Political Misfits brings you news, politics and culture ‒ without the red and blue treatment. We aim to facilitate constructive conversations that take new looks at the stories and topics that mean a lot to us, including corporate misconduct, anti-war efforts, climate change, political hypocrisy, poverty, pop culture, electoral politics and much, much more. Political Misfits airs live daily Monday through Friday from 12-2 p.m. EST and is broadcast on 105.5 FM in Washington, DC, 102.9 FM in Kansas City, Missouri, and to 35 countries on signals such as FM, digital DAB/DAB+ (Digital Radio Broadcasting), and HD-Radio. The show is also made available globally live on SputnikNews.com and is distributed as a podcast shortly after broadcasting on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spreaker and more. About us: Hosts Bob Schlehuber and Michelle Witte bring different backgrounds to Political Misfits, but arrive with a mutual curiosity and compassion. Bob is an artist, producer and organizer; someone who works to create conversations that bring together broad and diverse individuals, organizations and ideas. Bob produced the radio show By Any Means Necessary on Radio Sputnik for the past three years; now, he's bringing his commitment to understanding and addressing housing, homelessness, public safety, education, health, workforce development, civility, mutual understanding, and international peace and conflict resolution to Political Misfits. Michelle is a committed explorer, observer and documentor of our big, beautiful planet and the strange creatures that inhabit it. A long-time writer, teacher and journalist, she returned to the US after ten years overseas with a broader perspective on American politics and culture and our impact on the world. Michelle gets fired up about justice and injustice, responsible travel, good books and bad movies, animal rights, baking and long-distance hikes.
Juan José Gutiérrez, immigration lawyer and executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, talks to us about the 21-point immigration plan the Biden administration introduced this week, which included expedited removals for immigrants, where individuals and families can be expelled from this country without a hearing before an immigration judge, and how the administration is embracing draconian policies that were criticized during the Trump administration. We also talk about Texas Governor Greg Abbott activating the National Guard to police border areas and how this will lead wrongful detentions and racial profiling. Shawn Cantrell, Vice President of Field Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife, talks to us about the state of wolf conservation in the U.S., and how wolf populations have fared after the Trump administration stripped federal protections from wolves at the end of his term, which has sparked hunts in various states of the nation with very little oversight and regulation, and how this has dealt a huge blow to species recovery. We also talk about other reintroduction programs that have been successful in other states like Colorado and California, how to coexist with wolves, and the importance that wolf populations have on the environment, from regulating deer and elk populations, to plant recovery and clean water. Jacquie Luqman, co-host of By Any Means Necessary on Radio Sputnik, joins us in a conversation about news that Washington, DC will once again require masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, police conducting “walkthroughs” in DC neighborhoods, and how policing is wrongly deployed to address community issues that have more to do with poverty and public health than with crime. We also talk about how the district remains a colony of the U.S., with the attendant issues of inequality, segregation, and lack of representation. Reana Kovalcik, founder of the Share a Seed Project, tells us about trends in mutual aid and self and community sufficiency through the Share a Seed Project, and how sharing food, knowledge, and promoting a slow food movement can help promote and sustain healthier and stronger communities.
Big Pharma fights 15% global tax rate. How corporations fail to pay their fair share after receiving billions in public funds.Richard Becker, author of "Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire,” and Ariel Gold, Co-Executive Director at Code Pink, talk to us about a report by Human Rights Watch revealing that Israel violated international law during the May campaign in Gaza in what amounts to war crimes, and how Israel limits media access to Gaza. We also talk about the BDS movement, and the uproar by the Israeli government after Ben and Jerry's decided to stop selling its products in settlements in the occupied territories. Betsy Yoon, member of Nodutdol, a Korean diaspora organization working toward peace, decolonization and self-determination, talks to us about the an ongoing debate in South Korea over the dominant narrative of the 1980 uprising in Gwangju that ended in a slaughter of civilians by their own country's military forces, and how the forces of reaction in the country have been re-hashing narratives that protesters were North Korean infiltrators deserving of the violence visited upon them. We also talk about how the role of the U.S. in this massacre has been underreported by mainstream historians and news media.Eugene Puryear, journalist, author, activist, politician, host at Breakthrough News, and author of "Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America,” talks to us about the DOJ selling off Martin Shkreli's $2 million copy of an album by the Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pharma's “quiet” effort to fight the 15% minimum global tax rate, and how they have been portraying themselves as the saviors of the world during the pandemic. We also talk about the looming eviction crisis and whether government assistance will be enough to stave off disaster. Femi Ayanbadejo, founder of HealthReel, Inc., creator of the AI-powered HealthReel health assessment app, and former American football running back, fullback and special teams player, talks to us about American gymnast Simone Biles withdrawing from the all-around team competition at the Olympics and the incredible pressure put on athletes in these competitions, the increasing visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and nonbinary athletes in Tokyo, and how athletes are dealing with extreme heat in the Olympics.
Dr Petra Gelbart, a Romani educator, scholar, musician, and co-founder of the Initiative for Romani Music at New York University, discusses RomArchive, the digital archive of Roma and Sinti art and culture, which she helped curate.
Daniel Hale sentenced to 45 months under Espionage Act. How the U.S. continues its war against whistleblowers. Tighe Barry, activist for Code Pink, talks to us about the case of whistleblower Daniel Hale, who was sentenced to 45 months for violating the Espionage Act after leaking documents to the press related to the U.S.'s drone assassination program. We talk about the letter Hale sent to the judge citing examples of the atrocities he witnessed and assisted in, and how in these days, charges using the Espionage Act are levied almost exclusively against journalists and whistleblowers. Peter Oliver, journalist and RT correspondent in Berlin, talks to us about the explosion at a chemical plant in Leverkusen, Germany, that left one person dead, four missing, 31 injured and sparked fears of what kind of pollutants might be in the smoke it generated. We also talk about how the government is responding to this incident, after having to deal with the recent catastrophic floods and COVID-19 spikes in the country. Dan Kovalik, author and human rights & labor lawyer, talks to us about the case of Steven Donziger, who was found guilty on six charges of criminal contempt after having won a fight in Ecuador against oil giant Chevron, which then engaged in a campaign of persecution against him. Jim Kavanagh, editor of The Polemicist, talks to us about the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol kicking off its first hearing, and whether we will discover anything new or whether it will be just political theater. We also talk about US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi formally agreeing to end the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, and renewed airstrikes on several targets in the Gaza strip.Dr. Petra Gelbart, Romani educator, scholar, musician, co-founder of the Initiative for Romani Music at New York University, and board-certified music therapist, talks to us about RomArchive, which launched in 2019 with the goal of digitizing Romani art in a variety of fields, passing on knowledge and countering stereotypes, and the hard work involved in making Roma culture more visible and recognizing its value.
Prime Minister of Iraq visits White House, rejects foreign troops in the country. How the U.S. remains entangled in its military misadventures.Sean Blackmon, co-host of By Any Means Necessary, joins us to talk about the ongoing battle of narratives over the situation in Cuba after protests in the country in the past two weeks, with rallies and public displays in the U.S. for lifting the embargo and counter-protests calling for military intervention in Cuba, and how lifting the embargo and normalizing relations with the country will ultimately provide a reprieve to the stranglehold that the Cuban people have been subjected to for the past 60 years by the U.S.Darren Thompson, reporter for Native News Online and Unicorn Riot, talks to us about a victory for protesters in Minnesota trying to stop the expansion of Enbridge's Line 3 after a Minnesota judge granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office from barricading, obstructing, or otherwise interfering with access to the property of one of the water protector camps set up as part of the protest, whether this will lead to a change in tactics on either side as this conflict continues, and the respective roles that the governments of Minnesota, Canada and the United States play in this. Peter Schwartzman, mayor of Galesburg, Illinois, talks to us about how to enact political change at the local level, how it is possible to divest oneself from the red and blue party machines and win running on a third party, and what constraints the duopoly places on politicians and activists working for political alternatives at the state and national levels. Ted Rall, award-winning political cartoonist, columnist, and author, talks to us about the White House visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, his statements regarding the presence of the U.S. military in the country, and how the U.S. seems to have a hard time disentangling itself from its military misadventures. We also talk about the increasing number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and the DOJ announcing over the weekend that it wasn't going to look into the deaths in New York nursing homes during covid.
