Bob Woodward's Trump tapes & the 2020 election; no COVID relief

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares his perspective on US politics:

The Atlantic revelations about Trump's derogatory military remarks didn't seem to have that much of an impact with regular voters. Will Bob Woodward's new book also be a dud?

You know, the president has endured an astonishing number of body blows that would probably be fatal for any mere mortal. But what's unique about this current round of revelations is that there are tapes. I can expect those tapes, which go right at the president's greatest weakness, which is his handling of the coronavirus, to be played ad nauseum by the Biden campaign from now until the election.

How close is the US to a new stimulus package and why was the $1T recently proposed a fraction of what was originally offered?

Well, the stimulus package is looking pretty dead. Both sides seem pretty content with their position and not doing anything. And when neither side feels urgency to compromise, neither side is going to compromise. What's really surprising about this is the president. And if the opposition parties offer you the chance to send out $1200.00 checks to every household three weeks before an election, you'd think the president would want to say yes. But he's obviously not feeling enough urgency to agree to the Democrats other demands. And so nothing is probably going to happen.

With a thousand suspected cases of double voting in Georgia, are Trump's warning of voter tampering warranted?

No. There's very little evidence of vote tampering in the United States. What there is a lot of evidence for is poor election administration. And what the president's comments are doing is creating confusion and encouraging voters to do things they really shouldn't, like vote twice. This is going to be a huge issue this fall with a surge in absentee ballots. Absentee ballots have a higher rejection rate than in-person mailing. So it could be the case that the person who wins this election is not the person who's got the most turnout, but the person whose voters are best at following complicated instructions on their ballots.

"I think there are certain times where you have tectonic shifts and change always happens that way."

On the latest episode of 'That Made All the Difference,' Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, shares his thoughts on the role we all have to play in bringing our communities and the environment back to health.

For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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In an interview with Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, Nicolas de Rivière cautions against an overly halcyon view of the UN's history. The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations explains that throughout its 75 years the organization has confronted adversity. This moment is no exception, but "we have no other choice" than cooperation in order to address today's biggest crises, he explains. Rivière also discusses the global pandemic response, a need for greater commitments to climate action, and a recent move by the US to push for renewed sanctions against Iran.

One of the biggest threats to 21st century international peace is invisible. It recognizes no borders and knows no rules. It can penetrate everything from the secrets of your government to the settings of your appliances. This is, of course, the threat of cyberattacks and cyberwarfare.

During the coronavirus pandemic, cyberattacks have surged, according to watchdogs. This isn't just Zoom-bombing or scams. It's also a wave of schemes, likely by national intelligence agencies, meant to steal information about the development and production of vaccines. Attacks on the World Health Organization soared five-fold early in the pandemic.

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Malaysian political drama: Malaysia's (eternal) opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he finally has enough votes in parliament to be appointed prime minister, seven months after the coalition that was going to support him collapsed amid an internal revolt that also forced out 95-year-old Mahathir Mohamed as head of the government. Two years ago, Mahathir — who governed Malaysia from 1980 to 2003 — shocked the country by running in the 2018 election and defeating his former party UMNO, which had dominated Malaysian politics since independence in 1956. After winning, Mahathir agreed to hand over power to Anwar — a former protégé with whom he had a falling out in the late 1990s — but Mahathir's government didn't last long enough to do the swap. Will Anwar now realize his lifelong dream of becoming Malaysia's prime minister? Stay tuned for the next parliamentary session in November.

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