Living in the USA

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

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

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

Bad news for Biden: Harold Meyerson; Alfred McCoy on Climate Change, Kristina Wong on Mask Making

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Biden’s signature social programs are not going to pass before the New Year, and maybe not at all, because of Joe Manchin’s obstructionism: Harold Meyerson reports. Also: some good news on unions, especially at the University of California.
Later in the show, how climate change will transform the coming face-off between the US and China – historian Alfred McCoy says China will be the world’s number one military & economic power by 2030 but Chinese domination will last for only 20 years, because rising temperatures and rising sea levels will bring crisis and disaster to China’s economy—and to ours as well. His new book is ‘To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change.’
Also: Mutual aid and racial justice during the year of Covid: Kristina Wong explains how, in the darkest days of the pandemic, she started the Auntie Sewing Squad to make masks for the most vulnerable communities—and how she became, in her words, a sweatshop overlord. Her new co-edited book is ‘The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice.’  12-16-2021

Stacey Abrams: Harold Meyerson; Gary Younge on Josephine Baker, and Father Greg Boyle

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Some really good news from Georgia: Stacey Abrams is running for governor!
Alongside Raphael Warnock for reelection as senator. Harold Meyerson comments – also, news from Texas and California.
Also: being Black in America, and being Black in France: Gary Younge will talk about Josephine Baker, the Black American dancer who went to Paris in the twenties and later renounced her American citizenship. She was interred at the Pantheon, alongside Voltaire and Rousseau, last week.
Plus: Father Greg Boyle — the founder of Homebody Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program on the planet– has a new book out now, it’s about “the power of extravagant tenderness” and it’s called “The Whole Language.”  12-9-2021

Unions vs. Amazon: Harold Meyerson; Omicron & Inequality: Gregg Gonsalves; Beatles ‘Get Back’: Gustavo Arellano

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Unions are taking up the fight against Amazon – notably the Teamsters, notably in Southern California. Harold Meyerson explains. Also: gerrymandering – and the wild card at the Supreme Court.
Plus: The new Omicron variant of Covid-19: Gregg Gonsalves argues that it serves as a reminder of how little we’re doing on pandemic prevention. Meanwhile, Republicans are describing Omicron as a Democratic plot to bring back mail-in voting.
Also: Gustavo Arellano talks about “The Beatles: Get Back,” the amazing and indispensable new 8-hour documentary.  12-2-2021

Kyle Rittenhouse, Republicans, and Vigilantes: John Nichols, plus Eric Foner on the Racial Politics of Housing

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Racial justice and injustice in America today. We are relieved by the guilty verdicts and life sentences for all three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick Georgia. But we’re still thinking about the Not Guilty verdict for Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with shooting three people, killing two, during the street protests over the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. John Nichols comments on that trial, and its broader significance.
Also: Racism in America for decades led to strict housing segregation. But historians are now showing that that wasn’t simply the result of white people refusing to live near Blacks–segregated housing was the result of a carefully organized, long-term effort to establish a legal basis for systematic racial discrimination. And the groups that succeeded were not the KKK or White Power groups. It was realtors’ organizations. Eric Foner reviews that history.  11-24-2021

Politics from Glasgow to Texas: Harold Meyerson, plus Rebecca Solnit on George Orwell

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Our politics commentary with Harold Meyerson starts with the House preparing to pass Biden’s Build Back Better bill, then to Glasgow for the climate summit, then Texas where Beto is running for governor.
Plus: We’ll talk about politics and pleasure with Rebecca Solnit –she’s probably best known as the author of “Men explain things to me.” Now she has a new book out – it’s called “Orwell’s Roses.”
Also: Your Minnesota moment, news from my home town of St Paul, where the city attorney has announced he’s not going to prosecute any cases involving broken taillights – he says he hasn’t been able to forget about Philando Castile.  11-18-2021