Background Briefing: May 27, 2021


Republican Senators Kill the 1/6 Bi-partisan Commission as a Personal Favor to McConnell

We begin with Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s determination to kill the bipartisan commission to look into the January 6 storming of the Capitol and his appeal to his caucus to do him a personal favor in opposing the commission. This after 14 Republican senators met with the mother and partner of the Capitol Police Officer who died after being beaten and bear-sprayed, but still Republicans could not muster the decency to support the police officers who protected them from a dangerous mob on that infamous day. Joining us is Norman Ornstein, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the co-author of the best-seller It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism and his latest, One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet Deported. With the proposed commission already watered down to get Republican support which the GOP has reneged on, we discuss Norm’s suggestion of how to stand up an effective bi-partisan investigation through the Justice Department.


Focus Should be on Biden’s Tax Plan Otherwise There Will Be No infrastructure Bill

Then we look into Biden’s tax plan meant to fund his infrastructure plan which is facing opposition from the banking lobby that is weighing in on conservative Democratic Senators Manchin, Sinema, Bennett and Coons who could stymie the infrastructure bill whatever its price tag, by not supporting the proposed tax cuts on the rich and corporations meant to pay for it. James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who is the former chief economist at McKinsey & Co. and the author of Blood Bankers, joins us to discuss how Democrats are focused on spending the stimulus money, not how to make sure they are able to raise the revenues to pay for it.


Turkey has Become a Mafia State Under Erdogan

Then finally we examine the extent to which Turkey has become a Mafia State under Erdogan as a former Mafia boss turned whistleblower Sedat Peker has captured the attention of the Turkish public with tell-all videos that implicate high officials in the government who only operate with Erdogan’s blessing. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights a Columbia University who was a foreign affairs expert and senior advisor to presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, joins us to discuss the likelihood Erdogan will hang his Interior Minister out to dry but with more videos coming out, he may have a hard time deflecting blame.