Background Briefing - Thursday, December 2, 2010

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Today we will look into a number of stories and issues in the news. We will begin in a moment and speak with Jon Hilsenrath who is the chief economics correspondent for The Wall Street Journal who is analyzing the enormous amount of data just released by the Fed on who got what in the Fall of 2008 when Wall Street was crashing and the Fed was shoveling 9 trillion dollars out the back door to giant American banks and corporations as well as foreign banks and firms.

Then we will talk about the contents of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables that refer to Russia and its leaders in less than flattering terms. Joining us is Cathryn Collins, whose recent documentary “Vlast” ("power" in Russian) explored the nexus between organized crime, the KGB and the oligarchs in Russia and the role of the boss of bosses, Vladimir Putin, who is described as playing Batman to his protege Medvedev's Robin in what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calls a government that is an oligarchy run by the security services.

Then we will look into the possibility of the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange facing espionage charges, with a veteran investigative reporter James Bamford who was the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC News and has tried to pry secrets loose from the ultra-secret NSA and the other spy factories and has received the same warning notice that Assange has recently received from the U.S. Government.

Then we will talk about the President and the Democrats abdicating to the Right and the ascendant American aristocracy, the title of a new article by Kathleen Reardon in the Huffington Post. She is a professor at USC's Marshall School of Business and will elaborate on her belief that the American people don't want more money going to fat cats in gigantic financial swindles while their own and their children's opportunities are taken away.