799: Limited Time Only Shows







Ken Silverstein: “Keystone would have gone through quicker if we were under the Bush administration, but it’s going to be approved. Barack Obama is not going to stop Keystone. I’m willing to bet pretty heavily on that.”

Oil pollutes more than our seas and skies. Runoff from the petroleum industry poisons economic, political and civic structures. Investigative reporter Ken Silverstein talks with Chuck about how oil lubricates deals on both parties in American politics, why hidden players are so successful subverting international law, and what happens dictators get on the company payroll.

Ken’s book The Secret World of Oil is out this week from Verso Books.

Ken Silverstein is a Senior Investigative Reporter with First Look Media. In 2005, he received the Overseas Press Club Award for a series, co-written with T. Christian Miller, titled “The Politics of Petroleum” and published in the Los Angeles Times. Ken is also the author of 2008′s Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship. He served as Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine from 2006 to 2010.


Thanassis Cambanis: “The pendulum swing doesn’t track between Republican and Democrat, it tracks between pragmatist and idealist. JFK was an idealist, George W. Bush was an idealist – although they might have had very different values. Now we’re in an age of pragmatism and low expectations.”

America’s democracy export business is booming. Maybe not the actual product, but plenty of people are making money off the $10 billion spent promoting democracy worldwide. Maybe that’s the essence of American democracy after all? Journalist Thanassis Cambanis calls in to explore the West’s history shipping democracy abroad, and what the after-effects of the Arab Spring can teach us about the future of global democracy.

Thanassis writes the Internationalist column for the Boston Globe. He most recent piece there is How can America really promote democracy abroad?

Journalist Thanassis Cambanis is a fellow at The Century Foundation. He teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and is currently working on a book covering Egypt’s new political order. He is author of the 2001 book A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel.

 Interview Transcript via AntiDote.


Elizabeth Kolbert: “Major mass extinctions of the past have killed roughly 75% of species on the planet. Clearly, we haven’t crossed that threshold yet, but we are setting things in motion whereby we could get there within a couple centuries.”

At least the asteroid that caused the last mass extinction didn’t know what it was doing. We are already in the early-ish stages of the next mass extinction, and we don’t have the same excuse because we’re causing it. Writer Elizabeth Kolbert talks about the evidence all around us that we’re poisoning the world, why the rising tide of public opinion (and actual rising tides) hasn’t translated into action from our leaders, and how to minimize climate change before climate change minimizes us.

Elizabeth’s book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is out now from Henry Holt publishers.

Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Her three-part series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest, the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, and the 2006 National Academies Communication Award. The series became the 2006 book Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.



Will Lynch: “I just think it was too coincidental that David Cameron was trying to court and woo the Ulster unionists on the night Gerry Adams was arrested.”

The arrest of Gerry Adams says as much about the current state of UK politics as it does Adams’s past actions as an IRA member. Will Lynch covers both in this segment, but not before discussing the Detroit-Berlin music connection, tweeting with Glenn Greenwald, how he’s not that Will Lynch, and why this Will Lynch was already talking about the Troubles as a 14 year old with no time for handjobs.

Will Lynch has giving us the news from Dublin since 2010. He was almost Ireland’s most eligible bachelor in 2013, but lost the vote in what can only be described as a major failing of democracy.


Michael Roper: “Mead is suddenly really huge. They’ve been making it for 10,000 years and now everybody is crazy about it.”

He’s calling This is Hell! from the lush vineyards of Italy, but the Hopleaf’s Michael Roper always has beer on his mind. Michael talks with Chuck about the Hopleaf’s first tag-team beer dinner of 2014, importing beers all the way from exotic Maine, why more small breweries doesn’t mean more competition (yet,) Chicago Craft Beer Week, the Midwest’s cider boom, and finding the elusive mead drinker.

Michael Roper has been the owner operator of the Hopleaf Bar in Chicago since he opened it in 1992. Originally from Detroit where he tended bar, owned and managed music clubs, worked the line at Chevrolet Detroit Gear and Axle and attended Wayne State University, he came to Chicago in 1982.


Jeff Dorchen: “A seafood restaurant without seafood is impossible by definition. A sea without seafood somehow makes more sense.”

Those people claiming the world is going to end are going to be right at some point. No matter how nigh-ish the end is, Jeff Dorchen is going to be right too, about white supremacist movie reviews, childhood ozone fears, oligarchs on oligarchs on oligarchs, Obama’s mouth noises, Antonin Scalia’s doughy middle finger, and dystopian celebrity scalp conditions. Try fitting that on a comical sandwich board.

According to his contacts on LinkedIn, Jeff Dorchen can do just about anything. He’s a visual artist, songwriter/musician, actor, essayist, poet, playwright and screenwriter.

Producers Daniel Cox and Richard Norwood deal with an unnamed producer’s scheduling errors. He’s probably sorry, whoever he is.