Tag: mike pence

Background Briefing: January 24, 2019


Is Mike Pence as Unfit for Office as Trump?

We begin with the theater of the absurd in the U.S. Senate with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cravenly doing Trump’s bidding putting forth bills laced with anti-immigrant poison pills inserted by the White House Rasputin Stephen Miller which the Democrats will surely reject. Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years working on the senior staff in Congress, the last 16 as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees, and is the author of “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government”, joins us to discuss his article at Common Dreams “Is Mike Pence as Unfit for Office as Trump?” We look into Trump’s phony offer of a “compromise” to open up the government with more obstacles for “dreamers” and further restrictions on asylum seekers indicating that Trump cannot make actual concessions to Democrats to find a way out of this standoff for fear of losing the Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter crowd who will split the shrinking pro-Trump coalition on the far right that holds his base together. And since this crisis president creates crises instead of governing, because he is incapable of the latter and as a Reality TV showman only knows how to do the former, the chaos will continue with the public and the press constantly manipulated by manufactured crises and distracted by cheap dramatics and tiresome stunts.


Why Do People Fall for Fake News?

Then we will get a comprehensive analysis of the major issue of our time and that is how to restore a national consensus on what is true and what is real in this Trump era of “fake news” as an endless stream of lies issue forth from our post-truth president. Gordon Pennycook, a member of the editorial board of “Thinking & Reasoning” and a consulting editor for “Judgement and Decision Making” joins us along with David Rand, a Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT where he is the Director of the Human Cooperation Laboratory and the Applied Cooperation Team. Together they are the co-authors of an op-ed at The New York Times, “Why Do People Fall for Fake News? Are they blinded by their social passions? Or are they just intellectually lazy?” We will discuss what can be done to encourage critical thinking and curtail politically-charged misinformation.