Background Briefing: September 21, 2023


The House Freedom Caucus Nihilists Further Weaken McCarthy as They Head For a Shutdown

 We begin with chaos on Capitol Hill as the nihilists on the House Freedom Caucus rebuke their weak Speaker McCarthy for a second time, blocking a Pentagon spending bill, making a government shutdown on September 30 much more likely if not inevitable. Joining us is Mike Lofgren, who has spent twenty-eight years working in Congress, the last sixteen as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget committees. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted.


Judicial Activists Focused on Civil Liberties While Plutocrats Captured the Supreme Court to Deconstruct Government Itself

Then we examine the misplaced focus on the moral authoritarianism of Leonard Leo and the Federalists in terms of civil liberties while not noticing the plutocratic capture of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary by Leo’s dark money from right wing billionaires bent on deconstructing the administrative state. Joining us is Caroline Fredrickson, a visiting professor at Georgetown Law and a strategic councilor on democracy and power at the Open Markets Institute. She served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office, as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and, during the Clinton administration, as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. In 2021, she was appointed a member of President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The president emerita of the American Constitution Society, her books include The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections and we discuss her op-ed at The Atlantic, “What I Most Regret About My Decades of Legal Activism.


Investigating Credible Evidence That Indian Agents Assassinated a Sikh Activist on Canadian Soil

Then finally, with tensions between India and Canada escalating as India cancels Canadian visas, we investigate PM Trudeau’s remarks to parliament on Monday that there is credible evidence Indian agents assassinated a Sikh activist on Canadian soil. Joining us is Christian Leuprecht, a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Military Journal whose research includes national security and defense policy, politically motivated violent extremism/terrorism, border security, and the political, economic, security, social and cultural implications of demographic change. His latest books include Intelligence as Democratic Statecraft, Patterns in Border Security: Regional Comparisons and Security. Cooperation. Governance: The Canada-United States Open Border Paradox.