Day: October 21, 2018

Background Briefing: October 21, 2018


Will the Truth About Khashoggi’s Murder Come Out?

We begin with the widely ridiculed and patently absurd Saudi explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and speak with Nukhet Sandal, a Professor of Political Science and Director of Global Studies in Ohio University’s Center for international Studies. She joins us to discuss her article at The Huffington Post “Killing Jamal Khashoggi Was a Saudi Warning Shot” and whether Turkey’s President Erdogan will release the recordings of Khashoggi’s death on Tuesday as promised when he plans to announce results of the Turkish police and intelligence investigation. Or will some kind of diplomatic deal involving regional stability over the future of Qatar be made and the grisly details buried. With Saudi Arabia’s King Salman announcing a comprehensive Saudi inquiry headed by his son, MBS, the main suspect who intelligence sources believe ordered the assassination, the findings of which will be issued in a month’s time, we assess whether Trump will succeed in making this embarrassment to his and Jared Kushner’s unconditional investment in the brutal and unstable Crown Prince go away, in spite of calls by Britain, France and Germany for a full and independent investigation.


Will Republican Minority Rule Lead to a Second Civil War?

Then we speak with Jonathan Taplin, the Founder and Director Emeritus of the Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC and author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy”. He joins us to discuss his article at Harper’s Magazine “Rebirth of a Nation: Can States Rights Save Us from a Second Civil War?” and whether the imbalance of power from the ruthless minority rule of the Republicans will lead to a second civil war, or is Trump’s reign an interregnum in which the old white power structure is dying as a new oppositional coalition struggles to be born.


The Psychological Underpinning of America’s Deadlocked Politics

Then finally we examine the psychological underpinning of America’s deadlocked politics with Jonathan Weiler, a professor of Global Studies at the University of North Carolina and co-author of a new book, just out “Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America’s Great Divide”. He joins us to discuss the different worldviews of the “fixed” people on the conservative side and the “fluid” people on the liberal side and how personality differences rather than ideology divide us and how they can be decoupled from our toxic political debate.