr. John Mueller, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies and professor of political science at The Ohio State University and author of “Chasing Ghost: The Policing of Terrorism”.

Background Briefing

Examining Bannon's Post-White House Agenda

The Ethnic Cleansing of Burma's Rohingyas

The Effectiveness of the Trillion Dollar Response to 9/11

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We begin with the massive hurricane making landfall on Florida’s southwest coast as we go to air and speak with Dr. Susan McManus, the Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida. A long-time resident of Florida who has experienced many hurricanes, she is just north of Tampa which is poised to suffer a direct hit from Hurricane Irma but her house is on high ground and she will be hunkering down to ride out the storm. Since Tampa has not seen a direct hit from a major hurricane in almost a century, we discuss how state and local authorities have handled the looming disaster and whether those who evacuated Miami and sought shelter in Tampa, will be in harm’s way as the storm surge is expected to impact Tampa Bay with a wall of water between 10 and 15 feet high.

Then we get an update on the latest revelations about Russia’s active measures campaign to influence the last election which, while it has sown chaos in the United States and could lead to more political paralysis and possibly a constitutional crisis involving the 25th Amendment or even impeachment, this multi-faceted intelligence operation has also impacted politics in Russia with blowback that has Putin on the defensive having over-reached massively while the leader of the far-right New Russia Movement is on state TV threatening to “hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat”. A veteran former CIA officer Robert Baer who is now the national security analyst on CNN, joins us to discuss the growing weight of evidence that a vast Russian intelligence operation targeted U.S. democracy in 2016 and now its architect Vladimir Putin may well have buyer’s remorse.

Then finally we speak with Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School who teaches National Security Law and served as a Special Agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation specializing in counter-intelligence operations. She joins us to discuss her article at Politico “How Facebook Changed the Spy Game” and assess at what point will all the dots be connected to reveal the full scope of the Russian active measures operation, as breaking news dribbles out almost daily revealing more incriminating details.

Background Briefing

A Report From Florida Where Hurricane Irma is About to Hit

Does Putin Have Buyer's Remorse Over Trump?

How American Freedom is Manipulated in Russia Information Warfare

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