Day: February 13, 2024

Background Briefing: February 13, 2024


Voting to Replace George Santos is Underway in a Snow Storm in a Race That Will Impact the House GOP’s Slim Majority

We begin with today’s critical congressional election in New York’s 3rd district of Queens and Long Island that could weaken the GOP’s slim hold on the House and be seen as a referendum on Biden or Trump depending who wins the seat to replace the disgraced Republican George Santos. Joining us on an election day that was hit by a late winter storm is Lawrence Levy, the executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University and a former opinion writer for Newsday, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorials on suburban politics and policy. We discuss his article at CNN, “George Santos was a disaster. Here’s what the race to succeed him looks like.”


Elections in Indonesia Could Have a General With Blood on His Hands, Who Was Banned From the U.S., Become the Nation’s Next President

Then with voting underway in Indonesia today where it is February 14, in an election that could see a former general with blood on his hands who represents the nation’s corrupt oligarchy win the presidency, we speak with Thomas Pepinsky, a Professor of Government and Director of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brooking Institution. His work studies comparative politics and political economy, with a focus on emerging market economies in Southeast Asia.


The Military’s Role in the 1965-66 Genocide and How the U.S. Aided and Abetted the Slaughter of 2 Million Indonesians

Then finally we examine further the likelihood of General Prabowo, who was banned from the U.S. for decades, becoming Indonesia’s next leader and discuss the history of genocide at the hands of the military, as well as the role of the U.S. in aiding an abetting the slaughter of 2 million Indonesians in 1965-66. Joining us is Joshua Oppenheimer, an award-winning filmmaker based in Copenhagen, best known for his Oscar-nominated films The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence, which profile perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide as they reenact their war crimes without remorse. His upcoming apocalyptic musical film The End will premiere later this year.