Day: February 3, 2020

Background Briefing: February 3, 2020


Adam Schiff’s Eloquence Falls on Deaf Ears in the Senate

We begin with the powerful and penetrating case made today before the Senate by House Manager Adam Schiff that Donald Trump has betrayed our national security and will cheat again with the Russian’s help in the next election because of who he is. “We must say enough!” Schiff implored, arguing that “truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all”. Joining us is Marc Sandalow, Associate Academic Director of the University of California Washington Center who spent 21 years with the San Francisco Chronicle including 11 years as its Washington Bureau Chief and is the author of Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi’s Life, Times, and Rise to Power. We discuss the roles of these two prominent Californians Adam Schiff and Speaker Pelosi in Trump’s impeachment, and assess whether the impeachment was worth it given Pelosi’s reluctance to go down that path and the likelihood that in spite of Schiff’s eloquence and the clear and convincing case he presented, the Republican Senators will vote overwhelmingly to acquit President Trump on Wednesday. So given the Republican-controlled Senate’s scandalous abdication of its advise and consent role in conducting oversight and holding the executive branch accountable, will there be enough of Senators with some conscience and backbone to propose some compromise short of removal with some consequences sufficient to remedy the damage to the Constitution and the country that Trump’s actions have caused?


The Likely Backlash to a Sanders’ Victory From the Democratic Establishment

Then we go to Iowa City, Iowa to speak with Timothy Hagle, a Professor of Political Science who teaches American politics and public administration whose latest book is Riding the Caucus Rollercoaster 2020. He joins us to discuss the likely backlash from the Democratic Party establishment to a Sander’s victory tonight in Iowa where already some Democrats have suggested Bernie is a danger to the country as if Trump is not the clear and present danger. But since Trump has unlimited funds and will cheat with help from the Russians it hardly matters who the Democrats choose as long as they stop fighting among themselves and unite so that every last one of them shows up to vote in November.


An Update on the Global Spread of the New Coronavirus

Then finally we get an update on the spread of the new coronavirus now in 25 countries worldwide with 17,300 cases reported so far. Dr. Peter Katona, a Clinical Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA who has worked at the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joins us to discuss the troubling spread of the virus in spite of nearly 60 million people under lockdown in Chinese cities. And we will assess Trump’s claim to Fox’s Sean Hannity that the U.S. had “pretty much shut it down”, to which the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by charging America’s actions have “unceasingly manufactured and spread panic”.