Day: November 14, 2018

Background Briefing: November 14, 2018


May’s Brexit Plan Appears Dead on Arrival

We begin with the grueling five hour meeting today of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet where she eventually managed to get them to sign onto her unpopular and incoherent Brexit plan which now has to face a skeptical parliament. Joining us from the U.K. is Polly Toynbee, a columnist for The Guardian where she has an article “Theresa May’s Brexit deal solves nothing: open warfare is about to begin”. We discuss May’s shaky governing coalition with a razor-thin majority which relies on the support of the far-right Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party of hardline Brexiteers who are not likely to compromise, then assuming she can quell the in-fighting in her own ranks, she must get at least 30 Labour MP’s to defect which is highly unlikely. In fact the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn will probably push for a no-confidence vote on a plan that after 28 months of agonized wrangling, Corbyn is now denouncing as May’s false choice between “a botched deal and no deal”. And if this political zombie finally collapses under its own weight of dishonesty and delusion, May’s government will fall and a general election will be called. Meanwhile the deadline for the 28 member countries of the E.U. who are waiting to vote to ratify May’s plan is only weeks away.


Trump Sulks and Lashes out While Mulling over Who to Fire

Then we look into reports that President Trump is sulking in the White House and lashing out at skittish White House aides while he mulls over who to fire with his Homeland Security Advisor and his Chief of Staff first in line on the chopping block. Writer, documentary filmmaker and journalist Chris Whipple, the author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House chiefs of staff define every president” joins us to discuss an already dysfunctional White House going further off the rails as in-fighting escalates with even the First Lady now deciding who gets to serve on the National Security Council.


Will the New Democratic House Members Vote for Pelosi as Speaker?

Then finally with Senators McConnell and Schumer being reelected to their senate leadership positions and Kevin McCarthy the new Republican House Minority Leader, we assess the fate of Nancy Pelosi and whether she will be the next Speaker of the House.John Lawrence, a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center and author of “The Class of ’74: Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship”, joins us. He worked in the House for 38 years and served as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s chief of staff and we discuss how the new crop of younger idealistic members similar to the class of ’74, might vote for speaker since many of them distanced themselves from Pelosi during the campaign.