Tag: california wildfires

Background Briefing: July 20, 2021


Joe Manchin’s Deep Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industries

We begin with an analysis of the most powerful man in Washington who is not the president, Senator Joe Manchin, and speak with Alex Kotch, an investigative reporter and editor with the Center for Media and Democracy about his article at The Guardian, “The Democrat blocking progressive change is beholden to big oil. Surprised?” We discuss the conflict of interest in having Manchin chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee while owning a coal brokerage company Enersystems his son runs that paid him $500,000 in 2020 in which he has $5 million’s worth of stock. With the bipartisan infrastructure bill likely to collapse in tomorrow’s senate vote, we will assess whether the Democrats can work around Manchin’s objections to moving to cleaner energy to address climate change in the budget reconciliation bill that could grow to $4 trillion if Republicans back away from the bipartisan deal. We also discuss whether the Democrats should give in to Manchin and his version of the For the People Act or end up with nothing.


A Climate Refugee on Being Safe and Being of the Most Use

Then we speak with Jamie Beck Alexander, director of Drawdown Labs at Project Drawdown, a nonprofit dedicated to using existing solutions to stop global warming. With much of the West in flames early in the fire season and areas of California running out of water, we discuss her article at CNN, “Seeking your climate refuge? Consider this?


The Bewildered Herd Now in a Rage is Trampling and Destroying Things

Then finally, with Facebook banning the QAnon congresswoman because of her fact-free anti-vaxxing advice, we look into how the tech platforms are overwhelmed by this new form of propaganda that has enlisted us all as propagandists. Times have changed since Noam Chomsky wrote about the manufacturing of consent which elites thought was necessary because they believed “the mass of the public are just too stupid to be able to understand things. We have to tame the bewildered herd, not allow the bewildered herd to rage and trample and destroy things.” Jennifer Mercieca, a professor in the Department of Communications at Texas A&M University and author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, joins us to discuss her article at The Conversation “We are all propagandists now” and how as we saw on January 6, the bewildered herd is now out of the gate and in a rage as they trample and destroy things.