Day: June 23, 2020

Background Briefing: June 23, 2020


How “Moscow Mitch’s” Voting Suppression is Playing Out in Kentucky Today

We begin with today’s primaries in New York and Kentucky where polling places have been drastically reduced particularly in Jefferson County which encompasses Louisville where there is only one polling place for an area in which half of the state’s black population lives. Ari Berman, a senior reporter at Mother Jones covering voting rights who is the author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, joins us to discuss his article at Mother Jones, “Kentucky Votes Today: Here Are All the Ways Mitch McConnell Has Made That Harder”. We will get an update on American democracy’s apparent new normal of long lines, faulty voting machines and ill-trained workers at polling places which we have seen in predominantly Red States like Georgia where voting is quick and easy in affluent white suburbs but unconscionably difficult and frustrating in African American precincts. With Mitch McConnell otherwise known as “Moscow Mitch” refusing to fund efforts to improve and secure voting while burying bills designed to make voting easier and it easier for people to vote such as making election day a public holiday, we assess what can be done to restore our deliberately sabotaged right to vote.


A Former AUSA with the SDNY on How New York Prosecutors Will Not be Cowed by Barr and Trump

Then we speak with a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Southern District of New York, Jennifer Rodgers about Barr’s efforts to decapitate the SDNY by firing Geoffrey Berman which apparently backfired and examine what will happen to the important cases closing in on Trump and his associates as the SDNY pursues investigations into Giuliani, Epstein and his mysterious death, Deutsche Bank and Trump’s inauguration. A Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and former Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, Jennifer is now a legal analyst at CNN and she joins us to discuss her article at CNN “Fiercely independent New York prosecutors won’t be cowed by Barr and Trump”.


Dr. Fauci’s Testimony Today and the Need For the Country to Unite to Face a Common Threat

Then finally we look into Dr. Fauci’s testimony today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in which he warned about “a disturbing surge in infections” in parts of the country where incidentally Trump is holding rallies like Oklahoma and today Arizona, and when asked about testing, contradicted Trump’s spectacularly irresponsible claim that he had asked his people to slow down testing.  Lawrence Gostin, University Professor and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center joins us to discuss the tragic consequences of politicizing the wearing of masks and the need for the country to unite to face a common threat.