Background Briefing: July 11, 2023


Record Heat in the South and Southwest as Climate Change Scorches the Planet

We begin with the heatwave in the south across Florida, Texas, Arizona and California with record temperatures impacting 54 million Americans about to see triple-digit highs this week.  Arizona, and Phoenix in particular, will experience intense heat and could swelter for its longest period on record in 110-degree high temperatures with California and the Desert Southwest having temperatures over 120 degrees in places with Texas and Florida having the combination of excessive heat with stifling humidity. Joining us is Jeff Goodell, a New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, he has covered climate change for more than a decade, and his latest book, just out, is The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet.


Considered the Most Corrupt Leader in the World, Erdogan’s Successful Blackmail

Then we look into Turkey’s President Erdogan’s successful blackmail leveraging Sweden’s entry into NATO to get F-16s and entry into the EU and speak with Ahmet Yayla, a Professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. He formerly served as Professor and the Chair of the Sociology Department at Harran University in Turkey and was a counterterrorism police chief in Turkey and we discuss how Erdogan and his family are the most corrupt or among the most corrupt heads of state in the world.


The Crypto Industry Throws Money at House and Senate Democrats

Then finally we look into how the corrupt Crypto industry is throwing money at top Democrats in the House and Senate to influence legislation as attempts are made to regulate an industry which has seen millions lose their life savings while criminals use Bitcoin as a means of extortion in ransomware attacks. Joining us is Olivia Buckley, a researcher at OpenSecrets, where her writing focuses on money in politics. Most recently, she co-authored a report on cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, and how the industry spends to shape regulation in its favor available at