Sree Iyer: Namaskar, hello and welcome to PGurus Channel. This is episode 73, 13th Jan 2021. We have our guest Sridhar Chityalaji. Namaskar Sridharji and welcome to PGurus Channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning to all.
Sree Iyer: Sridharji, we have a lot to cover today. The second impeachment of Trump is about to take place perhaps in a few hours from now and we have a poll from McLaughlin which is trying to gauge the pulse of the Nation, on what the nation thinks about this whole impeachment process. So why don’t we start there sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think the McLaughlin Paul clearly outlines the priorities that the House and the Senate must focus on or the incoming Biden government must focus on. Only 20% or 23% of the people believe that this impeachment process should continue, 77% of the people say the priority is not impeachment. It’s a waste of time, waste of money achieves nothing, especially when just about a week left for the President to move on.
The three big priorities that they have outlined the government must focus on are number one covid and the vaccination and immunization program that must go on for rest of the country and the attention that must be paid because the US Stands as the number one in the world by way of a number of people afflicted with the covid-19 situation. The second is around the economy, which is effectively a lot of people impacted, the stimulus bill went through but you can see that there is still yawning need for the stimulus to be increased from that 600 to 2,000 dollars, but more conspicuously are more specifically if I have to use the word that the small business, you know is one which is clamouring for more help and also for reopening they don’t believe the shutdown’s is reducing the covid or you know helping the economy to move forward. The general principles of discipline are maintained and so, therefore, they feel that especially the restaurants must start opening and some of the businesses should also start to open.
Especially the large retails has been kept open like, they have been following the due process and due rules, you know, if you are in Manhattan in many of these small fruit shops, flower shops everything is kind of open, with limited kind of restrictions. Restrictions here being that open from this time to this time or close from this time, but, they’ve been given general guidelines masks, six feet away or only X number of people inside a shop, so, those guidelines will help the business to move along. So, the poll is very clear that this impeachment is a divisive agenda is costly and is going to distract you and take the eyes away, especially from these three factors. This is the most compelling from the John McLaughlin poll that has come out.
Sree Iyer: Now, there’s also been another poll, I think there was one commissioned by Newt Gingrich and what are the sentiments on those polls?
Sridhar Chityala: Same Newt Gingrich is saying that in his polls, 70% of the people shift your focus to the economy and in fact a form a way, you know being he being a Republican Conservative, Republican, it’s far more telling and far more specific which is to say this is a witch-hunting as well as, this is namely what they call as vendetta because Trump has been targeted right from day one, this is not something that started now. So, this is a vendetta type of an agenda and many of the Democratic leaders are not helping in terms of making things easier even Hillary Clinton has come out and stated, no, the impeachment is the right course and we must get rid of him from the office. Such words for a sitting president, now, whatever, maybe he is, it’s not proven mind you. Even the impeachment terms is only one, which is incitement of insurrection. This is the one allegation that has been framed in the article of the impeachment. So, both these polls reflect the sentiments and many of the Business Leaders, as well as the political leaders, continue to encourage these two guys to speak and reduce the heat and start talking rather than start accusing and start talking at each other.
Sree Iyer: Yesterday, we saw that Vice President Mike Pence turned down the dismissal of the President under section 25 and this was another resolution that the House tried. So, if I look at that and the fact that they are going to try and impeach today what they are hoping, in my opinion, is to get more Republican Congressman women to vote for the impeachment to try and put pressure on the President to say look, it not just the Democrats, but, also the Republicans who want to impeach you. I think that seems to be one of the overarching objectives. One thing that seems to be very interesting in all this is the famous term that used to be coined in the wild wild west, Run someone out of the town and it’s exactly fit the script here. You know, no matter how much we say there is a witch-hunt going on. What seems to be the underlying objective is to ensure that Trump does not ever contest elections again. He’s already 74, at best he might contest one more time. That’s the way I read it and it’s a free country unless you can really say, you go inside and you go and get that laptop from Nancy Pelosi’s office. I’m just you know searching for any Tell-tale expressions about President having ordered protesters to go inside the Capitol. So, anyway, that’s just my read. It’s a free country everybody has a right to freedom of speech. The same set when riots are going on in Portland and Seattle. They were all saying that all let them express their anger and what have you. So, this is very folk tongue speak here from Democrats and I’m afraid I don’t know, I don’t see any healing touch from Mr Biden who again has gone into moun vrath more, which is essentially a vow of silence. So, let’s take a look at a little bit more on impeachment.
