Background Briefing: December 17, 2020


Republican Grinches Haggle Over a Paltry Stimulus While America is in Crisis

We begin with the negotiations over a $908 billion stimulus package on Capitol Hill ahead of Friday’s midnight deadline when the government runs out of money, and speak with James Thurber, the University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Former Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. He joins us to discuss the likelihood that a deal will not be struck before the deadline and that negotiations will continue over the weekend. And while there is less money for the growing number of unemployed and half of the $1200 stimulus checks given out earlier with the Cares Act, apparently a compromise has been reached in which McConnell will drop his insistence that corporations get immunity from prosecution in exchange for the Democrats dropping demands that state governments whose treasuries have been stripped bare by having to respond to the pandemic, get bailed out by a Federal government led by Trump who never took responsibility for the pandemic in the first place. 


We Should be Throwing Money at the Problem Which Will Get Worse and Require More

Then we speak with John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent and author of The Fight For the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics. He joins us to discuss his article at The Nation “The Right Answer is to Throw Money at the Problem” and we look for ways to bridge the gap between the worsening crises we are in with a growing death count already greater than World War II and a tanking economy, neither of which appear to have spurred the Congress into action to meet the minimal needs of the American people.


Holding an A/C Repairman at Gunpoint to Uncover Imaginary Election Fraud

Then finally we look into the vigilante arrest of an air conditioning repairman in Houston who was pulled over at gunpoint by Mark Aguirre, a retired Houston Police Captain who had the repairman’s truck searched for 700,000 fraudulent Democratic ballots that only existed in the imaginations of Aguirre and his wealthy Republican backers who paid him $266,400 from their non-profit the Liberty Center for God and Country. Zach Despart, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle joins us to discuss his article “Prosecutors: Ex HPD captain charged with assault suspected A/C repairman was in bogus ballot scheme” and how further incidents like this could be less comical and more deadly