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 thepolemicist.net, 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?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit


nakedcapitalism.com
The two-year Mueller investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged collusion (“largely synonymous with conspiracy”) with Russia is over. Nothingburger.
The 448-page Mueller Report has been published in full, and made into a dramatic hour-and-twenty-minute stage performance adapted by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright with a cast of Hollywood stars. Yawn.
Then there was the seven hours of Mueller himself testifying before two committees of Congress and the public. Painful, "very, very painful.”
One might expect that the Democratic Party’s #Resistance would abandon its attempt to unseat Donald Trump through litigation, in the face of the glaring fact that this whole Russiagate/Mueller Investigation thing has only been of great political benefit, a “massive gift,” to Donald Trump. Seeing all the chips flow to your opponent, you gotta know when to fold ‘em and play a new hand.
One might think a shrewd and serious #Resistance would perhaps switch to a strategy of frontal political assault that highlights substantive alternatives to reactionary social and foreign policies, where Trump is vulnerable for increasing inequality, social insecurity, and foreign aggression. ‘Cause, you know, as Nathan Robinson puts it: “People are upset because they’re drowning in debt, their rent is too damn high, they can’t afford their health insurance and they are working crappy jobs,” not because Konstantin Kilimnik got some polling data. One might think, with Robinson, that “hopefully we can put this pathetic chapter in American politics behind us.”

Monday, August 12, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (8/9/19)

Democrats In Iowa: Second Tier Candidates Are Carrying The Day

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

Democratic presidential candidates are traversing Iowa this week with lively summer bus tours, stopping with their families at the Iowa State Fair and eating fried butter and fried Oreos, and speaking at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox and the annual Democratic Wing Ding fundraiser. So, right now Real Clear Politics has Joe Biden up by nine points over Elizabeth Warren, followed by Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. Is there any sense of momentum on the ground that either confirms these numbers or provides a different perspective? Have the shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, changed the focus of discussion for these candidates?

Week in Review Discussion on Loud & Clear (8/9/2019)

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 massacres in El Paso and Dayton, the huge immigration raid that took place in Mississippi, the anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown and subsequent Rebellion in Ferguson, and the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
[Related articles: The Rifle on the Wall: A Left Argument for Gun Rights (Reprise)Lawyers, Guns, and Twitter: Gun Battles and Class Struggle after San BernardinoThe Siege of Venezuela and The Travails of Empire]

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.)

Monday, July 29, 2019

By Any Means Necessary Discussion on Mueller Testimony

21st Century Lynchings: AG Barr Reinstates Federal Death Penalty

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon are joined by journalist and author Daniel Lazare to talk about Robert Mueller's two-part Congressional hearing, what Democrats and Republicans accomplished from the hearing, the underlying Russiaphobia present throughout the hearing, and if Robert Mueller will ever be heard from again.

In the second segment, Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star to talk about what promises new Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to keep as he enters 10 Downing Street, the Boris Bump Conservatives are feeling and the climate of environmental politics in the UK.

In this special segment of "By Any Means Necessary" Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon are joined by Dr. Rima Brusi, anthropologist, writer, educator and scholar-in-residence at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, at Lehman College-City University of New York, to talk about the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, the rigging of the Puerto Rican economy by Wall Street and the US Federal government, the process of decolonizing the island and restoring the public oversight of the economy.

Later in the show, Eugene and Sean are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst who publishes on Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net to talk about Robert Mueller's testimony in Congress, the lack of any new substantive information coming to light, and where we are left after the latest Russiagate theatrics. (My segment starts at 57:37)

Loud & Clear Discussion Previewing Mueller Testimomy (7/23/2019)

Mueller to testify tomorrow to house committees

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify tomorrow before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees following two years of silence and release of his written report on allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller, however, is unlikely to say anything of substance. He already told Congress that he would limit his statement and answers to what was released in the report. And the Justice Department yesterday instructed him to limit the scope of his testimony solely to the report and the information contained in it. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.


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, July 22, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (7/19/19)

What's Going Wrong In America? Real Talk: Puerto Rico, Sex Offenders & Iran

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. 

