Day: December 13, 2020

Background Briefing: December 13, 2020


The GOP’s Anti-Democratic Suicide Pact With Trump

We begin with the alarming number of two thirds of the House Republicans including their leadership, who went on the record in support of an anti-democratic coup, in effect declaring their own elections invalid. And they did it all for nothing but to salve the bruised ego of a demonstrably failed president responsible for hundreds of thousands of American deaths and worsening economic ruin. Daniel Ziblatt, a Professor of Government at Harvard University whose latest book, a New York Times bestseller co-authored with Steven Livitskty, is How Democracies Die, joins us to discuss the danger that the divisions Trump is inflaming are reaching the unacceptable point where American political discourse is now at the point of a gun. Now in the words of the former Republican Congressman Justin Amash, Trump’s “election fraud hoax will go down in history as one of the most embarrassing and dishonorable episodes in American political history, and countless Republican officials went along with it and promoted it.”  


The FTC and 46 States Sue to Break Up Facebook

Then with the FTC and 46 states suing to break up Facebook accusing it of crushing competition, we speak with Matt Stoller, the research director at the American Economic Liberties Project who was a Senior Policy Advisor and Budget Analyst to the Senate Budget Committee and is the author of Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. He joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “The U.S. government wants to break up Facebook. Good – it’s long overdue.” 


The Civil War in Ethiopia to Which the Press is Denied Access

Then finally we look into the civil war in Ethiopia between the government and the rebel northwestern province of Tigray where 50,000 refugees have fled into Sudan following massacres which the Tigray People’s Liberation Front blame on the government’s youth militia Fano, while the government of Prime Minister Abiy accuses the TPLF of genocide against the Amhara ethnic group. Getachew Begashaw, the Founder and President of Vision Ethiopia, a non-profit promoting democracy and good governance, joins us to discuss a fratricide in which all will lose in a poor country recovering from decades of brutal misrule after a long and debilitating war against neighboring Eritrea.