Day: February 17, 2021

Background Briefing: February 17, 2021


Texas’s Political Leaders and Fox News Blame AOC and the Green New Deal for the Frozen Electricity Grid

We begin with the continuing paralysis of the state of Texas due to an ice storm which has crippled the electricity grid but if you were following Fox News, you would believe that the state of Texas had been taken over by socialist hippies who imposed the Green New Deal on the Lone Star state and that windmills are responsible for people freezing to death. Tucker Carlson claimed “The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people died in Texas” and Texas Governor Greg Abbott told Sean Hannity, “Sean, this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.” Forrest Wilder, News and Politics Editor at The Texas Monthly who specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog, joins us to discuss the shameful passing of the buck by Texas’s political leaders as they try to shift blame on wind power when it is the gas, coal and nuclear plants that provide 90% of electricity in winter that are shut down with wind power down 60%.


A Commission to Find the “Facts and Causes” of the Insurrection and Storming of the Capitol

Then we speak with Daniel Byman, a professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution who is editor of the Lawfare blog and the author of Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad. He served on the staff of the 9/11 Commission and joins us to discuss Nancy Pelosi’s call to create a 9/11-style commission to review the “facts and causes” of the January 6 insurrection and storming of the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump.


A Witness in the First Impeachment and Special Counsel in the Second on Trump’s Legal Landscape Ahead

Then finally we examine the legal landscape ahead for Trump following his second impeachment and speak with someone who was a witness in Trump’s first impeachment then served as special counsel to the presiding officer of the second impeachment, Senator Leahy. Michael Gerhardt, Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law and author of Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know, joins us to discuss his new book Lincoln’s Mentors: The Education of a Leader and Trump’s vicious personal attack against Mitch McConnell.