Trump vs. Syrian Refugees: An Interview With Wendy Pearlman

The “extreme vetting” that Trump called for on the campaign trail has already been in place for years. Less than 1 percent of refugees around the world are resettled to a third country like the United States. The process begins with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which screens refugees and identifies a very small number of the most vulnerable cases to be considered for resettlement. They then pass those cases on to the US government, where some eight different government agencies participate in layers of interviews, medical screenings, background checks, and matching of biometric data with security databases. . . .
. . . continued at, HERE  6/1/18

What Does It Take to Write a Novel About Prison? An interview with Rachel Kushner about her new novel, ‘The Mars Room’

Rachel Kushner: I committed myself to understanding the structural conditions of prison—not so much as a novelist, but as a person and citizen of California and someone who was interested in the way that the society is layered and structured. I wanted to know why some people end up inducted into the criminal-justice system, and others are not touched by it in any way. . . . ”
continued at, HERE  5/23/2018

Trump Has No Plan Left on Iran Other Than War: Q&A w/Michael Klare

Read at, HERE
Michael Klare:  I don’t think there’s really a happy outcome from this. I don’t see some way in which Europe can rescue the Iran nuclear deal at this point. Trump says that he wants new negotiations with the Iranians for a totally new deal. I don’t think that’s in the cards at all. We’re going to see very tough sanctions on Iran. And I don’t think the Europeans will be able to protect their companies from the effects of U.S. sanctions, so they will have to quit trading with Iran. And if the Iranians move to restart their nuclear enrichment program, the next step is war. . . .

A Peace Treaty in Korea—and a Nobel Prize for Trump? Bruce Cumings on Korea’s past and future.

A North Korean representative came to Washington in 2000 and signed an agreement with President Clinton that neither North Korea nor the United States would have hostile intent toward the other. This diplomatic agreement is very much like what North Korea appears to want again in 2018. However the Bush people acted as if it had never been signed, never even been written. . .
continued at, HERE  5/3/18

When Will the Lone Star State Turn Blue? Q&A with Lawrence Wright

California and Texas, the two biggest states, are both 39 percent Latino. Hillary Clinton got 62 percent of the vote in California, and 43 percent in Texas. In California, Democrats hold all the statewide offices. In Texas it’s been the opposite for a long time. Obviously demography doesn’t explain the difference between the two states. How do you explain the political differences?  I asked Pulitzer-prize winner Lawrence Wright–he lives in Austin. 4-27-18

James Comey’s Self-Regard: in “A Higher Loyalty”

The climax of James Comey’s long-awaited book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadershipis a vivid and totally believable account of his infamous one-on-one dinner with Donald Trump. On what was clearly the most important night of his life, the moment when his lifelong study of ethicist and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr comes to fruition, Comey is asked to pledge his loyalty—and he refuses.
at, 4/23/2018

Thomas Frank: Trump Could Win the 2020 Election–But we can stop him

It’s really simple. Unemployment is extremely low right now. The economy is booming. He could succeed the way Bill Clinton did. . .
There’s really only one set of successful politics for an age like this one: It’s the politics that we identify with the party of Lyndon Johnson, the party of the New Deal. What Trump has offered is a kind of weird replica of that. But as I have said many times, the real thing would beat the fake., 4/20/2018

The FBI Raid on the Michael Cohen’s Law Office: An ‘Attack on Our Country,’ or an Example of the Rule of Law? The ACLU’s David Cole explains the difference.

. . . JW: Working for the president doesn’t get you immunity if you’ve committed a crime.
DC: That’s right. If in fact there was not probable cause and the magistrate should not have issued the warrant, that issue can be litigated. But this is the way the law is supposed to work. It’s not an attack on our country; the president, by attacking the ordinary process of the rule of law when it applies to him, is the one who’s engaged in an attack.
. . . continued at  4/12/2018