Background Briefing: May 9, 2022


Will the Supreme Court Spark Civil Unrest in This Election Year?

We begin with pro-choice activists demonstrating in front of the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh and look into the growing risk that if and when the Supreme Court strikes down Roe and Casey that will spark anger while draconian laws passed in red states will lead to interstate conflicts between abortion refugees and their protectors and anti-abortion vigilantes. Joining us to discuss the looming possibility of civil unrest in this election year in which a fired-up Democratic base will be facing massive Republican voter suppression in November to deny a majority vote is Stephen Marche, a novelist and culture writer who has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Esquire, and many other outlets. His books include The Unmade Bed and How Shakespeare Changed Everything and his latest book is The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. We discuss his article at The Guardian, “The supreme court’s coming abortion ruling may spark a new era of US unrest.


Broadband for 48 Million Low Income Households Welcome But Not Enough

Then, following the announcement by President Biden today that 48 million low-income households will be able to get broadband Internet from the big telecom monopolies for $30 a month, we speak with Christopher Mitchell, the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. A leading national expert on community broadband networks, he runs, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about community broadband and we discuss how much more needs to be done to enable competition so that consumers don’t have to be stuck with crappy service at exorbitant prices.


Corruption and Impunity at a Little-Known U.N. Agency

Then finally we look into corruption and impunity at the United Nations involving a little-known UN agency that had an extra $61 million to play with, a lot of which went to a crooked British businessman and his daughter that financed a video game and a pop song instead of cheap housing in poor countries. Joining us is Dulcie Leimbach, the founder of PassBlue which she edits and writes, covering primarily the United Nations, peacekeeping operations and women’s issues. Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA, and was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years.