Background Briefing: August 9, 2020


Trump’s Phony Stunt to Break a Deadlock That He Created

We begin with Trump’s latest stunt which we examine with Paul Light, Professor of Public Service at New York University who previously served as the founding director of the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and is the author of Government by Investigations: Presidents, Congress, and the Search for Answers 1945 – 2012. We discuss Trump’s workaround the Congress to make it appear he has broken a deadlock and come to the aid of unemployed Americans. It seems clear the negotiations between Meadows-Mnuchin and Pelosi- Schumer were a sham with the White House stringing the Democrats along unwilling to compromise particularly on money for the USPS. Defunding the Post Office appears to be Trump’s top priority and that is what this is all about and Trump admitted as much at his press conference yesterday when he announced this phony rescue package. We discuss whether any of Trump’s plan could work given the obvious Constitutional challenges and whether Trump’s latest stunt can be exposed.


The Ex-KGB Ukrainian Who Senators Johnson and Grassley Are Working With to Get Dirt on Biden

Then we examine the contradiction between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warning that Russia is denigrating Joe Biden to help elect Trump while Republican senators Johnson and Grassley are working with a sleazy Ukrainian politician who is a former KGB officer whose father was a KGB general to get dirt on Biden. A former Swedish diplomat in Moscow, Anders Aslund, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University whose latest book is Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path From Market Economy to Kleptocracy, joins us.


How the Jakarta Method of Exterminating Leftists Was Exported to Brazil and Chile

Then finally we speak with Vincent Bevins, an award-winning journalist who covered Southeast Asia for The Washington Post and is the author of the new book The Jakarta Method: Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World. We discuss the legacy of genocide aided and abeted by the U.S. in Indonesia and how the Jakarta Method of exterminating leftists was exported to Brazil and Chile.