Day: January 20, 2022

Background Briefing: January 20, 2022


SCOTUS Slouches Towards Right Wing Lunacy with a Maskless Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas’s Sole Dissent

We begin on the 12th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision which has unleashed torrents of dark money into our politics and into stacking the Supreme Court with 5 right wing judges hand-picked by the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo with the exception of the sixth on the farthest fringes of the right, Clarence Thomas, who was the sole dissent in an 8 to 1 ruling allowing Trump’s presidential papers to be handed over to the House Select Committee investigation January 6. With Gorsuch, another of Leo’s picks making news because he refuses to wear a mask, thus endangering his fellow justices, we are joined by Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the new corporate watchdog group True North Research. She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government–as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department, as Chief Counsel for Nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a Deputy Chief of the article 3 judges division for the U.S. Courts. We discuss her article at Common Dreams ,”12 Years After Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s Right-Wing Revolution Continues” and the portent that more radical rulings are in the pipeline following the recent 6 to 3 decision to strip the government of its powers to oversee public health during a pandemic.


The Author of Davos Man: How Billionaires Devoured the World

Then, with the World Economic Forum in Davos underway accompanied by a damning report from Oxfam that the wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has doubled during the pandemic which has pushed 160 million more into poverty, we speak with Peter Goodman, whose latest book, just out, is Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World. He is the Global Economics Correspondent for the New York Times and was previously the New York Times’ national economics correspondent where he played a leading role in the paper’s award-winning coverage of the Great Recession, including a series that was a Pulitzer finalist.


The Links Between Privatization and the the Undermining of Rights, Freedom and Democracy

Then finally we speak with Donald Cohen, the founder and executive director of In the Public Interest, an Oakland, California–based national resource and policy center on privatization and responsible contracting. He is also a founding board member of the Partnership for Working Families and a former political director of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. The co-author of the new book, The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back, we examine the links between privatization and the undermining of rights, freedom and democracy.