Biden administration places additional sanctions on Cuba. Will we ever see a normalization in relations between the two countries?Angela Arias-Zapata, a PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University whose work focuses on Colombia and how colonial notions of nature and racial difference shape its narrative infrastructure and social movements, talks to us about renewed protests and a general strike that began July 20 across Colombia as the government presented a revised tax reform bill, whether this version of the bill addresses the issues in the original one, and how the government has responded to the claims by the people on the street. We also talk about a wave of arrests over an attack on president Duque's helicopter and how the FARC and Venezuela prove to be convenient scapegoats, and how Colombian ex-military personnel end up doing mercenary work around the world. David Schwartzman, Professor emeritus at Howard University, activist, former candidate for the DC Statehood Green Party, member of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, and co-author of the book “The Earth Is Not for Sale,” joins us to to talk about what we can learn from Cuba in regards to energy consumption, ecosocialism, and the concept of economic de-growth, which is gaining importance as we face the devastating consequences that economies hell-bent on growth have had on the environment globally. We also talk about how the U.S. has tacked on even more sanctions on Cuba, how the playbook in the U.S. relationship with the country has not changed from a policy of confrontation over decades, and the importance of working toward a normalization in relations with Cuba.Sharon Anderson, Attorney and business consultant, former law school professor and lecturer at Howard Law, and the CEO and Founder of KCG Consulting Services talks to us about Illinois becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban police from lying or using deceptive tactics while interrogating minors, why this should be expanded to the remaining 49 states, and the legacy of lives destroyed by convictions reached through false confessions. We also talk about the mounting legal troubles faced by Trump associates, and the fight in congress over the Jan. 6 Commission.
Medical Debt soars to the tune of 140 billion. What can be done to provide truly affordable healthcare. Mark Sleboda, international affairs and security analyst talks to us about a deal reached between the U.S. and Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and the impact of this agreement in the relations with Russia and the Ukraine, with the U.S. still holding the sanctions card. We also talk about revelations about the reach of the Pegasus spyware sold by the Israeli security firm NSO Group, which included many heads of state, whether there will be any fallout from this, and whether privacy protections or software can actually provide any assurances anymore.Bill Honigman, retired emergency physician and CA State Coordinator and Healthcare Issue Team Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America talks to us about how medical debt has skyrocketed for Americans in recent years, with collection agencies holding $140 billion in unpaid medical bills last year, and how this has a domino effect in preventing people from seeking adequate health care and digging themselves out of poverty. We also talk about a proposal within Biden's executive order promoting competition that would promote negotiating drug prices, and whether this is enough to lower medical costs.Jamal Muhammad, host of the Luv Lounge radio show and the Old School Lunch Bag Mix on Square 1 radio, and Salim Adofo, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for District 8C07 in Washington D.C. talk to us about the response from elected officials to recent spikes in violence, how requests by community leaders are not heard, and how the response usually turns out to be more policing instead of providing a safety net and infrastructure that will actually help communities. Carol Walker, photographer, advocate for keeping America's wild horses wild and free on public lands, author of "Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas," and founder of Wildhoofbeats.com talks to us how wild horses are being slaughtered under the guise of an “adoption program”, and under the pretense of land conservation. We also talk about undue influence from the cattle ranching lobby in the Bureau of Land Management, and what can be done to protect the wild horse population.
Luis Castillo officially declared winner of Peru election. What this means for progressive politics in the region.Andrew Miller, Advocacy Director for Amazon Watch, talks to us about news that more than 10,000 species of plants and animals are at high risk of extinction due to the destruction of the Amazon, and how some parts of the Amazon are emitting more carbon than they absorb. We talk about efforts like cap and trade, and whether these are enough to effectively curb environmental degradation, the political and economic connections that drive climate change, and how organizing can help protect the Amazon. Luis Gárate, journalist and Director of Comunicambio, an independent news media organization based in Perú talks to us about news out of Peru, where Luis Castillo was officially declared the victor of the presidential election, what this means for progressive politics in Perú and the region, and the pushback from reactionary forces in the country.John Kane, Mohawk activist, educator, and producer and Host of the Let's Talk Native Podcast, talks to us about a fight between a group of Osage shareholders and the federal government over mismanagement of their oil and gas royalties, the complicated financial relationships the federal government has with native governments or individual members of native nations, and the kinds of abuses those relationships engender. Chris Thomas, community mentor and violence interrupter, and Beth Wagner, community organizer at the Brookland Manor/Brentwood Village Residents Association talks to us about reports that life expectancy has dropped in the U.S. during the pandemic, particularly affecting black and brown communities, the D.C. Council voting to support a tax increase for individuals earning $250,000 or more a year, and whether taxation is the panacea to cure inequality in the country. Nate Wallace, creator and co-host of the podcast Redspin Sports talks to us about the Milwaukee Bucks winning the NBA championships, Space Jam 2, Jackson State coach and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders walking out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day event after being called 'Deion', and Starlin Castro not coming back to the Washington Nationals after charges of domestic violence.
Texas federal judge rules that DACA is illegal, blocking new applications. Will the Biden administration put up a strong fight to protect Dreamers?Peter Oliver, journalist and RT correspondent in Berlin, talks to us about the situation in Germany and Western Europe, where they continue to face the fallout from last week's torrential rains and flooding that has resulted in 180 deaths and 700 missing so far. We talk about how rescue and recovery efforts are progressing, whether there will be more survivors among the missing, the response by the government to this disaster, whether there will be any political fallout from the German government's handling of the situation, and about recognizing the impact of climate change as one of the main drivers of extreme weather events. Maru Mora Villalpando, founder of La Resistencia, community organizer and immigrant activist, talks to us about a federal judge in Texas on Friday declaring that the DACA program was against the law and barring the Biden administration from accepting new applications for it, which may affect around 600,000 beneficiaries of the program. We talk about how this challenge to DACA differs from previous ones, the reaction from the Biden administration on this court decision, whether it will put up a fight to protect DACA, and whether the democratic party will change course in a significant way from Trump era immigration policies. Mónica Cruz, producer, host, and labor beat reporter for BreakThrough News, and Tina-Desiree Berg, host of the podcast District 34 and reporter for status coup, join hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about Amazon announcing its support for lawmakers' efforts to decriminalize marijuana and portraying themselves as the good guys despite their terrible record on working conditions. We talk about the strike at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama, why the workers are striking, and vehicle ramming attacks on the picket line. We also talk about news coming out of Los Angeles, where right wing groups engaged in various transphobic attacks over an alleged incident at a spa in KoreaTown, and the response by police that may have escalated the situation and failed to protect trans people.
Shootings continue unabated in the United States. What can be done to address the root causes of violence.Maurice Cook, Executive Director and lead organizer at Serve Your City, and Bryan Weaver, founder and executive director of Hoops Sagrado talk to us about the never-ending epidemic of gun violence plaguing the country, with 56 people being shot in Chicago over the weekend, and a baseball game in Washington DC getting cancelled after a shootout just outside the stadium. We talk about how shootings are discussed in the media and the importance given to them depending on which part of the city they happen and who the victims are, and discuss Illinois becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban police from lying or using deceptive tactics while interrogating minors. Chris Garaffa, Web developer, technologist, and security and privacy consultant, talks to us about revelations that the NSO Group's Pegasus software is the “weapon of choice for repressive governments seeking to silence journalists, attack activists and crush dissent,” according to an analysis conducted by journalists and Amnesty International. We also talk about how Apple phones-which are generally considered to offer more privacy protections-are not immune from this kind of spyware, the response from NSO claiming innocence from these allegations, and the US government accusing China of the Microsoft hack earlier this year, with the EU and NATO joining in the bandwagon.Margaret Kimberley, Editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report and author of the book "Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents", joins hosts Bob Schlehuber and Michelle Witte to talk about Tony Blinken's instruction to US diplomats to acknowledge America's own struggles with human rights and the mainstream media's inability to acknowledge the same, the the Biden administration transferring its first detainee out of the Guantánamo Bay prison, and reports that the US Commerce Department has for the last decade used a little known security force to investigate and surveill employees which racially profiled persons of Middle Eastern and Chinese descent.
