July 2 - Bernie Sanders' Record Crowd in the Presidential Primaries; The June Jobs Report and the Wageless Recovery; The Largest Settlement by a Single Company in US History

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We begin with the largest rally yet for a presidential candidate that took place in Madison, Wisconsin on Wednesday night where up to 12,000 people jammed the Veterans Memorial Coliseum to hear Senator Bernie Sanders call for a political revolution, declaring “The big money interests – Wall Street, corporate America, all of these guys – have so much power that no president can defeat them unless there is an organized grassroots movement making them an offer they can refuse.” The Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, Paul Soglin joins us to discuss this break-out event and whether the lessons from the defeats of Senator Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern apply to Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

Part 2

Then we examine the June jobs report with Elise Gould, a Senior Economist at the Economic Policy Institute that shows a modest increase in job growth with a seven year low in unemployment in an economy where wages have not grown for working Americans since the late 1970’s, with many earning less today than they did back then. We also discuss the likelihood that this report will not give the Fed Chair Janet Yellin the “decisive evidence” she needs to see in the job market to raise interest rates.

Part 3

Then finally we assess the largest settlement to be paid by a single company in U.S. history, the $18.7 billion BP has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay to resolve years of litigation over BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Scott Eustis, a water policy analyst and coastal wetlands specialist with the Gulf Restoration Network in New Orleans joins us to discuss details of the settlement and whether it measures up to the damage done by the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.  


 

 

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July 1 - The Greek Tragedy Enters the Final Act; Opening Up Cuba While Protecting Its Environment; Republican Voters Reward the Racist Donald Trump in the Latest Polls

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We be begin with the Greek tragedy underway as the Northern European powers squeeze Alexis Tsipris’ left wing Syriza government in a way that Nobel economists Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman argue makes no sense from an economic point of view, while the same powers help the right wing government in Ukraine restructure its $125 billion in debts as its economy falls apart. James Henry, a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable International Investment joins us to discuss how the Swiss have refused to help Tsipris, whose government is not responsible for Greece’s debts, find the $100 billion rich Greek tax cheats are hiding.

Part 2

Then with today’s announcement by President Obama that diplomatic relations with Cuba will be fully restored on July 20th, we look into a potential tsunami of investment from U.S. hotel chains, cruise-ship lines and agribusiness poised to hit the 3,500 miles of pristine beaches, the coral reefs, mangroves and tropical forests with an influx of American tourists and dollars. Daniel Whittle, a lawyer and Senior Director of the Cuba Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, who has over 15 years’ experience working on conservation in Cuba, joins us to discuss growing concerns on the island that economic development has to be balanced with environmental protection.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Rudolfo Espino, a professor of political science at Arizona State University specializing in American politics, racial politics, and political behavior. He joins us to discuss the latest polls that have Donald Trump in second place nationally and coming in second in Iowa and New Hampshire. We explore why in spite of the widespread condemnation of Trump’s shameful racist remarks, he is apparent gaining in popularity with Republican primary voters. 

 

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June 30 - Another Week to Make the P5+1 Deal with Iran; California's Vaccination Law and an Attempt to Destroy Public Sector Unions; An Electorally-Challenged Chris Christie Enters the Presidential Race

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We begin with the extension by a week of the deadline for the P5+1 negotiations with Iran in Vienna, after the parties failed to reach an agreement by the June 30 deadline. Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver joins us to discuss the likelihood that a deal will be made in spite of a last-minute spoiler from Iran’s Supreme Leader that appeared to backtrack from the framework agreement reached in April. We also discuss Nader Hashemi’s article in the Cairo Review of Global Affairs “How a Nuclear Deal Helps Democracy in Iran”.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist at the Los Angeles Times Michael Hiltzik about two major California stories making news today. The first is Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the nation’s toughest new mandatory vaccination law that will end exemptions from state immunization laws based on religious or other personal beliefs. And the second is the Supreme Court’s agreement to take up a case that could weaken public sector unions in a challenge by 10 nonunion public school teachers who claim California’s requirement that they pay union dues violates their free speech rights.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the scandal-plagued record of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is the fourteenth entrant into the crowded Republican presidential primary field, joining a race in which his poll numbers indicate 55% of Republican primary voters can not envision voting for him, making Christie only slightly more palatable than the bombastic racist buffoon Donald Trump. Robert Hennelly, a contributing writer at Salon, reporter for CBS News’ Money Watch and a political analyst for WBGO, an NPR affiliate in Newark, New Jersey, joins us to discuss the gulf between Christie’s ego and New Jersey’s tattered economy.

 

 

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June 29 - Puerto Rico's $72 Billion Debt; The Supreme Court's Ruling Against The EPA; SCOTUS Hands a Victory to Voter Initiatives

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We be begin with the other debt crisis, not Greece but Puerto Rico, where the governor of the island’s 3.6 million people just announced the commonwealth’s $72 billion debt “is not payable” and that Puerto Rico needs to pull out of a “death spiral”. Charles Venator Santiago, Professor of Latino Politics, Public Law and Political Theory at the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut joins us to discuss the constitutional limbo Puerto Ricans have be placed by the U.S. where they are American citizens but can’t vote, and why Puerto Rico has piled up more municipal debt per capita than any other American state.

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Then we look into the Supreme Court’s ruling against the EPA that undermines the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-burning power plants. Bob Kincaid, a co-founder of the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Campaign joins us to discuss this victory for Peabody Coal and 23 states that sued the EPA over the cost of compliance to curb emissions which the EPA argues is offset by the health benefits from cutting emissions that are three times the costs of compliance.

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Then finally we examine the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a voter initiative in Arizona, Proposition 105 that passed overwhelmingly in 2000, creating an independent commission to oversee redistricting to prevent the Republican-dominated Arizona’s legislature’s gerrymandering. Steve Muratore, who blogs on election redistricting at the Arizona Eagletarian joins us to discuss this victory in which as Justice Ginsberg stated for the majority opinion “Arizona voters sought to restore the core principle that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around”.

 

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June 28 - Talks Collapse as Greek Banks Run Out of Money; Assessing the "Liberal Spring"; The Pope's Call for Moral Accounting on the Environment

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We be begin with the collapse of the last-minute talks over Greek debt with the Greece’s Finance Minister walking out on the European creditors then the Prime Minister calling for a referendum scheduled for next Sunday, which is well past the June 30 deadline of Greece defaulting on its IMF debt. Costas Panayotakis, a professor of sociology at the City University of New York joins us from Greece for an update on a tense situation where ATM’s are running out of money leading to the likelihood that banks will be closed on Monday.

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Then we speak with Ian Haney Lopez, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and a Senior Fellow at Demos. He is the author of “Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class” and we discuss what is being referred to as the “liberal spring” when deeply divisive and all-consuming political issues of race, healthcare and sexuality were settled in a week of dramatic change in victories for social tolerance, healthcare for the previously uninsured and the rejection of symbols of reactionary racism.

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Part 3

Then finally we examine the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, “On Care For Our Common Home”, which makes the fate of the earth in the face of global warming such a compelling practical issue to be addressed that it has become a moral one. George Lakoff, a Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and author of “Moral Politics” and the “All New Don’t Think of an Elephant” joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Pope Francis Gets the Moral Framing Right: Global Warming Is Where the Practical and the Moral Meet” and the moral accounting the Pope is calling for.

 

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