Swamp Watch: Google and Lapdog Professors

Swamp Watch: Google and Lapdog Professors

Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are, in some ways, more powerful than our federal government. The tech giants decide what information we see - and what we don't. Their decisions can close down whole industries. For many years, they stuck to sunny California. But today they're a huge presence in the Washington swamp, spending millions to make sure legislation goes their way, providing a lucrative revolving door between industry and government. And they're even secretly funding lapdog professors to make their arguments for them.

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Swamp Watch: The United Nations

Swamp Watch: The United Nations

The annual UN General Assembly starts in New York this Tuesday, with President Trump scheduled to speak that morning.The UN is a sprawling international bureaucracy with endless different bodies and agencies. Its executive arm, the Secretariat, has a five and a half billion dollar budget... 22 percent of which is funded by you, the U.S. taxpayer. So, where exactly is your money going?

The United Nations is tonight's Swamp Watch.

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Swamp Watch SPECIAL!

Swamp Watch SPECIAL!

Given Swamp Watch's measurable popularity, Fox decided to run a Swamp Watch Special on Sunday. We aired a montage of Swamp Watch clips and interviews with the indispensable Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, former lobbyist and convicted felon turned anti-corruption activist Jack Abramoff, Representatives Mike Gallagher and Ro Khanna, and New America senior fellow Lee Drutman.

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'Swamp Watch' mentioned in the New York Times!

In a profile piece about anchor Steve Hilton and our new show The Next Revolution, the New York Times gave a shout out to Swamp Watch, the weekly segment I research, write, and produce.

Last year, during his book tour for “More Human,” Mr. Hilton began appearing on Fox News programs to talk about Brexit and what it meant for the chances of Mr. Trump, then a candidate. After the election, Fox News offered Mr. Hilton a program. He and the network soon worked out a structure for the program with segments like “Swamp Watch” and “Decadent DC.”

Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.

Swamp Watch: Eric Holder and White Collar Crime

Swamp Watch: Eric Holder and White Collar Crime

An insular club of elite lawyers have corrupted our justice system. Eric Holder and his friends move between the Department of Justice and white collar criminal defense firms like Covington & Burling. They’re the reason why bank executives who admit to committing crimes still get to avoid prison. And they’re the subject of this installment of Swamp Watch.

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Swamp Watch: Export-Import Bank

Swamp Watch: Export-Import Bank

Some of the swampiest parts of Washington operate in the dark. The little-known Export-Import Bank is our official export credit agency, helping foreign buyers of American manufactured goods with sweetheart deals. It's also a hub of corporate welfare and a burden on the taxpayer. The bank benefits huge corporations and harms the taxpayer through subsidized loans at below-market interest rates.

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Swamp Watch: Big Banks

Swamp Watch: Big Banks

There's a revolving door between big banks and the Treasury Department, and lots of people are getting rich off our tax dollars. Jack Lew is a great example. He worked at CitiGroup, which received a lot of TARP funding; then he got a large bonus from the company; and shortly afterwards, he started working for the federal government. How nice. Let's see who else we'll find in this swamp.

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Iran is "Officially on Notice" and Donald Trump is President. Now what?

Iran is "Officially on Notice" and Donald Trump is President. Now what?

There are two possible Flynn-Bannon-Trump strategies on Iran worth considering.

I. The first is that they're setting the table for war with Iran, plain and simple. The administration will use the recent missile test and subsequent Iranian noncompliance to create a pretext for starting a war. Look at what Flynn thinks about Iran's role in the Middle East, and it's clear that he feels Iran needs to be met directly by force for countering the US's designs for the broader region (see Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the ailing peace process)

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Consulting producer on VICE on HBO's Iran Documentary

Consulting producer on VICE on HBO's Iran Documentary

I recently completed work as a consulting producer for VICE on HBO for their documentary on US-Iran relations, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and the country's nuclear program. The piece was hosted by Shane Smith and came out great.

I worked alongside two full-time VICE producers to secure exclusive access to a nuclear facility, as well as complete all the other pre-production tasks required to get an American crew to cover a story inside the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The documentary debuted on Friday April 29 at 11pm ET on HBO

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I'm hosting an Election Event and We're Livestreaming it!

As part of my AIC work, I'll be hosting tonight's "US Election and Middle East Foreign Policy" event featuring Dr. James Zogby from the Sanders campaign and Richard Nephew from the Clinton campaign. We've invited the two men to speak about their candidate's foreign policies toward the Middle East as well as take some questions. We'll also be live streaming the event, which you can watch right here at 6pm today!

Thursday April 7, 6pm
Marymount Manhattan College

Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.

Iran Chat: Richard Nephew, former American nuclear negotiator

Iran Chat: Richard Nephew, former American nuclear negotiator

In this 'Iran Chat' interview with Richard Nephew, the former lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran, AIC Director of Communications Kayvon Afshari discusses a host of issues concerning US-Iran relations, including the implementation of the nuclear accord, the recent changes to the visa waiver program, and how post-sanctions era Iran will affect global energy prices.

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VIDEO: What's the Deal with the New Visa Waiver Restrictions?

VIDEO: What's the Deal with the New Visa Waiver Restrictions?

The new visa waiver restrictions are complicated and can be confusing to understand. Fortunately, AIC's Kayvon Afshari breaks it down by interviewing a lawyer from the ACLU, a former American nuclear negotiator, and an Iranian-German dual citizen who was recently affected by the law. Watch the video, then share it with your friends who need to learn about the issue!

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Quoted in 'The Intercept' on Discriminatory Visa Waiver Legislation

I was quoted in an article published in The Intercept, discussing the implementation of the discriminatory visa waiver restrictions. Read the full article.

There are many accomplished Iranian-European dual citizens working for multinational corporations and universities who often need to travel urgently and without much prior planning, something which makes getting a U.S. visa a major impediment. As a result of the new visa waiver regulations, they can no longer freely travel to the United States like their fellow European citizens, something that can have real negative impacts on both economic activity and academic development.
— Kayvon Afshari
Comment

Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.