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Feb 18, 2017: Authoritarians Hype Terror Threat; 3.5% of the Population Can Topple a Dictator; What’s Russia’s Game?

February 19, 2017 @ 12:35 pm

This week, we begin by looking at the specter of terrorism, both real and imagined. Hyping the threat of terrorism and crime is a trademark of authoritarian governments. It should be noted that we recorded the show before Donald Trump cited a non-existent terror attack in Sweden. 

 

Then we'll be joined by Luke Harding, author of A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia's War with the West. Harding spent four years as The Guardian's Moscow bureau chief, and he offers some insight into the larger strategy behind Russia's influence campaigns in the West. 

 

Finally, we'll speak with Erica Chenoweth, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver and co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Chenoweth and her co-author, Maria Stephan, found that when even a small portion of the population is actively engaged, citizens can topple a dictator -- and that nonviolent resistance is the quickest, most effective way of fighting an authoritarian government.  

 

Playlist:
The White Stripes: "300 MPH Torrential Downpour Blues"
The Coasters: "Poison Ivy"
Southern Culture on the Skids: "Wheels"

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Feb 11, 2017: Trump’s Getting Rolled by Foreigners; Red Flags for Authoritarianism; Would a General Strike Work?

February 12, 2017 @ 12:32 pm

This week, we begin with a look at Donald Trump's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad first three weeks in office. It turns out that when you have no idea what you're doing, it's easy for the pros to walk all over you, and that's precisely what's happened to the Trump regime so far.

 

Then we'll be joined by Erik Loomis, a labor historian at the University of Rhode Island, to discuss recent calls for a general strike, and Trump's attempt to drive a wedge into the American labor movement. 

 

Next up is University of Georgia political scientist Cas Mudde, who explains why experts on authoritarian governments are sweating the Trump regime, and then lays out some signs of democratic deconsolidation to watch for in the years to come.

 

Finally, we'll speak to Ryan Devereaux from The Intercept, who reports that some of the most disturbing provisions of Trump's executive orders on immigration have largely flown under the radar as the media focused first on the wall, and then the hamfisted "Muslim ban." 

 

Playlist -- this week's musical theme is, "nevertheless, she persisted":
Queen Latifah: "U.N.I.T.Y."
Rocky Rivera: "Pussy Kills"
Nina Simone: "Ain't Got No, I Got Life"

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February 4, 2017: Trump Pays His Debt to the Religious Right; Muslim-Americans Running for Office

February 5, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

This week, we'll begin with a look at how Trump's hamfisted "Muslim ban" may be much more far-ranging -- and far worse -- than we thought.

 

Then we'll be joined by Nadeem Mazen, the first Muslim-American elected to a city council in Massachusetts. He and his colleagues launched a new project this week to recruit and support other members of his faith to sek public office. We'll talk about the unique challenges they face in today's political environment.

 

Finally, we'll speak with Investigative Fund reporter Sarah Posner about how Trump is repaying religious conservatives for their support with a slew of new moves to restrict access to abortion, undermine LGBT rights and blur the separation between church and state.

 

Playlist:
Statler Brothers: "Flowers On The Wall"
Joan Jett and Paul Westrberg: "Let's Do It"
Rolling Stones: "Play with Fire"

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Everything Is Awful; The Big Lie Behind Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’; More Bathroom Bills?

January 29, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

This week, we'll play an excerpt from a previous interview with Rebecca Hamlin, an assistant professor of legal studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an expert on refugee resettlement. She shoots down the very premise of Trump's hamfisted and likely unconstitutional "Muslim ban."

 

Then we'll be joined by Ryan Cooper from The Week to discuss the flurry of outrageous executive orders that have come out of the Trump White House during the first week of his regime. 

 

Finally, we'll speak to Salon columnist Amanda Marcotte about Trump's move to reinstate the global "gag rule" for information on abortion, a new fetal heartbeat bill making its way through Congress and Texas wingnuts following North Carolina's bold adventure in potty-politics with its own "bathroom bill."

 

Playlist:
Rolling Stones: "She Smiled Sweetly"
Guns 'N' Roses: "Live and Let Die"
John Lee Hooker: "Baby Lee"

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January 21, 2017: How Fragile Is Democracy? | Life Under Authoritarian Gov Can Be Dull & Tolerable

January 22, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

To kick off this week's show, Joshua Holland lays out an entirely plausible scenario in which Trump -- and unified GOP control of government -- results in only manageable damage to the republic. It's not a prediction, which would be pollyannish, but it could work out this way if decent people stand up against what's coming.

 

Then we'll speak with Yascha Mounk, a lecturer at Harvard, who argues that it's easier than most people believe for even established democracies to slide into authoritarianism.

 

Picking up on that theme, Cornell's Tom Pepinsky relays some lessons from Malaysia. He says that today's authoritarian governments bear little resemblance to the totalitarian dystopias of our collective imagination -- and argues that the popular image of authoritarian rule is problematic in the age of Trump. 

