823: Empire Strikes Shows


Full Show:







Doug Henwood: “At least with Obama there was the illusion that something would change. Hillary is the status quo. She is the embodiment of status quo. It’s so depressing to me to think she is waltzing towards a coronation.”

If you were ready for Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Obama then don’t worry, you’re ready for Hillary. Or maybe worry. Doug Henwood worries that American politics is a little too ready for Hillary in his Harper’s cover essay – Stop Hillary!: Vote No to a Clinton Dynasty.

Doug talks with Chuck about President Obama’s role in repackaging a political status quo that’s been stagnant for decades, why Hillary’s record shows her to be as committed to advancing corporate power and international warfare as any man (like that’s a yardstick we should be using,) and just how long everyone on both sides of American politics can convince themselves to keep voting for the lesser of two evils, instead of getting ready for an actual, radical change.

Doug Henwood is a journalist, economic analyst and the editor and publisher of the Left Business Observer.


Laddie O: “Did you know the FCC has a unique power within the government – of forbearance. Under section 10 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, The FCC does not necessarily have to enforce laws, or various parts, unless they’re considered ‘needed’ to protect consumers or to ensure the public good. How crazy is that?”

Almost four million public comments have been submitted to the FCC about net neutrality. They’ve overwhelming supporting of the concept, but not enough of them blame FDR for the current state of affairs. Laddie O registers his support of net neutrality, gets in his FDR shots and explains why it’s a good sign that Americans care more about an open internet than Janet Jackson’s boob, how a Clinton-era law lets the FCC sort of choose which rules to follow, and the fact that cable-cutting Netflix subscribers might save us all.

Laddie O has covered web news for This is Hell! since 1998. When he’s not doing that, he’s acting like a big-time multimedia producer for Maryland’s university system and walking around the place in a most haughty fashion.



Jeremy Scahill: “People at Blackwater spoke of teams of operatives flying in helicopters, going what they called ‘night-hunting,’ where they literally were shooting Iraqis for sport.”

American conducts war like it conducts business – in secret and to the advantage of political elites. Jeremy Scahill covers the intersection of war, business and elites in his piece Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges for The Intercept.

Jeremy joins TiH! to discuss how America’s secret/semi-secret/open-secret wars are having a very public impact on our democracy, how Blackwater’s founder rose above accountability for his group’s actions, why a silent coup of corporations co-opted the country’s domestic and foreign policies, and what the cancellation of Nightline says about public interest and corporate profit. He also talks about his role in the Snowden documentary Citizenfour, which looks amazing.

Jeremy Scahill is an independent journalist and founding editor of The Intercept.

Jeremy will be speaking at the 35th Annual Dinner Celebration for Chicago Area Peace Action on Saturday, November 1, at 6PM at the St Francis Xavier Parish Gym, in Wilmette. Hear him talk, eat dinner and support a great cause. What a night!


Kevan Harris: “I guarantee that the day after the talks are extended – if they’re extended – you’re gonna see a lot of noise on the right saying that we need to raise sanctions now, because that will put even more pressure on Iran. And if you do that, the Iranians may leave.”

The language barrier should be the only thing stopping Americans from talking directly with Iran, and they have translators for that. Conflicting political goals are impeding the nuclear negotions with Iran, and they’re coming from inside the House. The Radical Pessimist, Kevan Harris talks about how leaks, 2016 election bullshit, and sanction hawks are holding up talks, why he’s hopeful about the progress already made, and introduces us to the Kissinger-Machiavelli scale of global stability.

Kevan Harris is a sociologist, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University and radical pessimist. He likes to talk about big ideas and small people, including capitalism, the Middle East, and the puny American left.



Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “From the very founding, the United States was a settler-colonial power that had its own aspirations for empire. In fact they made no bones about it.”

Indigenous Americans have endured two genocides – one that took their lives and lands – and one that stole their histories. The second is why we talk so little about the first. Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is working to reclaim those histories in her book An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.

Chuck starts off the conversation with Roxanne about her past covering the US-backed contra violence in Nicauragua, then digs into why the narrative of the American revolution as anti-colonial action ignores all the people already colonized within its borders, her experiences growing up in segregated Oklahoma, and how America’s history of violence has set the blueprint for our current conflicts.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies at California State University, Hayward.


Jeff Dorchen: “The criteria one must meet to be considered an expert on something are the same as the requirements for membership in an angry mob. This hasn’t really lowered the bar for experts but it has inflated the self esteem of mobs.”

Jeff doesn’t really know anything about the death of Michael Brown, or the opera The Death of Klinghoffer. So, knowing an equal amount about each, he joins the mob. Well, mobs. Theater critics patrol Ferguson, cop-shooting-unarmed-people critics enjoy a trip to the opera, and everything is better. Or worse. At least shaken up.

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.

823: Empire Strikes
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