Sunday, September 8, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (9/6/19)

The Complex, Wrongly Told Life of Freedom Fighter Robert Mugabe, Dead at 95

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.
[I come in at 16:35]

The Washington Post reported it this way: “Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president who rose to power as a champion of anti-colonial struggle but during 37 years of authoritarian rule presided over the impoverishment and degradation of one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising countries, died Sept. 6 at a hospital in Singapore. He was 95.” That statement disgusted me - did not surprise me but disgusted me, because I know better. We'll discuss the man, the freedom fighter, the myth and how the US contributed to the reputation of Mugabe.

The US economy added a disappointing 130,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said Friday, heightening fears that US President Donald Trump’s trade war is starting to bite. The jobs report has taken on greater significance as concerns grow that the US economy has entered a rough patch. Economists had predicted a gain of 160,000 jobs in August, but anemic hiring in manufacturing, mining, truck driving and retail — industries that are most directly affected by the trade war — helped drag employment gains down this summer. That 130,000 number is not truly representative of the strength of the economy, since hiring in August was boosted by the federal government adding part-time workers for the 2020 US Census. Without the addition of those temporary jobs, the new data reveals private sector companies added 96,000 jobs, the weakest total in many months.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on Lawrence O'Donnell's Deutsche Bank Trump Loan Report (8/28/2019)

MSNBC’s Deutsche Bank loan conspiracy theory attempts to revive Russiagate

Deutsche Bank confirmed yesterday that it has a copy of Donald Trump’s tax returns responsive to Congressional subpoenas. But MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell went further than that and made some brash accusations on his show yesterday. He said that other Deutsche Bank loan documents show that Donald Trump’s cosigners are “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” O’Donnell repeated the words “if true” multiple times. Even if it’s not true, he and MSNBC are doing what they can to keep the fake Russiagate narrative alive. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of, whose latest article is “Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit” on Counterpunch and The Polemicist, joins the show.

Listen to "MSNBC’s Deutsche Bank loan conspiracy theory attempts to revive Russiagate" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Monday, August 26, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (8/23/19)

Trump's Twitter War Becomes Reality, China Imposes New Tariffs Starting September 1

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California; Jim Kavanagh, political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist; and Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst. 

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time. 

US President Donald Trump is raising the stakes in his trade war with China, tweeting Friday that he's increasing the tariffs scheduled to start next week from 10% to 15% on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump's comments came on a volatile day in his trade war. China started things off by announcing tariffs on $75 billion of US goods Friday morning. Just as the market was starting to calm down, Trump made two tweets that further rattled investors. The first ordered American companies to find alternatives to doing business in China, and the second wondered who is the bigger enemy: Chinese President Xi Jinping or US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Trump also tweeted his justification for taking on China over trade, saying it is something that was long overdue.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Discussion on The Critical Hour about Boris Johnson and Brexit (8/20/19)

Same Game, New Tactic: Trump Goes After Legal Immigrants, States Fight Back & Sue

New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont sued the federal government Tuesday over new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who use public assistance, including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. The states and city join a growing list of entities suing over the change, one of the Republican administration’s most aggressive moves to restrict legal immigration. The rules set to take effect in October would broaden a range of programs that can disqualify immigrants from legal status if they are deemed to be a burden to the US. What’s the real impact behind this action? 

Planned Parenthood announced on Monday that it will drop participation in a federal program that supports family planning services because of new restrictions placed on it by the Trump administration, calling a recent regulation an "assault on access to birth control and reproductive health care, especially for people struggling to make ends meet." What impact will the administration's actions have on access to women’s health care for poor women and women of color? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (8/16/19)

Global Unrest: Hong Kong Protests, Chinese Tariffs, US Near Recession and More!

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time. 

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has been caught up in the fallout of ongoing pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Hundreds of flights were canceled this week because of protests at Hong Kong International Airport, and the airline has threatened to fire employees who take part in the demonstrations. It was announced Friday that the company's CEO Rupert Hogg and Chief Commercial Officer Paul Loo are resigning. The airline's stock has fallen almost 24% since April. What’s going on in Hong Kong and why?

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