Background Briefing: August 11, 2020


Biden Chooses California Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential Running Mate

We begin with the announcement today that Joe Biden has chosen California Senator Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate and speak with Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Differences at Emory University whose latest book is Race and the Obama Administration: Symbols, Substance and Hope. We discuss what Kamala Harris brings to the table as an African American woman representing the strongest and most reliable voting block in the Democratic Party and what might be points against her among the party’s more progressive base who are leery of someone with a background in law enforcement, particularly at a time of widespread revulsion against police violence. Since Biden’s VP, assuming he is elected, will likely be the Democrat’s presidential candidate in 2024, we examine whether the backlash against Obama will return with even more reactionary fury since Kamala Harris is not just an African American, but a woman too.


The Messaging War Between the Democratic Leaders and the White House Over the Next Stimulus Package

Then we assess who is winning the messaging war between the White House and the Democratic leaders following Trump’s stunt of breaking a deadlock he had created with phony offers of a rescue for the unemployed from dubious executive orders. John Lawrence, a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center who worked in the House of Representatives for 38 years and served as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff, joins us to point out the need to make it clear Pelosi is fighting to save our democracy and the Post Office while Trump is making empty promises he can’t keep.


The Hidden History of Monopolies Exposed

Then finally we speak with Thom Hartmann, the host of the nationally and internationally syndicated progressive talk show the Thom Hartmann Program. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Hidden History of Monopolies: How Big Business Destroyed the American Dream and his article at Common Dreams “Will Enough Americans Show Up to Stop Trump From Using the Dictator’s Playbook“.