COVID cases surge across the US and Africa; Joe Biden's Cuba propaganda; America's public housing crumbles. Michael Kane, executive director of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants, and Ruth Ann Norton, president and CEO of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, join the show to talk about efforts to ensure the health and safety of public housing residents across the United States. The pair discuss current unsafe conditions, what to expect from HUD under the Biden administration, and the need to build more public housing across the country.Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, professor of Public Health at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, joins to talk about the rapid spread of the COVID 19 Delta variant, LA County reissuing a mask mandate, and the future of COVID vaccines at home and abroad.Dr Shayla Nunnaly, professor of political science and chair of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Tennessee and former president National Conference of Black Political Scientists shares her thoughts on Dr. Cornel West's resignation from Harvard, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates joining Howard University, and the challenges facing activist professors in today's academic environment.Journalist and writer Daniel Lazare joins the show in the second hour to talk about what to expect from the US with regard to Cuba and Haiti. The group also talks about the White House's guidelines on COVID misinformation and what a better public health approach could look like.Bob Schlehuber and Michelle Witte close out the week with the weekly "Working for the Weekend" segment where they trash the worst of the week. Chrissy Teigen, Bill O'Reilly, and the world's most expensive french fries are sent away for good.
Democrats agree to price tag on Infrastructure Bill. Will there be enough unity within the party to garner enough votes to pass it? Joel Segal, co-author of the original Medicare for All bill, executive director of the Justice Action Mobilization Network and national director of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, talks to us about Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reaching a deal on an infrastructure package, whether the bill goes far enough in dealing with climate change. We also talk about the European Commission announcing ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030.Nic Wolpe, Chief Executive of the Liliesleaf Trust and Museum, talks to us about the ongoing unrest in South Africa after the arrest of Jacob Zuma, how much of this unrest is related to Zuma's jailing and whether there are larger grievances around the continued economic inequality in the country, and the government's response to the protests. We also talk about how the country is dealing with a third wave of coronavirus infections, and how vaccination efforts are going in the country.Chris Smalls, organizer and former-Amazon warehouse worker, talks to us about the importance of developing a labor movement that is independent of the party duopoly in the United States, the decision to start an independent union in the fight against Amazon, and how organizing is progressing there.John Kiriakou, co-host of The Backstory on Radio Sputnik, talks to us about an alleged bombshell by The Guardian's Luke Harding, whether the allegations within it would hold under scrutiny, and the continuing obsession with Russiagate in media circles. We also talk about revelations in the Larry Nassar case demonstrating how the FBI mishandled the case by failing to respond to allegations in a responsible way.Dan Kovalik is an author and human rights & labor lawyer. His most recent book is “No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian' Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.” He talks to us about a case where the ACLU is challenging the Maricopa County Attorney's Office's policy of making plea offers "substantially harsher" if people assert their rights to a preliminary hearing or a trial, and what this could mean for citizens' rights.
West Virginia dangles money to attract rich residents. How the trickle-down approach to economic development has been long proven not to work. Alan Macleod, senior staff writer for MintPress News, author, journalist and media analyst and a member of the Glasgow University Media Group, talks to us about the way the crisis and protests in Cuba have been covered by mainstream news outlets, protesters in Miami getting an assist from police, and Miami mayor Francis Suarez suggesting the U.S. conduct airstrikes in Cuba in lieu of lifting the decades-long embargo. We also talk about the role of local media coming out of South Florida dictating the narrative on how to have a conversation around Cuba at the national level. Eleanor Goldfield is a creative activist and journalist focusing on radical and censored issues via photo, video and written journalism, as well as artistic mediums including music, poetry and visual art. She is the co-host of the podcast Common Censored along with Lee Camp. She joins us in a conversation about a plan by West Virginia to lure high income earners into the state to allegedly restart the economy, how this program relies on a purely trickle down model that has been proven to not work, how it will not create sustainable jobs in the state, and how it reinforces stereotypes about West Virginia as a backwards place.James Early, former Director of Cultural Heritage Policy at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution and board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, talks to us about the protests in Cuba and Biden's comments on supporting the Cuban people while maintaining its strangling embargo. We also talk about whether the Cuban government will weather this protests, and developments in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.Femi Ayanbadejo, founder of HealthReel, Inc., creator of the AI-powered HealthReel body composition and health assessment app, and former American football running back, fullback, and special teams player, talks to us about ESPN reporters putting their feet in their mouths, highlights from the MLB All Star game, yet another change to MLB rules contemplated for 2022, and the Olympics being held with no fans in attendance.
Israel's Citizenship Law is not renewed in Knesset but apartheid measures remain. What the U.S.'s unconditional support for Israel means for human rights.Kathy Kelly, American peace activist and author, talks to us about the ongoing war in Yemen, where, according to reports, British forces are on the ground in eastern Yemen, providing logistical support and training Saudi troops and Saudi-backed militias. We look at what this means for the outcome of the war and claims by Western countries, including the U.S., that they want to end support for the Saudi campaign. We also talk about the battle for the city of Marib, how the outcome of this battle will impact peace talks, and whether the U.S. could negotiate with a Houthi government. Ariel Gold, Co-Executive Director at Code Pink, tells us about news coming out of Israel that the so-called citizenship law was not renewed by the Knesset, how there are plenty of apartheid laws that remain in the books in Israel. We also talk about how Israel will withhold $180 million dollars in tax revenue collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, to offset stipends paid to militants and their families, and the case of Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian legislator serving a prison term for advocating for Palestinian rights.Peter Oliver, RT correspondent in Berlin, talks to us about the German Communist Party and the Anarchist Pogo Party not being allowed to stand for the parliamentary elections coming up in September due to bureaucratic technicalities, how Ukraine will remain transit country for Russian gas exports, and whether Angela Merkel's upcoming visit to the White House will resolve the dispute between Germany and the U.S. over Nord Stream 2.Brianna Griffith, producer and host of the People's Republic, joins us in a conversation about Texas Democratic lawmakers leaving the state to deny Republicans a quorum to convene a special legislative session on a sweeping elections reform bill, Biden's gathering of Democratic mayors to discuss increasing gun violence, and other news out of Texas including statewide unemployment benefits running out, the end of eviction protections, and Austin's reinstatement of the public camping ban.
The role the United States is playing in Cuba and Haiti is explored; Richard Branson's "accomplishment" is broken down.Kim Ives, editor of the English Section of Haiti Liberte, joins the show to talk about who is likely behind the killing of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse after a mysterious Florida doctor was blamed for the attack. He addresses Moïse's feud with the country's bourgeoisie, the international interests from Colombia and Venezuela in Haitian unrest, and who will step up to fill the leadership vacuum.Arnold August, a speaker, journalist, and the author of three books on Cuba, including “Cuba-U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond,” joins the show to talk about the protests in Cuba against the government, and the direct response to the protests by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. August and Misfit hosts Bob Schlehuber and Michelle Witte discuss Joe Biden's policies towards the island, the lasting impact of the US embargo on Cuba, and the role social media and the internet is playing in the day to day politics of the Cuban people.Later in the show Ron Placone, comedian and host of "Get Your News On With Ron" joins to talk about the ridiculous praise billionaire Richard Branson has earned for reaching outer space, the removal of Confederate statues in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the US Capital losing the security fencing that had surrounded the building since the January 6th attack. The group also touch on Donald Trump's lawsuit against big tech companies and the future of Section 230 regarding internet speech.The show concludes with its weekly "Miss The Press" segment, with the worst clips from America's Sunday morning talk shows. This week's clips discuss the US troop removal from Afghanistan, the face-off between "woke" and "non-woke" Democrats, and the future of the Republican Party.
