Background Briefing: August 30, 2018
Republicans Fast Track Kavanaugh Before He Is Properly Vetted
We begin with the upcoming battle next week in the Senate to decide whether or not to confirm a new Supreme Court justice who has made it clear he wants to give presidents more power which many people find alarming since Brett Kavanaugh was chosen by a president who is himself under investigation. Lisa Graves, Co-director of Documented who formerly served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Deputy Chief for the U.S. Courts, joins us to discuss what could emerge from the mountains of emails and documents Democrats are pouring over from the long record that Brett Kavanaugh has generated as both a political operative and a federal judge. And although Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially advised President Trump not to pick Kavanaugh, the expectation is that all of the Senate Republicans will vote to confirm Kavanaugh with Vice President Pence as an extra vote if needed. Given that mathematical problem, we look into what options the Democrats might have in stopping someone who will move the Supreme Court in an even more right wing direction overturning abortion and LBGTQ rights and what is left of labor and voting rights to name a few.
US Complicity with Saudi and UAE Atrocities in Yemen
Then with the U.N. issuing a blistering report blaming Saudi Arabia and the UAE for most of the civilian deaths in the war in Yemen which is finally getting the attention of U.S. lawmakers, we will speak with Ali Al-Ahmed,the founder and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs. An expert on Saudi political affairs and Saudi-American relations, he joins us to discuss plans by the Pentagon to train Saudi Arabian military pilots on U.S. soil and the latest evidence that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince known as MBS is not the reformer many gullible Western journalist proclaimed him to be.
The Nationwide Prison Strike Against Prison Slavery
Then finally, we speak with Erik Loomis, a professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and author of “Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe” and his latest book just out, “A History of America in Ten Strikes”. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “Serving Time Should Not Mean ‘Prison Slavery’” and the national strike by prisoners underway which is the largest prison strike in the nation’s recent history aimed at ending forced labor under state coercion which should be a top priority for the American labor movement to put an end to.