Sridhar Chityala: The point to kind of wrap up, what you mentioned is just not Seattle and Portland. This was in Minneapolis,
Sree Iyer: Yes. Yes. That’s where it started
Sridhar Chityala: The pictures popped up, this is not Benghazi. This is Minneapolis, then we had this in Washington DC when do senators and others attended Trump’s event pre-election when they got out, there is a whole set of the mob, you know, garrowing and trying to harass, you know, one of the people was very prominently as spotted was Ran Paul. So, Ran Paul was very prominently spotted in terms of people trying to approach him. So, what we are saying is even those days, the leader should have come out said, let’s discuss and focus on the policies, let’s just get this animation and this whole concept of aggressive posturing be taken out. But, unfortunately, if I have to flag, you know, you have past presidents on either side. George Bush is on the Republican side and then you have Barack Obama and Bill Clinton on the Democratic side, they should stand up and rather than saying taking political posturing which is to say, do this do that and he’s wrong. They should say, look this is the United States we have I’ve been the president’s, the Country must unite and we some common things to address and move forward and you have not seen that type of statesmanship and again you pick sides one way or the other in these acrimonious circumstances, then you know, you are making this problem remain and aggravate rather than the problem contained. People forget 74 million people voted for President Trump, 74 they were achieved in the Republican history. The most broad constitutional, most broad segments of the universe, you know, the Latinos, Indians, Asians some very broad segments of the universe voted for President Trump for the first time and came into the mainstream of the Republican party and also eliminating the Stereotype the Republicans only cater to the one segment of the community. So, if you don’t understand the pulse of the people, there was a beautiful article, op-ed piece in WSJ (Wall Street Journal) which is to State, Ok, fine, there was incitement as insurrection. Is it 2%, is it 5% of the universe or is it the 95 or you are you saying it’s 100%. So, let’s assume it is 2 to 5%, you still have 95% of the people, how are you going to bring them on mainstream, If you continue to castigate them, as anarchists and terrorists, this is the type of language that the media has used and is the type of language that even some of the politicians have used. So I think that we have a big issue in the United States to bring the two sides together. Let alone addressing these top three priorities, which is the health, the economy and the interest rates are slowly beginning to rise, which is namely inflation, so, these are the three things. And then of course, what is the role of media and what is the role of tech?
Sree Iyer: Look at the fallout from the riots, sedition, conspiracy, assault, feds have opened at least 170 criminal probes that led to the capital melee. Now if the president instigated this, why would he be allowing all these things to proceed, he would also be putting a kibosh on all these things, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: It is. I must say, the truth is forgotten and animosity and biases have taken over. The FED investigation is as per his Insurrection act which was signed in 2018. So he has opened up, Fed and Department of Justice. As far as you have quoted, 170 cases have been booked, there has also been some prosecution that has occurred. They have stated very clearly that this is not the end. This is going to continue and further, that this is going likely to be one of the biggest investigations ever conducted by FBI and DoJ, within the country in terms of the investigations and what is also amazing is that Any of the people who are likely to be charged include some Vex and also some of the Capitol police have also been suspended and are under investigation. So something has gone wrong unless there is a thorough investigation truth is not going to come out and an assumptive principle is going to Prevail and I think that’s the grave danger one is kind of running into.
