The Final Countdown – 2/20/24 – Trump Ordered to Pay $354 Million in Civil Fraud Trial

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss top news around the world and nationwide, including Trump having to pay $364 million for fraud. 
Steve Hayes – Tax Attorney 
Nebojsa Malic – Journalist 
Andrii Telizhenko – Ukrainian Whistleblower, Former Diplomat 
John Kirakou – CIA Whistleblower 
The first hour begins with tax attorney Steve Hayes, who breaks down Trump’s $364 million penalty from his New York civil fraud case. 
Then, journalist Nebojsa Malic weighs in on the U.S. hysteria regarding the accusation that Russia is planning to deploy nuclear weapons into space. 
The second hour begins with Ukrainian whistleblower and former diplomat Andrii Telizhenko sharing his perspective on the potential aid package to Kiev and the case of the FBI informant who lied about the Biden family’s ties to Burisma. 
The show closes with CIA whistleblower and co-host of Political Misfits John Kirakou who discusses the upcoming trial for Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange. 

The Final Countdown – 2/16/24 – Fani Willis Blasts Former Lover in Stunning Testimony

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss current events from around the globe, including the Fani Willis testimony. 
Steve Gill – Attorney 
Tyler Nixon – Counselor-at-law
Lynn Shaw – Founder, Executive Director, Lynn’s Warriors
Jeremy Kuzmarov – Managing Editor of Covert Action Magazine  
The first hour begins with attorney Steve Gill discussing the ongoing Fani Willis hearing and all of its bombshell moments. Then, counselor-at-law, Tyler Nixon, joins later to weigh in on the heated testimony. 
The second hour begins with the founder and executive director of Lynn’s Warriors, Lynn Shaw, on why Jeffrey Epstein victims are suing the FBI. 
The show closes with the Managing editor of Covert Action Magazine Jeremy Kuzmarov, who shares his expertise on the latest out of Gaza, including Israel’s planned Rafah offensive. 



The Final Countdown – 2/15/24 – ICE Pressures Congress with Threat of Releasing Detained Migrants After Border Bill Fails

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss top news from around the world, including ICE blackmailing Congress over the failed border bill. 
Ajay Pallegar – Criminal and Civil Attorney
Andrew Arthur – Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies 
Dan Lazare – Independent Journalist 
Kevin Kamps Radioactive Waste Specialist, 
The first hour begins with Ajay Pallegar, a criminal and civil attorney, sharing his perspective on Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ hearing, which would determine if she would be disqualified from the election interference case against Trump. 
Then, Andrew Arthur, a Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies gives his analysis on ICE threatening to release detained migrants in response to Congress’s failure to ensure funding. 
The second hour starts with independent journalist Dan Lazare, who shares his insights on the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies targeting 26 Trump associates in 2016.    
The show closes with Radioactive Waste Specialist at Beyond Nuclear, Kevin Kamps, who shares his expertise on U.S. intelligence claiming that Russia might have the capabilities to launch nuclear weapons into space. 

DMZ America Podcast #137: Biden on the Ropes Over His Age, NY Special Election, Impeaching Mayorkas

Political cartoonists and analysts Ted Rall (of the Left) and Scott Stantis (of the Right) discuss the week’s current events and politics. First, the political classes try to determine whether Joe Biden’s reelection bid can be salvaged after the special counsel’s devastating assessment that he’s too senile to be charged with a felony over mishandling classified documents and, if not, will Democrats force him out and how exactly will that work?

Next, Democrats take disgraced Congressman George Santos’ former seat in New York by a comfortable margin. What, if anything, does this portend for the GOP’s chances overall this fall?

Finally, Republicans take a second stab at impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the border crisis, and succeed. Everyone gets an impeachment! But does it matter?

Watch the Video Version: here.

