Background Briefing: August 10, 2023


A More Optimistic Electoral Landscape Ahead For 2024 as Reproductive Rights Trump Anti “Wokeness”

We begin with encouraging signs that a solid majority of the American electorate is motivated to vote to protect reproductive rights the Supreme Court took away at the same time the public is not getting behind Governor DeSantis’s racist refrain of fighting “wokeness” and the politics of hate and cruelty. Joining us to discuss a more optimistic landscape ahead for 2024 is Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. He is a former managing editor of Ramparts, was a cofounder of Mother Jones magazine, and serves on the editorial board of The Nation. His books include, The Myth of the Middle Class and John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics.


The $6 Billion Prisoner Swap With Iran

Then we look into the prisoner swap with Iran and the release of $6 billion of Iran’s frozen funds from oil sales to South Korea that will be disbursed through the Qatar Central Bank to make sure it is spent on humanitarian needs. Joining us is Nader Hashemi, Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and an Associate Professor of Middle East politics at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is the author of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future and his latest book is Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East.

The Assassination of a Presidential Candidate in Ecuador Who Campaigned Against Corruption, Drug Cartels and the Correa Government

Then finally we examine the assassination of a presidential candidate in Ecuador who campaigned against corruption and drug cartels and was a fierce critic of the former Correa government whose candidate has yet to suspend her presidential campaign as others have done. Joining us is Amy Lind, the Mary Ellen Heintz Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies who is currently serving as the University of Cincinnati’s Taft Research Center Director & Faculty Chair. Dr. Lind has lived, worked and conducted research in Ecuador for over four years and is the author of Gendered Paradoxes: Women’s Movements, State Restructuring, and Global Development in Ecuador and her new book is Constituting the Left Turn: Resignifying Nation, Economy and Family in Postneoliberal Ecuador.