Tag: supreme court

Background Briefing: May 2, 2021

 

Giuliani in Trouble and Putin Under Threat From Hardliners At Home

We begin with growing legal pressure on Rudy Giuliani as federal investigators scrutinize his electronic devices and assess whether he might turn on Trump who cut him loose after refusing to pay his exorbitant legal bills. With the investigation focusing on Rudy’s activities in Ukraine where he was either a witting or unwitting conduit for Russian election meddling to hurt Biden and help Trump, we speak with a former KGB officer who was a classmate of Vladimir Putin and worked in Washington D.C. recruiting spies to work against the U.S. He later became disillusioned with the KGB and testified against the KGB assassins who poisoned his friend Litvinenko with radioactive Polonium. Yuri Shvets joins us along with Craig Unger, the author of the new book American Kompromat: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery, to discuss how the KGB lost its worldly and intellectual cadre during the collapse of the Soviet Union and that Russia’s intelligence ranks are now dominated by thugs and thieves and that Putin himself is being challenged by hardliners like Nikolai Patrushev who are angling to take over a more aggressive Russia.

 

A Right Wing Supreme Court Could Give Dark Money Constitutional Protection

Then we speak with Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a Brennan Center Fellow and a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law about her article at the Brennan Center “The Supreme Court’s Looming Dark Money Decision: The ruling could give a boost to untraceable campaign donations.”  We discuss how the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Foundation along with the anti-abortion, anti-gay Thomas More Law Center, are fighting to keep donors of dark money secret and with a sympathetic majority of conservatives on the Supreme Court, dark money could soon have Constitutional protection.

 

Republicans Wage the Culture Wars, While the Left Dominates the Culture

Then finally we discuss how the Republicans are waging culture wars in the absence of any platform or program they can offer, however paradoxically it is the political left in the country who dominated the culture. But apart from sports stars like LeBron James, artists and entertainers are not fighting back and leading the movement for change as they did in the 1960’s. Jonathan Taplin who was at the crest of every major cultural wave in the past half century as tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band in the 60s, producer of major films in the 70s — from the folk scene of Woodstock to Hollywood’s rebellious film movement he worked with some of the greatest talents of both pop culture and the underground. We discuss his new book, just out The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life and his interview in Rolling Stone, “Jonathan Taplin Tour-Managed Rock Royalty. Now He’s Telling His Stories.”