The Final Countdown – 2/14/24 – 200 Million Voters Select Indonesia’s Next President

On this edition of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discussed several topics from around the globe, including the latest from the Indonesian elections. 
Robert Hornak – Political Consultant 
Aquiles Larrea – Finance Expert
Steve Hayes – Tax Lawyer
Sourabh Gupta – Geopolitical Analyst 
In the first hour, The Final Countdown hosted political consultant Robert Hornak who discussed the Republican defeat in the New York district that was previously the seat of George Santos, along with the impeachment of the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. 
The Final Countdown followed up this conversation with a discussion on the latest inflation numbers. Finance expert Aquiles Larrea gives his analysis on the current state of the U.S. economy under the Biden administration. 
To begin the final hour, tax lawyer Steve Hayes spoke to The Final Countdown about federal job cuts, especially at NASA where several employees were recently laid off due to budget setbacks. 
In the final segment of the show, Angie and Ted are joined by geopolitical analyst Sourabh Gupta who broke down the Indonesian presidential election and what this means going forward for the densely populated nation. 

The Final Countdown – 2/13/24 – Pakistan Faces Uncertain Political Future With No Clear Winning Gov’t

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss top news worldwide, including the results of Pakistan’s elections. 
Mitch Roschelle – Media Commentator 
Tyler Nixon – Counselor-at-law  
Mark Sleboda – International Relations and Security Analyst 
Hamza Azhar Salam – Pakistani journalist 
The first hour begins with media commentator Mitch Roschelle, who discusses the special election to replace the ousted U.S. Representative George Santos. 
Then, attorney Tyler Nixon joins to weigh in on Trump’s emergency request to SCOTUS to delay his Jan. 6 criminal trial. Nixon and the hosts also discuss Trump’s hearing on the classified documents case and the possibility of Fani Willis being disqualified. 
The second hour starts with International Relations and Security Analyst Mark Sleboda, who shares his expertise on the latest out of Ukraine, including the Senate approving a $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. 
The show closes with journalist Hamza Azhar Salam, who shares his insights on the split results of Pakistan’s elections. 

The Final Countdown – 2/12/24 – Senators Advance Bill to Send Billions to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss news from around the globe, including U.S. Senators pushing forward a budget bill that funds Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. 
Aquiles Larrea– CEO of Larrea Wealth Management, Finance Expert
Steve Gill – Attorney 
Dan Lazare – Independent Journalist 
Robert Fantina – Author, journalist, activist 
The first hour begins with Aquiles Larrea, a finance expert, who shares his perspective on the Congressional budget, and GOP Senators pushing forth a bill that fuels billions to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. 
Then, attorney Steve Gill talks about the latest out of the Fani Willis scandal. 
The second hour starts with independent journalist Dan Lazare, talking about a new poll revealing that many Americans believe that U.S. President Biden is too old for another term and the state of his mental acuity. 
The show closes with author, journalist, and activist Robert Fantina, about a potential Israeli invasion of Rafah. 

What’s Left 3: What If We Had $4.5 Trillion a Year to Spend on Ordinary People?

            The $1.6 trillion we waste each year on the Pentagon is an irresistible target for leftists looking for funds to appropriate to the human wants and needs that are currently going un- and under-addressed. Let’s redirect those funds to something more worthwhile than slaughtering innocent people around the planet—i.e., anything else. But why stop there?

            The U.S. federal budget is full of poor spending choices and waste caused by bureaucratic inefficiency.

            One item you might not immediately think of as flexible or fungible is interest on the national debt, which came to $659 billion in the 2023 fiscal year. That derives from past spending. We don’t have a time machine, so what can be done about that?

            Quite a lot, actually. That figure reflects an increase of $184 billion, or 39%, from the previous year and is nearly double that for fiscal year 2020. The culprit for that massive spending spike is the Federal Reserve Bank’s optional, unnecessary, totally reversible decision to repeatedly raise interest rates following the COVID-19 lockdown, including on government-issued Treasury bonds and notes that finance the debt, in order to fight a spike in inflation that probably would have eased without any action by monetary regulators. And it’s only going to get worse. The Congressional Budget Office projects that interest on the debt, which currently amounts to two percent of GDP, will rise to six percent by 2030.

            In other words, American taxpayers would have saved $184 billion had the Fed chosen not to increase interest rates. Which, if our society valued labor more than capital, it would not have. Not only is the Fed’s obsessive fear of inflation a paranoid and anachronistic vestige of a 1970s economy that no longer exists and in any event was not nearly as bad for workers as we’ve been told, it repeatedly leads them to risk recession because, in the worst-case scenario from business’ vantage point, layoffs and wage cuts rein in the power of labor, which amounts to about two-thirds of the expenses of a generic U.S. corporation.

            The federal government issues about $250 billion per year to individuals and corporations that objectively do not qualify for the subsidies, including $1 billion a year to dead people.

