Background Briefing: September 4, 2018


The Contentious Kavanaugh Hearing

We begin with the first day of the confirmation hearing to seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court which began with protests from the audience and objections from the Democrats that they were given only 10% of Kavanaugh’s paper trail while being rail-roaded by the Republican majority who are both rushing the hearing through while concealing Kavanaugh’s record as if they have something to hide. Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society who focusses on civil and human rights, judicial nominations and the importance of the courts in America, joins us to discuss the limited options facing the Senate Democrats. Do they boycott the hearing which Senator Blumenthal called “a charade and a mockery” or use them to inform the American people via the TV and radio coverage what is at stake and how this obvious rush to confirm Kavanaugh while concealing 90% of his record suggests there is something about this nominee that the Republicans are hiding.


The GOP Will Control the Senate and Thereby the Courts Into the Future

Then on a day when the President attacks his Attorney General for enforcing the law against two crooked Republican Congressmen and we learn from Bob Woodward’s new book that senior staff refer to the White House as “Crazytown” and Trump as “unhinged”, we speak with Paul Waldman who blogs at the Washington Post’s Plum Line and is a columnist for The Week as well as a senior writer at The American Prospect. He joins us to discuss his article at The Washington Post “The GOP’s contempt for democracy is on full display at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing” and the thuggish behavior of the Republican majority whose majority in the Senate will only increase to the point where by 2040 70% of Americans will live in 15 states meaning that 30% from the Red States will choose 70 senators allowing the Republicans to control the senate and therefore the courts into the future.


The Loss of Brazil’s Cultural Heritage

Then finally we examine the tragic loss of Brazil’s cultural heritage from a fire which destroyed the 200 year-old National Museum and 90% of its treasures and speak with Maria Luisa Mendonca, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights as well as a professor in the international relations department at the University of Rio De Janeiro. We discuss this blow to the country’s morale a month ahead of a presidential election which could result in the election of a fascist because the leading candidate is in jail, and now Brazilians have to deal with the loss of a priceless collection of art and artifacts representing their national identity.