Background Briefing: June 8, 2021


The Koch Brothers “Thank and Spank” Joe Manchin as He Does Their Bidding

We will begin with an explanation of what might be motivating Senator Joe Manchin to scuttle the two big initiatives Biden and the Democrats are pushing, the For the People Act and the infrastructure package, and speak with Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the new corporate watchdog group True North Research.  She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government–as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a Deputy Chief of the Article 3 judges division for the U.S. Courts and joins us to discuss how Manchin is carrying out the agenda of the Koch brothers who don’t want the For The People Act passed because it strips out dark money which they and other plutocrats use to shape our politics and buy our politicians. With the Koch brothers front group Americans For Prosperity active in West Virginia using the “thank and spank” strategy of praising Manchin for standing up to the Democrats on the filibuster while pressuring him to oppose bills like the PRO act that they don’t like as they have him compromise on a minimum wage increase and infrastructure, lofty talk of bipartisanship and upholding tradition ring hollow.


Yellen’s Global Agreement on a 15% Corporate Tax Rate

Then we will look into the deal Treasury Secretary Yellen worked out in London last weekend with G7 finance ministers who agreed on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to avoid countries undercutting each other in a race to the bottom. Robert Hockett, the Edward Cornell Professor of Law and a Professor of Public Policy at Cornell University who has worked at the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and is a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, joins us to discuss how the giant U.S. tech firms are giving up tax havens in exchange for avoiding a national digital services tax the UK and other EU countries were about to introduce. 


A Flight Attendant Turned Bestselling Author on 2,500 Incidents of Unruly Passengers So Far This Year

Then finally we will speak with T. J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant who worked for Virgin American and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021 and is the author of the new bestseller, her first novel, Falling. She joins us to discuss how flight attendants are now on the front line dealing with 2,500 incidents of unruly passengers and 1,900 cases of refusal to wear face masks this year so far according to the FAA, with a Southwest flight attendant recently losing two teeth and suffering facial injuries as a result of an assault by an angry passenger.