FULL SHOW: Russia Controversy, Women & Politics, Big Pharma

February 15, 2017

Remember when Russia –  and its president –  were just fodder for bizarre debate exchanges and late-night jokes? Then-candidate Trump was emphatic that no one was pulling his strings when it came to dealing with our old cold war nemesis. But that was before Michael Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Advisor – after it was disclosed he spoke to Russia's U.S. ambassador prior to Trump's inaugural. That’s a potential violation of federal law. Now there are calls on both sides of the aisle for congressional investigations into what contact took place between the Russian government and top associates of Donald Trump during the presidential election. Another sign of potential problems at the White House –  late this afternoon, Trump's nominee for secretary of labor Andrew Puzder withdrew, after several Republicans raised concerns about unpaid taxes for a former housekeeper who was not authorized to work in the U.S. Jim Braude (@jimbraude) is joined by Chris Shays (@CShays), a Republican former congressman from Connecticut who is now a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics, and retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan – a former defense attaché to Russia who is now at Harvard's Kennedy School.

After 20,000 people protested the president in the Women’s March on Washington, many asked, what’s next? It turns out, for many women, the next step is a big one – run for office. Political organizations across the country say they’ve seen an explosion in the number of women looking to get in the game since then – including Emerge, with a chapter here in Massachusetts. And there's plenty of room for improvement - both locally and nationally. While women make up more than half the U.S. population, they account for only 19% of Congress. And here in Massachusetts, they make up just 26% of the state legislature. In fact, in the entire history of the state, only 196 women have ever held a seat on Beacon Hill – compared to more than 20,000 men. The state has never had a woman elected governor and just got our first female U-S senator in 2013 — Elizabeth Warren. These are not numbers to be proud of. So where are we going wrong? And how do we go right? Jim asks three local female politicians, Brockton City Councilor Shayna Barnes (@SMB4Council), Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George (@AnnissaForBos) – both Democrats – and Republican Rep. Hannah Kane (@HannahEKaneMA) from Shrewsbury.

The pharmaceutical industry has a reputation for drastic price increases, including a 5,000% hike on a treatment from Martin Shkreli's company. During the campaign, then-candidate Trump proposed to make it easier to negotiate drug prices – but now he is changing his tune. Hear Jim's thoughts on Big Pharma and the president's plans for the industry.

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