            Nearly $2 billion per year goes to maintaining 77,000 empty buildings.

            Then there’s the revenue side—or lack thereof. In 2021, the last year for which statistics are officially available, the Internal Revenue Service failed to collect $688 billion in unpaid taxes because it didn’t bother to send dunning letters or to conduct audits of wealthy individuals or corporations.

            And that’s not even touching the fact that income taxes can, and should be increased on high income, individuals and corporations.

            For this exercise, we are omitting other expenses that are arguably wasteful, like most of the budget of the Department of Homeland Security, the $70 billion a year foreign-aid budget and outlandish headline-grabbing projects like federally-supported studies of how Russian cats walk, and how the fur color of Labrador retrievers affects their internal body temperatures. Taxpayer money should never be wasted. But here we are looking for the biggest reservoir of foolishly-spent money, not the latest Bridge to Nowhere.

            Leaving the tax structure as it is, at least $3.5 trillion per year is currently being wasted, squandered, thrown away for no good reason whatsoever. Meanwhile, Americans live in terror because they are one or two paychecks away from economic ruin, don’t know what they would do if they were diagnosed with a terrible disease and are going into insane amounts of debt in order to send their kids to college.

            Now imagine if large corporations and wealthy individuals were made to pay their fair share of taxes. Six out of 10 voters say they resent how low taxes are for the rich and big companies.

            Currently, for example, families don’t pay Social Security withholding taxes on income over $250,000 per year. Eliminating the highly regressive cap would bring in an additional $100 billion per year.

            A 2% or 3% wealth tax on people worth more than $50 million—a tax on assets rather than income, as other developed countries have—would bring in at least $200 billion annually.

            Taxing capital gains at the same rate as income would bring in an additional estimated $100 billion a year.

            Corporate income taxes as a percentage of GDP have steadily fallen since 1950, peaking at 6% during the Korean War, hitting 3% in 1970 and plunging to 1% during the Reagan years, where they are now. Companies are sponging off the greatest consumer market on earth; they should be made to pay if they want to continue to play. If we returned to that 3% rate, when the economy was booming by the way, the Treasury would bring in an additional $500 billion annually.

            All told, we are looking at roughly $4.5 trillion per year. $4.5 trillion a year that could be used to alleviate hunger, house the unhoused, treat the sick, build infrastructure, educate the young, and retrain older workers.

            Next week: Americans’ biggest worries and how the Left could reallocate those $4.5 trillion in ways to make us all better off.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)

DMZ America Podcast #136: Suffering from Dementia, Joe Biden Tanks His Presidency in Insane Rant

Since Joe Biden announced his run for president in 2020, cartoonists Ted Rall (Left) and Scott Stantis (Right) have warned America that he suffers from dementia. They were ridiculed, marginalized and insulted as a result. Now a devastating report by Special Counsel Robert Hur confirms that a pair of editorial cartoonists were right while the elite political class were wrong and/or lying: Biden has been so addled for so long that he cannot identify which years he served as vice president and that, in 2017, he could not say when his son Beau died (it was 2015). He is so senile, Dur says, that he cannot be held accountable in a court of law. Minutes after the Dur Report’s release the president called an impromptu press conference where he raged at White House reporters that he was still mentally sharp—and then said that Sisi was the president of Mexico (it’s actually Egypt). Biden’s presidency is effectively over. Ted and Scott ask: how will the unwinding go down?

Watch the Video Version: here.

The Final Countdown – 2/9/24 – Furious Biden Lashes Out Over Special Counsel’s Comments

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Angie Wong and Ted Rall discuss news from around the world, including Tucker Carlson’s unprecedented interview with Russian President Putin. 
Ryan Cristian – Founder and Editor, Last American Vagabond 
Ed Martin – Attorney 
Mark Sleboda – International Relations and Security Analyst 

The first hour begins with Ryan Cristian, Founder and Editor of Last American Vagabond, breaking down American journalist Tucker Carlson’s two-hour-long interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
The second hour begins with Ed Martin, who speaks about Biden’s reaction to the Special Counsel’s report on his handling of classified documents. 
The show closes with Mark Sleboda, an International Relations and Security Analyst who shares his perspective on Ukrainian President Zelensky’s removal of the military’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny.