Day: January 20, 2021

Background Briefing: January 20, 2021


Biden’s Inauguration and His Call For Unity and Civility

We begin with today’s inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris and speak with Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, whose books include The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln and The Politicians and the Egalitarians and his latest, No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding. He joins us to discuss Biden’s call for unity and civility and whether that can operate in tandem with the need to punish the insurgents who stormed the capitol. We assess whether the pardoning of Stephen Bannon will cover the possibility that Bannon might be guilty of planning the attack on the capitol, since on the day before he said, “all hell is gonna break loose tomorrow”, and what Senator McConnell meant when he charged that powerful people along with Trump, were responsible for inciting the mob who looted and vandalized the very building where Biden was inaugurated today.


Will Dealing With Domestic Terrorism Be a Priority in the Biden Administration?

Then we look into how much dealing with domestic terrorism will become a priority in the new Biden Administration given the experience the Attorney General has had having tried the Oklahoma City bombing and speak with David Schanzer, the director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University who served as a counsel to Senator Joe Biden. He joins us to discuss his article at The Tampa Bay Times, “Congress Should Make Domestic Terrorism a Crime.


The Arrest of Navalny and His Exposé of Putin’s $1.4 Billion “Palace”

Then finally we speak with Mark Galeotti, one of the foremost Russia watchers today who is an honorary professor at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies and author of We Need to Talk About Putin: How the West Gets Him Wrong. We discuss the return to Russia and the arrest of the opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the new video he has just released exposing the $1.4 billion dollar “Putin’s Palace” on the Black Sea.