Day: September 17, 2019

Background Briefing: September 17, 2019


Trump Awaits Instructions from His Saudi Masters

We begin with the increasing likelihood that the drones and missiles fired at the Saudi oil facilities came from Iran and might have been launched by hardliners in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps out to stymie any possibility of President Trump meeting with President Rouhani at the UN in a few days from now. Jeff Colgan, Professor in the Department of Political Science and The Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs at Brown University and author of “Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War”, joins us to discuss Trump’s shameful reliance on Saudi Arabia to confirm what his own intelligence services are telling him that the missiles came from Iran. Trump’s deference to the murderous boy king MBS who started the war in Yemen and now looks pathetic as his Aramco IPO goes up in flames, has prompted Democratic presidential candidate and Iraq war vet Tulsi Gabbard to tweet “Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First’”. With Iran’s president denying the attack came from Iran while suggesting it was the action of the Yemeni people, we will assess what kind of credibility Rouhani will have left when he arrives at the UN, which is not to say that Rouhani is not the only head of state who flagrantly lies, given that Trump has run up a tally of over 12,000 lies since he has been in office.


GM’s Executives Stiff Their Workers Who Sacrificed to Rescue the Company

Then we speak with labor journalist Jane McAlevey, The Nation magazine’s strikes correspondent who is a senior fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Labor Center who has a forthcoming book, “A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing & the Fight for Democracy”. She joins us to discuss her article at The Nation “Striking GM Workers Deserve Our Support” and this disgraceful example of corporate greed after GM’s workers made sacrifices to get the company back on its feet. But now that GM is awash with cash, the executives only want to reward themselves, not the workers who brought about the car-maker’s turnaround.


How Long Before There Is Clarity in the Cluttered Democratic Debate

Then finally we examine how long it will take before the Democrats will end up with a few credible candidates who can make a case for their electability, given that they have only had three of the twelve presidential candidates’ debates scheduled by the DNC and the next debate has even more, not fewer candidates on stage. Alan Schroeder, professor emeritus in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and author of “Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV” and “Celebrity-in-Chief: How Show Business Took Over the White House”, joins us to discuss the cluttered discourse of Democratic hopefuls.