19:40 GMT16 February 2020
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    As Democrats Rule the House, What's the Future of Progressive Politics

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression.

    In a recent CounterPunch article by Anthony DiMaggio, he states, "In the wake of the 2018 midterms, President Trump and his foot soldiers on the right have continued to repeat paranoid and fact-free claims about 'electoral fraud' via the recounts in Florida and Arizona. Trump is seeking to save face by weighing in on the Florida gubernatorial race (Nelson v. Scott) and the Florida (Gillum v. DeSantis) and Arizona (Sinema v. McSally) Senate races. These are political battles, plain and simple, and Trump is trying to preserve as many Senate seats as possible for Republicans moving toward 2020." So what's the future of progressive politics? Beyond the politics of Obamacare, the 2018 elections were a mandate on Trump's presidency. About two-thirds of American voters admitted that Trump was a major motivating factor in their turning out to cast a ballot. Outside of specific exit polling results, what does all this tell us about the state of American politics?

    According to a study by The Watson Institute, the cost of the War on Terror for the US has reached nearly $6 trillion. The report states, "Through 2018, the US federal government has spent or been obligated to spend $5.9 trillion on the post-9/11 wars, including care for veterans over the next forty years. Massive Debt: This spending has largely been financed by borrowing. Unless the US changes the way it pays for the wars, future interest will exceed $8 trillion by the 2050s. Additional Costs: There are many other unacknowledged consequences of the choice for war, including environmental damage, fuelling sectarianism across the Middle East, strengthening authoritarian forces and leading to historically high levels of corruption in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria." The figure far exceeds the Pentagon's estimate of $1.5 trillion in total spending since September 11-a number that does not even account for combined State Department spending and the Pentagon's war fund, which totals $1.8 trillion, according to the Watson Institute.

    In Miko Peled's article, "The Palestinian People Are As Unified as Hamas and Fatah are Obsolete," he writes, "There is a solid, grassroots leadership in Palestine. From Al-Jalil in the north to the Naqab in the south, and from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestinians on the ground are well aware that the Hamas-Fatah politics have little to do with them. Among the myths that cover the reality in Palestine is the one that says Palestinians have no leadership, no unified message, and that the Hamas-Fatah divide represents the entire political reality in Palestine. There is also a myth that claims that the Palestinians of 1948, who carry Israeli citizenship, are somehow not connected to the larger Palestinian issue. Over a ten-day journey in Palestine, it becomes crystal clear that these claims are unfounded." We'll explore his findings and talk about the road ahead.


    Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression, who also writes at jackrasmus.com.

    Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: The Frozen Republic, The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.

    Miko Peled — Israeli-American activist and author of The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.

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    defense spending, midterms, Trump administration, State Department, Hamas, Palestine
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