Background Briefing: July 3, 2024

A Historical Assessment of How the Major Political Parties Have Become Hollow Shells

We begin with an historical assessment of how the major political parties have become hollow shells locked in a polarized struggle for power with personalities dominating our politics rather than parties and platforms. With increasing talk of the Democrats having an open convention in Chicago on August 19, could there be a return of the smoked-filled backroom choosing a presidential candidate rather than the primaries? Joining us is Sam Rosenfeld, a professor of political science at Colgate University, specializing in party politics and American political development. His research interests include the history of political parties, the intersection of social movements and formal politics, and the politics of social and economic policymaking. He is the author of The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era and co-author with Daniel Schlozman of the new book, The Hollow Parties: The Many Pasts and Disordered Present of American Party Politics and we discuss the challenges facing Biden who is framing the choice between the sociopathic liar Trump and him the truth-teller even though it seems the White House is less than truthful about the president’s fitness to serve another four years.

Will the Conviction of a Former Trump Business Partner Who Laundered Millions Into Trump Real Estate Revive the Trump/Russia Collusion?

Then we look into the conviction of former Trump aide and business partner Felix Sater for money laundering and investigate how the Moscow-born deal-maker whose father was the right hand of the Godfather of Russian organized crime Semion Mogilevich who helped a Kazakh kleptocrat launder millions into US real estate including Trump SoHo Tower and later when Trump was in the White House brokered a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Joining us is James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist who has written extensively about global banking, debt crises, tax havens and economic development.  The former chief economist at McKinsey & Co., he is the co-founder with David Cay Johnston of the new investigative reporting news service and is the author of Blood Bankers.