Background Briefing: April 11, 2022
While Republicans Obsess About Hunter Biden, MBS Rewards Jared Kushner With $2 Billion Over Objections From the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund
We begin with the son-in-law of the grifter-in-chief whose many bankruptcies, including casinos where the house always wins, place Donald Trump high up in the pantheon of bad businessmen. Now former top White House aide Jared Kushner appears to be taking up that mantle. Having already been bailed out of his disastrous investment in 666 5th Avenue, Kushner’s new Affinity Partners private equity investment fund of $2.5 billion has been bailed out by his buddy the Saudi Crown Prince MBS to the tune of $2 billion from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. But not before the fund’s managers objected to the deal citing Kushner’s lack of experience, poor due diligence and excessive asset management fees, only to be overruled by MBS. Joining us is Annelle Sheline, a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute For Responsible Statecraft who is an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa and has worked as a journalist in Egypt and Yemen, and was recently a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. We discuss this monumental example of nepotism and corruption with a murderous brat rewarding a failed presidency just six months after it ended at the same time refusing to help lower the price of gas to hurt the current president in the hope that Trump will come back in 2024. We explore this example of the opposite of meritocracy where government service is turned into private gain as family connections trump competence, not to mention ethics.
Can Macron Win Back the 22% of Voters on the Left He Has Alienated?
Then we examine the results of Sunday’s first round in the French elections ahead of the April 24th runoff between President Macron and the pro-Putin right wing candidate Marine Le Pen. Joining us is Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College, London. In 2007, he was awarded the Marcel Liebman Chair in political science by the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His main publications are about the French Socialist Party, French politics and European social democracy and we discuss Macron’s challenge to win back the 22% of voters on the left Macron has alienated.
As Europe and Ukraine Trade With the Enemy Financing the War Against Them, Solar and Wind Stand Out as the Cheapest and Quickest Solutions
Then finally we speak with Robert Bell, Former Chair of the Finance and Business Management Department at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and the author of The Green Bubble and Impure Science. He joins us to discuss his article at Le Monde, “Breaking the EU’s Dilemma” which outlines the obvious solutions to the trap Ukraine and Europe find themselves in as they finance the war against them and trade with the enemy. As gas and oil flows through Ukraine in pipelines to markets in Europe where dependency on Russian gas finances Putin’s war against democracy and the rule of law, wind and solar stand out as far cheaper and much quicker alternatives to LNG and nuclear.