Background Briefing: April 27, 2020


Stacey Abrams Offers Herself as Biden’s VP

We begin with the speculation over who Joe Biden will pick as his running mate having already said it would be a woman. One possibility getting a lot of attention is the former losing candidate for governor in Georgia, Stacey Abrams, who is making it clear she would like the job and we assess her chances with Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. The author of Race and the Obama Administration; Symbols. Substance and Hope, she joins us to discuss how Biden might thread the needle in choosing between the need to get the black vote out at the 2008 and 2012 levels with a black woman on the ticket, or winning over the Bernie voters by choosing Senator Warren who, if chosen, would lose her senate seat to a Republican.


Why is Barr Inflaming the Already Overheated Debate Over State Lockdowns?

Then we speak with Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Executive Producer and Host of the Talking Feds podcast who is a legal affairs columnist at The Los Angeles Times where his latest column is “How Trump and his enablers are pushing politics deep into pandemic policy.” With the Attorney General claiming the American people are under house arrest, we look into Barr’s role in inflaming the debate over easing state lockdown policies which is already overheated by Trump’s incitement of his base with insurrectionist rhetoric.

While 26 Million Americans Run Out of Food and Money, Billionaires Get $308 Billion Richer

Then finally as Trump and Mnuchin throw money at big corporations and the wealthy at the same time being tight-fisted about getting funds to where they’re needed, and McConnell tells cash-strapped states to declare bankruptcy, the priorities of this administration are as shameful as they are cruel as 26 million unemployed Americans run out of money and food, while the billionaire class has added $308 billion to its wealth. Chuck Collins, who direct the Program on Inequality and co-edits, joins us to discuss his new report at the Institute for Policy Studies, “Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers: The net worth of eight American billionaires – ‘the pandemic profiteers’ – each surged by over $1 billion“.