Sree Iyer: So we have a whole series of types of people who have been arrested. You have a retired veteran, you have somebody who was picked in the Senate pictured and who was identified by his Ex-Wife and there’s also there is a new extremist movement called Boogaloo which is planning Sunday protests in Washington DC as per the FBI and in some state capitals. So this is going to be there. I mean there are going to be always extreme wings in every party and that they are going to express themself as long as everything goes off peacefully and you let off steam that is fine. So, you have still some eventful things happening in the next few days, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: The Boogaloo movement which is the right-wing moment. They are planning a protest around 50 state capitals and also DC. Some of the governor’s explicitly stated that they are ready to tackle this issue. They’re well organized and What it is underscoring is the people which is again, we are recasting the same feeling of letdown or whatever their feelings are and why this is triggering these types of events which we have not seen for quite some time. Is there a deeper issue that is simmering, is it racial? Is it economic backwardness? Is it because this covid has created an unusual situation where many people have slipped into poverty, so all these issues. In fact, one of the pleas that the Democratic party made is that there are 9 million people with poor still below the poverty line and we don’t know how many more have fallen as a result of these pandemic crises and they need to be looked at. So we are not focusing on that and so, as a result, we are indirectly kind of contributing to the upsurge in these types of moments, I don’t know whether I want to say that you know one is Republic and the other is Democrat, but let us assume that one is this left and the other is the right, these two guys are you know, simmering and ready to go. So the core issue has not been addressed, on the contrary, you have targeted a guy who has brought in 74 million. Yes, you know you could have you know, he could have incited this Insurrection as they say quite correctly. And then he says I mean by the way President Trump has stated quite clearly, I never sent them to attack the Capitol. I never sent them to attack. I only told them to go and protest. Please see my video.
Well, has anybody analyzed the video of the full speech? We don’t know. When I say, we don’t know whether the people concerned have done it or they are going with this hurt mindset that he did make it. So, therefore he incited and caused this insurrection as an intent. So these are all question marks which I am not staying but many journalists are now reporting on either side of the aisle. So this is the other side you have you have no truth, you know, we are trying to analyze and provide a perspective rather than say, okay, you know, the left media is wrong and the right media is right or the right media is wrong in the Left media is right, but the media is not certainly kind of helping the cost in the discovery of Truth.
Sree Iyer: Now, what we’re seeing in both these parties is that both sides are saving to put a voice to split. For example, if you take a look at the Republican party, and this is how I read it, sir, please correct me if I’m wrong. You have the Trumpers and the Non-Trumpers. In the Democratic party, you have the moderates and the progressives and the progressives are led by the likes of perhaps Bernie Sanders and then AOC and the squad and so on and so forth and they seem to be always taking more extreme positions in terms of any issue you take it. You’re going to have a counter position being taken by the Republicans on the other side. This is just politics. Now the question that remains is if such a thing were to happen if hypothetically Trump were to say okay. I am leaving the Republican party. What do you think will be the Fallout of that, Sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think there are rumours floating around that you know, the word is Patriot whether the Republican party will be renamed the Patriot or whether Trump will float a party or whether Trump will take charge or whether he will allow the status quo to continue is a matter of conjecture, but there are certainly signs of undercurrent. It’s very clear when you look at it. The House vote is something like 222 over 205, some roughly that number for the impeachment, is no more than five or six or seven House Representatives from the Republican side including Liz Cheney who have stated that you know the President should be impeached. On the Senate side, there is no majority as yet, but Mitch McConnell has stated that you know he is ready to receive and he thinks that he will proceed with impeachment and then proceed meaning that he will pass the order to conduct the inquiry and the impeachment process. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be impeached. That just simply means that you know, there is going to be a mechanism in the process for the conduct of the impeachment trials at the end of the impeachment trials they still have to vote and then finally impeach whether they impeach and convict, we discussed this yesterday is a matter of conjecture. So, a number of people including Kevin McCarthy and you know Mo Brooks and there’s more than a hundred at least House Republicans who have stated that they are against impeachment. In fact, more than a hundred House Republicans felt that there has to be an inquiry on the conduct of the elections. So to your point, is a very clear division between Trump versus non-Trump camp. Similarly, on the Democratic side, you have the progressive and you have the Centrist. The progressives are led by AOC, Pramila Jaypal, Ilhan, Rasheeda and Bernie Sanders and so on who say, let’s get the progressive agenda. Let’s get the progressive agenda going now. What’s a progressive agenda? It is to grow complete socialistic, increase the minimum wages, do this, do that and so on. So there is a battle going on there. Once upon a time, a large number of people in Middle America was in favour of Democrats because there were Centrist in many facets, Bill Clinton is a classic example of a centrist. He worked very well with a Republican House and a Republican Senate and many policies he introduced and unfortunately today we don’t see somebody like that within the Democratic party.
