Background Briefing: January 28, 2024

Texas Leads a Secession Movement as Militias Head to the Border in a New Civil War

We begin with former Russian president Medvedev calling on Texas to secede from the United States and bring on another Civil War as an army of armed right wing militias head for the southern border while more than 25 Republican governors throw their support behind Texas Governor Abbott who is defying federal authority and a 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling. Joining us is Jared Yates Sexton, the author of American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People and The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore as well as three collections of fiction. The host of The Muckrake Podcast, his political writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico, and, and his latest book is The Midnight Kingdom: A History of Power, Paranoia, and the Coming Crisis.


The Real Reasons Behind Putin’s War on Ukraine

Then with the second anniversary of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine less than a month away, we look into the real reasons behind this brutal war against a neighbor’s country, its people and culture and speak with Maria Popova, a Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the Scientific Co-Director of the Jean Monnet Centre in Montreal, Canada. Also joining us is Oxana Shevel, a Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Relations Program at Tufts University. They are the co-authors of a new book, just outRussia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States.


Billionaire Republican Donors Are Prepared to Spend Over $100 Million to Primary Progressive House Democrats

Then finally we examine why Democratic leaders are not pushing back against Republican billionaire donors to the GOP who are targeting progressive House Democrats and are prepared to spend over $100 million to primary members of the Squad and their allies. Joining us is Alexander Sammon, a politics writer at Slate who has previously written for Mother Jones, The New Republic and the American Prospect. We discuss his article at Slate, “The Squad Is About to Fight for Its Political Life.”