Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (10/4/2019)

Will the Ukraine Scandal Turn Out to Be a Double-Edged Sword for Dems?

It's Friday, which means it's panel time!

On Thursday night, investigators from the House of Representatives released a trove of text messages obtained from former US Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, in which US State Department officials and Rudy Giuliani — US President Donald Trump's personal attorney — negotiated with a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The texts show that US officials felt Trump would not agree to meet with Zelensky at a summit unless the Ukrainian president publicly promised to investigate both the 2016 US presidential election and a Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of current Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden. As this continues to play out, where’s the leverage? Who has the advantage?

Week in Review Discussion on Loud & Clear (10/4/2019)

The Week in Review

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the new details in the impeachment inquiry and the US’s longer-term relationship to Ukraine, plus the protests in Iraq and Hong Kong. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analyst and producer and Nicole Roussell.
[Related article: Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Listen to "The Week in Review" 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.)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on Trump-Zelensky Call (9/25/2019)

Impeachment Fever: What Trump Said to the Ukrainian President

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.

At least 200 Democrats have now said that they support impeaching President Trump for abuse of power after he apparently pressured Ukrainian President Zelensky to assist in an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. But the White House released what it says is a transcript of that call. And the accusations against Trump are now not so clear.


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.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (9/20/19)

If Ukraine Connection With Trump Is True Could This Be The Real "Russiagate"?

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

A battle between Congress and the White House, set off by an anonymous whistle blower and believed to involve the government of Ukraine, according to two former US officials who spoke to the Washington Post, has moved into the public eye. The whistle blower, an intelligence official who worked at the White House, said US President Donald Trump made a "promise" to a foreign leader, which the official found sufficiently alarming to alert Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson found that the complaint reached the threshold of an "urgent concern," which would require him to notify congressional oversight committees on the matter. However, Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, has been unwilling to provide Congress with the details of what Trump allegedly did, causing some to charge that he is improperly protecting the president. What happened?
[Related article: Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

The Pentagon said Thursday that the US will leave it up to Saudi Arabia to decide whether there is sufficient proof accuse Iran of being behind the drone strikes that hit two Saudi Aramco oil facilities last weekend. “We'll wait until the final assessment's completed with the Saudis and that they've made the declaration,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters. Really? Well that’s a change of tone. “This was an attack on Saudi Arabia. We're supporting their investigation. We have teams on the ground working with them, but we're not going to get ahead of their conclusions.” What are we to make of this?

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Thursday that if the US or Saudi Arabia attacks Iran, an "all-out war" is sure to follow. "We don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation," Zarif told CNN, noting that any conflict would result in "a lot of casualties." The latest source of tension between the three nations is last Saturday's drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities, which temporarily halved Saudi Arabia's oil production and for which the Yemeni Houthis have claimed responsibility. However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the attacks were "an act of war" against Saudi Arabia, and that they involved not just drones, but cruise missiles, pointing the finger at Tehran. President Trump tweeted September 15 that the US military was "locked and loaded" to respond against the perpetrators, though he said the following day that the US would prefer not to go to war. Where will all of this tension lead?
[Related Article: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

"Californians, the Trump administration said Thursday, breathe the same air, and live in pretty much the same environment, as the rest of the country. Their vehicles spew the same gases. So their emissions standards should be the same as everyone else’s," the San Francisco Chronicle reported in August 2018 on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to revoke federal waiver under the Clean Air Act allowing the state to enact more demanding vehicle emissions standards than the rest of the US, colloquially known as the tailpipe emissions waiver. On Thursday, the administration officially revoked the waiver, but a legal battle is sure to ensue.

In an attempt to keep the economy from faltering, the US Federal Reserve lowered interest rates Wednesday from 2.25% to just below 2%. While President Trump has called for the Fed to cut rates, the reduction is much more modest than he might have liked, emphasizing the gap between how the Fed and the White House view the American economy as the 2020 elections loom. Is this effort to keep the economy strong being made because of the projections of a recession and the data that continue to point in that direction?

All those stories and more!

GUESTS:

Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."

David Schultz — Professor of political science at Hamline University and author of "Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter."

Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.


Listen to "If Ukraine Connection With Trump Is True Could This Be The Real "Russiagate"?" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

Week in Review Discussion on Loud & Clear (9/20/2019)

Why is the New York Times Begging Trump for a War Against Iran?

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek.

The panel takes a look at the biggest stories of the week, including U.S. war threats against Iran, the global climate strike, the controversy over a call between Donald Trump and a foreign leader, and the Israeli election.

[Related article: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

Listen to "Why is the New York Times Begging Trump for a War Against Iran?" 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.)

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