Tag: emergency

Background Briefing: March 11, 2020


Has Trump’s “America First” Nationalism Contributed to the Botched Handling of the Coronavirus Outbreak?

We begin with an analysis of where we stand in terms of health and homeland security as well as what is happening on the Commodity Futures Trading Market with oil prices plunging due to the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia with many American Shale Oil producers taking a bath. Michael Greenberger, the former Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who is currently the Director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland where he also teaches Constitutional Law at the University of Maryland School of Law joins us. We discuss whether Trump’s “America First” nationalism was at play in the mysterious decision by the White House to reject the World Health Organization’s offer of test kits for the coronavirus. And now that the Congress is throwing billions at the crisis made worse by the lack of test kits, we speculate whether crony capitalism will come into play as contracts with private firms are flying fast and loose to meet an emergency demand for test kits and the rapid development of a vaccine.


Will Trump Take Advantage of This Real Emergency?

Then we speak with Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice who is the author of The New Era of Secret Law and had an article at The New York Times “The Power Trump Can Wield Like a Dictator: Congress must fix the law governing national emergencies before our democracy pays a heavy price”. With Trump tweeting out on Tuesday “Going up fast. We need a Wall more than ever”, we assess whether Trump will take advantage of a real emergency to push his pet project on the basis that we need a wall on our southern border to protect the country from coronavirus even though there are only 7 cases reported in Mexico compared to over 700 here.


The Full Story About What Erik Prince Has Been up To

Then finally we get the full story of what Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has been up to using foreign intelligence mercenaries to train Republican dirty tricksters to infiltrate Democratic campaigns and the biggest teacher’s union which his sister considers her enemy. Matthew Cole, who has worked as an investigative producer for ABC and NBC News and has covered Prince’s mercenary army Blackwater’s covert work with the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command and is now an investigative reporter at The Intercept, joins us. We discuss the article he wrote for The Intercept last May, “The Complete Mercenary: How Erik Prince Used the Rise of Trump to Make an Improbable Comeback.”