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SONY Hacking, Colbert Packing, No New York Fracking and Cuba…backing…?

December 18, 2014

Yesterday didn’t start out as a historic day, but boy it sure did end as one. You won’t likely remember the date itself, but you certainly will remember that in late 2014 the US defrosted its relationship with Cuba AND the time SONY pictures capitulated to the demands of North Korea. That’s what we were talking about….

 

Today on StandUP!

 

First, turned to Dr. Julia Sweig of the Council of Foreign Relations, where she is a Senior Fellow and Director for Latin American Studies. She filled in a LOT of blanks for us on Cuba/US relations as they stand now, and historically how they got this way. Check out her book, “Cuba: What Everyone Needs To Know.”

One benefit of starting at 9am EAST is that it’s easier for us to book hot shot West Coast guests, who for some reason didn’t like waking up at 3am local time to talk about heavy subjects with a caffeine addled stand-up comic. Go figure…

Bob Baer is one such guest. Being a former CIA operative and an all-around expert on the Middle East, we asked Bob on to talk about the CIA torture report. As a bonus, we got his take on Cuba and the SONY hacks. Baer’s new book, “The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins” is out now and would make a great gift for the Black Ops assassin in your life.

We took a break from the madness of the news cycle to talk to Dr. Lynn Bufka of the American Psychological Association, who spent some time with Pete talking about dealing with family stress during the holidays. For some strange reason, secret drinking and emotionally eating a sleeve of Oreos didn’t come up even once. Go figure x2!

The whole show, Pete wanted to know what issue (Cuba/SONY hack) you thought was the most important, both in the moment and in the scope of history with a capital H. Cuba brings about the end of one of the last great vestiges of the Cold War, while the SONY hack marks a new, openly hostile chapter in cyberwar, weapon of the future!

We closed out show out today with a guest actually IN Cuba. William LeoGrande is a professor of government at American University in Washington, D.C. and the author of  “Back Channel to Cuba: the Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana”. Mr. LeoGrande called this a “Nixon goes to China” moment for the Obama administration and the World.

You know, I may have skipped the company holiday party but I just ate about 3lbs of leftovers from the office kitchen. I’d be embarrassed if it weren’t so tasty.

 

-c.

 

 

 

Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here.

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US Re-enters Cuba, Beach Boys swap Aruba out of “Kokomo” in Celebration.

December 17, 2014

We had some real humdingers break during the show today, with Cuba releasing an American aid worker from prison and then the US announcing re-opened diplomacy with the Caribbean nation. We’ll go more in-depth on all that tomorrow, but for now…

 

Today on StandUP!

 

Thomas Patterson joined us from the Harvard Kennedy School for Government to talk about the changing face of journalism in American politics and culture. We asked the professor to give us his thoughts on the Sony hacks and subsequent reporting on the leaked information. How do you report on a story like that? Do you tell the story of the hack, or do you report on all the juicy tidbits that get revealed, which will yield far sweeter fruit, ratings-wise?

Next, Jaime Henn of 350.org came back to the show to share with us revelations and details of the recent climate summit in Lima, Peru. From there, we pivoted to a discussion on renewable energy. For example: did you know that Pete is having solar panels installed on his house?

We asked Ali Velshi of Al-Jazeera America to join us for a few minutes to dig deeper into the recent fall, rise and fall of the ruble, the currency of Russia. The ruble has been dramatically weakened against foreign currencies as a result of low oil prices and Western sanctions in response to action in the Ukraine. But, what does that mean in the long run?

We finished up the day with some good straight talk from Margaret Hoover, CNN contributor and author of “American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party.” Recently, Margaret was part of a CNN panel that displayed the “hands up, don’t shoot” symbolism during a segment, drawing both praise and criticism. She joined us to talk about why she thinks the GOP should get behind these movements, for the betterment of America and the future of her party.

 

See you tomorrow, when we can talk more about how Cool Pope helped the US and Cuba get friendly again!

 

-c.

 

Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here.

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A little bit country, A little bit “lock-and-load.”

December 16, 2014

There are only 15 days left to fulfill last year’s resolutions before you have to come up with new ones. My resolution will be and has always been to not live my life according to overly dramatic promised and bets with myself.

 

Today on StandUP!

We opened the show with your headlines, and aside from the usual sad and sobering news of the world, we also discussed the Sony leaks/hacks, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the fall of the Russian ruble, and whether modern country music has any real merit.

John Avlon is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and a regular contributor to StandUP! so it was great to have John join us in the new time slot for the the first time. Pete and John talked about the CIA torture report, shootings and attacks both here in the US and in Australia and Pakistan, and a little bit of the rock and roll discussion crept back in.

In our second hour, Pete welcomed 23 year veteran of the Late Show with David Letterman writers’ room, Bill Scheft. He’s also a novelist and was here to tell us about his new book, “Shrink Thyself,” as well as reflections back on his time at Letterman. Easily one of my favorite hours of radio this week. Very fun, with some great Dave stories.

We kept in the world of showbiz for the next segment, for a rare but fun talk with actress Marlo Thomas. For years, she has been the face of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital her father founded in 1962. She shared some stories of encouragement, and a few family tales, all in the hopes that YOU will share donations this holiday season. If you can, please do.

Pete wrapped up today’s show by asking you your thoughts on Dick Cheney. The former VP’s comments on the CIA torture report have certainly drawn some negative reaction, but it cannot be ignored that roughly half the nation supports or is ambivalent about torture, so we really wanted to know what YOU thought of the man who serves as the de facto figurehead for that era’s war machine.

 

Oh, and here is the perfectly executed  interview The Takeaway’s Todd Zwillich did with Henry Kissinger, back in September.

 

-c.

 

 

 

 

Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here.

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Secrets, but no Santa.

December 15, 2014

Hanukkah starts tomorrow, Christmas is next week, and Kwanzaa starts the 26th, but there will be NO GIFTS adults in the Dominick family. Breaking tradition is the new tradition. That’s just some of what we learned…

Today on StandUP!

 

After covering some of the headlines from over the weekend, including the standoff at the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney, Australia that concluded in a police raid, we made way for our first guest, SiriusXM POTUS White House correspondent, Jared Rizzi.

Jared recently asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest about the morality of the US drone program in light of the release of the CIA Torture Report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was a great exchange, and you should check it out.

Co-host of CNN’s Early Start, Christine Romans, joined us for the first time in our new time slot, and boy was she missed. Christine helped Pete enlighten us on just why derivatives matter to Americans, even if we don’t fully get what they are about. They also spent some time on one of Pete’s favorite hobbies: defending the airlines.

Next, we welcomed Washington Post arts reporter Geoff Edgers, who took a few minutes to talk to Pete about his new show “Secrets of the Arsenal,” premiering Tuesday at 10e/9c on the American Heroes Channel. There was passing mention of Napoleon’s sword being housed at West Point. Strange place for an exiled French emperor to leave a sword, but c’est la vie.

Our final guest of the show was Glenn Carle. After serving as Deputy Nat’l Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats, as well as a CIA Clandestine Services Officer, Mr. Carle is now the author of “The Interrogator: An Education.” Pete and Glenn went inside his experience as an interrogator, as it relates to the CIA torture report. This isn’t just an issue that divides Americans, it even divides those who were part of the organization as it transpired. This was seen during the stretch of the interview where Pete and Carle discussed another former CIA operator, Jose Rodriguez.

 

The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution was ratified on this day (12/15) in 1791. I think we all know what MY favorite Amendment is…

 

-c.

 

 

Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here.

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