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?

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
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.)

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