Recent Posts

California Dems’ Big Moves on Health Care: Sasha Abramsky; Ellen Schrecker on the ’60s

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The paralysis of politics in Congress leads us to turn away from Washington and look at the states: What can the Democrats do when they control a state government? Like California? Democrats there are proposing dramatic changes in health care, expanding coverage to everyone below the federal poverty line–regardless of immigration status. Sasha Abramsky reports on that—and on the more radical proposal, also before the California legislature, to create a single-payer health-care system for all residents of California.

Also: American universities in the ’60s: Was that a golden age destroyed by student radicals who were protesting the war in Vietnam and racism in America? For some answers we turn to historian Ellen Schrecker—her new book is The Lost Promise: American Universities in the 1960s.  1-20-2022

Start Making Sense

What Dems Need Now: Harold Meyerson; plus Steve Phillips on Beto & Dave Lindorff on Atom Spies

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What can the Dems do to dig themselves out of the hole they are now stuck in? Harold Meyerson says they need to pass the most popular parts of Build Back Better – ASAP.
Plus: Beto O’Rourke’s strategy for winning the governorship of Texas focuses on organizing everywhere to massively boost Democratic voter turnout—the strategy Stacey Abrams has followed in Georgia. Steve Phillips explains how more than a million young voters of color will be eligible to vote in 2022 who were not old enough four years ago—when Beto first ran statewide and came within 214,921 votes of winning.
Also: new discoveries about America’s atom spies. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in June, 1953. We know that Julius did not give ‘the secret of the a-bomb’ to the Russians—that was the work of a couple of other people. And the FBI knew it at the time. So: why did the FBI go after the Rosenbergs, instead of the person they knew was the real spy? His name was Ted Hall—a brilliant young physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. The FBI investigated him, but never charged him with a crime. Now Dave Lindorff has found out why.  1-20-2022

Living in the USA

Beto Can Win: Steve Phillips; plus Dave Lindorff on Atom Spies

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Beto O’Rourke’s strategy for winning the governorship of Texas focuses on organizing everywhere to massively boost Democratic voter turnout—the strategy Stacey Abrams has followed in Georgia. Steve Phillips explains how more than a million young voters of color will be eligible to vote in 2022 who were not old enough four years ago—when Beto first ran statewide and came within 214,921 votes of winning.

Also: new discoveries about America’s atom spies. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in June, 1953. We know that Julius did not give ‘the secret of the a-bomb’ to the Russians—that was the work of a couple of other people. And the FBI knew it at the time. So: why did the FBI go after the Rosenbergs, instead of the person they knew was the real spy? His name was Ted Hall—a brilliant young physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project. The FBI investigated him, but never charged him with a crime. Now Dave Lindorff has found out why.  1-13-2022

Start Making Sense

Inflation & Joe Biden: Harold Meyerson; plus Mike Davis on Omicron & Martha Jones on 1619

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What is to be done about inflation? Harold Meyerson says it’s not Joe Biden’s fault.
Plus: Is Omicron the kinder, gentler covid we could live with? Mike Davis has some criticisms of that view.
Also: The 1619 Project examines the consequences of slavery for American history – Martha Jones comments on the 1619 Project’s new book.  1-13-2022

Living in the USA

Omicron: A Kinder, Gentler Covid? Mike Davis, plus John Nichols on Jan. 6

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Is Omicron the kinder and gentler Covid we’ve been waiting for? Less lethal, and more like the flu? Mike Davis comments on the pandemic—and the age of pandemics we are now living in.

Also: On the first anniversary of the insurrection of January 6, John Nichols argues that, to defend democracy, we need the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act—which requires changing the filibuster rules in the Senate. Also: proposals to expel members of congress who aided or abetted the insurrectionists.  1-6-2022

Start Making Sense

Voting Rights after Jan. 6: Harold Meyerson, plus Eric Foner & Henry Louis Gates

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It looks like Joe Manchin will torpedo filibuster reform, this killing voting rights legislation: Harold Meyerson reports from Washington.
Also: Eric Foner and Henry Louis Gates talk about W.E.B. DuBois, the Black historian and activist of the first part of the 20th century, and his book Black Reconstruction 1860-1880—published originally in 1935, and out now in a new edition from the Library of America, edited by Foner and Gates.
Plus: Adam Hochschild on his book “Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes.”  1-6-2022

Living in the USA

Remembering Rennie Davis, Remembering Joan Didion

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For our last podcast of 2021, we want to remember two people who died in the past year, and listen again to our interviews with them. Rennie Davis was probably the New Left’s most talented organizer, best known for the trial of the Chicago 7. He died on February 2 at his home outside Boulder, Colorado. He was 80. We spoke at an event for The Nation magazine in October, 2020.

Also: Joan Didion died December 23—she was 87. She wrote personal essays about California in the sixties and seventies, collected in books like Slouching Toward Bethlehem and The White Album, and then about politics and history, especially her reports in Salvador and Miami. We spoke in October, 2003, at KPFK in Los Angeles, when her book about her family’s California, Where I Was From had just been published.  12-30-2021

Start Making Sense

2021: Gary Younge on the Insurrection, Mike Davis on the Pandemic, plus Rick Perlstein

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2021, the year in review:
Gary Younge on the Insurrection: what was the plan?
Mike Davis on the Pandemic: beware of talk about “light at the end of the tunnel”
Rick Perlstein on the Republicans’ 40-year campaign to ban abortion.
plus: we remember Rennie Davis- he died in February.  12-30-2021

Living in the USA

Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior, & Eric on Jan. 6: Amy Wilentz on the Insurrection, plus Tom Lutz

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Revelations about the January 6 insurrection include striking new information about the Trump kids that day: Who did what, and also who didn’t do anything. Amy Wilentz reports.

Also: A report from Kwajalein, one of the Marshall islands in the Pacific that’s a major US military base. Tom Lutz says it’s completely paved over, and the only greenery is the golf course. The runway is one foot above sea level. The island will be under water by about 2035. Tom also describes life in some other places—his new book is The Kindness of Strangers. 12-23-2021

Start Making Sense

Why Trump Won’t be the Candidate: David Cay Johnston; plus Amy Wilentz & Tom Lutz

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Trump is going to be indicted for racketeering and fraud, because of his financial crimes, and that will prevent him from being the Republican candidate: that’s what David Cay Johnston says—he’s an award-winning investigative reporter, and his new book is ‘The Big Cheat: How Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family.’
Also: Revelations about the January 6 insurrection include striking new information about the Trump kids that day: Who did what, and also who didn’t do anything. Amy Wilentz reports.
Plus: : A report from Kwajalein, one of the Marshall islands in the Pacific that’s a major US military base. Tom Lutz says it’s completely paved over, and the only greenery is the golf course. The runway is one foot above sea level. The island will be under water by about 2035. Tom also describes life in some other places—his new book is ‘The Kindness of Strangers.’  12-23-2021

Living in the USA