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Biden Sworn in Under Local Military Occupation

Biden Sworn in Under Local Military Occupation
Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the economy tanks and the coronavirus rages.

Richard Lachman, Professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, and author of "Capitalists in Spite of Themselves," joins us to discuss the change of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The political conversation now changes from Donald Trump to policy priorities for the new administration. Will the Biden team be able to focus on internal problems or get hung up with hawkish militarism and external economic confrontation?

Jim Kavanaugh, Writer at thepolemicist.net and "CounterPunch" and the author of Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance after George Floyd, joins us to discuss President Trump's last-minute flurry of pardons. Trump granted clemency to 143 individuals totaling 73 pardons and 70 commutations. Trump granted clemency to his former policy adviser Steve Bannon and rap star Little Wayne. Bannon was arrested and charged last August with defrauding donors who contributed to a fundraising campaign for a private border wall. In a surprise action, Trump reduced the sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick by 20 years effectively freeing him now. 

Kevin Gosztola, Managing editor of Shadowproof.com, joins us to discuss Julian Assange. President Trump issued a number of pardons but Julian Assange was not one of them. There are reports that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell threatened to support the impeachment of the President if he pardoned Assange and/or Edward Snowden. Also, there are reports that Rudy Giuliani asked for 2 million dollars for a single pardon.

Margaret Flowers, pediatrician, health reform activist and co-director at Popular Resistance joins us to discuss the DC military occupation. We review a Michael Tracey article in which he discusses the positive media coverage towards this event. Tracey asks why media outlets refrain from asking basic questions about the necessity and safety of the occupation. Also, we discuss whether this is a temporary deployment or it could end up being a permanent occupation of a US City. 

Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, returns to discuss the hawkish nature of the Binde foreign policy team. Notorious war hawk Antony Blinken testified that the US would seek to expand the Iran nuclear agreement, a position which is a non-starter according to Iranian Foreign minister Javid Zarif. Blinken indicated that the Biden team plans to continue Trump's China policies and increase tension with Russia. Additionally, Joe Biden selected China hawk Ely Ratner to advise the incoming administration’s Pentagon chief on matters related to Beijing.

Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report and author of "Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents," to discuss the potential for a crackdown on dissent. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for a new version of the no-fly list which includes people classified as domestic terrorists. Also, as Senator Dick Durbin introduces a new domestic terrorism legislative package a recent Glenn Greenwald questions the potential for government overreach. 

Teri Mattson, Latin America coordinator for Code Pink, joins us to discuss the Biden policy towards Venezuela. Secretary of State and notorious hawk Antony Blinken stated that the Biden administration will continue to recognize Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. Also, Blinken said that they will continue with targeted sanctions in an effort to overthrow the Government of Nicholas Maduro. Blinken's testimony implies that the Maduro government's desire to engage with the Biden team may fall on deaf ears.

KJ Noh, peace activist, writer and teacher, joins us to discuss the Biden administration's recent statements about China. Biden's selection of noted China Hawk Ely Ratner to advise the Secretary of Defense coupled with recent statements about the US taking back world leadership are ominous signs for those who seek a resolution through multipolar negotiations. Biden's selection of another China hawk, Kurt Campbell, as his “Indo-Pacific czar” further cements the notion that a significant economic and possibly military confrontation may be at hand.

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