Day: June 17, 2021

Background Briefing: June 17, 2021


Senator Manchin’s Changes to the For the People Act That Stacey Abrams “Absolutely” Supports

We begin with the two big bills Biden is trying to get passed, infrastructure and the For the People Act, both of which have Senator Joe Manchin as a key player in determining their fate. On voting rights Manchin has offered changes to the For the People Act which Stacey Abrams has praised saying she would “absolutely” support his new bill, and on infrastructure, 11 Republican senators and 10 centrist Democratic senators have signed on to a much smaller bill that does not raise taxes while failing to deal with the vital issues we face like climate change, broadband, childcare for working families and the electrification of transportation and a clean energy grid to power the future. Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week and the co-host of the Left Anchor podcast whose forthcoming book is How Are You Going to Pay For That? Smart Answers to the Dumbest Questions in Politics joins us. We discuss how the Republicans are slaves to the greedy short-sighted plutocrats who are their big donors and thus have no vision, while the Democrats are blind to the fact they are facing their own extinction at the hands of an increasingly undemocratic and autocratic GOP bent on installing one party government in the United States.


“Everything You Need to Know About the Infrastructure Bill Traveling Through Congress”

Then we investigate further the infrastructure bills that range from ambitious and necessary to modest and useless and speak with David Dayen, the Executive Editor of The American Prospect whose latest book is Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power and latest article at The American Prospect is “Everything You Need to Know About the Infrastructure Bills Traveling Through Congress.”


Biden Carries the Weight of the World to Stop the Spread of Trumpism and Restore Democracy at Home and Abroad

Then finally we examine an important article in The New York Times by Thomas Edsall, “Trumpism Without Borders” and speak with Jack Goldstone, who is quoted widely in the article. He is a Professor of Public Policy and a Fellow at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University who chaired a National Academy of Sciences study of USAID democracy assistance and worked with the OECD and the State and Defense Departments on their strategies for fragile states. He joins us to discuss how Biden has the weight of the world on his shoulders to restore trust in democracy at home and abroad and help turn around the global trend towards ethnonationalist and authoritarian governance.