Disputes between the Trump administration and Puerto Rican leaders over rebuilding costs and the unsteady implementation of a new process to approve project funding have severely hamstrung recovery from Hurricane Maria. Out of some 10,000 schools, bridges and other damaged sites dotting the island, funds for only nine have gotten the green light from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló faces calls to resign over two separate scandals: a fraudulent scheme involving federal funds that ensnared two former top aides; and the release of private chat messages between the governor and other top aides that were insulting and inflammatory.

Loud & Clear Discussion on IG Russiagate Surveillance Report (7/10/2019)

New developments as Inspector General report on Russiagate-related surveillance is prepared

The release of Justice Department’s Inspector General report on the Mueller investigation is being pushed back because investigators spent much of June interviewing Christopher Steele. Meanwhile, Yahoo News reporter Mike Isikoff is at it again. After writing an utterly discredited book on how the Steele Dossier was a Russian intelligence operation and doubling down on the equally discredited Russia collusion narrative, Isikoff has published an article saying that reports that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was killed by a hit squad working on behalf of Hillary Clinton was, you guessed it, a Russian propaganda operation. Isikoff makes pointed accusations, but the facts in his piece just don’t add up. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.

Listen to "New developments as Inspector General report on Russiagate-related surveillance is prepared" 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.)

The Week Ahead Discussion on Loud & Clear (7/8/2019)

The Week Ahead

In this segment, which we call The Week Ahead, the hosts take a look at the most newsworthy stories of the coming week and what it means for the country and the world, including 2020 politics, the indictment of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein (who is a friend of Trump and Bill Clinton and many others in high places) for running a vast network for the trafficking of young girls who were victims of rape and sexual assault, and Iran’s decision to breach the limits of enriched uranium production. Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.
[My related article Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

Listen to "The Week Ahead" 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, July 1, 2019

Week in Review discussion on Loud & Clear (6/28/2019)

Kamala Harris Takes Down Biden…And Then Affirms Neo-Con Foreign Policy

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 and producer Nicole Roussell.

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 democratic debates from last night, where they examine Kamala Harris’s attack against Joe Biden’s ongoing and recent embrace with the most notorious racists and segregationists in the US Senate. They also look at Kamala Harris’s own record as a prosecutor and her neocon political positions. Plus, they talk about the decline of European centrist parties and the announced shift back by European elites and capitalists to democratic socialism, and about US-Iranian tensions, including an Iranian saying today that they’ve examined North Korea’s trajectory as a lesson for their own next move.

[My related articles: For What It’s Worth: The Yellow Vests and the Left
Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

Listen to "Kamala Harris Takes Down Biden…And Then Affirms Neo-Con Foreign Policy" 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, June 28, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on New Iran Sanctions (6/25/2019)

Iran says latest U.S. sanctions close off possibility of negotiations

The Trump Administration yesterday announced strong new sanctions on Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and moderate Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif in response to the Iranian shoot-down of a US Global Hawk drone. The Iranians responded by saying that negotiations with the United States were over forever. Meanwhile, Russian officials say their own investigation shows that the drone was actually flying over Iranian airspace. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article “Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back” is on CounterPunch and thepolemicist.net, joins the show.
[My related article Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back]

Listen to "Iran says latest U.S. sanctions close off possibility of negotiations" 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.)

Discussion on The Critical Hour about new Iran Sanctions (6/25/19)

Border Commissioner Resigns As Congress Battles Over Forgotten Migrant Children

The acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner is resigning amid a surge of immigrants at the southern border. John Sanders' resignation is set for July 5, and he didn't provide a reason for stepping down. The resignation comes as CBP deals with accusations of poor living conditions at US border facilities. House Democrats are battling over a $4.5 billion emergency aid bill for the southern border. Liberals are outraged over the treatment of migrant children and are pushing for more protections in the bill. They want tougher standards for facilities that house migrant families. In the meantime, the White House is threatening a presidential veto, as it seeks more funding for ICE detention. House leaders want to get the bill passed before next week's July 4 recess. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back

globalvillagespace.com

rusvesna.su


It was a helluva week on the Iran front. It started with attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13th and ended with Donald Trump ordering, and then calling off, a military attack on Iran on June 20-21. How we got from beginning to end of that chapter in the ongoing US-Iran saga is worth close consideration.


