Background Briefing: January 10, 2019


The Human Cost of Trump’s Manufactured Border Crisis

We begin with another day of manufactured drama and Reality TV promotion which turned into a tease in as much as President Trump did not declare a national emergency on the border today but told us to stay tuned for the next episode of the chaos presidency. James Fallows, an award-winning author and national correspondent for The Atlantic where his latest article is “The Networks Blew the Call: Once again, broadcasters prove hapless in the face of Trump’s three familiar tools”, joins us. We discuss today’s whipsawing of the media by the distractor-in-chief and the human cost of Trump’s latest stunt, the government shutdown. With today’s demonstrations in the nation’s capitol by government workers who are either furloughed or starting tomorrow Friday will not be getting a paycheck, we will assess what will happen on the front line of this supposed crisis when the Border Patrol don’t get paid tomorrow, and since James Fallows is a veteran private pilot how safe the crowded skies are now that air traffic controllers are working without pay in a stressful job under the added stress of not being able to pay the bills.


Pompeo Trashes Obama in Cairo Speech

Then we look into the speech today in Cairo by Secretary of State Pompeo, a venue which was deliberately chosen since Obama made an important speech there on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East as did Condoleezza Rice before him. Brian Katulis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, who focuses on U.S. national security policy in the Middle East and South Asia and has an article at The New Republic, “How About Some Candor in Middle East Policy?” joins us. We discuss Pompeo’s trashing of Obama in what appears to be a requirement in the Trump White House with the sycophantic Pompeo clearly pleasing his boss today. We also explore what Pompeo meant when he vowed that “the U.S. would expel every last Iranian boot from Syria.”


Growing Pressure on Mitch McConnell

Then finally we speak with Jim Manley, a 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate where he served as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the past six years of his tenure and, before that, served 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He joins us to discuss the growing pressure on the Republic Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell to do his constitutional duty to stop being Trump’s lackey and open up the government as the House sends bills his way every day to do so and as more and more of his caucus defect to the Democrat’s position.