Background Briefing: May 7, 2023
A Reporter Who Was Banned From Entering the “Woke Free Zone” at CPAC’s Conference in Orban’s Hungary
We begin and go to Budapest, Hungary where the Conservative Political Action Committee CPAC is holding a conference to which European and American far-right figures have been invited with many featured speakers. On Thursday Hungary’s kleptocratic dictator addressed the conference calling for Trump to “come back” to the White House and “Make America great again” then later hosted Kari Lake, Paul Gosar and more than a dozen other American conservative activists and politicians for a photo-op at his office, including the Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and former Sen. Rick Santorum, telling them that Hungary has become an “incubator where the conservative policies of the future are being tested.” Joining us to discuss how he was prevented from covering the CPAC event having been banned from entering the “Woke Free Zone” is Jacob Heilbrunn, an Editor at the National Interest, a non-resident senior fellow at The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, a columnist for The Spectator and the author They Knew They Were Right: the Rise of the Neocons. We discuss his article at Politico, “I Was Banned From Entering CPAC Hungary’s ‘Woke Free Zone’ A dispatch from the Trumpian right’s pilgrimage to Budapest.”
The Growing Evidence of Ethical Violations by Justice Clarence Thomas and His Right Wing Activist Wife
Then we assess the growing evidence of ethical violations by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who appears to have been bought by a billionaire who has lavished him with luxury travel and vacations, bought houses for his family, paid for a family member’s tuition while his conservative activist wife gets secret payoffs from Leonard Leo who has single-handedly stacked the Supreme Court and the Federal bench with right wing judges. Joining us is Eric Segall, a Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. He is the author of Supreme Myths: Why The Supreme Court is not a Court and its Justices are not Judges, and Originalism as Faith and he is also the host of the Supreme Myths podcast.
The Pillage by Vulture Capitalist in Private Equity Who Make Huge Profits Plundering Companies They Buy
Then finally we look into the role of private equity firms who bankrupt companies they buy, stiff customers and employees but make huge profits in doing so rewarding their billionaire CEOs. Joining us to investigate the pillage by these vulture capitalists is Brendan Ballou, a federal prosecutor who served as special counsel at the Department of Justice. He was part of the original team that brought suit in U.S. v. Google and leads the Department’s work on private equity and interlocking directorates. Previously, he served in private practice, and before that, in the National Security Division of the Justice Department, where he advised the White House on counterterrorism and other policies. He is the author of the new book, just out, Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America.