Day: October 25, 2020

Background Briefing: October 25, 2020


Trump Just Rigged a Booby Trap to Cripple a Biden Administration

We begin with an alarming move by Trump which took place last week that went largely under the radar but will have devastating consequences for the country. Andrew Feinberg, a reporter covering the White House, Congress and the 2020 election for The Independent, joins us to discuss his latest article “Trump just quietly passed an executive order that could destroy a future Biden Administration.” We will discuss how Trump’s executive order is a declaration of war on the professional civil service giving him the authority to fill the government with his political cronies and grifters who pledge loyalty to him and not to America. The executive order released late Wednesday night gives Trump a free hand to fire experts like Dr. Fauci and other doctors, scientists, lawyers and economists, stripping away civil service protection from a broad swath of civil servants and allowing a lame-duck president to cripple his successor’s administration by planting unqualified Trump loyalists into the government who would be burrowed into the civil service for decades to come.


Trump’s Debate Dog Whistles and the Politics of White Anxiety

Then we examine Trump’s efforts to inflame white fright in Thursday’s debate with his spurious attacks on Black Lives Matter as he tried to cast Biden as a socialist revolutionary who celebrates burning and looting by marauding blacks about to invade white suburbs. Jonathan Metzl, a professor of sociology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University and Director of its Center for Medicine, Health and Society whose latest book is Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, joins us. We discuss his article at The Boston Review, “The Politics of White Anxiety.”


The FSB’s “Energetic Bear” Probes Networks Ahead of Election

Then finally Sean Lyngaas, a Senior Reporter at CyberScoop who covers the Department of Homeland Security and Congress, joins us to discuss his article at Cyber Scoop, “Industry alert pins state, local government hacking on suspected Russian group.” We look into the activities of “Energetic Bear”, a sophisticated cyber espionage and reconnaissance group who, according to the FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, are linked to the FSB, and have been breaching state and local networks to possibly disrupt election results.