Day: November 1, 2021

Background Briefing: November 1, 2021


Manchin Throws a Grenade Into Biden’s and the Democrats’ Hopes and Plans

We begin with Senator Manchin throwing a grenade into the Democrats hopes and Biden’s plans for a slimmed-down Build Back Better reconciliation package passing with his necessary vote saying today, “To be clear, I will not support the reconciliation legislation without knowing how the bill would impact our debt and our economy in our country.” Joining us to discuss this latest blow to Biden who is twisting in the wind as his poll numbers plummet is Dean Baker, senior economist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a progressive economic think-tank based in Washington DC. He is the author of Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, and he writes the popular economics blog, “Beat the Press” where his latest article is “NYT Spreads Fox News Style Misinformation on Family Leave and Childcare.” We assess what possible path forward there is as Manchin makes his displeasure clear at House Democrats, warning them “The political games have to stop. Holding the (bipartisan) bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support for the reconciliation bill.”


SCOTUS Hears The Texas Abortion Law Which Has a Lot in Common With the Fugitive Slave Act

Then we examine the oral arguments today before the Supreme Court hearing on the Texas abortion bill which seemed to indicate that some of the right wing justices will allow abortion providers to challenge the vigilante-based law designed to avoid judicial review and circumvent Federal law. Joining us is Aziz Huq, a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He is a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is the co-author of How to Save a Constitutional Democracy, and his latest book is The Collapse of Constitutional Remedies. We discuss his article at The Boston Review, “Who Owns Our Data?,” and his op-ed in the Washington Post, “What Texas’s abortion law has in common with the Fugitive Slave Act.”


An Alarming New Survey on Our Divided and Increasingly Delusional Populace

Then finally we speak with Natalie Jackson, the Director of Research at the Public Religion Research Institute where she has just conducted a new polling survey, “Competing Visions of America: An Evolving Identity or a Culture Under Attack?” We discuss the poll’s alarming findings that one in five Americans believe the core tenet of the QAnon conspiracy that the “storm” is coming and one in six believe our government is controlled by Satan-worshipping pedophiles while 30% of Republicans agree that violence might be warranted.