President Biden speaks on withdrawal from Afghanistan as Taliban gains ground. What was the U.S. doing there for 20 years?Tina Landis, environmental and social activist and the author of the book “Climate Solutions Beyond Capitalism,” talks to us about the heat dome that smothered the Pacific Northwest earlier last month, ending the hottest June on record, how this heat wave was not confined to the region and affected other regions of the world, causing hundreds of deaths and severely taxing the landscape and infrastructure of the places affected. We also talk about how climate change will affect disease spread by creating suitable environments for vectors, and what could be done to ameliorate this crisis that will harm generations to come.Rania Khalek is a producer and host for Breakthrough News. Her work has also appeared at Truthout, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Al Jazeera America, The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, Vice and more. She talks to us about the current social and economic crisis affecting Lebanon that could provoke a total collapse of the country, how political elites aligned with U.S. interests are insulating themselves from this crisis, and how the media narrative about Lebanon always links the situation to the relationship with the US, Iran and Israel.Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director of International Rights Advocates, and labor & human rights attorney specializing in trade and international labor rights issues, talks to us about a case the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed this week involving fishermen, farmers and others in Gujarat, India, who say a coal-fired power plant funded by the World Bank ruined their environment and their livelihoods, and how the court ruled that the World Bank is immune from lawsuits despite not enforcing its own environmental policies as written in the loan agreement.Ted Rall, award winning political cartoonist, columnist, and author of the book “The Stringer,” talks to us about Joe Biden addressing the nation on the Afghanistan withdrawal, about what the U.S. was actually doing in Afghanistan for so long, and what the legacy of the invasion will be. We also talk about the evolving investigation into the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in Haiti, and the case of the strange housing crisis in Ketchum, Idaho.
Authorities clamp down on patients and medical providers. How the ‘War on Drugs' approach to the opioid crisis will cause needless harm.Mohammad Marandi, professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, and Ali Al-Ahmed, Saudi scholar, writer, and expert on Saudi political affairs, join us to talk about the recent visit to the White House by Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister - and brother of the crown prince - Khalid bin Salman, how this may affect the reentry of the U.S. into the nuclear deal negotiations with Iran, and what this means for U.S. support for the Saudis in the war in Yemen. We also talk about the ongoing talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia and whether there will be a mend in the relations between the two countries. Yohana Beyene, member of the Black Alliance for Peace member organization Horn of Africa Pan-Africans for Liberation and Solidarity, joins us to talk about the ongoing crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, what is being done to provide aid in the growing humanitarian crisis there, and the obstacles faced. We also talk about whether there will be a de-escalation in violence after the unilateral ceasefire by the Ethiopian government. Yolandra Hancock, board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist, talks to us about the opioid crisis, the way victims of the crisis and medical providers are being policed, how perpetrators in Big Pharma are generally being allowed to go unpunished, and how these policies lead to unnecessary deaths. Dr. Jack Rasmus, economist, radio show host & author of “The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump,” talks to us about how healthy the economy actually is, what we can expect some of the political fallout to be if things peter out, rising prices for all commodities, and we take a look at our history to figure out how we got to this state in the first place.Freddy Martínez, Director of Lucy Parsons Lab, talks to us about the expansion of surveillance and data collection, particularly by financial companies and how they target children by marketing debit card apps. We also talk about how 20 federal agencies have worked with facial recognition technology, but 13 of those 20 couldn't say exactly what systems they had used.
Haiti President assassinated in his home. How this will escalate violence in the country even further. John Ross, author and economist, a senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute at Renmin University of China, talks to us about the the events around 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, how U.S. media criticized president Xi Jinping's statements that China would defend itself from aggression, and what this centennial marker means for the future development of China and its relations with other global powers.Kim Ives, editor of the English section of Haiti Liberté, talks to us about the overnight assassination of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, after facing long unrest and popular protests in the country. We also talk about what is known about the details of the assassination, whether this comes as a surprise or whether this spectacular act of violence was months or even years in the making after numerous accusations of corruption and repression, and whether we will see a descent into even more violence. Darren Thompson, reporter for Native News Online and Unicorn Riot, updates us on the ongoing protests against the Enbridge Line 3 expansion in Minnesota, the tactics protesters are using and the results they're getting. We also talk about the land back protests that marked the Fourth of July taking place in South Dakota, the significance of these demonstrations for the sovereignty-based fights against extractive industries.Nick Cruse, cofounder of Fred Hampton Leftists and citizen journalist focusing on covering state violence, the class war, and foreign policy, and Kevin Cramer, organizer with The Palm Collective, talk to us about Byron Brown, the Democratic Mayor of Buffalo, NY, crying foul after losing to a Democratic Socialist, how the Pentagon helped Jeff Bezos reach a record wealth, and how crime stats are manipulated for political gains by both Democrats and Republicans.Justin Williams, co-host of Redspin Sports, talks to us about the feud at ESPN where last year, reporter Rachel Nichols, who is white, made disparaging comments about a black colleague, Maria Taylor, as well as US sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson not being on the Olympic roster released Tuesday by USA Track and Field after testing positive for THC.
Dan Kovalik is an author and human rights & labor lawyer. His most recent book is “No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian' Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.” He talks to us about the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan, the media coverage describing it as an abandonment of the country that will turn into chaos and fall prey to other regional powers like China, how the decades-long war did not provide the level of stability, prosperity, and modernization that the U.S. often claimed as one of its goals, and how the spillover effects of the war in the region go unmentioned in government circles. Sheila Vakharia, Deputy Director of Research and Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance, and Regina Pixley, CEO and founder of Regina's Place, an organization that supports families impacted by violence, join us in a conversation the ongoing opioid crisis, which is responsible for about three-fourths of overdose deaths, according to Wednesday's data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where Washington was among the deadliest regions, seeing a 50% surge in deaths. We also talk about the devastating impact that this has had on communities, and the Biden administration's $10 billion plan to combat the opioid epidemic and whether it will be successful.Sam Menefee-Libey, researcher & doctoral student in anthropology at American University, talks to us about the situation in Afghanistan, where despite a withdrawal of troops from the country, the US will continue to exert influence via soft power, contractors, and drones, and how the U.S. as nation will not reflect properly and engage in dialogue about what exactly the U.S. did in Afghanistan. We also talk about white supremacist group Patriot Front being run out of Philadelphia, and fire on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico due to a gas leak from an underwater pipeline.
Chris Garaffa, web developer, technologist, security and privacy consultant, joins us to talk about a joint cybersecurity advisory from the NSA and the FBI, claiming that the GRU has been conducting cyberattacks on government and private sector targets worldwide, how the these allegations are usually devoid of any evidence for the claims, and what exactly are the attacks being described in these advisories. We also talk about the “hack back” bill introduced in the Senate that would allow private companies to respond in kind in the event of an attack, the impact of loosening these restrictions, and the Florida social media law being blocked by a federal judge, who said it violates First Amendment rights and contradicts federal law.Elisabeth Myers, lawyer and adjunct associate professor of law at American University Washington College of Law, Democracy Lead at Democrats Abroad Morocco and former editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia, talks to us about the truth in the allusions to the Biden administration's successful work behind the scenes to curb Mohammed Bin Salman's bad behavior, how the war in Yemen continues despite U.S. claims that it's withdrawing military support to Saudi Arabia, and revelations that part of the team that assassinated Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had received paramilitary training in the U.S. Sara Dady, immigration attorney and former Democratic congressional candidate for IL-16, joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about the Supreme Court ruling that the government can indefinitely detain certain immigrants who say they will face persecution or torture if they are deported to their native countries, what this means for immigrants rights, and the impact of spending months if not years in jail while officers determine if you have a reasonable asylum claim. We also talk about the Supreme Court upholding Arizona laws placing restrictions on how ballots are cast and collected, the impact this ruling could have, and how this is part of a broader wave of voter suppression measures nationwide, and how the Democratic party is using a PAC to protect centrist incumbents against progressive challengers.
