Day: January 25, 2024

Background Briefing: January 25, 2024


Trump’s Mental Unfitness Will Now be a Campaign Issue Thanks to Nikki Haley

We begin with the dangerous state of Donald Trump’s mental health re-emerging as a political issue, this time brought up by Nikki Haley who will be hammering the theme for the next month that Trump is mentally unfit for the presidency, which gets under his thin skin provoking crude insults, name-calling and threats to her donors from the chronically narcissistic sociopath whose cult-like spell has captured a third of the country. Joining us is Dr. Bandy Lee, a medical doctor, forensic psychiatrist and a world expert on violence who taught at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School for 17 years before transferring recently to Columbia and Harvard. She became known to the public by leading a group of mental health professional colleagues in breaking the silence about Donald Trump’s dangerous psychology and publishing the New York Times bestseller, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. She is currently president of the World Mental Health Coalition and her latest book is Profile of a Nation: Trump’s Mind, America’s Soul.


Undeterred, an Emboldened Iran Benefits From Israel’s US-Backed War on Gaza

Then we examine how Iran is emboldened by constant signals that the US does not want to go to war again in the Middle East with an American public weary of the waste of lives and treasure from the Iraq and Afghanistan misadventures. Joining us to assess what can be done to deter Iran which is benefited enormously from the US-backed Israeli war on Gaza is Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and an Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. A Non-Resident Fellow at Democracy for the Arab World Now, he is the author of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future and Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East.


Exposing Hungary’s Dictator Orban as the Blackmailer and Kleptocrat That He Is

Then finally we look into how Hungary’s dictator Orban is holding up EU funds to Ukraine and Sweden’s entry into NATO with naked blackmail as this kleptocrat shakes down the rest of Europe for subsidies that keep him and his cronies in power. Joining us is Kim Lane Scheppele, a Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 1994-1998, she lived in Budapest, doing research at the Constitutional Court of Hungary and teaching at both the University of Budapest and at Central European University, where she was a founding director of the Program in Gender and Culture. After 1989, Scheppele studied the emergence of constitutional law in Hungary and Russia, living in both places for extended periods. She is the author of 9/11: The Rise of Global Anti-Terrorism Law.