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The Big Picture

The Big Picture with Holland Cooke tackles the latest in political news, debates, commentary and more. The program airs live every Friday at 1:30 PM ET, with re-runs at 7 PM and 10:30 PM EM on Friday and Mondays at 01:30 PM ET.

Oct 19, 2019 07:49

‘Don’t be a tough guy!’ Trump urges Erdogan

Holland Cooke talks shop with veteran US diplomat Jim Jatras and Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute Daniel McAdams about the ongoing schisms between Trump, Erdogan, and the embattled northeastern region of Syria. Then, Melanie Benesh of the Environmental Working Group walks us through the dangers of PFAS, an industrial chemical that’s found its way into our water supply and popular packaged foods.

Oct 12, 2019 08:37

Turkish escalations send Kurds FLEEING

Holland Cooke sits down with former US diplomat Jim Jatras to discuss ramifications in the days following the US withdrawal from Syria. Turkish forces have now launched air and artillery strikes on Kurdish positions in the northeast region, and President Erdogan is threatening to release ISIS prisoners of war across the Turkish border. Are we witnessing a downward spiral that could undermine any progress made toward eliminating terror groups in the region?

Plus, a reflection of Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World resulting in his “discovery” of the Americas and its native peoples. This week also marks the 200th anniversary of James Cook’s landing in New Zealand on HMS ‘Endeavor,’ which ushered in an era of colonial rule to the dismay of the indigenous Maori people inhabiting the island.

Holland Cooke welcomes Strelmark president and founder Hilary Fordwich, who breaks down some of the highest levels of income inequality the US has ever seen. As top earners enjoy deepening their pockets, the middle class appears to have been left behind, with debt growing and the federal minimum wage at a standstill. Why exactly aren’t laborers being properly compensated for the value they contribute to our economy?

Then, Iraq war veteran and former State Department official Matthew Hoh talks about the horrific realities of veteran suicides, which take the lives of over a dozen US service members EACH DAY. Holland and Matthew discuss warning signs and resources which could save the lives of our men and women in uniform, who often return home suffering from a wide array of mental health issues.

Oct 5, 2019 08:27

Digging into Ukraine BEYOND the impeachment frenzy

Holland Cooke talks all things Ukraine with Consortium News editor-in-chief, Joe Lauria. Aside from the media being engulfed by talks of Trump, Biden, and impeachment proceedings, just what geopolitical stake does the US have in Ukraine, a country in the sights of NATO?

Then, scam-buster aficionado Steven J.J. Weisman breaks down an FTC lawsuit against Match.com and its subsidiaries, which alleges that half a MILLION people have been duped into premium subscriptions by online dating services, often being tantalized by phony dating profiles. Weisman offers advice on how to protect ourselves from fraud on today’s tech-dependent dating scene and beyond.

Just days after the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Holland Cooke hosts a roundtable discussion about the swelling influence of Beijing with former Pentagon official Michael Maloof and senior policy analyst at the Institute for China-America Studies, Sourabh Gupta. While the US has enjoyed its position as top dog in the global world order, countries to the east like China, India and Pakistan are now vying for economic footholds where the US has been slipping.

The trio talk shop about China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is now invigorating the economies of over 150 countries, and the Kashmir conflict between nuclear powers India and Pakistan, which could require Chinese arbitration in the absence of Western diplomacy.

Sep 28, 2019 08:25

American middle class forever submerged in debt?

Holland Cooke talks with London School of Economics Professor David Graeber about the origins of debt and how the American middle class is finding itself inundated by student loans, mortgages, and car repayments in an economic system that shows striking similarities to feudalism. While Trump is touting record-low unemployment, why does it seem like more of the same: only the already-rich get richer, while the average American is left to fend off constantly increasing costs of living? Holland Cooke sits down with Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin to discuss how citizen diplomacy may at times be MORE effective at fostering warm relations with other countries than conventional talks between world leaders. Benjamin has traveled to places like Cuba, Yemen and Afghanistan in an effort to espouse global connections and to learn more about the lives of ordinary citizens abroad.

Sep 21, 2019 08:47

Cash-driven opioid manufacturers FACING THE MUSIC

Holland Cooke sits down with addiction medicine specialist Dr John Dombrowski to discuss medical practices relating to the over-prescription of opioids. While pharmaceutical companies may be motivated by sales, how big a part do actual physicians and pharmacists play in the ongoing addiction crisis that is killing over 100 Americans EVERY DAY?

Then, legal journalist Mollye Barrows breaks down what Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy filing and the recent $572 million settlement against Johnson & Johnson mean for drug manufacturers moving forward. Is this the beginning of the end for the relentless opioid scourge across the country?

Holland Cooke interviews former US deputy under SECDEF and senior fellow at the Wilson Center, Sherri Goodman, about what climate change means for our national security. Military officials have long classified climate change as a “threat multiplier” that triggers mass migrations, widens schisms between competitors in trade, and exacerbates the physical health of those involved in military operations worldwide.

Then, Rory Varrato of Extinction Rebellion breaks down how special interest groups are halting environmental legislation in its tracks. Because the media appears complicit in their limited coverage of climate change activism, Varrato advocates for non-violent protest to disrupt businesses and institutions as a way to garner attention for the global climate crisis that he claims has moved FAR beyond the stage of prevention.

Sep 14, 2019 10:01

Never-ending war in Afghanistan… for WHAT? & Problematic 737 Max jets SHELVED until 2020

Holland Cooke talks with former US Marine and State Department official Matthew Hoh about his experience being deployed to Iraq and as a whistleblower for the war in Afghanistan. Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof gives his take on exactly why it is the Afghanistan war has now spanned a whopping 18 YEARS, making it the longest war in US history. And former NTSB official Jamie Finch breaks down what the suspension of Boeing’s 737 MAX flagship aircraft into 2020 means for the aviation industry.