Background Briefing: July 13, 2021


Biden Takes On Trump’s “Big Lie” at the Birthplace of American Democracy

We begin with President Biden’s speech today at the birthplace of American democracy in Philadelphia in which he attacked Trump’s “big lie” that underpins the massive Republican voter suppression efforts underway calling the GOP’s gaming of the electoral playing field “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.” Joining us is Joshua Douglas, a Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law who teaches and researches election law and voting rights and is the author of Vote for US: How to Take Back our Elections and Change the Future of Voting.We discuss how the Supreme Court has all but closed off the courts for redress against voter suppression and that it is now up to Congress to deal with the Republican assault of voting rights underway. The urgency of the moment was highlighted by the presence of the delegation of Texas Democrats who came to Washington after walking out of the Texas legislature for a second time in desperation to stop the passage of nakedly partisan bills designed to prevent the majority from voting so that a minority can cling to power.


Why do we Accept Reports Completely Lacking in Credibility From Haitian Officials and Politicians?

Then we speak with Garry Pierre-Pierre, a Haitian-born Pulitzer Prize-winning multimedia and entrepreneurial journalist who left The New York Times in 1999 to launch the Haitian Times, a New York-based English language weekly publication serving the Haitian diaspora. He joins us to discuss the failure of our press in repeating rather that questioning reports coming from Haitian officials and politicians vying for power whose claims about who is behind the assassination of President Moise are completely lacking in credibility.  


Cuban Leaders Resort to the Familiar Playbook of Repression

Then finally we examine the predictable crackdown on protesters in Cuba with the shaken Communist leaders resorting to their familiar tools of repression and tired revolutionary slogans as police and army flood the streets of the major cities after the anti-government uprisings that erupted over the weekend. Cuban-born Ada Ferrer, a professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University whose forthcoming book is Cuba: An American History, who has been traveling to and conducting research in Cuba since 1990, joins us.