Background Briefing: February 7, 2019


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Unveils Her Green New Deal

We  begin with the unveiling today of a bold new plan by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to fight climate change, growing income inequality, rising healthcare costs and student debt, which in evoking FDR’s landmark legacy, is called the Green New Deal. William Lawrence, an environmental activist and co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, which along with Justice Democrats and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the effort to bring about the Green New Deal, joins us. We discuss the sit-in Will organized at Nancy Pelosi’s office which led to the formation of a House Select Committee on Climate Change. And while Nancy Pelosi was snarky in her earlier dismissal of the Green New Deal referring to it as “the green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” it already has sixty members of the House and nine senators co-sponsoring it, including several presidential candidates. We will assess the new congresswoman’s blueprint to develop a carbon-neutral economy in ten years switching to clean, renewable and zero-emissions energy sources, and her document’s endorsement of universal healthcare, a jobs guarantee and free higher education.


An American Socialist on Trump’s Demonization of Socialism

Then, with Trump raising the alarm in his State Of The Union that socialism will take away our liberty and independence and the likelihood that the Republicans will run against the democratic socialism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2020, we speak with a member of Democratic Socialists of America, Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder and editor of Jacobin Magazine and a columnist for The Guardian. His forthcoming book is “The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality” and we will discuss the unrelenting demonization of socialism in America where socialist programs like Social Security and Medicare remain universally popular.


Baggage Emerges Emerges as Senator Klobuchar is Poised to Enter the Race

Then finally with Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar expected to enter the presidential race on Sunday, we  speak with David Schultz, a Professor of Political Science at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota School of Law. He joins us to discuss reports emerging that the senator has a high turnover of staff, some of whom have complained of mistreatment, and whether she could position herself as an American Angela Merkel even though centrists are likely to have difficulty getting traction in Democratic primaries given the energy on the left of the party with so much of the country opposed to Trump and his far-right supporters and Republican enablers.