Day: August 4, 2020

Background Briefing: August 8, 2020

A Massive Explosion Rocks Beirut Ahead of a Verdict in the Bombing of a Former Prime Minister

We begin with the massive explosion at the port in Beirut which rocked the city that has seen anti-government protests increasing lately as economic conditions worsen. Veteran CIA officer Robert Baer who served in Beirut for a number of years and was hired by the United Nations Special Tribunal investigating the death by a massive explosion of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Harari in 2005, who was blown up near where today’s explosion happened. There is already speculation linking the explosion to a verdict in the trial of the four Hezbollah-linked suspects in Hariri’s bombing expected on Friday in a special court in the Netherlands. And we will assess whether if it is found that today’s explosion was not an accident but was deliberately set, the fragile peace that has existed since Lebanon’s 1975 to 1990 sectarian civil war ended, will be shattered.


Trump’s Disastrous Interview in Which Follow Up Questions Were Asked

Then, following last night’s airing of the interview with President Trump by Jonathan Swan of Axios on HBO, we will speak with Aaron Rupar, a journalist and Associate Editor at Vox where his latest article is “‘They are dying. That’s true. It is what it is.’ Trump’s Axios interview was a disaster.” We examine how simple follow up questions expose the vacuous nature of Trump’s rhetorical bluster since he rarely gets challenged by sycophants on Fox and is used to steamrolling reporters with a lie followed by a quick series of lies before moving on to the next question.


Republicans Revive the Deficit Myth After Voting For Trump’s Tax Cuts

Then finally we speak with Stephanie Kelton who served as chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and was an advisor to the Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 campaigns and is the author of the new book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy. She joins us to discuss how to counter the latest round of alarmist deficit myth-making coming from Republicans like the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee who voted for the Trump tax cuts but is now warning that deficits will push the economy to the point of collapse and ravage future generations.