Dr. Bill Honigman, retired Emergency Physician and California State Coordinator and Healthcare Issue Team Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, joins us to talk about how the the Biden administration appears set to change a rule that gives the government power to seize the patents for taxpayer-funded drugs and other inventions that allow them to regulate drug prices, how Big Pharma exerts undue influence in policy making by lobbying, funding business-friendly candidates, and smearing candidates that want to push back against the private healthcare system.Stephen Menendian, Director of Research at the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley and lead author of the "Roots of Structural Racism Project" that investigates racial residential segregation across the US, talks to us about findings from the study that showed that found that out of every metropolitan region in the United States with more than 200,000 residents, 81 percent were more segregated as of 2019 than they were in 1990, and how this sustains a vastly unequal system that restricts opportunities and hinders outcomes particularly for black and brown communities, and how the best life outcomes are found in highly segregated white neighborhoods through “opportunity hoarding” and how the goal should be for higher integration in order to achieve a better society for all.Jon Jeter, author and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist with more than 20 years of journalistic experience, former Washington Post bureau chief and award-winning foreign correspondent on two continents, talks to us the exercise in hagiography underway after the death of Donald Rumsfeld, the Biden administration promoting green capitalism in the face of the climate change crisis, and the uptick in murders in Washington, DC, as well as the Mayor's response. Nick Mottern, reporter, researcher, writer, political organizer, and coordinator of Bankillerdrones.org and KnowDrones.com, talks to us about how drone warfare is not the sole purview of the U.S. with Turkey and Iran becoming major players, and what this proliferation means for war fighting, and the letter asking Joe Biden to end “unlawful” drone strikes that are conducted outside official fields of battle.
Ray Baker, political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda, and Sean Blackmon, co-host of By Any Means Necessary, join us to talk about a new poll conducted in San Francisco, where crime and homelessness were ranked among the highest levels of concerns, and how the framing of this survey purposely demonize the working poor and the homeless. We also talk about another poll out from Axios and Momentive which looked at attitudes of Americans towards capitalism and socialism, and found that just half of younger Americans now hold a positive view of capitalism, and how these shifting attitudes could point a way towards a different economic system.Tiana Caldwell, Leader and Board President of KC Tenants, and José Torres, Sputnik Radio producer, join us to talk about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against lifting a nationwide moratorium on evictions put in place by the Centers for Disease Control, and how this is just kicking the can down the road without a real plan for rent cancellation. We also talk about the programs established to provide rent relief for tenants and the difficulties navigating various systems within these, how the onus is put on the tenants to receive help, and how this problem will not be solved without having a conversation around the idea of housing as a human right and not as a commodity.Mohamed Elmaazi, freelance journalist and contributor to numerous outlets including Jacobin, The Canary and The Electronic Intifada, talks to us about a series of actions by the group Palestine Action against numerous UK-based companies connected to Israel, the evolution of the American left after the last bombing campaign by Israel against Palestine, the continued removal of Palestinians from Jerusalem neighborhoods, and the news of the fabrications of a key witness in the Assange case.Nookie Bishop, host of the Digital Gumbo podcast, talks to us about Carmelo Anthony winning the NBA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, the controversy over the Gwen Berry reprimand over political protests, and the OSU sexual assault case.
Wyatt Reed, Sputnik Radio producer and correspondent, joins us to talk about the Bicentennial Congress of the Peoples of the World which took place in Caracas, Venezuela last week, its role in building bridges or establishing shared goals among sometimes adversarial left groups, and whether the global left coming out of this with some more resolve to present a united front on some issues. We also talk about the lessons left groups in the United States can learn from their counterparts elsewhere now that socialism is viewed in a more positive light in the country.Koohan Paik-Mander, journalist, media educator, board member of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, and former campaign director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization, joins us in a conversation about the new Cold War with China, about the Pacific, the military overhaul underway in the US and to ask if maybe the chain of events linking these phenomena together is in reality of a different order than the way it is generally discussed in the mainstream media, in the sense that China may just be the new placeholder for the new “threat” to U.S. hegemony in the Pacific. We also talk about how new strategies and technologies means more nukes and fewer troops, more drones and algorithms, and a planetary 5G enabled communications network under the Joint All-Domain Command & Control, a globally networked, cloud-based command center, overseen by the recently anointed U.S. Space Force.Robert Fantina is an activist and journalist working for peace and social justice. His latest book is “Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies its Wars.” He joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about the meeting of Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and their letter outlining a broad mandate which would now establish Africa as a theater of operations after the whittling down of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. We also talk about the G-20 meeting of foreign ministers in Italy, and the signals being sent by the Biden administration.
Ben Norton, investigative journalist and assistant editor of the independent news website The Grayzone, talks to us about news coming out of Iceland that one of the key witnesses in the case against Julian Assange, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, fabricated some of the accusations in the US indictment against the WikiLeaks publisher that involved hacking, which was one of the main foundations of the case against him. Nick Davies, independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK, and the author of “Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq,” joins us to talk about news that the U.S. conducted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in order to destroy installations that were being used by Iran-backed militias, what this could mean for Iran-US relations and the willingness of Iran to go back to the table to negotiate the nuclear deal.David Schultz, professor of political science at Hamline University and the author of “Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter,” talks to us about Florida governor Ron DeSantis signing a law requiring public universities in the state to assess “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” on campus, and how this is part of a Fox News-fueled hysteria over “critical race theory” and an alleged leftist bias in higher education institutions. Kristine Hendrix, member of the board for Second Chances, dealing with incarcerated individuals and those recently released, contributor to both the Truth-Telling Project and "We Stay Woke" podcast, and treasurer for Carla Coffee Wright for U.S. Senate, joins us to talk about the Washington Post's re-imagining the fight to defund the police and what side of history the Democrats were on, the disappearance of a prominent Louisville activist, and the efforts by the Biden administration on preventing home evictions across the United States.Morgan Artyukhina, writer and news editor for Sputnik News, joins us to talk about how conservative operatives have successfully infiltrated progressive, even moderate Republican campaigns and events in ordert to sabotage them, and how the March for Medicare for All almost featured a keynote address by a neo-Nazi who was concealing his identity.
Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, talks to us about news that Department of the Interior announced an investigation into the US residential school system, in which Native American children were taken from their families and communities to be indoctrinated into “American values” by rooting out their “Indianness,” how this system was a key element to getting Native communities to cede land to the government, how the announcement of this probe fits with events happening in Canada, where hundreds of additional unmarked graves were found in Saskatchewan schools, and whether the efforts by Secretary Haaland will result in true accountability for those responsible for these crimes. Carl Zha, host of Silk and Steel podcast focusing on China and its surrounding regions' history, culture and politics, talks to us about the U.S. government announcing actions it is taking against what it calls labor and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, saying that US customs will seize all silica-based products from Hoshine Silicon Industries, and how the statement that the United States will not tolerate forced labor in its supply chains falls flat on its face after the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Nestlé and Cargill over child slavery in cocoa plantations in West Africa, and how Tesla, Apple, and Microsoft are being sued over forced labor in cobalt mines in the DRC. We also talk about an exposé from The New York Times about alleged Chinese propaganda coming out of the Xinjiang region.Margaret Flowers, medical doctor, and co-director of Popular Resistance and a member of the steering committee of HOPE - Health Over Profit, an organization working to achieve a national improved Medicare for All healthcare system, joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about the Biden administration's ever shrinking infrastructure bill that went from $10 trillion to a little over $1 trillion, and how Biden is touting this as a bipartisan success. We also talk about how insurance companies are sucking patients dry for emergency room visits, and the U.S. ranks last in trust in media, according to a recent study.
