Background Briefing: April 13, 2020
Sanders Concedes in a Joint Broadcast With Biden
We begin with today’s endorsement of Joe Biden by Bernie Sanders in a joint livestream broadcast in which Sanders said “We need you in the White House. I will do all I can to see that happen Joe”. To which Biden replied, “I think your endorsement means a great deal to me…I think people are going to be surprised that we are apart on some issues but we’re awfully close on a whole bunch of others. I’m going to need you – not just to win the campaign, but to govern”. Eric Levitz, who writes for New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer where he has an article, “President Sanders Isn’t Happening in 2021. A Political Revolution Still Could“, joins us. We discuss why Eric feels the moral arc of the Democratic Party bends towards Sandersism and the irony of the economic environment during the campaign having shifted radically from when Trump was running on the booming economy which Sanders was criticizing, to a situation today where the nation is hurtling toward a level of joblessness unseen since the Great Depression. We assess whether the coronavirus crisis presents an opportunity to advance progressive ideas like Sanders’ call for Medicare For All and other reforms which could become necessities as this critical moment gets even more dire. And as working Americans run out of money and food, while the Trump administration throws billions at Wall Street, we explore the possibilities of either a revival of populist activism on the left which could sweep a majority of progressives into Congress. Or an explosion of civil unrest caused by Trump’s callous incompetence, leading to an authoritarian takeover in the name of “law and order” by a corrupt and compromised wanna-be despot who is determined to stay in power to avoid going to jail.
Trauma on Main Street While Wall Street Gets a Limitless Infusion
A Former OSHA Official on the Abandonment of Front Line Workers
Then finally we speak with Debbie Berkowitz, a former Chief of Staff and Senior Political Advisor at OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about OSHA’s dereliction under the leadership of Eugene Scalia towards protecting the health and safety of frontline medical workers and supermarket, warehouse and delivery workers also on the front line during this crisis. We will look into efforts by Bobby Scott, the Democratic Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee to address workers’ critical needs which Mnuchin and Republican senators stripped out of the CARES Act and which Scalia has ignored.