Day: January 8, 2023

Background Briefing: January 8, 2023


Biden’s Visit to the Border at El Paso on his Way to the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico

We begin with President Biden’s visit to the border at El Paso today on his way to Mexico City for the North American Leaders summit. Joining us is Michelle Garcia, a journalist, essayist and current Soros Equality Fellow at the Open Society Foundations. A former Texas correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review and a former columnist for the Texas Observer, she is the Director of the PBS documentary “Against Mexico-the making of heroes and enemies,” she is currently working on a book about borders and their powerful influence on U.S. identity, politics and culture of violence. The 2021 winner of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize and the Covering Climate Now Award, we discuss her recent article at CNN, “The US must free itself of political delusions about the border.


Why is the US Not Doing More to Support the Popular Revolution Underway in Iran?

Then with Iran’s brutal theocratic regime executing more protesters, we examine why the US is not doing more to help the popular revolution underway in Iran, particularly since President Obama recently revealed he regretted not giving more support to the 2009 Green Revolution which the regime violently repressed. Joining us is Geneive Abdo, a fellow at the Wilson Center who was formerly the liaison officer for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations as well as the first American journalist to be based in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She is the author of four books on the Middle East, including The New Sectarianism: The Arab Uprisings and the Rebirth of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide and we discuss her article at The Hill, “By Not Supporting Protesters, We’re Repeating the Same Mistakes in Iran.”


An Historical Perspective and Assessment of the Price McCarthy Will Pay For His Speakership

 Then finally, with the new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy thanking Donald Trump for his job after 15 humiliating rounds of voting saying that for the sake of the country the great divider Trump said “we have to come together.” Joining us for an historical perspective on deadlocks in Congress and an assessment of the price Kevin McCarthy will pay for his speakership is Thomas Balcerski, Professor of US History at Occidental College and a Long-term Fellow at the Huntington Library. He is the author of Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King and we discuss his article at CNN, “Kevin McCarthy is getting schooled in history.”