00:46 GMT26 January 2021
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    Trump Ignites Stimulus Check Battle on Capitol Hill

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    The House passed a bill authorizing US President Donald Trump's $2,000 stimulus check request, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) squares off against GOP budget hawks in the Senate, setting up a unique intra-partisan battle.

    Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, joins us to discuss an odd political battle shaping up on Capitol Hill. Trump's push for a dramatic increase in stimulus money for citizens has passed the House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate for a New Year's Eve showdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seems inclined to let the proposal die, but Sanders has stepped in to put a hold on the defense authorization bill over the holidays. Sanders' savvy political move seems designed to both pressure McConnell for a vote and diminish the GOP's chances of winning the two open Georgia Senate seats in the upcoming runoff elections.

    Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist; and Greg Palast, investigative reporter, join us to discuss the highly contested races for two open Senate seats in Georgia. The legal wranglings seem to have taken a turn in favor of the Democrats, as a "federal judge on Monday ordered two Georgia counties to reverse a decision removing thousands of voters from the rolls ahead of the January 5 runoff elections," according to Reuters.

    Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst, joins us to talk about a recent declaration by Chinese President Xi Jinping that "Sino-Russian relations are not affected by changes in the international situation or interference by any other factors. Strengthening strategic cooperation between China and Russia can effectively resist any attempt to suppress and divide the two countries." Also, noted international economic expert Jeffrey Sachs recently stated that China's poverty alleviation programs should provide a lesson for many countries. 

    Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, joins us to talk about US President-Elect Joe Biden's recent statement regarding the "suspected" Russian hack and future defense spending. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun recently argued that defense spending would be safe from cuts regardless of which party won the White House. His predictions seem to be coming true, as Biden's statements make it clear that he is using the unproven hack claims as a predicate for expanding the cybersecurity budget. 

    Michelle Munjanattu, internationalist and union activist, joins us from Toronto to talk about Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro now claims that Columbian President Ivan Duque is planning new attacks on his nation. In a recent speech, Maduro stated, "Colombia is preparing new attacks against the country's military, with trained mercenaries, with funding from Ivan Duque, preparing attacks at the end of this year." Additionally, US-trained and financed opposition figure Juan Guaido has renewed his claim as opposition leader despite losing that position in recent elections.

    Teodrose "Teddy" Fikre, Ethiopian journalist and founder of the Ghion Journal, joins us to discuss his recent article about Israe and Palestinian lands. Fikre argues that Zionism is a politically partisan ideology and has little, if anything, to do with Judaism. He also argues that there is a clear economic motive lying beneath the surface of the US and Israel's Middle East occupation policies.

    Captain Ray Evans, trainer for the Boeing 737 Max, joins us to talk about the return of the passenger jet. The 737 Max resumed commercial operations in US skies on Tuesday, nearly 20 months after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the aircraft in the wake of two deadly crashes. The 737 Max has participated in test flights both before and after its November recertification by the FAA, but this week marks its first commercial flights in the US since March of 2019. 

    Jim Kavanagh, writer at The Polemicist and CounterPunch, joins us to discuss the latest on WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. Nils Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture, argued in a recent interview with Deutsche Welle that the US prosecution of Assange is an attempt to "criminalize investigative journalism." Melzner also stated, "The legal proceeding in itself is not respecting the basic standards of human rights, of due process and the rule of law."

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    Tags:
    President XiJinping, Bernie Sanders, Nicolas Maduro, zionism, 737 MAX-8, Boeing, Julian Assange
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