Day: May 11, 2022

Background Briefing: May 11, 2022


Today’s Senate Vote Binding Republicans to the Radical Supreme Court’s Pending Ruling

We begin with the 49 to 51 vote in the Senate on the Women’s Health Protection Act which Senate Majority Leader Schumer described as one of the “most important” senators will take, “not only in this session, but in this century.” Schumer is both responding to an infuriated Democratic base and the need to put Republicans on the record opposing women’s rights that many know privately will hurt them which is why they have been so silent since the leak of the Alito opinion. Joining us is Jim Manley, a Washington DC-based independent public affairs consultant, Democratic strategist and 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate where he served as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the last six of those years and, before that, served 12 years as an aide to the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Even though the Democrats lost Senator Manchin on their side and Senators Collins and Murkowski on the GOP side, we discuss the importance of the vote in this election year as the radical and reactionary intentions of this far right Supreme Court become more apparent.


Elon Musk Admits That Once He Owns Twitter, He Plans to Bring Back Trump

Then, with Elon Musk admitting he plans to bring back Trump on Twitter once he succeeds in his $44 billion purchase of the influential social media platform, we speak with Max Chafkin, a features editor and a tech reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek whose work has also appeared in Fast Company, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. He is the author of the new book, The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power and we discuss his latest article at Bloomberg, “Elon Musk Stakes a $44 Billion Claim on the Future of Free Speech.


Looking For Signs of a Lessening of Patriotic Fervor as the War Goes Badly For Russia

Then finally we look into whether there are signs of a lessening of patriotic fervor in the Russian media as the war in Ukraine drags on and Russian casualties mount. Joining us is Michael Gorham, Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Florida and author of two award-winning books on language culture and politicsAfter Newspeak: Language Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin and Speaking in Soviet Tongues: Language Culture and the Politics of Voice in Revolutionary Russia. He co-edited Digital Russia: The Language, Culture, and Politics of New Media Communication and The Culture and Politics of Verbal Prohibition in Putin’s Russia and has recently published articles devoted to the political and rhetorical impact of trolls, hackers, blogging bureaucrats, tweeting presidents, dictators on Instagram, Alexey Navalny on YouTube, and the Putin administration’s recent efforts to enlist all legislative, technological, and rhetorical means possible to establish a “sovereign internet” independent of the World Wide Web.