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Biden Administration Opens with a Swarm of Executive Orders

Biden Administration Opens with a Swarm of Executive Orders
Joe Biden began his presidency with a slew of executive orders on topics ranging from US immigration to climate change.

Dr. Emmitt Riley, political scientist and assistant professor of Africana Studies at DePauw University joins us to discuss the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Biden began by signing multiple executive orders mostly aimed at reversing the policies of the previous administration. As the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic fallout are the most pressing issues on his plate, Biden mandated masks on all federal properties, extended moratoriums on evictions, and postponed payments on federal student loans. “We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility,” Biden said in his inaugural address.

Dan Kovalik, labor and human rights lawyer, professor, and author, joins us to discuss think tank diplomacy. The Washington Post recently ran an alarming article supposing that North Korea is on the verge of threatening the US with an intercontinental ballistic missile. The article failed to disclose that the expert upon which it relied, Michael Elleman, works for a think tank that is heavily funded by weapons manufacturers and includes a former NATO secretary-general and previously included the CEO of Lockheed Martin.

John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute and author of "Battlefield America: The War on the American People," returns to discuss the deep state control of US policy. Whitehead argues that former US President Donald Trump handed his administration over to corporations, weapons manufacturers and lobbyists, and that Biden will be no different. Whitehead agrees there was a coup attempt in the United States but he says, "Indeed, the real coup happened when our government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ was overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic, techno-corporate state that is in cahoots with a government ‘of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations.’”

Dr. Yolandra Hancock, a board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist, joins us to discuss the new administration's COVID-19 plan. Biden's plan includes a variety of measures including a speedy return of children to schools and increased funding for testing and the administration of the vaccine program. Also, the US COVID-19 death toll has passed the 400,000 mark, with no respite from the outbreak on the horizon. Hancock also discusses whether the public should wait for a better vaccine or take its chances with one of the varieties currently available.

Robert Fantina, pro-Palestinian activist, peace and human rights leader, journalist and author of “Essays on Palestine,” returns to discuss the potential for US to return to the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is calling on Biden to return to the 2015 agreement and lift the sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration; however, Biden's underlings seem to be throwing some cold water on the proposal. Antony Blinken, Biden’s secretary of state nominee, has implied he will be looking for an expansion of the deal, a measure that Iran has made clear it will refuse to consider. 

James Carey, editor and co-owner of Geopolitics Alert, joins us to discuss early indications of the Biden administration's Yemen policies. Blinken indicated during his Tuesday Senate confirmation hearing that the Biden administration will be reviewing the designation of Yemen's Houthis as a terrorist organization, and will likely end support for the Saudi war on the impoverished nation. The terrorist designation was panned internationally as it was expected to intensify the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth.  

George Koo, journalist, social activist, international business consultant and chemical engineer joins us to discuss US policies regarding China. In a surprise move, China levied sanctions against a number of officials from the outgoing Trump administration. Meanwhile, newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines is advocating for a more aggressive and assertive policy against China. After criticizing the Trump foreign policy towards Asia, it appears the Biden team will adopt it and increase tensions in the region. As Biden's nominees push for confrontation, Beijing is asking for a better relationship through mutual respect and cooperation.

Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, returns to discuss the expansion of online censorship. In what seems to be a bow to the official US foreign policy, Twitter is suspending the accounts of the incoming Venezuelan parliament. The social media behemoth is recognizing Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American country despite the results of the nation's constitutional elections and the fact that the European Union no longer agrees with that assessment. In another US State Department-sponsored move, Twitter has locked the accounts of China's US embassy over their recent statements in defiance of US claims about the Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang. 

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