Day: January 2, 2019

Background Briefing: January 2, 2019


Will the Democrats Search for a Leader Instead of Build a Movement?

As the New Year gets underway we begin with a look ahead to what might be the stories which dominate the news in 2019 and speak with David Dayen, a contributing writer to The Intercept and The New Republic and the author of Fat Cat: The Steve Mnuchin Story, who, starting in 2019, will be the executive editor at the American Prospect. He joins us to discuss the possibility that as the Democrats take charge of the House, too much focus will be on the divisions inside the caucus as insurgents who want the “Green New Deal” clash with the older centrist party leaders who don’t want to alienate corporate America.  And rather than establish themselves as the competent adults trying to deal with an incompetent man-child in the White House, the party’s focus might inevitably turn to the 2020 horse race as the Democrats search for a leader rather than build a movement.

Is Trump About to Pull Out of NATO?

Then we look into the consequences of having an erratic and compromised leader conducting foreign policy who has purged the few adults restraining him and is now surrounded by sycophants with a rump core of inexperienced amateur advisors comprising his daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner, his campaign director Brad Parscale and Stephen Miller.  Roger Morris, who served in the United States Foreign Service and on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia, joins us to discuss the alarming possibility that after handing Syria to Putin, Trump now appears to be laying the groundwork for withdrawing American troops from NATO in what would be his greatest gift to Putin. Based on Trump’s bizarre and unorthodox Christmas campaign speech to the troops in Iraq, where he pounded on the ridiculous notion that Uncle Sam is a “sucker” who is taken advantage of by freeloaders, another trashing of allies while rewarding enemies might be looming in 2019.


The Economic Headwinds Facing Us in 2019

Then finally, with the government shut down and the markets lurching wildly, we will examine the economic headwinds facing us in 2019 and speak with economist Jeff Madrick, a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, and a former economics columnist for The New York Times whose latest book is “Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World”. He joins us to discuss the team of lightweights, cranks and crooks surrounding Trump and the likelihood that these amateurs will hurt Trump by eviscerating the 401 K’s of his base supporters.