A new two-year spending deal passed by Congress on Thursday with President Trump’s support raises spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over current spending caps and allows the government to keep raising the debt ceiling. It also allows for yet greater military spending about $40 billion over current levels. Current spending on defence is more than the next eight largest countries combined. The deal also spells the death of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which sought, briefly, to rein in spending.
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has filed a federal lawsuit against Google, alleging that the tech giant illegally suspended her campaign’s advertising account after the June Democratic debate, obstructing her ability to raise money, and that it sent fundraising emails to the spam folder for those on her mailing list who use the company’s gmail service. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work can be found at www.rall.com.
The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on ten individuals and 13 companies associated with the Venezuelan government, accusing them of forming part of a sophisticated scheme that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from food import contracts associated with the CLAP programme, which delivers heavily subsidized basic goods directly to Venezuelans and serves as a cornerstone of the Maduro government’s response to the country’s economic crisis. The Venezuelan government says that the new US measures are targeted at the CLAP programme itself and aim at intensifying the economic war by preventing the sanctioned companies from importing consumer goods. Brian and John speak with Paul Dobson, a writer for VenezuelAnalysis.com.
Officials from Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the United States met at the State Department yesterday to discuss a US-backed regional economic initiative in the eastern Mediterannean. The four countries are looking to expand cooperation on Cypriot oil drilling in the face of a challenge from Turkey, which has begun drilling for oil in Cypriot waters and has sent warships to the area. Massoud Shadjareh, the founder of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, joins the show.
It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.
Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on Mueller’s testimony and the Senate report that came out the day after claiming Russian interference in all 50 states without offering a shred of specific evidence, the protests in Puerto Rico that have forced the governor to resign, and Boris Johnson becoming the new Prime Minister of the UK. Brian and John speak with Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.
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