Day: February 9, 2020

Background Briefing: February 9, 2020


An Update From New Hampshire Ahead of Tuesday’s Primary

We begin with the last-minute frantic campaigning underway ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primaries with Mayor Pete surging after a narrow and disputed victory of less than one percent in Iowa who, according to the latest polls is at 21% behind the front-runner Bernie Sanders who leads at 28%. An expert on the political demographics of New Hampshire, Dante Scala, a professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire and author of Stormy Weather: The New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Politics joins for an update on the nation’s first Presidential primary in the 2020 election. We discuss Biden’s attack’s on Buttigieg which have an air of desperation about them as well as what appears to be a fading campaign by Elizabeth Warren from next door Massachusetts which borders on important voting counties in New Hampshire. And while at the recent town hall on ABC there was some criticism of Bernie being a Democratic Socialist and not a Democrat, by and large the other candidates have avoided criticizing the front-runner in the state who remains popular. But with the top four candidates polling in a similar range, it is not out of the question that Bernie, Mayor Pete, Biden and Warren could arrive at the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee with no clear winner which might then present and opportunity for the outsider with unlimited funds, Mayor Bloomberg.


Trump Now Has a Usable Nuclear Weapon at His Fingertips

Then we examine an important new development which has gone under the radar and that is the deployment of low-yield nuclear weapons on U.S. Navy Trident submarines which pose an increasing risk of nuclear war as the first more usable strategic nuclear weapons since the Cold War are now available as an option for the Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump to launch should he feel like it. Joseph Cirincione, the president of the Ploughshares Fund and author of Nuclear Nightmare: Securing the World Before It is Too Late joins us to discuss the new nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Russia.


Trump’s Christian Soldiers and the Rise of Religious Authoritarianism

Then finally we speak with Katherine Stewart, a journalist and author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children whose latest book, out soon, is The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. With Trump’s recent display of defiant political power and vindictive purpose met with enthusiastic applause by leaders of the Religious Right at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, we look into AG Barr’s interpretation of unfettered executive authority as window dressing for his commitment to religious authoritarianism.