Background Briefing: August 13, 2019
The Nation’s Top Lawman Cannot Be Trusted to Do the Right Thing
We begin with the fact that the American people cannot trust the top lawman in the land to do the right thing in spite of Attorney General Barr’s claim that he is appalled by what happened to Jeffrey Epstein who died in Barr’s custody, vowing he will go after Epstein’s co-conspirators. This is an AG who recused himself from the Epstein case only to un-recuse himself a day later apparently after an angry call from his boss Donald Trump. Lisa Graves, the co-founder of Documented who served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government – as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division for the U.S. Courts. She joins us to assess whether the truth about Epstein’s mysterious death in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons which Barr oversees will ever emerge. And with all the evidence seized by the FBI from Epstein’s safe and from his private island now in Barr’s custody, will this trove of incriminating blackmail be selectively leaked to embarrass Democrats while protecting the boss who has had a long and close relationship with Epstein? With the head of our Department of Justice acting as Trump’s personal attorney, not as the defender of our laws and the arbiter of justice, don’t expect Barr to do the right thing, he has already demonstrated there is no equal justice under his law and that might is right.
Paper Straws: The Latest Front in Trump’s Culture Wars
Then we speak with Paul Waldman, who blogs at the Washington Post’s Plum Line where his latest article is, “What Trump doesn’t understand about culture war politics”. He joins us to discuss how Trump is not only tearing the nation apart over race but is dividing us over the specter of the liberal tyranny of paper straws as he fights back with Trump-branded plastic straws. And since Trump spends most of the day watching Fox News, has he become a prisoner inside that bubble of delusion?
“Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary”
Then finally we speak with Jonathan Hansen, a senior lecturer at Harvard and the author of “Guantanamo: An American History” who joins us to discuss his new book, just out, “Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary”. Having been granted access to Castro’s papers in Havana, he has written a revealing history that does not align with the views of either the Cubans or the Americans, indicating that freeing Cuba from a corrupt military dictator did not make a Communist dictatorship on the island inevitable, but rather the U.S. refusal to allow Cuba to be free and independent of U.S. control drove Castro and Cuba in that direction.