Background Briefing (5am)

Background Briefing with Ian Masters – May 9, 2023

We begin with the expiration on Thursday of the Covid era Title 42 rule that allows rapid expulsion on non-Mexican migrants at the border that is expected to cause a flood of refugees which the Secretary of DHS says is the result of human traffickers misleading migrants into believing the border will be open, a concern that has the Biden administration deploying U.S. troops at the border. We discuss the result of not having an immigration policy, a vacuum that has existed since the Reagan administration that has fueled political demagoguery making bipartisan solutions impossible as well as the failure of efforts to deal with the root causes of the exodus of migrants from Central America and now from Cuba, Haiti and Venezuela as well. Joining us is Victoria Sanford, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and Professor of Anthropology at City University of New York. She has given expert testimony on the Guatemalan genocide in international courts and authored seven books, including Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala. Her latest book, out tomorrow, is Textures of Terror: The Murder of Claudina Isabel Velasquez and Her Father’s Quest for Justice.

Then with President Biden meeting tomorrow with House and Senate leaders to avoid a catastrophic default on the US debt which Republicans are using as leverage to extract budget cuts, we will examine what counter-leverage Biden has with a workaround in his pocket based on the 14th Amendment. Joining us is Garrett Epps, a legal affairs editor of the Washington Monthly who has taught constitutional law at American University, the University of Baltimore, Boston College, Duke University, and the University of Oregon. He is the author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, and we discuss his latest article at The Washington Monthly, “I’ve Argued for Years That the President Must Pay the National Debt Even If Congress Won’t Raise the Debt Ceiling.”

Then finally we assess the possibility that the Pentagon, using the popular Artificial Intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, is already weaponizing AI tech and speak with Sam Biddle, a reporter at The Intercept focusing on malfeasance and misused power in technology. He previously worked at Gizmodo and Gawker covering stories ranging from vast corporate data breaches and celebrity hackers to trafficked webcam models and Facebook privacy. As the editor of Valleywag, he provided a critical view of the startup economy and Silicon Valley culture. We discuss his latest article at The Intercept, “Can the Pentagon Use CHATGPT? OpenAI Won’t Answer.”


Artist Song Album Label
Manu ChaoClandestinoClandestinoRadio Bemba / Because Music
Billy PaulLet the Dollar CirculateDisco Music History, Vol. 9Halidon/Milestone Records Ltd
Talking HeadsBurning Down The HouseBurning Down The House / I Get Wild/Wild Gravity [Digital 45]Rhino/Warner Bros.
KraftwerkDie Roboter (2009 Remaster)Die Roboter (2009 Remastered Version)WMG - PLG UK Frontline
Los LobosOne Time One NightJust Another Band From East L.A.: A CollectionRhino/Warner Bros.