Day: November 14, 2023

Background Briefing: November 14, 2023

Is Israel Trying to Drag the US Into a Wider War That Neither Biden or Iran Want?

We begin with conflicting strategic goals in the Middle East emerging from the war in Gaza as the Biden administration and the Iranian regime both seem to be trying to avoid a wider war while Netanyahu and some IDF leaders want to provoke Hezbollah as an excuse to go after Iran for which they need US help, so they are trying to drag the US into a regional conflict. Joining us is Dr. Trita Parsi, the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft who has served as a professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Georgetown University, and George Washington University and he is the co-founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council. His books include, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States and Losing An Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy.

The Surprising Pragmatism Coming From the New House Speaker

Then we look into the surprising pragmatism coming from the new House Speaker Mike Johnson who is offering up a clean Continuing Resolution to fund some of the government through January 19 and the rest through February 2. In going against the House Freedom Caucus, Tuesday’s vote will require a two thirds majority with Democratic support, something that even former Speaker McCarthy did not entertain. Joining us is Craig Holman, who serves as Public Citizen’s Capitol Hill lobbyist on ethics, lobbying and campaign finance rules. Previously, he was Senior Policy Analyst at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.


The Supreme Court’s New Ethics Code as a PR Stunt Rather Than an Enforceable Regime

Then finally we speak with Richard Briffault, a Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School where he previously served as vice dean at three different times during his career. His research interests include campaign finance reform, government ethics, gerrymandering, election administration, and fair elections. He is also a leading thinker on “the new preemption,” a critique of states that are increasingly passing ideological laws that override local ordinances. He is the author of a number of books including Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform and joins us to discuss the Supreme Court’s new ethics code which many see as a PR stunt rather than an enforceable regime.