Background Briefing: June 2, 2022


How People Power Trumped the Murdoch Press and How Ranked-Choice Voting Could Revive Our Democracy

We begin with Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and in 2020 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His latest book is The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet and he is the co-author with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull of an article at The Guardian, “How Australia’s electoral system allowed voters to finally impose a ceasefire in the climate wars.” We discuss how people power can trump the malignant propaganda of the Murdoch press and how ranked-choice voting is the easiest and most workable way to revive our democracy and end the paralysis of partisanship.


How After Mass Shootings, 3 Nations Radically Reduced Gun Massacres

Then with President Biden in an address to the nation calling on Congress to do something about the epidemic of gun massacres in this country after yet another mass shooting at a hospital in Tulsa, we examine how other countries have responded to similar horrific events and adopted measures that have radically reduced gun deaths. Joining us from Sydney, Australia is Philip Alpers, a professor and founding director of, a global project at the University of Sydney School of Public Health which compares armed violence, firearm legislation and injury prevention across 250 jurisdictions worldwide. We discuss his article at CNN, “This is what happened when 3 nations that experienced mass shootings did something about it.


After Relieving Debts of $5.8 Billion For 560,000 Defrauded Students, $1.7 Trillion in Student Debt Remains

Then finally with Vice President Harris today announcing that the White House is forgiving $5.8 billion in student debt for 560,000 students defrauded by the defunct Corinthian Colleges we speak with David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report. He was previously founding executive director of the American Constitution Society; White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton; and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee. We discuss his latest article at Republic Report, “With Debt Relief for Corinthian Students Finally Here, Time to Stop Funding Predatory Colleges” and what Biden might do to relieve the $1.7 trillion in student debt crippling the futures of millions of Americans.