Day: November 16, 2021

Background Briefing: November 16, 2021


Backsliding Among the World’s Democracies

We begin with the global struggle between democracy and autocracy characterized by yesterday’s virtual summit between President Biden and Xi Jinping and explore the findings in a new study from V-Dem, a Swedish nonprofit that tracks the levels of democracy in countries based on a number of indicators. Joining us to assess the backsliding among a number of democracies that are U.S. allies, Turkey, Hungary, Israel and the Philippines, is Thomas Carothers, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where he co-directs the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program which analyzes the state of democracy in the world and the efforts by the United States and other countries to promote democracy. He is the author or editor of ten critically acclaimed books including most recently, Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization and we discuss what is behind the backsliding as well as the need to clean up our own house since Trump’s GOP appears bent on making a mockery of American democracy through vote rigging leading to the possibility of one-party minority rule by an autocrat who like Putin, Orban and Erdogan, is also a kleptocrat.


White Collar Crime Moves From the Freezer to the Front Burner at the DOJ

Then with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco moving corporate criminal enforcement from the deep freezer to the front burner at the DOJ, we speak with Jennifer Taub, a legal scholar and advocate whose writing focuses on “follow the money” matters–promoting transparency and opposing corruption. She has testified as a banking law expert before Congress and is currently a professor of law at the Western New England University School of Law and her latest book is Big Dirty Money: Making White Collar Criminals Pay, now out in paperback. She joins us to discuss her article at the Washington Monthly, “Biden and Garland Turn Up the Heat on White Collar Crime.”


The CBO Outlines 3 Ways to Cut $1 Trillion From the Pentagon

Then finally with a new report from the Congressional Budget Office outlining three different ways to cut $1 trillion from the Pentagon over the next decade, we speak with Mandy Smithberger, the director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight about her article at TomDispatch, “The Pentagon Budget Should Be Cut by At Least $1 Trillion—But War Profiteers Won’t Go Quietly.”