Background Briefing: January 5, 2023


After 10 Rounds of Voting Still No Speaker as Dysfunction Spills Over to Tomorrow’s Second Anniversary of the Jan. 6 Insurrection

We begin with the tenth round of voting for a new House Speaker today which breaks a 164 year long record with more dysfunction and extortion from the far-right radicals of the Freedom Caucus expected tomorrow, the second anniversary of the January 6 insurrection that these 20 hostage-takers support along with the “big lie” of election denial. Joining us is James Thurber, the University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Former Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, Washington, D.C. He is author of numerous books and more than eighty articles and chapters on Congress, interest groups and lobbying, and campaigns and elections and his latest book is Congress and Diaspora Politics: The Influence of Ethnic and Foreign Lobbying.


50 Years From One Whistleblower Who Brought Down a President to Another He Inspired to Tell the Truth to the Jan. 6 Committee

Then we cover the span of 50 years from one whistleblower who brought down a president to another whose testimony might well end up with the sight of Donald Trump carted off in an orange jumpsuit or a straight jacket. Joining us is Alexander Butterfield, a retired U.S. military officer, public servant, and businessman. He served as the Deputy Assistant to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973. He revealed the existence of White House taping system on July 13, 1973, during the Watergate scandal investigation and from 1973 to 1975, he served as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. He is the co-author with Bob Woodward of the book The Last of the President’s Men which inspired Cassidy Hutchinson to ditch her lawyer from Trumpworld and tell the truth to the January 6 committee.


Israel’s Far-Right Government as Netanyahu Models the Authoritarian Agenda of Viktor Orban

Then finally we examine Israel’s new far-right government which Netanyahu may not be able to control just as Kevin McCarthy is learning the hard way with the Freedom Caucus. Joining us is Dr. Guy Ziv, an associate professor at American University’s School of International Service where he teaches courses on U.S.-Israel relations and Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. He has worked in the U.S. Department of State, on Capitol Hill, and for leading non-profit organizations that promote American involvement in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and is the author of Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel. We discuss the future of Israeli democracy under Netanyahu who models himself on Hungary’s Viktor Orban as Bibi moves to dismantle the judiciary, control the press and make himself leader for life.