Day: December 11, 2022

Background Briefing: December 11, 2022


Sinema, the Saboteur of the Democratic Agenda, Pulls Another Selfish Stunt

 We begin with the latest attention-seeking antic from Arizona Senator Kysten Sinema who has switched her party allegiance from Democrat to Independent, meaning that in order for the Democrats to continue in the majority with their hard-fought 51 to 49 majority, they will have to take her wishes and whims into account. Joining us is  Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director of LUCHA, Living United for Change in Arizona where her work focuses on immigration, worker’s rights, living wages, and voter registration. We discuss Sinema’s deep unpopularity in Arizona with Democrats, Independents and Republicans and whether this vain dilettante will run again in 2024 or cash in the favors she has done for wealthy corporate donors.


Germany’s Bizarre Coup Plot and Putin’s Spy Swap Attempt of Paul Whelan For an FSB Assassin

Then we examine the bizarre coup attempt in Germany following Wednesday’s arrest of 25 members of the “Citizens of the Reich” cult led by Prince Heinrich XIII which included a member of parliament from the far-right AfD party. Joining us from Berlin is Daniela Schwarzer, executive director for Europe and Eurasia of the Open Society Foundations. A renowned expert in European affairs and transatlantic and international relations, she is an honorary professor of political science at Freie Universität Berlin and a visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. Previously she was director and CEO of the German Council on Foreign Relations and served on the executive team of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and we also discuss the spy swap Putin wanted of Paul Whelan for an FSB Colonel Vadim Krasikov who executed a Chechen exile in a Berlin public park and is serving a life sentence.


What Biden Can do to Repair Frayed Ties With Labor

Then finally we assess what Biden can do to repair frayed ties with the labor movement after imposing a settlement on railway workers who were denied paid sick leave. Joining us is Steven Greenhouse, a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation who was previously a reporter for The New York Times where he covered labor and the workplace for nineteen years. He also served as a business and economics reporter and a diplomatic and foreign correspondent. He is the author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker and Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, and we discuss his article at The New Republic, “How Biden Can Undo His Damage to Labor.