Day: October 24, 2022

Background Briefing: October 24, 2022


The Author of Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind

We begin with the reporter who in several interviews with Marjorie Taylor Greene was told by her that she is in “continuous” discussions with Donald Trump to be his Vice President should he run again, which appears to be increasingly likely. Joining us is Robert Draper, who has been a writer at large for the New York Times Magazine since 2008 and contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine since 2007. He is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestselling biography Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. His latest book, just out, is Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind and we discuss his cover story in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “The Problem Of Marjorie Taylor Greene: What the rise of the far-right congresswoman means for the House, the GOP, and the nation.”


Rishi Sunak, Britain’s Third PM in Less Than Two Months

Then we assess the background and credentials of Rishi Sunak, who is the third Prime Minister in less than two months in a revolving door of British leaders from a deeply unpopular Conservative Party. Richer than the new King, Rishi Sunak will take over a country still crippled by the self-inflicted wound of Brexit and now in the midst of a political and economic crisis. Joining us is Quinn Slobodian, a Professor of History at Wellesley College where he teaches histories of modern Europe, international history, social movements and the intellectual history of neoliberalism. He is the author of Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, and his forthcoming book is Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy. We discuss his recent article at The New York Times, “Liz Truss Believed in Markets, but the Markets Did Not Believe in Her.


Communist Chinese Officials and Intelligence Officers Accused by AG Garland of Trying to Steal Secrets, Punish Critics and Recruit Spies

Then finally we look into the announcement today by AG Garland of US charges against 10 PRC Communist government officials and intelligence officers accused of trying to steal secrets, punish critics and recruit spies. Joining us is Victor Shih, a Professor in China and Pacific Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently engaged in a study on the evolution of the Chinese Communist Party as well as constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China. The author of Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation, his latest book is Coalitions of the Weak: Elite politics in China from Mao’s stratagem to the rise of Xi.