Background Briefing: October 31, 2022

Biden Takes on Big Oil and Their Record Windfall Thanks to the Actions of Putin and MBS

We begin with President Biden calling out big oil today as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Shell enjoy record profits while consumers are getting gouged at the pump thanks to actions by Putin and MBS to drive up the global price of oil ahead of the elections which is creating a windfall for the oil companies. Joining us is 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 whether as Europe goes cold turkey on oil and gas this winter, the rest of us can find a way to shake the addiction that is killing our planet.


The Latest Tweet From a Trump-like Troll With an Ego Inflated by Billions Who Now Owns Twitter

Then, in response to a tweet by Hillary Clinton tying Trump and the Republican’s demonization of Nancy Peloisi to the attack on her husband, the new owner of Twitter Elon Musk posted a conspiracy theory that Hillary is already dead and a body double imposter has taken her place, leaving us to wonder what kind of toxic effluence is about to flow from the influential social media platform now controlled by a Trump-like troll with an ego inflated by billions. Joining us is Douglas Rushkoff, named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT, he is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. The host of the popular Team Human podcast, he has written twenty books, including the bestsellers Present Shock and Program or Be Programmed and made the PBS Frontline documentaries “Generation Like” and “Merchants of Cool.” He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at the City University of New York, where he is a professor of media theory and digital economics. His latest book is Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires.


Lula’s Narrow Victory in Brazil Where Bolsonaro Has Yet to Concede

Then finally with Lula gaining a narrow victory in the Brazilian elections of 50.9% to 49.1% for Bolsonaro who has yet to concede, we go to Sao Paulo, Brazil and speak with James Green, the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Professor of Modern Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University and the author or co-editor of eleven books on Brazil and Latin America. The past president of the Brazilian Studies Association, he has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and lived eight years in Brazil and we will discuss the challenges facing Lula in wanting to unite a divided country with an opposition led by a Trump-like demagogue who spews hatred, lies and threatens violence.