Tag: pittsburgh

Background Briefing: November 1, 2018


US Troops and Being Used as Props for Trump’s Propaganda

We begin with President Trump’s plan to deploy as many as 15,000 troops on the Southern border before the midterm elections even though what he calls an “invasion” of a dwindling number of destitute migrants, mostly women and children from Central America travelling as a group for protection, is about a month away from reaching the border. Joining us is Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan Administration in charge of manpower and personnel where he administered about 70% of the defense budget. We discuss Trump’s unabashed racist campaign commercial blaming Democrats for an alien invasion and the extent to which the U.S. military are being used as props to support dog-whistle propaganda aimed at demonizing unarmed impoverished migrants as a national security threat. And since 2,000 troops were already deployed on the border back in April and Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have spent hundreds of millions hiring more personnel, we will assess the opportunity costs of more troops than we have in Iraq and Afghanistan dragooned away from their families to fight a non-existent threat.


Does Trump Now Have Blood on His Hands?

Then we speak with Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America about her article at CNN “We see President Trump for what he is” and make the obvious connection between Trump’s cynical fear-mongering against the “caravan” of Central American migrants he claims is full of terrorists from the Middle East and what triggered the massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue since the anti-Semitic shooter’s last message was a racist attack blaming a Jewish refugee agency for bringing in “invaders that kill our people”. We analyze whether a shift is underway in America as the curtain is pulled back on a small hateful man who only cares about himself but, having legitimized and emboldened hate groups, now has blood on his hands.


How to Get Free from the Expropriation of “Freedom”

Then finally we look into how the concept of freedom has been expropriated by the Koch brothers and other powerful plutocrats who have been successful in defining freedom as freedom from government. Using unlimited supplies of dark money, they are shaping our politics through think tanks they fund while buying our politicians. Nell Abernathy, the Vice President for Policy and Strategy at the Roosevelt Institute, the co-author with Joseph Stiglitz of “Rewriting the Rules on the American Economy”, joins us to discuss her article at Talking Points Memo “Democrats Must Become the Party of Freedom” and how Americans can free themselves from monopolies, oligopolies and a plutocratic takeover of our democracy.