Similarly, George Bush, notwithstanding he had good support from the Democrats and Republicans. When we were confronted with 9/11 and the Iraq War, and people support it, so we don’t see that bipartisanship present in the two parties. So which makes your analysis that you just completed Spot-on. What outcome one can think of we don’t know as yet. We’ll know within, it is not going to be too long. It’s about probably a week away.
Sree Iyer: Thanks for that update, sir. And let’s take a look at what is happening on the tech platform. We know that WhatsApp came out with a personal privacy explanation that seems to be driving people out and this is not even connected to President Trump. President Trump-related things are Twitter and Facebook vanning president for life and then the fallout of Parler being shut out not only from the app store’s of Apple and Google but also the Amazon web service provider has taken down the Parlor app. So those are all threads running.
Now, let’s take a look at the other side. What is happening today in almost all the newspapers in India, WhatsApp took out a page-long advertisement saying how this does not affect the normal user. So they are feeling the pinch. They are seeing a drove, in fact, a flood of people leaving this platform for other platforms. I’ll give you an example, sir. Telegram has now surpassed 500 million active users and they are gaining rapidly and the gains are coming from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle Eastern North America. So there is this a wide, very broad-based support for telegram, which is perceived to be a Russian Messenger tool and therefore there are always questions about whether the Russians will know what you’re talking about and so on and so forth, but people seem to be flocking to telegram. So what do you think is going to happen to the tech platform. We know that the stocks are taking a bit of a beating but down the road, we can’t obviously tell any anyone to say go buy this stock, all we are telling you are the trends and you have to make your own decision based on your own judgment and so on. Please don’t take our word for it. We are just trying to tell you if you do something, what usually happens. Sir, this is your field take it away.
Sridhar Chityala: I think, Tech is going down, it was like ready to explode kind of scenario. Everybody should remember we discussed this, there was a House and Senate inquiry conducted, Ted Cruz, even Dick Durbin from the Illinois Senator was that video is making rounds is around the privacy concerns of a Facebook. He asked the posting telling question, ‘Mr Zuckerberg. Can you tell us which hotel where you stay? He said – No. Then he said the second question, ‘Can you tell us who all you spoke with and what you ate last night? – No. So dick said that’s exactly my point. So why should Facebook know where I ate and who I spoke with and what I communicated, are you not violating the privacy that is in other words what you are not willing to concede, you want to own everything that we do. So he had no answer to that question. So I think they have taken this data collection to an extremity. Now, you always need a Tipping Point. The Tipping Point here is they are very categorically stated that they are taking a left position rather than a neutral position to start dumping everybody who’s associated with Trump is a recipe for disaster.
The question that comes up is who is next that they’re going to take down, that’s number one. The second point is, which is still relevant is WhatsApp has been broadcasting new terms and conditions which they asked us to sign up by February 8th, I don’t know what India and the United States by Feb 8 where they have the right to use all the data that is in the app. That’s what they keep broadcasting. It’s an end-to-end encrypted, safe and secure application where the privacy and security of the participants are protected. Now the moment you say you’re going to be able to access the data, then you can use the data for any purpose especially if you are politically leaning one way or the other. So this is riveting down the stream, now, I don’t want to talk about Twitter which seems to be the worst in amongst this lot. Even Hong Kong residents who use Twitter, they’ll change the Twitter handle symbol and China stepped up and basically stated yesterday, ‘Hey, you guys are not supporting freedom of speech. This is China to Twitter. So this just basically tells you that and you gave some numbers about Telegram, and I think something similar is happening with Signal. So my view is that probably we’re going to have like two parties, two platforms, a neutral platform which accommodates right and probably Left and a platform which accommodates left only and clearly those who accommodate left have come out and raised their hands. So what does it do to the stock and what is that time will tell but clearly, something has gone wrong. I mean Facebook also went on to say, Mark Zuckerberg send a notification to staff, ‘when you go out please don’t wear clothes that have a Facebook tag because you could be targeted. There was also very big protection in San Francisco of the Twitter offices because they were expecting an imminent threat. So why do these things happen? It has not happened to IBM, it has not happened to Oracle, it has not happened to Microsoft. Why is that, people have to stand up and ask the question? Why are they being just targeted because they have taken and their actions are viewed by the people as something that is non-democratic?
