Day: March 15, 2021

Background Briefing: March 15, 2021


As Two are Charged in the Death of a Capitol Police Officer, Will Trump be Held Responsible?

We begin with the arrests of two men charged in the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who died during the assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, both of whom sprayed Officer Sicknick in the face at close range with what one of them called “bear sh*t, from a canister containing an unknown chemical. Aitan Goelman, a former federal prosecutor who served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and helped build the case around the Oklahoma City bombing, joins us to discuss the work he did back then with the Justice Department against white nationalist terrorists along with Merrick Garland who is now the Attorney General. We discuss how Merrick Garland has prioritized the building of cases at the DOJ against some of those who stormed the Capitol based on mountains of video evidence and a flood of tips from the public. We will also assess when we might be able to expect public trials in which those who consider themselves “patriots” who were following orders from “their” president, will be convicted as murderous thugs and jailed as criminals.


Republicans No Longer Want to Compete But Instead Plan to Cheat

Then we examine what Stacey Abrams calls the “racist” Republican voting suppression underway as “Jim Crow in a suit and tie” and focus on the more than a dozen GOP-sponsored bills under consideration by the Texas legislature to impose more ID requirements and limit early voting under the fig leaf of “voting integrity”. Matt Angle, who directs the Texas Democratic Trust and the Lone Star Project, a Political Action Committee that aims to be an aggressive “fact-checker” on the Republicans at the state and national level, joins us to discuss how the GOP no longer wants to compete but instead plans to cheat as the Republican Party abandons democracy in an authoritarian putsch to grab power. 


The PRO Act and How Americans Like Unions But Only 10.7% of Workers Belong to One

Then finally we look into the Protecting the Right to Organize, PRO Act, which passed the House last Tuesday and faces a filibuster in the Senate. Lane Windham, Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor and co-director of WILL Empower (that’s Women Innovating Labor Leadership) and author of Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970’s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide, joins us to discuss how the PRO Act impacts efforts underway to unionize the anti-union behemoth Amazon and how Americans like unions but only 10.7% of the workforce belong to them.