Background Briefing: November 9, 2023

Republican Presidential Hopefuls Want War Against Iran, China, Mexico and Even Canada

We begin with the latest Republican presidential debate in which Nikki Haley called Vivek Ramaswamy “scum” and others on the stage wanted to go to war against Iran, China, Mexico and even Canada. Joining us is a former Republican Justin Higgins, who has worked as a policy advisor to a Tea Party, now House Freedom Caucus, Member of Congress, and worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign at the RNC, all before becoming a Democrat and an appointed official for the Democratic Governor of Puerto Rico. He now hosts the Politics + Media 101 podcast.


Ivanka Trump’s Memory Lapses About Her Job That She Was Proud Of

Then we look into the Trump Organization fraud trial in which Ivanka Trump was a witness on Wednesday repeatedly claiming she did not recall details of the job she did for the family business, which she said she is proud of. Joining us is David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and bestselling author of The Making of Donald Trump.  A 13 year veteran of The New York Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting uncovered loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code, and he has uncovered so many tax dodges that he has been called the “de facto tax enforcement officer of the United States”. Also the co-founder of, his latest book is The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family.


Is Netanyahu Emotionally Destroyed and a Danger to Israel as a Former Israeli PM Charges?

Then finally we examine the military situation on the ground in Gaza with Daniel Byman, who is a professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and editor of the Lawfare blog. He served on the 9/11 Commission Staff and is the author of a number of books including A High Price: The Triumphs & Failures of Israeli Counter-Terrorism and Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad. His latest book is Spreading Hate: The Global Rise of White Supremacist Terrorism and he has an article at Foreign Affairs, “What the Hamas Attack Means for Israel: Netanyahu Has Nothing but Bad Options.” We discuss whether Netanyahu is destroyed emotionally and a danger to Israel as a former Israeli prime minister charges.