Background Briefing: July 17, 2023

No Labels, Flush With Republican Billionaire Dark Money, Woos Joe Manchin to Split the Biden Vote to Elect Trump

 We begin with the wooing of Senator Joe Manchin by the so-called non-partisan group No Labels to run as a third party candidate for president with Manchin delivering a keynote address tonight at a No Labels event in New Hampshire. The group is led by Senator Joe Leiberman and Nancy Jacobson, a prolific fundraiser who along with her husband Mark Penn are big boosters for Israel and Netanyahu who clearly wants Trump back in the White House. This has led to speculation that all the dark money No Labels is raising from Republican billionaires now going to buy ballot access in Arizona and other swing states, will be deployed to split the vote for Biden and make Trump the next president. Joining us is Dennis Aftergut, a former federal prosecutor and Chief Assistant City Attorney in San Francisco who has won cases of significance in the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. He currently serves as counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy, and we discuss his article at The Bulwark, “No Labels? No Ideas: Scheming to run a third-party presidential candidate, the group has released a banal bogus ‘platform.’”


Russia’s Suspension of the UN-Brokered Black Sea Deal to Export Grains and Fertilizer

Then we look into Russia’s suspension of the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal that allows it and Ukraine to export grains and fertilizer to the global market. Joining us to assess the impact on global food and commodity prices is Chris Barrett, Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and an international professor of agriculture at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, as well as a professor in the Departments of Economics and Global Development at Cornell University. He is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Food Policy, edits the book series Agricultural Economics and Food Policy, and co-edits the Elsevier Handbook of Agricultural Economics.


The Underground Tartar Resistance Group in Crimea

Then finally with Putin’s signature bridge linking Russia to Crimea blown up for a second time, we investigate the underground Tartar resistance group the Atesh (fire) guerillas and the history of the repression of these Turkic-speaking indigenous people in Crimea who Stalin deported and the Russian occupier now targets for arrests with 49 Tartar activists disappeared so far. Joining us is Rachel Schmalz, who is currently studying for her master’s degree at the University of Alberta, specializing in 20th/21st-century Soviet/Russian history with a focuses on the formation of national identity in the Crimean Peninsula after Nikita Khrushchev transferred the Crimean Peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.