Background Briefing: June 18, 2020


Is the Dam Breaking to Sweep Trump Away?

We begin with whether the dam is breaking as more and more revelations of Trump’s erratic and ill-informed incompetence emerge from Bolton’s book compounded by the Supreme Court handing him two defeats in a row with today’s ruling upholding DACA. And as his poll numbers plummet, a forthcoming book by his niece promises more dirty family secrets which are expected to rattle him further while the Republican Lincoln Project runs TV ads questioning not just Trump’s mental health, but asks whether he is a sick man. Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at The National Interest and author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons who is a columnist at The Spectator where he has an article “The Ill-timed Revelations of John Bolton,” joins us. We discuss how Trump is the opposite of the tough guy image he tries to project but is in fact a weak and pathetic leader who gets regularly rolled by foreign dictators he admires and likely has financial dealings with to the point as Bolton says, “Putin plays him like a fiddle”. The question then arises, how long will Republicans in the House and Senate stand by in shameful silence while this man they privately despise, ruins and weakens America?


The Killing in Atlanta Reveals a Sadistic Streak in Policing

Then with police in Atlanta not showing up for work in what is called “the blue flu” following murder charges against the officers who killed Rayshard Brooks, kicking his dying body and standing on his arm while proclaiming they “got him”, we examine this sadistic streak in policing. Craig Futterman, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic who specialize in civil right lawsuits involving police brutality and racial dsiscrimination, joins us to discuss how, while many police save lives, some act with impunity to take lives, in particular black lives, and what can be done to stop them.


After a Recent Drop, CO2 Emissions are Surging Back as Countries and States Reopen

Then finally we speak with Rob Jackson the co-author of a new study “Without big structural changes emissions are likely to come back” which addresses the recent drop in CO2 emissions due to the global pandemic which is now being reversed as countries and states reopen with China, which accounts for a quarter of the world’s carbon pollution, now back to pre-pandemic levels. A Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, he joins us to discuss a promising sign that global warming can be reduced now that wind and solar prices have dropped to the point where we could have 90% clean energy by 2035.