Studied Ambiguity

Like everyone else who can say “Gulf of Tonkin,” “Remember the Maine,” and “Iraqi WMDs,” my instinctive reaction to the attacks on two tankers, a month after explosions hit four oil tankers in the UAE port of Fujairah, was: “Oh, come on now!” We know the United States, egged on by Israel and Saudi Arabia, has been itching to launch some kind of military attack on Iran, and we are positively jaded by the formula that's always used to produce a justification for such aggression.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on DOJ Depending on Unredacted Crowdstrike Report (6/18/2019)

Authorities didn’t even see unredacted private company report before jumping to DNC hack conclusion

The Justice Department has admitted that the FBI relied on information provided by the private company Crowdstrike concluding that Russia was to blame for hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s servers, even though that information had been heavily redacted by the company. The FBI never had access to any of the original documents. That news was just made public yesterday in a filing by Roger Stone’s defense attorneys. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.



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, June 18, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (6/14/19)

Assange Extradition Trial Scheduled For February, Will Justice Be Served?

A London court will decide in February whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to the US to face 18 criminal charges in connection with the leak of thousands of classified documents relating to US military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court Friday by video link from Belmarsh Prison, where he is currently serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail and fleeing to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012. It’s interesting to me that Assange told the London court he had not seen the latest indictment containing 18 US allegations against him.
[My related articles: Avoiding Assange and Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed at Assange]

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on Trump's and CNN's Remarks on Vietnam War (6/7/2019)

CNN Criticizes Trump Criticizing the Vietnam War

President Trump this week criticized the war in Vietnam, a sentiment that many Americans share. Rather than concentrate on keeping America out of more wars, CNN took him to task about his comments and his not having served in the military, noting that many soldiers don’t want to serve but “it is the call of their country.” Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor in chief of thepolemicist.net.

Listen to "CNN Criticizes Trump Criticizing the Vietnam War" 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.)

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (5/31/19)

Vault 7 Charges Not Pursued For Assange, But He Still Faces Life For Espionage

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Lee Stranahan, co-host of Fault Lines on Sputnik Radio; Daniel Lazare, journalist and author of "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War"; and Jim Kavanagh, editor of The Polemicist. 

The Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a US official and two other people familiar with the case. So instead, the Justice Department will go after Assange on the one count for allegedly assisting Chelsea Manning and the 17-count Espionage Act indictment. According to Politico, there are no plans to bring any additional indictments prior to his extradition. Is this as big a concession as many believe? 

Loud & Clear Discussion of Michael Avenatti Indictment (5/23/2019)

Ex-Darling of the Media: Michael Avenatti Charged Again as a Fraudster

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

Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rocketed to fame by representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, was charged yesterday with defrauding her of $300,000. Avenatti was charged earlier this year in New York on multiple felony counts of trying to extort the Nike shoe company of $25 million. And he faces yet more felony charges in Los Angeles, accusing him of defrauding other clients. However, at the height of his public notoriety last year, he was hailed as a hero by the corporate media and even established an exploratory committee and said he wanted to run for president.


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.)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed at Assange


ExtremeTech

In my article, Avoiding Assange, a month ago, right after the first US indictment was issued, I addressed two diversionary arguments that I knew would be used by those who want to hide their complicity with American imperialism under leftish cover—that is, those who don't want to be seen as endorsing the United States government’s prosecution of Assange for, and intimidation of every journalist in the world from, reporting the embarrassing truth about American war crimes, but who also don't really want to stand in the way of Assange’s extradition to the United States.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (5/24/19)

Federal Judge Writes “Here We Go Again” as He Blocks Mississippi Abortion Law

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

A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi's fetal heartbeat anti-abortion law from going into effect, saying it infringes on women's health care rights. “Here we go again. Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability,” Judge Carlton Reeves wrote in his order. "By banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, SB 226 prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy.” The Mississippi ban prohibited abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, or around six weeks into pregnancy. Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law in March. The lawsuit leading to the injunction was filed by the Jackson Women's Health Organization against Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer of Mississippi.

After defying political gravity for three years, Theresa May brought her tortured tenure as UK prime minister to a close Friday. "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold," she said outside Downing Street, her voice quivering in the morning sunshine. And with that, she's off - or at least she will be later in the summer, once a new Conservative leader is elected. We knew it was imminent, but to me, it is still a surprise.

