Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist at the Black Agenda Report and author of "Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents," joins us to discuss the Republican struggles to hold off various angry factions of their political coalition. Freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene faces strong opposition from Democrats for comments related to physical violence on other House members, while Rep. Liz Cheney faces internal opposition for her support of the Trump impeachment article.
Steve Dear, acting executive director for "People of Faith Against the Death Penalty," joins us to discuss the death penalty in Virginia. The Virginia Senate passed a bill that ends the death penalty in the state if passed by the Virginia House of Delegates and signed by the governor. At one time, execution was the punishment for crimes including stealing grapes, killing chickens and trading with Indigenous people. Proponents of the bill argue that the states that had a higher number of lynchings also tend to have higher support for the death penalty. There are currently two people on death row in the state, and their sentences would be changed to life without parole if the legislation passes.
Jamarl Thomas, host of Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik, joins us to discuss YouTube censorship. Thomas' YouTube show, "The Progressive Soapbox," was recently demonetized along with numerous other left-leaning channels. The hosts were given little, if any, reasons and monies owed are being held by the online behemoth Google. Thomas discusses how online censorship is growing in size and scope.
Jim Kavanagh, writer at The Polemicist and CounterPunch, joins us to discuss the use of a surveillance plane on civilians. Officials in St. Louis, Missouri, are considering the use of an aerial surveillance system that would capture footage of the entire city for 18 hours per day. The proposal is meeting fierce resistance as opponents of the move argue that it is a dramatic infringement on the privacy rights of citizens. The city of Baltimore in Maryland recently stopped using the technology specifically because of residents' privacy concerns and court action by the ACLU.
Nick Davies, peace activist and author of "Blood on Our Hands, the American Invasion of Iraq," joins us to talk about the bottomless pit of US sanctions. Davies talks about a New York Times report that many of US President Joe Biden's aides believe the US is "sanctioned out" when it comes to Russia. Also, South Korea is arguing that further sanctions against its northern neighbor would be counterproductive, as Biden is considering sanctions against the Myanmar government after a recent coup.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the antiwar organization Code Pink joins us to talk about the decline of the American empire. A Salon article by Benjamin and Nick Davies argues that the US is a "decadent, declining empire stumbling blindly into an agonizing death spiral." They discuss the effect of the global pandemic on the empire and how it has exposed the inherent weaknesses of a nation trying to rule the world as it is unable to protect its own people. Also, Benjamin and Davies discuss the destructive nature of the US war machine on both world affairs and the US economy.
Caleb Maupin, a journalist and political analyst, joins us to discuss the long-term relationship between Iran and the US. In another show of strength and resolve, Iran's diplomatic representatives have made it clear they are unwilling to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal. Also, Maupin reviews the historic relationship between the US and Iran, and how the Islamic Republic has opposed and pushed back against US imperialism.
Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar-in-residence and director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins us to discuss Afghanistan. The Afghanistan peace process is in tatters and the Biden administration appears to be opposed to ending the 20-year military engagement. Unsurprisingly, a recently released congressional report called for US troops to remain in the war-torn nation. The group responsible for the report was headed by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Gen. Joseph Dunford. The 15-member panel was created by Congress in 2019 when the Trump administration was in withdrawal negotiations with the Taliban.
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