Background Briefing: August 2, 2018


Trump Rules for More Pollution and Higher Fuel Costs

We begin with the plans announced Thursday by the Trump administration to freeze fuel-efficiency requirement on the nation’s cars and trucks in an move to not just to rollback efforts to deal with global warming but to also to undermine the ability of California and other states to impose standards to improve public health, combat climate change, spur new technology and save consumers money.  Jody Freemanthe Archibald Cox Professor at Harvard Law School and the founding director of the Law School’s Environmental Law and Policy Program who served as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in the Obama White House, joins us.  We examine Trump’s vengeful use of the power of the presidency that seems to be motivated more out of spite in undoing yet another Obama achievement than even acting in support of reactionary ideology or pandering to big corporations, since it is not clear that Detroit’s Big 3 auto manufacturers are lobbying for the rollback. Certainly the reasons given by the White House make no sense on the surface and it is clear consumers want cleaner air and better mileage and lower fuel costs. And the absurdity of Trump’s claim that the California standards are hurting car sales is borne out by the fact that in the last few years we have seen all-time record sales or cars and trucks.


The Far Right’s Bizarre New Pro-Trump Group, QAnon

Then we investigate the latest secretive group to emerge on the far right who were on display at Tuesday’s Trump rally in Florida where Trump supporters were wearing QAnon t-shirts, hats and brandishing posters as they cursed and threatened members of the press, especially reporters from CNN, a network Trump regularly disparages. Will Sommer, a tech reporter for the Daily Beast where his latest article is “QAnon, the Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorists, Now Believe JFK Jr. Faked His Death to Become Their Leader”, joins us. We discuss QAnon’s bizarre beliefs and how Trump got them started by cryptically referring to the coming “storm”.


Facing the Challenge of Fascism in Trump’s America

Then finally, we speak with Henry Giroux, a world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual who currently holds the McMaster University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest and is the author of the new book, just out, “American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism”. He joins us to discuss his article at Truthdig “Neoliberal Fascism and the Echoes of History” and President Trump’s recent displays of autocratic tendencies bordering on totalitarian instincts, along with his brazen contempt for the rule of law as the president escalates his attacks on the FBI and DOJ.