Day: March 4, 2020

Background Briefing: March 4, 2020


Biden’s Dramatic Super Tuesday Turnaround

We begin with the surprise turnaround of the Biden campaign after Saturday’s resounding but not unexpected victory in South Carolina to Super Tuesday victories across the country picking up wins in Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia and Minnesota. With Bernie Sanders winning California, Utah, Vermont and Colorado the delegate count so far has Joe Biden with 527 and Bernie Sanders with 475 and now that it is down to a two-person race for the remaining delegates to reach the 1,991 needed for the nomination, we speak with someone who knows Joe Biden and has worked with him, David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in the School of Public Policy at Duke University. He served as Democratic Staff Director for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and as legislative director for Senator Jean Carnahan, counsel to Senator William Cohen and counsel to Senator Joseph Biden. We discuss how Biden might handle the vicious attacks that will come from Donald Trump and his echo chamber in the right wing media where “Burisma” will become the mantra to the point of “Benghazi” on steroids. And we also assess how Joe Biden might win over the young and minority voters who have flocked to Bernie Sanders since a massive turnout will be needed to remove Trump from office given the likelihood of Russian interference in the election to help Trump.


Trump Purges the Intelligence Community, Paving the Way for Russian Interference

Then we look further into the subject of Russian interference in the 2020 election and how Trump has moved to put unqualified toadies in at the top of our Intelligence system to bury the intel on Russian malign activities with Richard Grenell as his acting Director of National Intelligence and Kayshap Patel as his Principal Deputy at DNI. With the latest joke making the rounds in Moscow that if Trump would only fire his spy chiefs, he could get his intelligence directly from the source: Russian President Vladimir Putin, we speak with Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who was National Intelligence Officer for East Asia about his article at Project Syndicate, “Trump’s Great Purge”.


Health Insurance Stocks Are the Real Super Tuesday Winners

Then finally with Barron’s reporting that health-insurance stocks are the real Super Tuesday winners as shares in United Health Group went up 8.9% Wednesday, Cigna climbed 7.3% and Anthem gained 8.8%, we speak with Dr. James Kahn, emeritus professor at the Institute for Global Health Policy Studies in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Institute for Global Health Sciences at the University of California San Francisco. He joins us to discuss where Medicare For All stands and whether a gradual approach building on the ACA with a public option will be a viable alternative.