Tag: omicron

Background Briefing: December 19, 2021


Will Omicron Overwhelm Us and Will SCOTUS Uphold Employer Vaccination Mandates?

We begin with the new Omicron strain of Covid sweeping Europe, Canada and now beginning to explode in the U.S. combining with the flu season to forebode that within a few months we will pass the one million mark of American deaths from the pandemic. Joining us is Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health. He writes a regular column on bioethics for NBC.com and is a monthly commentator on bioethics and health care issues for WebMD/Medscape and joins us to discuss his latest article at Barrons, “No Nation Has Conquered Covid.” We assess the chances of the Supreme Court allowing Biden’s employer mandates for vaccinations to stand now that a Federal Appeals Court has upheld OSHA’s authority to impose them.


Could Voting Rights Bills Head Off the GOP Tsunami of Voter Suppression?

Then we examine the fleeting possibility that voting rights bills might be passed to head off the tsunami of voter suppression the Republicans are engaged in and whether reforms could be implemented in time to blunt the GOP’s brazen assault on American democracy. Joining us is Charles Stewart, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT where his areas include congressional politics, elections, and American political development. He is currently the Director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project and his books include Electing the Senate, Fighting for the Speakership, and Analyzing Congress.


Israel’s Intel Chiefs Decry Netanyahu and Trump’s Tearing up of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Then finally we speak with Paul Pillar, who served for 30 years as an analyst at the CIA, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. Previously, he served as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and is currently a professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and a member of the Center for Peace and Security Studies. He joins us to discuss his article at The National Interest, “When Being ‘Pro-Israel’ Isn’t Really” and how Israel’s top military and intelligence leaders are now lamenting that Netanyahu and Trump’s tearing up of the Iran nuclear deal was one of the worst strategic blunders in Israel’s history.