Background Briefing: October 11, 2021


A Better Way to End the Covid Nightmare

We begin with the issue that still dominates our lives and our politics, the Covid pandemic, and look into what can be done to end this ongoing nightmare and ensure that the next pandemic is not even worse. Joining us is Lawrence Gostin, Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and University Professor at Georgetown University where he directs the World Health Organization Center on National and Global Health Law and serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board. The author of the new book, just out, Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future, he joins us to discuss his article at the Washington Post, “Biden’s plan to vaccinate the world won’t work. Here’s a better one.”


Finally the Government is Cracking Down on the Taxpayer-Funded Crooks of the For-Profit Colleges

Then with the FTC moving against predatory for-profit colleges and putting them on notice that they can no longer get away with claims “designed to drive students in the door but ultimately drive them into debt”, we speak with David Halperin, someone who has long been fighting these taxpayer-funded crooks. A senior fellow at Republic Report, he was previously senior policy advisor for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign; founding executive director of the American Constitution Society; White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton; and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. We discuss his latest article at Republic Report “FTC Announces Crackdown on Predatory College Abuses.”


A Former CIA Analyst on What Could Have Been Done to Prevent the Syria Tragedy

Then finally we speak with David McCloskey, a former CIA analyst and consultant at McKinsey & Company. While at the CIA, he worked in field stations across the Middle East and briefed senior White House officials and Arab royalty and he is the author of the new book, just out, Damascus Station: A Novel. We discuss whether the tragedy of Syria could have been prevented and the failure of leadership that assumed the tide of the “Arab Spring” would sweep the Assad Mafia family out of the palace.