Sree Iyer: Now, let’s take a quick look at Global News. A lot of things happened in the last few days that has escaped the people’s attention because of this impeachment drama. So this is what happened there. The real news gets lost, and one of the most important things was Mike Pompeo’s statement that the number two in Al Qaeda has been killed, but more importantly, he was found in Iran. Is Iran now the place where Al Qaeda is seeking refuge? What are your thoughts, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: My thoughts are very worrying, there was speculation as to who could have taken out this particular guy, he is number two, who is in Iran? So, it’s Mike Pompeo who confirms that he was taken out. And again, he made a very compelling revelation that Iran is now the home and hosting the Al-Qaeda. In his briefing to EU, he made the point that Al-Qaeda is now taken Iran as its home, combine Iran and combine Al-Qaeda and then look at the issues in Iraq, look at the issues in Syria, look at the issues in Lebanon, and then spill over into Palestine, we really have another problem looming. So in that context, the diplomacy of Pompeo and Trump Administration has to be commended for uniting Qatar with the rest of the GCC countries. So now they have sunk their differences to jointly fight Iran and also to bring West Asia peace by connecting Israel because often Israel is associated with the turbulence in that region. They have connected that. So tying all these pieces together on the foreign policy side it’s a real positive development. But on the of the terrorist side, it’s a real problem. If Al Qaeda sitting in Iran on the back of enrichment of the uranium crossing the 20% threshold.
Sree Iyer: So we’ll wait and see what happens there. So Joe Biden is going to have his hands full. Just trying to come to grips with all these new political alignments that are taking place in West Asia. We will continue to call the Middle East as West Asia because it seems more appropriate, but sometimes we’ll use them interchangeably because habits die hard. Let’s take a quick look at the observations of the US Envoy to Israel. I predict that he is going to be changed very soon. David Friedman says he’s addicted to what the Trump Administration has achieved for Israel in the last four years and these measures are all not reversible by Biden Administration. Sure, this tells you that Trump has gone, as far as West Asia policy is concerned much farther than any other previous president has dared to even think of.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed, sir I think that in the last few days, there are several amendments that were enacted and signed up one is the Israel Peace Accord with the West Asian countries. The West Asia Peace Accord amongst the GCC and Qatar. Then the Tibetan one, where the Tibetan Accord has been also signed. Interestingly, India – China issue has also been logged as an issue that China poses threat to the sovereignty of India with persistent border incursions and then most important, which is irritating the Chinese are Taiwan, the independence of Taiwan just as we speak, the UN representative or the UN Ambassador for the United States is on our way or already met the Taiwanese Department officials in Taiwan and we have had three times around the Taiwanese straits, the US carriers passing by. And we also have the B-52 bombers making their fourth visit in one month over the Iranian skies, over the Persian Gulf, with a stark reminder that ‘hey, we are here.’ It’s probably one reason why Nancy Pelosi was very anxious that he should not pull the nuclear trigger or he should not take something out and she was trying desperately to reach the Army to say ‘Hey, don’t do anything’. So Iranians see the incoming Biden Administration as a way out given this polarizing situation or a sensitive situation, how Biden will kind of manage this is a very interesting position that Biden is in. Instead of focusing on all these issues, we seem to be focused on impeachment. So, this is what the surveys are trying to point out.
