Day: August 24, 2021

Background Briefing: August 24, 2021


Biden’s Poll Numbers Are Down, But Likely to be Back in a Month or So

We begin with President Biden’s approval rating taking a hit from the Afghan withdrawal and the resurgence of Covid and speak with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect who was formerly a chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee and a columnist for Business Week for 20 years. He joins us to discuss his article at The American Prospect “How Much Trouble Is Biden In?” and following Biden’s White House announcements today on progress with the infrastructure bills and voting rights and that 70,700 Westerners and Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul since August 14, the president’s ratings are likely to look better in a month or so. But if voting rights are not protected, Biden could still be popular but the Republicans, aided by the Supreme Court, will be able to steal the 2022 election in what would be the beginning of the end of American democracy.


Without the Glue of Resistance to Foreign Occupiers, The Taliban Could Soon Dissolve

Then, with President Biden suggesting today that he is working on contingency plans for after the August 31 deadline the Taliban are insisting the U.S. stick to, we speak with Andrew Latham, a professor of international relations at Macalester College who was formerly the Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament Fellow at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and a lecturer at the Canadian Armed Forces School of Aerospace Studies. He joins us to discuss his article at The Hill, “The coming collapse of the Taliban” in which he predicts that without the glue that holds the Taliban together, resistance to foreign occupiers, there could be a factional and tribal disintegration and even civil war. 


We Could be at a Turning Point to End the Forever Wars

Then finally we speak with Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and the author of a new book, out today, Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump which makes the case that we could be at a turning point to end the forever wars which were forged after September 11 then weaponized under Trump to be turned on American democracy itself.