Wyatt Reed, Sputnik Radio producer and correspondent, tells us about the the Bicentennial People's Congress taking place in Venezuela, in which international representatives from political and social movements gather to discuss strategies for advancing progressive policies, and the importance of promoting movement to movement and person-to-person ties to build solidarity and fomenting dialogue. Netfa Freeman, organizer for Pan-African Community Action, member of the Coordinating Committee of the Black Alliance for Peace, and co-producer & host for the radio show and podcast Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM, and Yohana Beyene, member of Horn of Africa Pan-Africans for Liberation and Solidarity, join us to talk about the ongoing violence in the Tigray region, where Ethiopia's military on Thursday confirmed it was responsible for a deadly airstrike on a busy marketplace that locals say killed dozens of civilians, how the government's designation of Tigray's former ruling party as a terrorist group will escalate the conflict, the role of the international community in the conflict, and possible paths forward to achieve peace and justice in the region. Afeni, member of Freedom Fighters DC and abolitionist in training, and Sean Michael Love, founder and editor-in-chief of Black House News, join us to talk about the the debate in Congress on whether or not Washington, D.C. should become America's 51st state, tent encampments and homelessness in DC, the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in the Northeast neighborhood of the city, the Biden administrations five-point plan to curb rising violence in the country, and whether its recommendations would address the structural roots of the problem.Dana Sussman, Deputy Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, an organization that works to secure the human & civil rights, health and welfare of all people, focusing particularly on pregnant and parenting women, joins us to talk about a case from Alabama where a pregnant woman was charged with felony prescription fraud despite her following the law, and how this is representative of authorities targeting low income women.
Chris Garaffa, web developer, technologist, security and privacy consultant, talks to us about Iran's Press TV news site, along with 3 dozen other sites from Iran, being taken down by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that these were spreading disinformation and the validity of this, the accusations about election interference, and whether the DOJ will stop at Iran, or use that as an excuse to shut down media from a number of official enemies.Emily Satterwhite, volunteer activist at Appalachians Against Pipelines, tells us about the fight against the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia, how it's already $2.5 billion over budget, and how it's incurring extra costs of $20 million per month. We also talk about a case being heard by the Supreme Court related to the PennEast Pipeline that will decide if the government can use eminent domain to give public lands to pipeline developers.Nick Cruse, cofounder of Fred Hampton Leftists and citizen journalist focusing on covering state violence, the class war, and foreign policy, talks to us about how the leftist politics and movements are defined in the country, and whether the term is really applicable to politicians who are centrist. We also talk about the voting rights bill that was stalled in the Senate by intra-fighting by the Democrats, and whether they have the best interests at heart for disenfranchised voters in the country.Mónica Cruz, producer, host and labor beat reporter for BreakThrough News, joins us to talk about the workers for the Warrior Met coal mining company in Alabama going on strike now for months, news that the Teamsters are set to vote on a resolution to make helping Amazon workers achieve unionization, and how retail workers are quitting en masse due to miserable pay and bad working conditions.Nate Wallace, creator and co-host of the podcast Redspin Sports, talks to us about the Supreme Court ruling unanimously against the NCAA's limits on education-related perks for college athletes and the sticky baseball situation in Major League Baseball.
K.J. Noh, a global justice activist, writer, teacher, and a member of Veterans for Peace, joins us to talk about how China is viewing and responding to the G7 and NATO summits last week, where the U.S. was promoting the idea of China as a major global threat, and how they were not able to reach a consensus on this idea. We also talk about whether the U.S. is trying to stabilize its relationship with Russia in order to focus on China as the biggest threat, a general outlook of China's relations with Russia and whether there will be any diplomatic or economic red lines for China as tensions grow with the U.S. Ron Hampton, DC Representative for Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, former Executive Director of the National Black Police Association and a retired veteran of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, and Dr. Alex Vitale, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project, and author of the book “The End of Policing,” talk to us about a massive trove of DC Metropolitan police emails and data being released following a hack of their systems, and the revelation of an extensive data gathering and surveillance program that was a cornerstone of aggressive policing targeting working communities where people could be classified as gang members at the whim of the police. We also talk about police accountability oversight and the efforts to disband and defund the police since the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin, and whether there are any changes coming in the future.Jim Kavanagh, editor of The Polemicist, talks to us about another chapter in the fight within the progressive and centrist wings of the democratic party over Ilhan Omar's criticism of Israel as an apartheid regime, the news that a judge tossed out most of the claims filed by the ACLU, Black Lives Matter and others that accused the Trump administration of authorizing an unprovoked attack on demonstrators in Lafayette Square last year, and Hunter Biden's burgeoning art career.
John Kiriakou, co-host of The Backstory on Radio Sputnik, talks to us about the news that Roger Stone is reportedly under federal investigation on his role in planning the January 6 insurrection, how investigators are looking into what role Stone may have played in radicalizing Trump supporters who joined the assault on the U.S. Capitol, and whether the video evidence presented thus far in the media is sufficient to mount a case against him. Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, tells us about the results of the elections in Iran where Ebrahim Raisi emerged victorious over the weekend, how the media is reporting about a hardliner victory and whether this analysis is accurate, how the low voter turnout may have affected the results, the president's priorities for the country, the reaction by neighboring countries, and whether there will be any change in the relationship between Iran, Israel and the U.S. under Raisi's presidency. Terrence Collingsworth, executive director of International Rights Advocates and labor & human rights attorney specializing in trade and international labor rights issues, talks to us about a case against Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, and Dell that argues that the tech giants knowingly profit from the use of child labor in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where children have been maimed and even killed extracting the minerals in mines owned multinationals, whether the Alien Tort Statute will be used, as in the Nestlé/Cargill case, to try to connect abuses along the supply chain to top decision makers, and the role local and Western governments could play in exerting oversight of the way resource extraction is conducted.Tina-Desiree Berg, host of the podcast District 34 and reporter for Status Coup, joins us in a conversation about news reports coming out of Chicago about a rising crime wave in the city, and how this reporting is reproducing the “super predator” narrative and ignoring the structural components of violence and precarity. We also talk about the anti-homeless efforts by local governments around the country and how these have become even more militarized.
Dan Kovalik is an author and human rights and labor lawyer. His most recent book is “No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian' Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.” He joins us to talk about the Supreme Court siding with corporations Nestle and Cargill against six men who said they were trafficked as children to work as slaves in cocoa plantations in West Africa, how the court dismissed the case because they needed evidence stronger than “general decision making” in the US to link the foreign crime to US operations, and how globalized supply chains perpetuate a cycle of hyper exploitation. Esther Iverem, multidisciplinary author and independent journalist, host of "On The Ground: Voices of Resistance From the Nation's Capital" on Pacifica Radio, and founding member of DC Poets Against the War, joins us to talk about how mainstream media is reporting on an alleged surge in petty crimes like shoplifting and how they portray it as a major threat to the country, how this coverage is racialized and class-biased and how other crimes, like financial crimes by the wealthy, are not given the same focus.Jill Clark-Gollub, assistant editor at the Council of Hemispheric Affairs, talks to us about reports in the media about the arrests of opposition figures in Nicaragua by the government of Daniel Ortega, how this opposition is financed by U.S. soft power agencies like USAID, NED, and the NDI, and how these agencies are connected to the national security state, whose goals are not the advancement of democracy, but the advancement of U.S. interests globally.Steve Grumbine, founder and CEO of the nonprofits Real Progressives and Real Progress in Action and host of the podcast Macro n Cheese, joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about how homeownership is becoming more difficult for people in the U.S., and how renting is being promoted after hedge funds have been purchasing a huge number of single family homes. We also talk about how the Juneteenth holiday has become a hot issue because of the alleged cost to taxpayers due to loss of productivity.