Sree Iyer: China now admits to a second wave of coronavirus evidently many states are sealed, the traffic in and out of those States cannot happen. And so this virus is not going away. Now, we also have multiple strains that are being reported other than the second strain that got so much attention from the United Kingdom. You have other strains also. Lay it out for us a little bit Sridharji. What is really Biden looking forward to at this point of time?
Sridhar Chityala: I think Biden has to come up with a hundred days plan. What’s his first hundred days plan? We are not discussing the first hundred days plan. We are discussing the first 10 days plan, which is impeachment trials in the House and Senate of the outgoing President, President Trump. Okay, what are his firsts? He has only mentioned one thing: the stimulus is my number one priority. So we clearly see the stimulus being number one priority So, we clearly see Stimulus being the number one priority to him. Where the Republican will now, on January 20th the majority will go to Democrats. So they probably will get the $2,000 through. He has also mentioned this Greenpeace, signing the Paris Accord in committing 450 billion dollars. He has mentioned that he will get it done. He has also mentioned that he will focus on this energy or environmentally secured buildings, committing something close to between 2 – 4 trillion dollars for that. So we have seen these three as his top kind of priorities and in the meanwhile, there’s been a number of other agenda items floating around clearly diplomacy is foreign policy is not one of them except, he has stated that the China policy will continue as is there won’t be any change in the China policy be it Taiwan, be it Hong Kong, be it the trans-pacific partnership Etc., so, it remains to be. He has not mentioned the word quad is only mentioned Indo-Pacific. On Iran and all this stuff, I think there’s still a big gap. And by the way, the Secretary of State Andrew has to be confirmed, that’s probably one of the first confirmations that will happen. The Janet Yellen will be confirmed, that’s a straight-through because she was a great governor of the fed and did a fantastic job continuing from Bernanke. So, I think that she would be an easy confirmation. Then, we’ll have to look at each of the other confirmations.
Sree Iyer: And in passing Russia calls the US Elections process archaic and prone to violations. Pray what has been Russia’s record? What was the margin of victory of Vladimir Putin in the last election that Russia had and what happened to the opposition leader who had to flee, who was poisoned but, managed to escape? So, now it is free for all time, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: It is, because the US is not a banana republic, the US is a banana republic, but certainly right now what we are going through. We look more like a banana republic than we ever were. So, I think one point I also want to point out on the left going back to this election. There is a Michigan senator by named Norton and he has come out, because there is a lot of criticism personally someone said, you know, this is all, I replied to this, I never go to the comment section and take a look at the reply, I said that Jim Jordan’s intent was to communicate and that was lost in that Senate Capitol Hill issue. So, this person from Michigan. It’s an attorney who has contested the election, has published a reported an interview, what exactly happened in Michigan and why the investigation of the election process must continue and we will try to put that link up and this is for all those people. This is not about the presidential election, certification elections all that is over but the fundamental issue around the elections remain and they have not been resolved and he has a very specific number he has given. He is somebody who is very close to what happened in Michigan.
Sree Iyer: And I won’t give away the secrets here, but there is some very interesting data that is coming out of it, on the way new electors were on-boarded to cast their votes. You read that you understand that there was an overzealous activity or part of one party to get as many people to vote as possible that comes through clear. Again, we’re not taking sides here, we are saying, what we are seeing and we will share that link of Robert Norton’s audio interview. I think I remember listening to it. So Sridharji, now the last point, we have come to the end of our program will be back again tomorrow and we will see how this impeachment process plays out today. And what happens after this many people such as Alan Dershowitz had said that whatever the speech is not even close to getting impeached.
So, these are again lawyers who are very highly paid. They probably charge thousands of dollars an hour and they have weighed in saying that this is not even close. So, we have to wait and see what is going on. But, clearly, this thing comes through that there is some pent-up anger or something beyond what is meeting the eye. I don’t know what it is. We will continue to explore that.
Sridharji, as always it is a pleasure having you on our Channel and we’ll be back tomorrow. Namaskar.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and thank you.
Robert Norton: Capitol Chaos Shouldn’t Derail Vote Fraud Investigation, Reform Breitbart