Background Briefing: August 16, 2020


Trump and DeJoy’s Criminal Sabotage of the USPS Underway

We begin with the criminal sabotage of the USPS by President Trump and his lickspittle Postmaster General DeJoy underway with 671 mail sorting machines removed nationwide to slow down delivery while 46 states are given notice by the Postal Service that mail-in ballots will be delayed. Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who was a cofounder of Mother Jones and serves on the editorial board of The Nation, joins us to discuss what strategies the Democrats might employ to stop Trump from stealing the election since a recent poll indicates three quarters of Republican voter plan to vote in person while more than a half of Democrats plan to vote by mail. With Democratic leaders now considering cutting short their recess to deal with the Post Office crisis, we assess whether Democrats can amplify Obama’s warning that “everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small business trying to keep the doors open. They can’t be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus”


Can the Democrats Do Something to Stop Trump From Writing the Rules For His Own Reelection?

Then we look further into possible strategies Democrats could engage in to stop the cheat and bully in the White House from writing the rules for his own reelection. Trump had made it clear that HE decides who wins the November election, not the American people, so the issue goes beyond partisanship to the question of whether democratic elections in America will go the way of despotic shams put on by dictators like the so-called election in Belarus. Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and served as the Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, joins us to discuss the current crisis in which the Democrats are talking and complaining while the Republicans are acting to rig the vote in November.


Elliott Abrams’ Appointment and the Seizure of Tankers From Iran to Venezuela

Then finally we investigate whether there is a connection to the appointment of Elliott Abrams to head up U.S. policies on both Venezuela and Iran to the seizure of four Greek tankers full of gasoline sent from Iran to Venezuela that were intercepted and their cargo confiscated to be held as compensation for the victims of the these two authoritarian regimes. Michael Shifter, the President of the Inter-American Dialogue who regularly testifies to Congress about U.S. policy towards Latin America, joins us to discuss whether our hawks are trying to provoke their hawks into a little war before the next election.