Background Briefing: November 11, 2021


The Judge in the Rittenhouse Trial Tips the Scales For an Acquittal

We begin with the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin which is heading for closing arguments after the judge excoriated the prosecution revealing a bias in favor of the defendant who testified amid sobs and likely swayed the jury to acquit him of killing 2 and wounding one with a military-style assault rifle he was carrying illegally. Joining us is Ion Meyn, a Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School who teaches Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Wrongful Convictions, Race and the Law, and Trial Advocacy. His scholarship examines race and class-based disparities that inform differences between civil and criminal procedure as well as the use of force in policing.


After a Disappointing COP26 Climate Activists Must Now Double Down

Then we speak with William Lawrence, an environmental activist and co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, the youth movement responsible for popularizing the Green New Deal and pushing climate change close to the top of the national political agenda. We discuss the disappointing results of COP26 which means the climate activist community must double down in its efforts to deal with climate change since the world’s governments are failing to meet this existential challenge.


Xi Jinping’s “Historic Declaration” As He Rolls Back the Clock

Then finally we look into China’s leader Xi Jinping’s “historic declaration” elevating himself into the pantheon of Mao and Deng as well as get an analysis of the problems facing a fast-growing capitalist economy that is now stalled by Xi as he rolls back the clock with Communist Party dictates that will increase debt and defaults resulting in a possible economic crash. Joining us is Benn Steil, director of international economics and the historian in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as the author, most recently, of The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War. We discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “Red China: Why Beijing Can’t Shake Its Risky Debt Habit.”