[My related article: For What It’s Worth: The Yellow Vests and the Left]

The US government is stressing that Julian Assange is no journalist after bringing an 18-count indictment against the co-founder of WikiLeaks. Federal prosecutors are accusing Assange of violating the Espionage Act in working with a former Army intelligence analyst to obtain and distribute classified information. That worries some professional journalists because it's close to what they do. Assange remains in jail in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy there. 

[My related article: Avoiding Assange]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified lawmakers Friday that US President Donald Trump is invoking his emergency authority to sidestep Congress and complete 22 arms deals that would benefit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, despite lawmakers’ objections to the transactions. Both Republicans and Democrats urged the Trump administration this week not to take the rare step of exploiting a legal window to push through deals - worth about $8 billion, according to congressional aides - that lawmakers have blocked from being finalized. You know, it was Wall Street who was happy and well cared for during the Obama administration. Now it seems like the war machine, the military industrial complex and the arms manufacturers are being so well cared Saufor.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Thursday acknowledged that the growing tensions with Iran “may involve sending additional troops” to the region. Shanahan's comments marked the first public confirmation that the Trump administration is considering sending additional US forces to curtail what it claims are “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran. The Pentagon has already deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East, and news reports emerged this week that Shanahan on Thursday was set to present the White House with a request to deploy 10,000 troops to the Middle East. An earlier report said that the US could send upwards of 120,000 additional troops.

GUESTS: 

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."

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

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


Listen to "Federal Judge Writes “Here We Go Again” as He Blocks Mississippi Abortion Law" 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.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on Media Campaign Aganist Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard (5/20/2019)

Corporate media smears Sanders, Gabbard for refusing to toe Pentagon line on foreign policy

Corporate media came out with a new line of attack on the Democratic presidential candidates most closely identified with the peace movement. The New York Times recently published a magazine article accusing Bernie Sanders of embracing left-wing and liberation movements and involving himself in the Cold War when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. And The Daily Beast wrote this weekend that Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign is being “boosted by Putin apologists.” Is this the Democrats’ version of McCarthyism for the 2020 campaign? Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” joins the show.


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.)

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (5/17/2019)

All You Need To Know About Why the US and China Trade Talks Failed

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer 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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (5/3/2019)

Friday News Roundup: Venezuela Still Under Siege, Don't Let the Coup Fool You

US Attorney General William Barr did not show up for Thursday’s scheduled hearing about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. So, what’s being reported is that the Justice Department objected to the format of the planned hearing, which would have allowed the committee’s Democratic and Republican counsels question Barr for as long as 30 minutes at a stretch after an initial five-minute exchange with lawmakers. What's really going on?

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Discussion of Julian Assange Extradition Hearing on The Critical Hour (5/2/2019)

Dems Run Out Of Steam, Accuse AG William Barr Of Lying And Hiding

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Daniel Lazare, journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion on Day of Assange Extradtion Hearing (5/2/2019)

Will the UK Extradite Assange?

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

Julian Assange today appeared in a London court by videolink for a preliminary hearing to fight his extradition to the United States. A judge asked Assange if he was prepared to surrender himself for extradition. He replied, “I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that’s won many, many awards and affected many people.” An attorney representing the US government then asked for a formal extradition hearing on June 12.

[My related article: Avoiding Assange]

Listen to "Will the UK Extradite Assange?" 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.)


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (4/26/2019)

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Jon Jeter, author, two-time Pulitzer Prize, former Washington Post bureau chief and award-winning foreign correspondent; and Jim Kavanagh, political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.

The United States government is seeking to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for one reason: to punish him for publishing true and embarrassing information about US crimes and intimidate every journalist in the world from doing so again. If the US government succeeds in doing this, it will strike a devastating blow to the fundamental elements of democracy throughout the world — the freedom of the press and the related ability of citizens to know what their governments are doing. 