 

Finally, Heather Hurlburt from New America offers a sober view of Barack Obama's foreign policy legacy.

 

Playlist:
Moby: "Run On"
Grandmaster Flash: "It's a Shame"
Gnarls Barkley: "A Little Bit Better"
The Band:  "We Can Talk"

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January 14, 2017: The Crimes of Seal Team Six; Trump, Russia and the Left

January 15, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

Seal Team Six-- the highly trained "tip of the spear" widely hailed for killing Osama Bin Laden -- has taken on legendary status in the American imagination. But this week, Matthew Cole offered a painstakingly reported look at the darker side of the vaunted special operations group for The Intercept. We'll be joined by Cole to discuss the abuses he uncovered, and the failures of command that enabled them.

 

Then we'll speak with Yale political scientist John Stoehr about the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russians hacked the 2016 election, and how on the left the issue has become intertwined with hostility toward Hillary Clinton and resentments lingering from the Democratic primaries.

 

Playlist:
Junior Parker: "Tax Man"

Blackalicious: "Alphabet Aerobics"
Ricky Nelson: "Lonesome Town"

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January 7, 2017: The Resistance Against Trumpism Begins; Mild-Mannered College Prof Is Considering Civil Disobedience

January 8, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

It's our first show since the holidays, and we want to wish everyone a happy New Year! Hopefully 2017 will suck less than last year. 

 

This week, we'll be joined by progressive organizer extraordinaire Billy Wimsatt to talk about the emerging resistance to the Trump regime, and the white nationalist movement that put it into office. 

 

Then we'll be joined by Harold Pollack, a moderate, temperate scholar at the University of Chicago who's been thinking about the need for civil disobedience to counter Trump's attempt to trample on the kinds of norms that have long been central to keeping our pluralistic society together.

 

Playlist:
Coco Robicheaux: "Walk With the Spirit"
Postmodern Jukebox: "Bad Romance"
De La Soul: "Transmitting Live From Mars"

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Dec 10, 2016: Is Trump Really Going to Blow Up the ACA?; The Wingnut Behind OH’s “Fetal Heartbeat” Bill

December 11, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

This week, we're talking health care. 

 

First up is Matthew Buettgens, a health care analyst with The Urban Institute and co-author of a new study detailing what would result if Congressional Republicans repeal much of the ACA through budget reconciliation -- which can't be filibustered -- and can't come to an agreement on a replacement. 

 

Then we'll be joined by Richard Kirsch. Kirsch is a senior fellow at The Roosevelt Institute, and he was previously the national campaign director for Healthcare for Americans Now (HCAN), the huge coalition that pushed the ACA through Congress in the first place. He thought his fight to establish a national infrastructure was done, but he's getting back into the fight to preserve as much of the ACA as possible. Kirsch says it's the defining battle of our generation. 

 

Finally, we'll speak with Mother Jones reporter Nina Liss-Schultz about Ohio's "fetal heartbeat" bill, and the Christian extremist who championed it. 

 

Playlist: 
Bruce Springsteen: "Royals"
Rolling Stones: "Heart of Stone"
Flying Lizards: "Money, That's What I want"
Nina Simone: "I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl" 

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December 3, 2016: Digby on the Trumpocalypse; Dean Baker: Yes, the Economy Is Rigged

December 4, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

This week, Heather "Digby" Parton talks about what went wrong in 2016, what our future under the Trump regime may look like and how the media isn't prepared to hold the first aggressively post-truth president's feet to the fire. 

 

Then we're joined by Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, to talk about his new book, Rigged:  How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.

 

Playlist:
Alabama Shakes: "Hold On"
Sad Clown with a Golden Voice: "Royals"
En Vogue: "Prayer"

 

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November 26, 2016: Ruy Teixeira and John Judis Are Divided on the Emerging Democratic Majority

November 27, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

In 2002, during the last period of unified Republican control of our government, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority, a seminal book on the demographic shifts underway in the United States, and how they may reshape American politics. The book influenced a lot of people's thinking about the future of both the progressive and conservative coalitions. 

 

After the 2014 midterms, Judis underwent a change of heart, writing that we were seeing the emergence of a new Republican advantage. Key to his argument was that Democrats were losing too many white voters, even as the "Obama coalition" of younger voters, people of color and unmarried women had won two decisive victories in the previous presidential elections.

 

Even after the election of Donald Trump, who was carried over the top by a massive advantage among less-educated white voters, Teixeira remains confident that progressive values are going to be ascendant in the coming years, largely as a result of a changing electorate.

 

This week, we're joined by Ruy Teixeira and John Judis to talk about what the future may hold. 

 

Playlist: 
Eddie and the Hotrods: "The Kids Are Alright"
Ingrid Michaelson: "The Way I am"
La Casa: "Mi Barrio"

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