Jamarl Thomas, cohost of Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik and host of The Progressive Soapbox on YouTube, and Mark Sleboda, international affairs and security analyst, join us to talk about the takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, how the press conferences compared to each other in terms of tone and issues discussed, and how the US media is ignoring how important it is to open some of these strategic dialogue channels, and instead was somewhat combative in their questions for President Biden because he was not perceived to be belligerent enough towards Russia.Rami Aman, Palestinian peacebuilding activist based in Gaza, talks to us about how people in Gaza are coping after the long bombing campaign by Israel this May, how the people are dealing with a decayed infrastructure af the attacks, whether there will be sustained rebuilding efforts, and the psychological stress that Gazans have to deal with every day with drones flying overhead on a daily basis and fear of more bombings. We also talk about peacebuilding and the work necessary to dispel media misperceptions that dehumanize Palestinians living in Gaza. Maurice Cook, executive director and lead organizer at Serve Your City joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about Joe Biden planning to sign a bill establishing Juneteenth- the date marking the end of slavery in the United States- as a federal holiday, and whether this is a meaningful act of recognition or just pure theatrics. We also talk about how New York City is planning to move about 8,000 homeless people out of hotel rooms and back to barracks like dorm shelters, putting profit over people and not providing adequate, dignified housing for the homeless.Jim Goodman, Board President of the National Family Farm Coalition, talks to us about the EU Parliament voting for a resolution to end caged animal farming in the next six years after 1.4 million people across Europe signed a petition to "End the Cage Age," the environmental and economic impacts, the ethical components of this decision, and whether this model could be adapted by other countries and the U.S.
Jamarl Thomas, cohost of Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik and host of The Progressive Soapbox on YouTube, joins us to talk about the summit between President Biden and President Putin in Geneva, the significance of these meetings at a moment when relations between Russia and the U.S. are at historic lows, the difference between how the meetings are being covered in U.S and Russian media, how the Ukraine, cybersecurity, and nuclear weapons issues are being discussed, and whether we will see any change in the relationship as a product of these meetings. John Kiriakou, co-host of Radio Sputnik's The Backstory here daily from 4-6 pm EST, talks to us about the potential implications of the recently released “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism” and how it will impact online surveillance, online censorship, and an expansion of powers for law enforcement cooperating with tech companies. We also talk about how the document is discussed mainly as a plan to fight right-wing extremists, even though it also identifies “threats” from the left, including anti-capitalist movements and even anti-abortion groups, and what this means for progressive and left-leaning political activism in the country.Eugene Puryear, journalist, author, activist, politician, host at Breakthrough News, and author of "Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America,” talks to us about Milkshake-gate, where a Shake Shack manager in New York is suing the NYPD for defamation after he was unjustly detained for hours and harassed because of false accusations that he had put bleach in an online order for 3 NYPD officers. We also talk about Congress handing out medals to law enforcement over the January 6 riots, and the fight over critical race theory in the election of the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.Chris “Nookie” Bishop, host of the Digital Gumbo Podcast, joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about the NBA playoffs now that they are down to the final 8 teams and who could emerge victorious, the finger-pointing and speculation in MLB over sticky substances in baseballs, and the Ronaldo-Coca Cola scandal at the Euro 2020 championship.
Jamarl Thomas, cohost of Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik and host of The Progressive Soapbox on YouTube, joins us to talk about the summit between the European Union and the U.S., whether Biden saying “America is Back” is different from Trump's nationalist statements about U.S. hegemony. We also talk about U.S. media coverage of Biden's upcoming meeting with President Putin, which has likened it to a sporting event, and the prospects of repairing relations between the U.S. and Russia.Ray Baker, political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda, joins us to talk about Biden's statements about the state of the GOP being weakened and fractured, Merrick Garland's statements about fighting white supremacist extremists without acknowldedging the systemic racism that is part and parcel of the country. We also talk about how critical race theory has been under attack by conservative sectors, and how this has turned into a culture war that fails to consider actual policy debates that would tackle the structural issues that sustain white supremacy.Guy McPherson, scientist and professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, tells us about the historic heatwave and wildfires that continue to impact Western states in the US, which have burned hundreds of thousands of acres and caused mass evacuations, how an ongoing drought is creating the conditions for more wildfires, the impacts on the ecosystem, and whether we will see similar events in the future due to climate change.Robert Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law and a professor of public policy at Cornell University in New York, Senior Counsel at Westwood Capital, and a Fellow of The Century Foundation, joins us to talk about the NATO summit and how it was viewed as a success for Biden by focusing on China and enlisting members on a new cold war, how this anti-Chinese sentiment has had a domestic impact, the Trump DOJ's persecution of leakers, and whether the Trump cabinet's inability to function at a reasonable level could have led to these leaks.
Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief at The Duran, and writer on international affairs with a special interest in Russia and law, and Dr. Kenneth Surin, Professor Emeritus of literature and professor of religion and critical theory at Duke University, join us in a conversation about the main takeaways from the G7 summit over the weekend, the proposal of a global minimum global tax rate of 15%, what impact this could have on multinational corporations, and whether we should be hopeful or skeptical about this considering how low the bar has been set for these corporations. We also talk about how many of the conversations were framed within the context of a confrontation with China, by proposing a plan to counter the Belt and Road initiative, and focusing on the issues in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Teodrose Fikremariam, cofounder of Ghion Journal, tells us about the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region in Ethiopia, including the involvement of Eritrean troops in the conflict and why they are there, claims that there is a risk of a man-made famine in Tigray and how there have been episodes of collective punishment. We also talk about how this conflict has brought a new tribalism into the forefront, how the portrayal of the Tigray authorities as victims in Western media is not completely accurate, taking into consideration that they began hostilities, and how international multilateral and regional organizations do not have the capacity or understanding of the situation to work as honest brokers in the conflict. John Feffer, Director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, joins us to talk about the NATO summit taking place in Brussels this week, how the organization is yet again trying to redefine its mission and find its purpose, and whether they will be able maintain their membership as the justification for its existence seems to change every year. We also talk about the continued withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the establishment of permanent airbases in the region.
Kevin Kamps, radioactive waste watchdog at Beyond Nuclear, joins us to talk about a recent report published by the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealing that nuclear weapons spending increased by $1.4 billion more than in 2019, with nine countries spending 72.6 billion dollars on nukes, who the biggest offenders were, and how much money is spent on think tanks and lobbying by the nuclear weapons business. We also talk about the parallels between the nuclear weapons lobby and the nuclear energy lobby, and how the Biden administration is going ahead with an expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.Christy Respress, executive director of Pathways to Housing DC, talks to us about the state of the chronic homelessness crisis in Washington, DC, and how the city has the resources and technical capacity to ensure that nobody goes a day without housing, but how there is a lack of political will to tackle this issue. We also talk about how Mayor Bowser has been promoting affordable housing in the District and how this housing turns out to be out of reach for most of the people, due to the inflated real estate market in the city and the cozy relationship between developers and the city government. Kei Pritsker, journalist with BreakThrough News, joins hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber to talk about how Eric Nelson, the defense attorney for Derek Chauvin, is seeking not only a new trial but also a hearing to “impeach the verdict" by investigating potential juror bias, the East Coast “Block the Boat” effort this past week after a similar action in Oakland, CA, recently, and these actions are important for the BDS movement in support of Palestinian rights. We also talk about reports of Iranian warships in the Atlantic, and the manic response by the national security establishment because of the suspicion that they may be bringing weapons to Venezuela.The Misfits also talk about the wildfires raging in Arizona, the Trump DOJ looking for leakers in Congress, and the Bezos-owned Washington Post warning folks against raising taxes on Amazon.
