Living in the USA

LA Hotel Workers Occupy LAX Approaches: Harold Meyerson; plus Randi Weingarten on Israel and Gary Younge on ‘Rustin’

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Striking hotel workers have occupied Century Blvd., the approach to LAX, and are planning a posada, reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem, on Friday evening–Harold Meyerson comments.

Also: Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT, spent Thanksgiving weekend in Israel. She will report on meetings with shared society groups and peace movement leaders. She’ll also discuss the role of the US in moving toward not only peace but also toward equality and justice for Palestinians.

Plus: Who was Bayard Rustin before the 1963 March on Washington? Gary Younge will comment on the remarkable life of a gay Black pacifist, former communist, and subject of a new Netflix biopic, Rustin. Gary is the author of The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream.  12-7-2023

Trump’s plans for 2025: Harold Meyerson; Gaza and us: D.D. Guttenplan; ‘Slow Horses’: John Powers

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Trump doesn’t have a platform, he has an enemies list; but the Heritage Foundation has 922 pages on its to-do list if Trump should return to the White House in 2025. Harold Meyerson explains.

Also: People with very different visions of what a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians might look like must work together to stop the war: That’s what D.D. Guttenplan argues.  He’s Editor of The Nation.

plus: “Slow Horses,” the British spy series based on the books by Mick Herron, is starting its season 3 this week.  John Powers has our review.  11-30-2023

Biden after the Hostage Exchange: Harold Meyerson; the Israeli Left: Dahlia Scheindlin; “Dear California”: David Kipen

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Joe Biden faces a split in the Democrat electorate over Israel and Palestine–Harold Meyerson has some recommendations.

also: Why we need the Israeli left now more than ever: Dahlia Scheindlin explains.

plus–California is a place to write home about. David Kipen reads some examples – his new book is “Dear California: Letters and Diary Entries.”  11-22-2023

Rachel Kushner on Palestinian refugees, Adam Shatz on Edward Said, Viet Nguyen on immigrants

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Today we have two segments from the archives about Palestinians; neither is about the current war—and one about Trump and refugees.

Rachel Kushner reports on her visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in 2016;

Adam Shatz talks about Edward Said, the leading voice of Palestinians in the US before he died in 2003.

And later in the show: One of the defining features of Trump’s politics has been the way he’s appealed to hatred and fear of refugees and immigrants. Pulitzer-prize winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen says “call me a refugee, not an immigrant.”  11-16-2023

This week’s Democratic victories: John Nichols, Harold Meyerson; Gaza and history: Fintan O’Toole

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John Nichols has our analysis of Tuesday’s election victories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky. But those victories came right after a series of very bad polls for Biden – especially a new NYTimes Poll that shows Trump leading in 5 out of 6 swing states. Could Biden’s poll numbers really be that bad?  Harold Meyerson comments.

Later in the show: What is Israel’s endgame in its war with Hamas? Over the past 50 years, it has tried two radically different strategies in Gaza, and neither succeeded. Fintan O’Toole will explain that history. He teaches at Princeton and he’s an advising editor at The New York Review of Books, where he’s been writing about Israel, Hamas, and Gaza.  11-9-2023

UAW Makes History: Harold Meyerson; Hamas and history: D.D. Guttenplan; ‘American Midnight”: Adam Hochschild

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Victory for the United Auto Workers in their strike against the big three automakers, GM, Ford, and Stellantis. Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospect, explains what’s in the new contract, and what it took to get there.

Also: A cease-fire in Gaza is only the beginning of what Israel and the Palestinians need. D.D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s editor, argues that “both peoples will have to find a way to share the land—in peace, yes, but also with justice.”

Plus: Adam Hochschild: Woodrow Wilson’s threats to American Democracy. Adam’s book “American Midnight” is out now in paperback.  11-2-2023

Biden and Israel: Harold Meyerson; Israel and Hamas: Adam Shatz

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The Biden administration says Israel’s planned invasion of Gaza “lacks achievable military objectives.” And yet Biden supports it. Harold Meyerson examines this contradiction.

Also: Adam Shatz says Israel’s disregard for Palestinian life after the Oct. 7 terror attacks has never been more callous or more flagrant. But Israel can’t extinguish Palestinian resistance by violence any more than the Palestinians can win an Algerian-style liberation war. The only thing that can save the people of Israel and Palestine is a political solution that recognizes both as equal citizens. Shatz is the former literary editor of The Nation and now US editor of the London Review of Books, where he wrote about Israel and Gaza.  10-26-2023

UAW victories at GM: Harold Meyerson; Public Power in Maine: Bill McKibben; “The Forgotten Girls”: Katha Pollitt

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The UAW won a historic victory when GM agreed that workers in EV and battery factories would be covered by the union contract.  Harold Meyerson comments on that, and on Israel’s war with Hamas.

Plus: Voters in Maine will decide next month whether to turn the state’s private utilities public. If that happens, it would be a huge step toward dealing with the climate crisis, and a model for other states. Bill McKibben will explain.

Also: Two girls grew up in the 1980s and ’90s in a small town in Arkansas. One made it out and became a successful journalist and writer; her best friend, who had been super smart as a kid, fell into drugs, getting pregnant too young, and petty crime. How did their lives turn out to be so different?  Katha Pollitt talks about the wonderful new memoir by Monica Potts, The Forgotten Girls.  10-12-2023

Our Biggest Ever Healthcare Strike: Harold Meyerson; plus the ‘Fabulous Failure’ of Bill Clinton: Nelson Lichtenstein

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Kaiser Workers’ strike this week is the largest by healthcare workers in US history. Harold Meyerson comments. Also: ethnic politics in California.

Plus: Our politics today is haunted by the failures of Bill Clinton—the “centrist” who “triangulated” with Republicans, lost on healthcare, and proclaimed that “the era of big government is over.” Nelson Lichtenstein will explain Clinton’s turn to the right, and the lessons for today’s Democrats. His new book on Clinton has the wonderful title A Fabulous Failure.

Also: Your Minnesota Moment: a big new solar energy project is in the works.  10-5-2023