Day: January 4, 2023

Background Briefing: January 4, 2023


The Nihilism of Trump’s Republican Party on Display in the House Today

We begin with the party of Donald Trump driven by lies and sedition displaying its nihilism on the House floor to the extent that even Trump himself is urging his most ardent followers to stop the obstruction and vote for Kevin McCarthy. Joining us is Jacob Heilbrunn, who is a Senior Editor at the National Interest and a columnist for The Spectator and the author of They Knew They Were Right: the Rise of the Neocons. Previously, he was an editorial writer for the LA Times and a senior editor at the New Republic, and we discuss his article at The London Spectator, “Kevin McCarthy is a dead man walking.


A Twice in 100 Years Failure to Elect a Speaker With 9 Ballots in 1923 and 6 Failures So Far Today

Then we get a long perspective on how the House of Representatives used to work and get things done as we watch the trainwreck of a twice in 100 years failure to elect a Speaker which back in 1923 took nine rounds of ballots while today McCarthy has failed to get the job he so desperately wants after six ballots. Joining us is Paul Light, who is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University and the founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service. Previously, he served as the founding director of the Center for Public Service and director of the Governmental Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Thickening Government, The Tides of Reform, Government by Investigation: Presidents, Congress, and the Search for Answers, 1945-2012, and his latest book is The Government-Industrial Complex: Tracking the True Size of Government.


Southwest Airlines Executives Blame the Weather for 5,000 Cancellations After Pocketing Billions of PPP Money For Themselves

Then finally we look into the scandalous effort by Southwest Airlines executives to blame 5,000 flight cancellations over the holiday week on the weather after the airline’s top executives took billions of taxpayer money from the Payroll Protection Plan meant to keep their workers on the job and instead spent it on salary raises for themselves and stock buybacks. Joining us is William McGee, a Senior Fellow for Aviation and Travel at the American Economic Liberties Project who spent 22 years at Consumer Reports, first as the Editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter and since 2009 as the Aviation Adviser for Advocacy, testifying before Congress numerous times on airline mergers, competition, safety, and passenger rights, as well as serving as the lone consumer advocate on Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee. An FAA-licensed aircraft dispatcher who spent seven years in airline flight operations management and was a Flight Release Officer in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, he is the author of two books, the airline industry exposé Attention All Passengers and Half the Child.