Day: February 23, 2023

Background Briefing: February 23, 2023


The Ohio Derailment as an Example of Wall Street’s Priority of Extracting Wealth Not Creating It

We begin with the politicization of the derailment in Ohio and the slow response from the Biden administration whose Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigeig just showed up today at the site three weeks after the toxic spill. Joining us is John Nichols, The Nation magazine’s Washington correspondent whose books include The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics, and most recently, Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis. We discuss his latest article at The Nation, “It’s Time to Talk about Nationalizing America’s Railroads” and the crisis in American capitalism which has become all about extracting wealth, not creating it.

The Vast Constituency of Americans Comprising Much of the GOP Who Believe in Lies and Conspiracies

Then we examine the vast constituency of Americans comprising much of the Republican Party who believe in lies and conspiracies following the recent revelations that Fox News anchors and owners knew they were spreading lies but were afraid of their audience so they decided telling the truth would be bad for business. Joining us is Will Sommer, a politics reporter for the Daily Beast and the cohost of the podcast Fever Dreams. His work covering QAnon and other conspiracy theories has been featured in multiple documentaries, including HBO’s Q: Into the Storm. He is the author of the new book, just out, Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America and we explore the world of faith over fact and belief over reason.


A New Report on Russia’s War Crimes Targeting Ukraine’s Healthcare Infrastructure and Personnel

Then finally we discuss a new report on Russia’s war crimes in targeting healthcare infrastructure and personnel from eyeWitness to Atrocities, Insecurity Insight, the Media Initiative for Human Rights, the Ukrainian Healthcare Center and Physician for Human Rights. Joining us is Christian De Vos, the director of research and investigations at Physicians for Human Rights. He has worked as a human rights advocate, attorney, and researcher for organizations including Amnesty International, the United States Institute of Peace, the War Crimes Research Office, and was a senior advocacy officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative. He is the author of Complementarity, Catalysts, Compliance: The International Criminal Court in Uganda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a co-author of a new report at Physicians for Human Rights, “Destruction and Devastation: One Year of Russia’s Assault on Ukraine’s Health Care System.”