Day: October 3, 2021

Background Briefing: October 3, 2021


Biden Tries to Bridge the Democratic Divide on Capitol Hill

We begin with President Biden’s visit to Capitol Hill on Friday in an effort to diffuse tensions between progressive and “corporate” Democrats over the competing infrastructure bills where he appeared to take the pressure off the ticking clock by offering an offramp, “It doesn’t matter when – it doesn’t matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days, or six weeks – we’re going to get it done.” Joining us with a progressive perspective on this critical impasse that will determine the fate of Biden’s presidency and the Democrats hopes of staying in power after 2022 and 2024 is Howie Klein a progressive blogger and political activist who supports and advises progressive candidates and blogs at We will discuss the role of the spoilers Senators Manchin and Sinema and Congressman Gottheimer who condemned Speaker Pelosi for delaying the vote on the bipartisan package saying, “This far-left faction is willing to put the president’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk. They’ve put civility and bipartisan governing at risk.” 


The Pandemic Provides an Opportunity to Rebuild a New Society Not Preserve the Old

Then we speak with Adam Tooze, a professor of history at Columbia University who previously taught at the University of Cambridge as well as Yale, where he was Director of International Security Studies. He has contributed to the National Intelligence Council, and he joins us to discuss the blowback from our unbalanced relationship to nature and his latest book, just out, Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy.


A Call From Religious Leaders That No One is Safe Until Everyone is Safe

Then finally we speak with Dr. Azza Karam, who serves as the Secretary-General of Religions for Peace and is the first woman and first Muslim to lead the organization. She also holds a Professorship of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and previously served as a Senior Advisor on Culture, at the United Nations Population Fund and as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development. The author of Realizing the Faith Dividend: Religion, Gender, Peace and Security, we discuss the role of religion in vaccine resistance and in her work with the world’s religious leaders to organize a global response to the pandemic based on the realization that no one is safe until everyone is safe.