Living in the USA

Is the UAW Asking for Too Much? Harold Meyerson; plus Astra Taylor on Insecurity and Amy Wilentz on Melania and Ivanka

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The UAW is being criticized by the corporate-Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party for seeking ‘too much’ in their current strike.  Harold Meyerson responds.

Plus: We face two kinds of insecurity in our lives today, Astra Taylor argues: existential insecurity, the unavoidable issues of life and death, and manufactured insecurity—intended to make workers more submissive to authority. Communal action can do a lot to reduce the second kind. Astra’s new book is “The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together As Things Fall Apart.”

Also: Melania and Ivanka Trump have been mostly absent from the former president’s side as he rages against the 91 felony charges brought against him in four different trials. Amy Wilentz comments on the news, the rumors, and the photos.  9-21-2023

Fast Food Workers Victory: Harold Meyerson; Haiti update: Amy Wilentz; Black Writing: Gary Younge

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Harold Meyerson reports on a major victory in the California state legislature that will raise pay for fast food workers from $15.50 to $20. Also: those Trump polls.

Plus: the news from Haiti, where the UN, with US support, is authorizing a new security force. Made up of mostly Kenyan troops, it’s supposed to restore “law and order” in Port-au-Prince. The Nation’s Amy Wilentz reports.

Also: Gary Younge, the award-winning former columnist for The Guardian, talks about Black writing and Black writers—and his own writing about Mandela, Obama, Trayvon Martin, and Claudette Colvin.

And Your Minnesota Moment: today, child labor violations in Mankato.  9-14-2023

Biden’s Bad Poll Numbers: Harold Meyerson, plus Marc Cooper on Chile and Heather Cox Richardson on Democracy

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Harold Meyerson analyzes Biden’s weak poll numbers, and our historic upsurge in labor activism.

Plus: September 11th is the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, ending 150 years of democracy there and putting the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Power. Marc Cooper will comment.

Also: Every night, more than a million people read Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter about the day’s political events.  We’ll talk with her about her new book, “Democracy Awakening,” and about the history of Americans’ fight for equality—she remains optimistic, despite Trump’s current polling.  9-7-2023

Hollywood Strikes: Light at the end of the tunnel? Harold Meyerson; plus Erwin Chemerinsky on the Georgia Indictments

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There seems to be progress toward a settlement of the strikes by Hollywood writers and actors–Harold Meyerson reports.

Also: if it was a good strategy for Special Prosecutor Jack Smith to charge Trump with four felonies, is it also a good idea for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to charge Trump and 18 other people with a total of 41 felonies? Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, explains.  8-24-2023

Sasha Abramsky on the Culture Wars; D.D. Guttenplan on Cornel West; Francine Prose on “Vixen”

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Public Libraries are often wonderful places, but they have become targets of right-wing attack in the culture war. Sasha Abramsky reports on the battle in one small town in Eastern Washington state.

Also: Cornel West should not run as a 3rd party candidate, but in the Democratic Primaries – that’s what D.D. Guttenplan says – he’s editor of The Nation.

Plus: A comic novel about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg?  Who’d have thought that was possible?  Francine Prose has written one:  it’s called “The Vixen,” and it’s terrific. (recorded in July, 2021) 8-17-2023

Abortion Rights Win Again: Harold Meyerson; Trump’s Jan. 6 indictment: Erwin Chemerinsky; “Barbie”: Katha Pollitt

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Ohio voted on a referendum that would make it harder to amend the state constitution – including the addition of the right to abortion. The amendment lost, abortion rights won – Harold Meyerson comments.

Next: Should Trump have been charged with incitement of insurrection, or at least violence? What’s the line between free speech and incitement? If Trump sincerely believed he’d won the election, can he still be prosecuted for conspiracy? Erwin Chemerinsky explains – he’s dean of the law school at UC Berkeley.

Plus: What’s bad about Barbie the doll, and what’s good about “Barbie” the movie—Katha Pollitt comments.  8-10-2023

Teamsters victory: Harold Meyerson; Hollywood strikes update: Ben Schwartz; Ireland since the ’50s: Fintan O’Toole

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The Teamsters won a historic victory in the new contract with UPS, setting the stage to take on Amazon. Harold Meyerson reports. Also: where is Melania?

Plus: Hollywood actors and writers have been on strike–the Writers Guild of America since May, and the Screen Actors Guild since July 14. The studios are showing no signs of settling. WGA member and Nation writer Ben Schwartz joins the show. He argues that the studios and streamers are likely to fracture before the unions do.

Also: Fintan O’Toole’s personal history of Ireland since the fifties: how a country dominated by a corrupt Catholic church came to legalize gay marriage and abortion — by referendum. His much-honored ‘personal history’ of Ireland, titled “We Don’t Know Ourselves,” is out now in paperback.  7-27-2023