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Tough Lessons: Advice for the Next President

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Release Date: 12/03/2019

The Button show art The Button

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Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Ploughshares Fund policy director Tom Collina join Press the Button to discuss how US nuclear policy, largely set during the Cold War, is outdated, obsolete, and dangerous. Perry and Collina cover this topic in their new book "The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power From Truman to Trump." Early Warning features Erica Fein and Anthony Wier discussing efforts to reduce the bloated US defense budget.

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The Long Goodbye show art The Long Goodbye

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A special episode of Press the Button features outgoing co-host and Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione's final appearance on the podcast (for now). He talks with co-host Michelle Dover on the state of the national security and nuclear policy field, and why he feels optimistic about the prospect of a safer, more secure world.

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National Security in the “Post-Policy” World show art National Security in the “Post-Policy” World

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Steve Benen, producer for The Rachel Maddow Show, joins Press the Button to discuss his new book, "The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics," in which he argues that the GOP has become a "post-policy" party. Early Warning features Matt Korda and Luke Schleusener on the landmark Supreme Court decision regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, and an emerging congressional fight over the resumption of nuclear testing.

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We Need to Make Change show art We Need to Make Change

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Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, founder and president of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), joins Press the Button for a discussion on her work and why the current moment only underscores the need for systemic change. Ambassador Jenkins recently joined the Ploughshares Fund board of directors. Early Warning features Camille Stewart and John Carl Baker on the ongoing protests against police brutality and the deterioration of inter-Korea relations.

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American Upheaval show art American Upheaval

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David Corn, chief of the Washington bureau for Mother Jones and MSNBC contributor, joins Press the Button for an in-depth look at the four big crises facing the US: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, corrupt government, and police violence. Early Warning features Akshai Vikram and Neda Shaheen on the nationwide protests against police brutality initiated by the killing of George Floyd, and how the militarization of US national security resulted in the militarization of US police departments.

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The Science of Nuclear Explosions show art The Science of Nuclear Explosions

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Michelle Thaller, astronomer and research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, joins Press the Button to discuss the science behind nuclear weapons, and what exactly makes them so dangerous. Early Warning discusses recent revelations that the Trump administration considered resuming US nuclear testing. In the Silo features our senior program officer Cara Wagner on the Consensual Straitjacket, New America's landmark report on the challenges faced by women in the nuclear field.

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A New National Security Strategy show art A New National Security Strategy

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Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, joins Press the Button for an in-depth look at the failure of the Trump administration's Iran policy, and how progressives can organize to implement a new national security strategy. Early Warning features Moritz Kütt of the University of Hamburg and Jack Brosnan of the Nuclear Threat Initiative discussing the fate and importance of the Open Skies Treaty, and the progress made by the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy initiative.

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The End of the World as We Know It show art The End of the World as We Know It

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David Rothkopf, professor of international relations, political scientist and journalist, provides a sobering assessment on the decline of American power in the face of three crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, and government corruption. Early Warning features Laicie Heeley of Inkstick Media and John Carl Baker on the urgent need to rethink US national security. Joe Cirincione answers a question on the fate of US nuclear weapons located in Germany.

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The Anthropocene Pandemic show art The Anthropocene Pandemic

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Leilani Münter, former professional stock car racing driver and environmental activist, joins Press the Button to discuss the intersection of environmental and national security priorities, and how human activity has initiated a mass extinction of species. Early Warning features Mary Kaszynski and Harry Kazianis on US-North Korea relations in the midst of Kim Jong-un's public re-emergence and the state of the Iran nuclear agreement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Masks Over Missiles: New Rules for Pentagon Funding show art Masks Over Missiles: New Rules for Pentagon Funding

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Rep. Ro Khanna returns to Press the Button for an exclusive look at his efforts to redirect Pentagon spending toward efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. High on his list of possible cuts are the massive increases for new nuclear weapons proposed by President Donald Trump, including a freeze on the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Early Warning features Alexandra Bell and Richard Nephew on a new report detailing the effects of the Trump administration's nuclear policy.

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Jeffrey Lewis, expert in nuclear nonproliferation and geopolitics, joins co-host Joe Cirincione for a wide-ranging discussion on national security, presidential authority, and how the next occupant of the White House should tackle nuclear policy issues. Jeffrey Lewis is director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Early Warning features our director of policy Tom Collina and Roger L. Hale fellow Akshai Vikram discussing the ongoing protests in Iran and US nuclear policy, which currently allows the president absolute authority to launch nuclear weapons whenever they want, for whatever reason.