Background Briefing: June 6, 2019


Trump Threatens Mexico with a Tariff War

We begin with Trump’s threat to slap a 5% tariff on all Mexican exports entering the U.S. starting on Monday unless talks underway in Washington come up with a solution to Trump’s demand that Mexico do what the U.S. has failed to do and that is stop immigrants crossing the U.S. southern border. John Mill Ackerman joins us from Mexico City where he is a columnist for the daily newspaper La Jornada and the weekly magazine Processo. We will discuss the pressure Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador is under to not appear to be obsequious while trying to maintain his paz y amor (peace and love) policy with Trump who is continually baiting Mexico as he keeps returning to the border as a winning issue to rile up his base. We assess whether the deployment of 6,000 Mexican troops on the notoriously porous border with Guatemala will make a difference and whether Trump’s tariffs, which will quickly escalate to 25%, will devastate the Mexican economy and trigger the exodus of more impoverished Mexicans heading north to the U.S. Furthermore, if a trade war with Mexico can’t be avoided due to Trump’s impossible demands, if Mexico retaliates and slaps reciprocal tariffs on U.S. imports to Mexico that will have a detrimental effect on border states like Texas and Arizona which are key states in Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.


 Pelosi Wants Trump in Prison, Not Impeached

Then with Trump leveling insults at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Robert Mueller on Fox News today from the hallowed site of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy, we look into whether Mueller will testify to the House Judiciary Committee in two weeks as Chairman Nadler has promised. Apparently in a meeting on Tuesday night Nadler clashed with Nancy Pelosi over impeaching Trump with Pelosi saying, “I don’t want to see him impeached, I was to see him in prison”, as she argued that it is better to vote Trump out of office and have the many cases against him as a private citizen run their course. A former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ,  Lisa Graves, Co-Director of Documented, joins us to discuss her article at the National Law Journal “On Dark Money and the Right’s Judicial ‘Revival’” and how Trump’s Justice Department is now acting like the mob insisting that they won’t turn over the unredacted Mueller report to the Congress unless they drop the threat of impeaching Barr.


 LA’s Homeless Crisis Persists in Spite of $619 Million Spent on Housing

Then finally we speak with Gale Holland who covers homelessness for The Los Angeles Times where her latest article is “Why L.A. County’s homeless crisis has been decades in the making”. She joins us to discuss how homelessness rose 12% in L.A. County and 16% in the City of Los Angeles from last year in spite of the city having spent $619 million of the $1.2 billion voter-approved bond to build homeless housing.