Day: April 26, 2021

Background Briefing: April 26, 2021


Biden’s 100 Day Approval Rating and How to Build on it For 2022

We begin with approval ratings for Biden’s first 100 days, a benchmark set by FDR in 1933 when there was a flurry of bills passed in the depths of a deep depression.  According to an ABC/Washington Post poll Biden’s approval 100 days into his presidency is at 52% compared to Trump’s at 42% and below Obama’s at 65%. But since the GOP is now the Trump party and he has convinced his base that he won the last election which Biden stole from him, little wonder that a sizable sector of the population do not approve of Biden who they’ve been told is not a legitimate president. Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a cofounder of Mother Jones magazine and serves on the editorial board of The Nation, joins us to assess how Biden is punching above his weight given his thin margin of control in the House and Senate compared to FDR’s massive mandate. We will also look ahead to 2022 to determine how Biden can overcome Republican voter suppression and gerrymandering to retain a majority and even overcome the filibuster threshold in the Senate.


How to Combat Weaponized Misinformation When There Is No Downside to Lying

Then we speak with Zoë Carpenter, a contributing writer at The Nation where her latest article is “Misinformation is Destroying Our Country. Can Anything Reign It In?” She joins us to discuss how although Trump is gone, the far right media ecosystem has become powerful because there is no downside to lying and although big tech may have silenced Trump, progressives should be wary of censorship and find other ways to combat weaponized misinformation. 


Death Toll Mounts as India’s Trump Bans Facebook and Twitter to Cover up His Incompetence

Then finally we look into the way populist leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro, Boris Johnson and Modi have mishandled the Covid pandemic having ridiculed and rejected science. But now with 350,000 victims coming down with Covid per day in India and people dying as they wait in line for doctors or even oxygen, Modi’s answer is to cover up his incompetence by banning Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Dr. Sumit Ganguly, the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilization at Indiana University joins us to discuss why in the county that is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, only 10% have received one dose and 1.6% are fully vaccinated.