Background Briefing: July 11, 2024

A Former Press Secretary to Kamala Harris on Who Could Best Beat Trump as Divisions Among Democrats Intensify While Republicans Can’t Get Enough of Their Candidate’s Depravity and Dementia 

We begin ahead of this evening’s critical press conference President Biden is holding at the end of the NATO summit as calls for him to step down intensify and attention is turning to Vice President Harris as an alternative to run against Trump as anxious Democratic lawmakers watch the polls head in the wrong direction while donors start to hold back and fundraising starts to dry up. We speak with someone who knows Kamala Harris well and is alarmed as many are that while bed-wetting and pearl-clutching is increasing divisions among Democrats, Republicans are doubling down in support of Trump who could grow horns and hooves and be even more popular among Christian nationalists as his outrageous lies and rhetorical lunacy amps up on the campaign trail. Joining us is Gil Duran, a San Francisco journalist who previously served as editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and The San Francisco Examiner. He currently writes the FrameLab Newsletter on Substack and regularly contributes to the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications and he was formerly the Press Secretary to Governor Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris when she was the Attorney General of California.


An Assessment of the So-Called Reformist President of Iran and What He Means For Women, Life, Freedom

Then we examine the emergence of a so-called reformist president in Iran, Masoud Pezeshkian, and speak with Arash Azizi, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Middle East and Global Order and a former Senior Lecturer at Clemson University. He is an historian of the 20th century social and political movements, with a particular interest in global socialism. His latest book is What Iranians Want: Women, Life, Freedom and we discuss his article in The Atlantic, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Is Worried” and what this means for the disenchanted youth and angry women in a country whose politics are controlled by an unelected 85 year-old cleric who talks to God and his core group of hardline zealots and Revolutionary Guards along fanatical religious police who prop up a regime rife with corruption and incompetence.