Day: June 22, 2022

Background Briefing: June 22, 2022


The Hearings Portray Trump as a Mafia Boss With Giuliani His Consigliere

We begin with the picture emerging from the January 6 Committee’s hearings of a mob boss and his consigliere Giuliani bullying legislators into breaking the law without giving any reasons apart from loyalty to the Godfather and fear of his retribution. Indeed those brave enough to stand up to Trump’s Mafia tactics were summarily punished as the capo unleashed his goons on Republican officials whose families were harassed and threatened. Joining us to discuss if and when the Committee’s findings will be put into the context of a fascist takeover of American democracy by a ruthless thug bent on regaining presidential power so that he could have immunity from prosecution is Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University, and regular contributor to The American Lawyer. He is the author of several books, including The Lawyer Bubble — A Profession in Crisis and he blogs at The Belly of the Beast and we discuss his article at Common Dreams, “Trump and His Allies Are ‘A Clear and Present Danger to American Democracy‘”


Fight Inflation With An Excess Profits Tax to Rein in U.S. Corporate Markups

Then with President Biden today calling for a federal and state gas tax holiday to lower prices at the pump in order to curb inflation, we speak with Niko Lusiani, the Director of the Corporate Power Program at the Roosevelt Institute where he leads the program’s effort to dissect and dismantle the ways in which extractive corporate behavior jeopardizes workers, consumers, our natural environment, and our shared economic system. We discuss his new report at the Roosevelt Institute, “Prices, Profits, and Power: An Analysis of 2021 Firm-Level Markups” which finds that in 2021 the net profit margins of U.S. firms jumped from an annual average of 5.5% between 1960 and 1980 to 9.5% as companies pushed up prices, citing inflationary pressures across the global economy as their justification.


Erdogan Washes the Blood From MBS’s Hands

Then finally we look into the washing of the blood on the hands of the Saudi Crown Prince with his visit to the scene of the crime where MBS had Khashoggi murdered and dismembered and discuss today’s meeting with Turkey’s authoritarian leader. Joining us to discuss how Erdogan is blocking the entrance of Sweden and Finland into NATO and what can be done to end Turkey’s drift to dictatorship is Henri Barkey, professor of international relations at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as a member of the U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff working primarily on the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, and intelligence.