Day: August 29, 2018

Background Briefing: August 29, 2018


Are GOP Donors Funding Conservative Democratic Candidates?

We begin with the results of Tuesday’s primaries in Florida and Arizona and speak with a progressive activist Howie Klein who blogs at and supports and advises progressive candidates, one of whom, Andrew Gillum, the African-American mayor of Tallahassee, pulled off a surprise upset win in Florida’s gubernatorial race and now faces Republican Ron DeSantis, a cartoon Trumpster who right out of the gate urged Floridians in a racist dog-whistle call not to “monkey up” the GOPs chances of winning in Florida. We discuss the battle within the Democratic Party between the establishment and progressive insurgents like Andrew Gillum who generated grassroots enthusiasm and support while across most of the House and Senate races in Florida and Arizona well-funded establishment Democrats won most of the races. We will also look into reports that Republican donors are engaged in a subversive form of political triage by funding conservative Democratic candidates in primaries. Resigned to the prospect that the Democratic Blue wave will sweep Republicans out of the House, apparently some big GOP donors are secretly funding the other side of the aisle to ensure that the next congress will not move too much in a progressive direction.


Trump’s Spiteful Punishment of Canada

Then with Trump punishing Canada out of pure spite because he is out to destroy Prime Minister Trudeau who he has labelled “weak and dishonest”, we will speak with Rodrigue Tremblay, professor emeritus of economics and international finance at the University of Montreal. He served as a member of the Committee of Dispute Settlements of the North America Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, the very agreement Trump is undoing with a new U.S. – Mexico accord which has blindsided the Canadians who have only a few days until Friday to negotiate their way into the new deal or be left on the sidelines at the mercy of the giant American economy ten times the size of Canada’s.


McGahn Exits After Stacking the Courts

Then finally we examine the apparent surrender by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a deal with Mitch McConnell to confirm a bunch of Trump’s judges so that they could get out of town, a craven move which prompted Schumer’s former spokesman Brian Fallon to fume “Trading this many lifetime positions away for a couple of days back home in the dead of August is a metaphor for how myopic the Democrat’s approach has been at this dark moment in history”. Andy Kroll, the D.C. bureau chief for Rolling Stone joins us to discuss White House Counsel Don McGahn’s departure and his article at Rolling Stone “Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover”.