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.)

Loud & Clear Discussion on Lesandowski Testimony (9/18/2019)

Addicted to Russiagate, Dems Make Another Huge Blunder with Lewandowski

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net and whose latest article on the subject is “Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit,” on Counterpunch and thepolemicist.net.

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, testified before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday in what was a day-long, very heated, event. Lewandowski repeatedly invoked Executive Privilege, even though he has never worked in the White House, refusing to answer most questions put to him by Democrats. But many Democrats came off as angry, loud showboaters, more interested in getting on television than in finding the truth over whether the President committed obstruction of justice. The hearing puts committee chairman Jerry Nadler even further at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  

[Related articles: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake PoliticsDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Listen to "Addicted to Russiagate, Dems Make Another Huge Blunder with Lewandowski" 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.)

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.

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