[My related article: Avoiding Assange]

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Avoiding Assange



The United States government is seeking to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for one reason: to punish him for publishing true and embarrassing information about US crimes and intimidate every journalist in the world from doing so again.
If the US government succeeds in doing this, it will strike a devastating blow to the fundamental elements of democracy throughout the world—the freedom of the press and the related ability of citizens to know what their governments are doing.
I say “throughout the world” because It's important to understand that the US government in this case is asserting its prosecutorial authority over someone who is not an American and whose journalistic activity took place outside the United States. The United States is demonstrating its ability to get a foreign government to arrest and extradite journalists who are neither Americans nor citizens of its own country and send them off to the United States to face charges under American law. It's not only a brazen attempt to quash press freedoms; it's a further extension of the United States’ arrogant assertion of extra-territorial—indeed, universal—jurisdiction of its laws.
As Jonathan Cook says, those who accept this have “signed off on the right of the US authorities to seize any foreign journalist, anywhere in the world, and lock him or her out of sight. They opened the door to a new, special form of rendition for journalists.”

Monday, April 22, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (4/19/2019)

Mueller Report Reveals Trump's Lies And Deception, But Not Collusion

Attorney General William Barr on Thursday released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, entitled “Report on The Investigation Into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” to Congress and the public. Before the report was released, Barr held a press conference or what appeared to be more of a spin session with reporters. "The report did not exonerate the president" – here I think it’s important for people to understand the difference between the criminal side of this investigation and the impeachment side of this investigation. Mueller whiffed on a crucial legal question. The special counsel’s report spans more than 400 pages. However, only 12 pages are dedicated to a critical question: Can the federal obstruction of justice statute apply to the president? Mueller treated this question—which is separate from whether a sitting president can be indicted—in an underwhelming fashion. He had simply concluded that the obstruction statute does not apply to the president. There is no reason to detail whether the president violated federal law, if the federal law does not apply to the president.
[My related article: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

The rector for Notre Dame Cathedral says a "computer glitch" may have been the cause of the massive fire on Monday. Rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the glitch but added that investigators may find out what happened in two or three months. On Thursday, investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to set out reconstruction ideas Friday while meeting with officials from the United Nations' cultural agency. 

Loud & Clear Discussion Day Before Mueller Report Release (4/17/2019)

Anticipation builds a day of Mueller report release

A redacted version of the Mueller report will be released tomorrow, but Democrats and their media allies already are downplaying the event. House Democrats announced that they will seek an unredacted version of the report on Friday. Meanwhile, CIA Director Gina Haspel apparently told the President that British intelligence officials told her that two children were injured and several ducks were killed in last year’s Novichok attack against a Russian dissident in the UK. There is no evidence, however, that this ever happened. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on both Counterpunch and The Polemicist is "Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics," joins the show.

Listen to "Anticipation builds a day of Mueller report release" 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.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion of AG Barr's "Spying" Comment (4/10/2019)

Attorney General Accuses Govt Agencies of Spying on Trump 2016 Campaign

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek (filling in for John Kiriakou) are joined by Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net and whistleblower and activist Coleen Rowley. 

The hosts continue our weekly segment In the News, where we look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Today we’ll be focusing on Attorney General Barr’s testimony to Congress and his comments on FBI spying on the Trump campaign.

[My related article: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

Listen to "Attorney General Accuses Govt Agencies of Spying on Trump 2016 Campaign" 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.)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

Washington Examiner
So the Mueller investigation is over. The official “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” has been written, and is in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, who has issued a summary of its findings. On the core mandate of the investigation, given to Special Counsel Mueller by Rod Rosenstein as Acting Attorney General in May of 2017—to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”—the takeaway conclusion stated in the Mueller report, as quoted in the Barr summary, is that "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.1"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (4/5/2019)

Rumors Abound: Will WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Be Extradited to the US?

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

Friday, April 5, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (3/29/2019)

Thousands Held In Deplorable Conditions In Syrian Refugee Camp By US Military

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Whitney Webb, journalist and staff writer for MintPress News.

It's Friday, that means it is panel time!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (3/22/2019)

The Mueller Report Finally Drops, Dems Prepare List Of Demands

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Jim Kavanagh, political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist; and Michelle Hudgins, communications strategist, producer, media consultant and writer. 

It’s Friday, that means it is panel time! 

Monday, March 18, 2019

My Remarks at the Hands Off Venezuela Demonstration in D.C.

Fantastic demonstration in Washington on Saturday. Here's my brief contribution, introduced by Eugene Puryear:


Better angle, from alchymediatv
Full video of speakers here

Eugene Puryear Speaks During March (My Video):

Featured Post From The Archive:

Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

Washington Examiner So the Mueller investigation is over. The official “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2...