Rishika Pardikar, freelance journalist writing from Bangalore, India, covering wildlife, climate change, and free speech, joins us to talk about how internet censorship has gone global with controversial stories that seem to be disappearing from social media, particularly Instagram in places like India, with stories that contradicted the government narrative regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; in Colombia, with the documenting of the government repression of protests over the proposed tax hikes; and in Palestine, with protests in Sheik Jarrah and the subsequent bombing campaign in Gaza. We also talk about the role of social media companies in this censorship, and whether they can be trusted to be honest brokers between governments and its citizens.Dr. Jack Rasmus, economist, radio show host & author of “The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump,” joins us to talk about a recent report published by Propublica and based on IRS documents that showed the ways that the super wealthy avoid paying their share in taxes, and how they pay much less than average working citizens. We also talk about how this is not a novel practice, how financial innovation helps create these disparities in income and taxation, and how we have investment firms purchasing single family homes across the country and driving up prices. Ajamu Baraka, political activist, writer and former Green Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election, joins us to talk about the Biden administration's foreign policy so far, how it could be considered more dangerous than even Trump's, what to expect from Biden Europe visit at the G7 meetings, particularly his meeting with President Putin, and whether this meeting will bear any fruit in improving relations with Russia or whether we will see a retrenchment of the “America is Back” rhetoric. In our Trends with Benefits segment, the Misfits talk about new cryptocurrency fad that could also be just a plain grift, otters making a comeback in the Anacostia river in Washington, DC, the sticky situation regarding foreign substances in baseballs, and the newest gimmick from Facebook.
Darren Thompson, reporter for Native News Online and Unicorn Riot, talks to us about the ongoing protests against the rebuilding of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline in Minnesota, how this rebuilding effort entails a rerouting of the pipeline, and how it was involved 307 incidents involving hazardous liquids between 2002 to 2018. We also talk about whether these protests will take a similar course to the Dakota Access protests, and whether there will be an intervention by the Biden administration.Stuart Anderson, founder and executive director of Family and Friends of Incarcerated People, joins us to talk about how in some federal prisons, any routine mail sent to prisoners will be processed and reviewed by a third-party vendor that will then charge inmates for scanned copies of the original letters, and how this is just another way that private prisons steal from and extort inmates.Bill Mew, leading digital ethics campaigner and CEO of cyber-incident firm The Crisis Team, talks to us about cybersecurity within the context of the recent ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline, JBS, and others, how these attacks continue to happen despite security measures, and whether there is a true fool-proof way to be protected from hacks. We also talk about cyber insurance and how it could be a way to lessen the financial damage from cyberattacks. Brianna Griffith, producer and host of the People's Republic, joins us to talk about the racialized economic draft, after it was discovered that students in predominantly Black and brown districts have been automatically enrolled in JROTC programs, and how 10 US states have diverted millions of dollars from federal block grants meant to provide aid to their neediest families to fund anti-abortion clinics instead.Femi Ayanbadejo, founder of HealthReel, Inc. and former American football running back, fullback, and special teams player, joins us to talk about news of the NFL announcing that it would discontinue the use of race-based benchmarks to determine whether someone is cognitively impaired and therefore eligible for dementia-based payouts, and whether these changes will have an impact on other discriminatory practices in sports.
Austin González, member of the National Political Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America and head of the DSA electoral observer delegation in Perú, talks to us about the results of the presidential election in Perú where the left-leaning candidate Pedro Castillo has taken a slight 0.6 percent lead over conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori. We also talk about the impact that a Castillo victory will have in the region, and what lessons could be learned from this for progressive politics in the U.S.Maru Mora Villalpando, founder of La Resistencia, community organizer and immigrant activist, joins us to talk about the numerous roadblocks that immigrants face on their way, and in the U.S., including remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris intended to deter would-be immigrants and how representative of a policy has spanned across administrations. We also talk about the huge backlog of cases in immigration courts that leave immigrants in a legal limbo, and how the Supreme Court recently dealt a blow to the rights of TPS holders. Tina Landis, environmental and social activist and the author of the book “Climate Solutions Beyond Capitalism,” joins us to talk about a public electric power resolution recently introduced by Representatives Cori Bush (D-MO) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and what a socialized system could mean for citizens of this country. We also talk about how Congress has continued to privatize resources that are basic human rights and what it would take to change this.Daniel Lazare, journalist and author, talks to us about the latest Senate report on the January 6th Capital attack, and how our collective memory is already confused on what took place that day. We will also talk about the continuity between the Department of Justice under Trump and Biden, and how it will not seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from the press.Dr. Sharon Anderson, attorney and business consultant, former law school professor and lecturer at Howard Law, and CEO and founder of KCG Consulting Services, talks to us about her new book “Emotional Civility: The New Standard for Global Success.”
Wyatt Reed, Sputnik Radio producer and correspondent, joins us from Mexico to talk about the results in the largest election ever held in Mexico, where Andrés Manuel López Obrador's Morena party emerged victorious in the midterm elections despite losing a supermajority in the lower house of Mexico's Congress of the Union. We also talk about how the media in the U.S. characterized the results as a setback to Morena despite the fact that the party and its allies made huge inroads by winning many governorships, and could become stronger by forging alliances with both the Green and Workers' parties. Levi Rickert, editor and publisher of Tribal Business News, and founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online, talks to us about the ongoing fight to protect the environment and defend indigenous land at Oak Flat, Arizona, how the US Department of Agriculture is pressuring the US 9th Circuit Court expressly to reject the Apache's argument that the land sale would infringe on their right to practice their religion, how it would violate a 19th century treaty the government signed with Apache leadership that grants them rights to the land, and the response from the courts declaring that those treaties are not valid or have been extinguished. Scott Thompson, labor market research economist and rural sociologist in Des Moines, Iowa, joins us to talk about Sen. Joe Manchin's decision to not vote for the For the People Act, the Democrats' voting rights bill, nor lending any help to kill the filibuster, how the claim that the Biden administration was going to be successful at bipartisanship is falling flat, and is having issues problems convincing even members of its own party. We also talk about how the concept of bipartisanship is discussed in the media, and how bipartisanship is successful only when it involves legislation that is either middle-of-the-road or benefiting the wealthy. In our Miss The Press segment, hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber talk about the media response to recent cyberattacks on U.S. companies and how they are ratcheting up Russophobia to unprecedented levels, as well as Trump's comments on the current administration during a rally in North Carolina this weekend.
Wyatt Reed, Sputnik Radio producer and correspondent, joins us from Mexico to talk about the upcoming midterm elections this Sunday that has the chance of shifting the political landscape in the country for the foreseeable future. We also talk about what it means that polls show Morena with over 40% of voter preference for the lower house, whether this will signal the “4th transformation” that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has talked about, and how this election cycle has been fraught with violence, with 35 candidates having been killed by organized crime gangs so far. Dr. Bill Honigman, retired emergency physician and California state coordinator and healthcare-issue team coordinator for the Progressive Democrats of America, talks to us about the ongoing fight over prescription drug prices, how the average cost in the United States is around 2.5 times more than in other Western countries, and how surveys show that most people are for allowing federal government negotiations with drug companies to get lower prices. We also talk about how states have taken initiatives to import cheaper drugs from Canada and how this has met setbacks due to a federal veto dating back to 2001, as well as an intense PR campaign by Big Pharma. Ron Placone, comedian and host of "Get Your News On with Ron," joins us to talk about Mike Pence's comments in a speech where he acknowledged for the first time his break with Donald Trump over the January 6 insurrection, but still did not blame Trump for inciting the violence, the narrative about how America is not a racist country without reckoning with its history and current state, and how Democrats reproduce this narrative. We also talk about how CEOs rigged the system during the pandemic, seeing their compensation go up by 29 percent from 2019 and median worker wages going down 2 percent, and how this exploitative relationship will only worsen without proper regulation.