Background Briefing (5am)

Background Briefing (5am) – March 29, 2024

While a Bitcoin Fraudster Gets a 25 Year Sentence Today, the Head of the SEC Gives Bitcoin a New Lease on Life

We begin with today’s sentencing of the Bitcoin fraudster Sam Bankman Fried, who got 25 years for bilking customers of his FTX cryptocurrency exchange out of $8 billion. We speak with Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and the Ida and Meyer Kirstein Chair at Brandeis University. He was formerly an assistant to the legendary I.F. Stone, a chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee, and for 20 years wrote a column at Business Week.  His books include Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? and Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy. We discuss his latest articles at The American Prospect, “The Corrupt Trifecta of Yass, Trump, and Netanyahu” and “Crypto’s New Pal, Gary Gensler: Why did the usually public-minded SEC chair breathe new life into bitcoins?“

Trump’s Secretary of State-in-Waiting Meets With Far-Right Leaders Around the World While Making Real Estate Deals With Jared Kushner

Then we look into an article in today’s Washington Post about Trump’s Secretary of State-in-waiting Richard Grenell, who is meeting with far-right leaders around the world to undermine Biden’s foreign policy while making overseas real estate deals with Jared Kushner. Joining us is Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at the National Interest, a non-resident senior fellow at The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, and a columnist for The Spectator. His books include They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons and his latest, America Last: The Right’s Century-Long Romance with Foreign Dictators. His latest article at The National Interest is “Why Joe Lieberman was a True Neoconservative.”

Trump’s Grift From God

Then finally we look into what Stephen Colbert refers to as “Trump’s grift from God,” as the former president hawks bibles for $59.99 that are infused with Christian nationalism as though Jesus was a MAGA Republican. Joining us is Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a professor of history at Calvin University and the author of A New Gospel for Women. She has written for the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Christian Century, and Religion & Politics, among other publications, and her latest book is Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.



Artist Song Album Label
Warren ZevonLawyers, Guns And MoneyThe Best Of Warren ZevonRhino/Elektra
Tom WaitsStep Right UpUsed Songs (1973-1980)MERLIN - Anti/Epitaph
Pet Shop BoysOpportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)Discography - Complete Singles CollectionParlophone UK
Jello Biafra,Mojo NixonBuy My Snake OilPrairie Home InvasionORCHARD - Alternative Tentacles
Los LobosOne Time One NightJust Another Band From East L.A.: A CollectionRhino/Warner Bros.