3/28 MAGA’s Viktor Orbán Love Affair; Toxic Air Pollution Rising w/ Casey Michel, Joel Thornton

March 28, 2024

It’s another EmMajority Report Thursday! Emma speaks with Casey Michel, Director of the Combating Kleptocracy Program at the Human Rights Foundation, to discuss his recent piece in the New Republic entitled “How Viktor Orbán Conquered the Heritage Foundation.” Then, she’s joined by Joel Thornton, professor in the department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, to discuss the recently released global air quality report. First, Emma runs through updates on international and US opposition to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza, the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the death toll of immigration, SBF’s prison sentence, Matt Schlapp’s case, the Moscow terror attack (and subsequent violence), Disney v. DeSantis, and NBC v. Ronna McDaniel, before parsing through the legacy of a broken healthcare system that Joe Lieberman leaves. Casey Michel then joins, diving right into Orbán’s role as Hungary’s authoritarian Prime Minister, serving his 14th year, and far-right icon in the war against “wokeness” and democracy. Expanding on this, Michel parses through Orbán’s recent low-key visit to the US to meet with the Heritage Foundation, walking through the nationalist parallels between Trump and Orbán (particularly with their evangelical bases), the influence that modern autocrats like Putin and original fascists like Mussolini have provided to Orbán regime, and how the US far-right think tanks are attempting to pick up on his blueprint. After briefly touching on the expansive role of foreign autocracies and authoritarian regimes in financing right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, Emma and Casey wrap up the interview with an assessment of the Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” and their attempt to turn Donald Trump into a more efficient fascist. Professor Joel Thornton then walks Emma through the context for IQAir’s recent report on the severe standing of air quality globally in 2023, including the for-profit incentives of the company, and the wide breadth of standards for the research, before stepping back to explore what we can glean from the report, and the genuine state of air pollution. Expanding on this, Professor Thornton explores the major role climate change has played in offsetting the progress various countries have made in containing the proliferation of particulates, with 2023’s myriad forest fires playing a major role in the year’s problem of air quality, and assesses the major effects these particulates can have on human health, impacting everything from the respiratory tract to cognitive function.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt Binder as they tackle SBF’s 25-year prison sentence for conspiracy and fraud, watch the German Press continue their century-long tradition of genocide apologia, and talk with Malik from PA about an ongoing project at the expense of the Susquehanna river. The MR Crew also watches RFK’s running mate get hyped over disillusionment, and Jason from Ontario dives into extensive labor progress made at the student newspaper the Brock Press, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Casey’s piece here: https://newrepublic.com/article/179776/heritage-foundation-viktor-orban-trump

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Check out this GoFundMe in support of Mohammad Aldaghma’s niece in Gaza, who has Down Syndrome: http://tinyurl.com/7zb4hujt

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