Background Briefing: October 19, 2020


Record Turnouts Underway For Early Voting in Texas In Spite of Voter Suppression

We begin with the rampant voter suppression going on in Texas where there are long, snaking lines for early voting in heavily Democratic areas after the Republican governor restricted voting drop-off boxes to one per county meaning that heavily Democratic Harris and Travis counties are the worst impacted. Lydia Camarillo, the President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project based out of San Antonio, Texas, joins us to discuss how in spite of the shameless attempts to suppress the Democratic vote in Texas, Harris, Dallas and Travis counties all reported record turnouts for the first day of early voting Tuesday. A record of more than 128,000 of the county’s registered voters turned out in Harris County compared to the 68,000 on the first day of early voting in 2016. And record voting in Harris County continued with more than 100,000 votes a day cast in person on Wednesday and Thursday with overall, nearly 2 million Texans voting in person or by mail as of Wednesday compared to 9 million Texans who voted in the 2016 presidential election. 


Giuliani’s Phony Biden Dossier Manufactured by Russian Intelligence

Then we look into unsealed criminal charges against six Russian GRU Intelligence officers announced by U.S. prosecutors today for the world’s most damaging cyber attacks against Ukraine’s power grid and ransomware attacks which inflicted billions of dollars of damage. Anders Aslund, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies who served as a Swedish diplomat in Moscow and was an economic advisor to the governments of Russia and Ukraine and is the author of Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path From Market Economy to Kleptocracy, joins us to discuss Giuliani’s phony dossier on the Biden’s which was produced in Ukraine by Russian Intelligence. 


Pro-Democracy Young Thais Protest a King Backed by the Military

Then finally we examine the massive demonstrations by pro-democracy students in Thailand against the King calling for a new constitution to curb his powers. Jack Fong, a professor of Sociology at California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, who is from Thailand and researches Southeast Asian geopolitics, nationalism and social movements, joins us to discuss this class struggle against an absentee King backed by the military in a country where you get jailed for criticizing the monarchy.