Iran announced this morning that it had shot down a US military drone the size of an airliner this morning near the Strait of Hormuz. The US acknowledged the shoot-down, saying that the drone was in international airspace. The Iranians countered that it was in Iranian airspace. Meanwhile, a rocket struck a building housing the headquarters of international oil companies in Basra, Iraq, including ExxonMobil. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured two Iraqi workers. Top Trump administration officials are now engaged in high-level international and domestic consultations, raising fears of all-out conflict.
Joe Biden says some dumb things. He once told reporters, “I’ve done some dumb things. And I’ll do dumb things again.” Well, earlier this week, Biden felt compelled to defend himself against accusations that he may be too “old fashioned” for today’s Democratic Party. He tried to turn that into a positive, saying that his old traditionalism harkened back to a better era, where gentility reigned in the US Senate. That wasn’t good enough, though. Biden felt compelled to give an example. And so he said, with a completely straight face, that when he was first elected to the Senate in 1972 he became friendly with two of the most rabid segregationists in the body—Senators James O. Eastland (D-MS) and (“the meanest man I ever met”) Herman Tallmadge (D-GA). According to a reporter for the New York Times who heard the words directly from Biden’s mouth, “I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me ‘boy.’ He always called me ‘son.’” And Biden told this story with a southern accent. It apparently never occurred to him that Eastland never called him “boy” because he was white. Today, Senator Cory Booker said that Biden’s comments were hurtful. And now Biden has called on Booker to apologize. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is in North Korea, the first visit of a Chinese president to the DPRK in 14 years and only the second time a chief of state has met Kim Jong Un on his home turf. According to an op-ed that Xi wrote for the front page of a North Korean newspaper, he is in Pyongyang to strengthen strategic communication and exchanges. The more likely scenario is that he is there to discuss Chinese and North Korean relations with the United States and how to deal with President Trump. Brian and John speak with Jude Woodward is the author of the book “The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?”
Hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger testified on Capitol Hill yesterday that an automated flight control system on the Boeing 737 Max-8 jet was “fatally flawed and should never have been approved in the first place.” The House Aviation Subcommittee is investigating the crashes of Boeing 737 Max-8 jets in Indonesia last fall and in Ethiopia in March that killed 346 people. The panel is also examining what role, if any, Boeing's rush to develop the latest version of its popular 737 and the FAA's process of certifying the new model as airworthy may have played in the tragedies. Bijan Vasigh, a professor of air transportation at Embrey-Riddle University, an expert on aviation issues, a consultant to some of the biggest airlines in the world, and the author of dozens of academic papers and books, joins the show.
Veterans for Peace is Thursday’s regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years, currently as national president of Veterans for Peace, joins the show.
Thursday’s weekly series “Criminal Injustice” is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.
A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues, and with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.
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