Background Briefing: June 12, 2024

The Hunter Biden Trial as a Political Hit Job With More Humiliation of the Troubled Son Coming in the September Trial

We begin with questions arising from yesterday’s conviction of Hunter Biden on three felony counts asking why he did not plead guilty in the first place and how much the trial was a Republican political hit job in the way MAGA world is portraying the NY case that nailed Trump 34 times. In the so-called hush money trial Trump’s lawyer called for a mistrial over Stormy Daniels’ description of sex with the defendant she called the “orange turd”. Presumably Hunter Biden will appeal on the basis of so much prejudicial evidence against him like video of him smoking crack and looking like a homeless wretch provided by his ex-wife who was immunized by the prosecution. All of this appears to be designed to embarrass and humiliate the troubled son and by extension what MAGA world calls the “Biden crime family”, which will happen again in the September tax trial just before the election. Joining us is Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who has covered the Hunter Biden case closely for the last 15 months. She has contributed to MSNBC and wrote Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation. We discuss her latest article at The Scolding That Hunter Biden Should Have Pled Guilty Ignores the Complexity of What Happened.”


How We Got Hooked On Globalism and a System in Which Corporations Win While Everybody Else Loses

Then we look into the rethinking underway about how much we got hooked on globalism as supply chain shortages due to the Covid pandemic dramatically laid bare the consequences of relying on faraway factories and container ships, exposing a system in which corporations win while everybody else loses. Joining us is Peter Goodman, the global economics correspondent for the New York Times. He was previously the New York Times’ European economics correspondent based in London, and the national economics correspondent based in New York, where he played a leading role in the paper’s award-winning coverage of the Great Recession, including a series that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy and Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World. We discuss his latest book, just out, How the World Ran Out of Everything: Inside the Global Supply Chain.


How Our Bankruptcy System Makes America More Unequal

Then finally we speak with Melissa Jacoby, a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches commercial and bankruptcy law. From 2021-2024, she was appointed by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts to assist the Federal Judicial Center on educational programming for bankruptcy judges. She is the author of the new book, just out which we discuss, Unjust Debts: How Our Bankruptcy System Makes America More Unequal.