Background Briefing: July 20, 2022


Rep. Ro Khanna on Democrats More Angry at Biden Than Alarmed by the Embrace of Fascism by Trump’s GOP

We begin with why, in spite of Republicans burning books, banning abortion, lying about election outcomes, targeting transgender youth, ignoring climate change and supporting a fascist coup attempt against the US government, many Democrats are more angry at Biden than the party actively engaged in ending American democracy and installing one-party rule by a failed and criminal ex-president. Joining us is Representative Ro Khanna, who represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving his third term. He sits on the House Committees on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform, where he chairs the Environmental Subcommittee. Additionally, Rep. Khanna is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans. He also served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce.


The Real Defense Budget of $1.4 Trillion

Then we examine the $839 billion defense budget in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act to which $37 billion that neither the Pentagon or the White House wanted was added. Joining us is Julia Gledhill, an analyst in the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight where she works to expose government waste, corruption, and wrongdoing, with specific focus on the Department of Defense. She is the co-author of an article at Tom Dispatch, “How Pentagon contractors are cashing in on Russia’s invasion” and we discuss how the real defense budget, if you factor in intelligence, nuclear weapons, pensions, the VA and the Coast Guard etc., is more like $1.4 trillion and counting.


Comparing German Industrialists’ Support of Hitler With American Plutocrats’ Support of Trump

Then finally we examine the analogies between German industrialists supporting Hitler who they thought was an embarrassment and American plutocrats like Peter Thiel bankrolling senate candidates like J D Vance who have likened Trump to Hitler but are now devoted trumpsters doubling down on the “stop the steal” big lie. Joining us is David de Jong, a journalist who previously covered European banking and finance from Amsterdam and hidden wealth and billionaire fortunes from New York for Bloomberg News. His work has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the Dutch Financial Daily. A native of the Netherlands, he currently lives in Tel Aviv, and is the author of the new book, Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties.