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Beating City Hall/What’s Really Going On in Syria

Ralph welcomes independent candidate for California Lieutenant Governor, Gayle McLaughlin, who talks about how she and small group of progressive reformers turned around the city of Richmond, California. And one of the foremost experts on the Middle East, Professor Joshua Landis, clues us in to what exactly is going on in Syria, and what we should do about it.

Gayle McLaughlin is a former two-term Mayor of Richmond, California, who is running for Lieutenant Governor of California as a progressive Independent. Ms. McLaughlin was a Richmond City Council member for two terms and served as Mayor from 2007-2014. While she was Mayor of Richmond, the city passed the first rent control law in California in 30 years, increased the minimum wage, reduced homicides 75% in 8 years, forced Chevron to pay on average an additional $7.5 million in taxes per year and sued Chevron for damage to the city’s populationHer book about this time is entitled Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall.

“They (Chevron) spent millions trying to defeat us. And we were able to overcome their millions. In 2014, they spent 3.5 million in a mid-size city like Richmond, (which) was unprecedented.  And all the progressives won.  And all the Chevron candidates lost.” Former mayor Gayle McLaughlin, author of “Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall.”

Joshua Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. He writes “Syria Comment” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts over 100,000 readers a month. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington DC to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks. He has lived over 14 years in the Middle East and speaks Arabic and French fluently. He has lived four years in Syria, and spent most summers in Damascus until the revolution began.

“Syria has got to rebuild. America is not going to rebuild it. Russia and Iran are going to have a very difficult time trying to rebuild Syria.  I don’t believe it’s in America’s interest to linger in Syria more than a year or two.”  Joshua Landis Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies


  1. Afdal says:

    David Feldman somehow forgot the Democratic Party when he mentioned “who’s hacked our elections more?” I’m getting really sick of Ralph and company paying fealty to the corporate and Democratic Party establishment when it comes to the Russian “interference” conspiracy theory. Where is the PROOF? Some Twitter trolls and Facebook ads? You don’t need to look to Russia to be concerned about election integrity, this garbage has been going on for a long time at the hands of our very own Republican AND Democratic parties.

    Read Election Justice USA’s two reports on voter suppression and election fraud during the 2016 primaries. Massive voter suppression in Arizona, New York, California, and more. Of the 25 states that even had exit polls performed, 10 of them deviated from the reported results outside the margins of error, all in favor of Clinton, and many deviating so widely that they would fail the US state department’s own litmus test for certifying foreign elections as “free and fair”.

    Read Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’s solid debunking of the DNC hacking narrative: due to the physical limitations of the internet, it is simply not possible for the files obtained from the DNC servers to have been obtained at the speed they were through a trans-Atlantic internet download. Get Bill Binney on your show to dispel this hex cast upon you by corporate media.

    Shame on all of you for perpetuating this garbage in a new cold war era where the Doomsday Clock has been closer to midnight for the last two years than it was in the ’80s. I really thought you all got your news from more reliable outlets to know better on this subject. There are serious reasons to be concerned about election integrity in the US, and “those sneaky Russians” doesn’t make the cut.

  2. whirledpeace says:

    Mr. Landis’ insistence on using the term “regime” ONLY in reference to the legitimate United Nations recognized government of Syria while not when referencing the U.S. and other nations that are in VIOLATION of international law by even being present while uninvited and identified as invaders by that legitimate government. This twists all that was said into propaganda favoring the continued violations of international law resulting in increased needless death and destruction while undermining the rule-of-law in a more universal sense across all borders, boundaries of thought, action and ideologies.
    Mr. Nader, I’m disappointed in your participation in this propagandized presentation of the internationally illegal presence of the U.S. military in the sovereign nation of Syria.