Background Briefing: June 13, 2018
Normalizing Trump’s Embarrassing Amateurism
We will begin with the embarrassing amateurism on display with Trump’s train-wreck leadership now being normalized as being an unorthodox way of doing business. Meanwhile it is increasingly clear that Trump hates meetings like the G-7 because he is unable to keep up with his peers without looking foolish and exposing his ignorance. And having purged those few top White House advisors who tried to speak truth to power, we now have a team of sycophants, lightweights, cranks and crackpots surrounding a woefully unqualified president who has to resort to reality TV spectacle to disguise his incompetence and inability to govern in an executive branch unable to implement policies and enact promises. Kent Harrington, a former CIA analyst who served as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, joins us to discuss the staged-for-TV Singapore summit which late night TV hosts have likened to the TV reality show “The Bachelorette”. And now that the only adult left in the Trump cabinet who is not a sycophant or a toady, Defense Secretary Mattis, has been blindsided by promises to stop exercises and pull troops out of South Korea, we will examine whether there is the capacity in this Administration to follow through on the opening Trump has claimed his wildly successful summit has provided.
Meanness and Madness in Trump’s America
Then, with a white supremacist sympathizer running as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, and a wife-beating Democrat running for the House in South Carolina, and a pimp running as a Republican for the State Legislature in Nevada, we will assess the meanness and madness in Trump’s America that will escalate as the November elections approach. With Republican Senator Corker describing his Republican Party as having become “a cult-like situation under Trump”, we will speak with Mike Lofgren, the author of the best-seller “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted”.
The AT&T-Time Warner Mega-Merger
Then finally we discuss the $85.4 billion mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner, which was approved on Tuesday in full by the Federal Judge Richard Leon in defiance of the Department of Justice. With 50,000 mergers having taken place in 2016 and 50,000 in 2017, and $2 trillion spent on mergers so far in 2018, we will speak with Jesse Eisinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at ProPublica who covers Wall Street and Finance about this new laissez- faire business environment in which AntiTrust tools are not being used.