Living in the USA

Advice for Men from Katha Pollitt; Film in the Age of Reagan: J. Hoberman

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Jordan Peterson’s books of advice for men have sold five million copies – he says men should work hard, be responsible, demand more of themselves—and make their beds. Katha Pollitt has some comments about that.

Also: The synergy between politics and popular culture has never been clearer or stronger than in the Age of Reagan. J. Hoberman, author of “Make My Day: Film Culture in the Age of Reagan,” explains how this came to be. Hoberman was a legendary film critic for the Village Voice for 30 years and now writes for the New York Review, the New York Times, and The Nation.  7-28-2022

Climate Action: Harold Meyerson, Rebecca Solnit, & Thelma Young Lutunatabua; Amy Wilentz on Ivana

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Biden’s clean energy plan was our best chance for addressing the climate emergency for the next several years; but Joe Manchin killed it, he says, because he’s concerned about inflation. Harold Meyerson comments.
Also: Addressing Climate Despair: how taking action is an act of hope. Thelma Young Lutunatabua and Rebecca Solnit talk about their new project  @NotTooLate_Hope
Plus: Ivana Trump, mother of Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, has died. She was 73. In 2017, her memoir “Raising Trump” was published. Amy Wilentz comments.  7-21-2022

Harold Meyerson on Jan. 6, plus Sarah Posner and David Cole on the Supreme Court

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On Tuesday the January 6 committee held yet another dramatic hearing, this one on the origins of the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally and the events that provoked that 1:30 am tweet of Trump’s urging supporters to come to Washington, where it “will be wild.” Harold Meyerson has our analysis.
Also: the people who say “America is a Christian Nation” had some big victories at the Supreme Court this term: on school prayer, and on taxpayer funding of religious schools. Sarah Posner comments on the endgame of the Christian Nationalists; she’s the author of the book Unholy, about Christian Nationalists
and their politics.
Plus: What is to be done about The Supreme Court? David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU, and legal affairs correspondent for the Nation, has the best answer: organize, and vote.  7-14-2022

Biden’s failure: Harold Meyerson; Abortion Rights: Michele Goodwin; Ukraine: Anatol Lieven

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Biden’s weak responses to the end of abortion rights and the Supreme Court majority’s obstacles to gun control have been disastrous for Democrats. Harold Meyerson comments, and on the Georgia races with Rev. Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams.
Also: The end of abortion in 26 states will be deadly for many poor women, especially poor women of color. Law professor Michele Goodwin explains, reviewing the history of forced pregnancy under the slave regime in antebellum America, and how it was banned by the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of “involuntary servitude.”
Plus: How will the war in Ukraine end? The Russians have failed to install a puppet government there but the Ukrainians are not going to recover the territory Russia seized in 2014. So some kind of negotiated settlement is necessary, and better sooner than later. Anatol Lieven, author of “Ukraine and Russia.” comments.  7-7-2022

Trump and the Armed Mob: Harold Meyerson; Evangelicals and Jan. 6: Sarah Posner

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Harold Meyerson comments on Tuesday’s historic testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson – and on the Supreme Court and abortion.
Also: In understanding the January 6 insurrection, much of the focus has been on white nationalist militias like the Proud Boys. But white evangelicals also played a big part on January 6. Sarah Posner, author of Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind, joins the podcast to discuss religion’s role in the riots.  6-30-2022

The Hearings on Trump’s Crimes: John Nichols; plus Joan Walsh on Sex Ed

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This week’s hearings of the Jan. 6 committee have been powerful and devastating in laying out the evidence of Trump’s crimes, first in pressuring state officials to alter election results, and then in pressuring the Justice Department to declare the elections corrupted. John Nichols comments.
Plus: Republicans have opened another front in the culture war with the slogan “parental rights”–not just banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory, whatever that is; now they are campaigning to ban comprehensive sex education. Joan Walsh explains.  6-23-2022

Jan. 6 Revelations: Harold Meyerson; Voters and Progressive Prosecutors: Peter Dreier

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Harold Meyerson comments on the most striking revelation of the Jan. 6 hearings thus far, especially the Proud Boys going straight to the capitol instead of to Trump’s speech at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally.
Also: The recall of Chesa Boudin, the progressive prosecutor in San Francisco, has been taken by pundits everywhere to require the Democrats to abandon their efforts to reform the police and the criminal justice system. Peter Dreier explains what’s wrong with that conclusion.  6-16-2022

LA Primaries: Harold Meyerson; Abortion: Katha Pollitt; ‘Bad Mexicans’: Kelly Lytle Hernandez

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The results of Tuesday’s primaries in L.A. and San Francisco, according to the New York Times, were “a stark warning to the Democratic Party about the potency of law and order as a political message in 2022.” Harold Meyerson disagrees. Also: our preview of the live TV hearings of the House committee on the January 6 insurrection.
Plus: Also: Abortion and its opponents. Do opponents of abortion really believe abortion providers are “baby-killers”? There’s some new research about that that found opponents help family members and friends get abortions. Katha Pollitt explains.
Also:“Bad Mexicans” – that’s what the revolutionaries of 1910 were called as they fought on both sides of the US-Mexico border against the robber barons and their political allies. UCLA historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez tells that story, which is the subject of her new book.  6-9-2022

Cops in LA Politics: Harold Meyerson; Abortion rights: Katha Pollitt; “La Nijinska”: Lynn Garafola

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Harold Meyerson comments on the LA Mayoral race, where the police union is spending millions to defeat Karen Bass.
Also: the coming end of constitutional protection for abortion gives us a lot of work to do – Katha Pollitt explains.
And Lynn Garafola talks about “an Amazon of the Avant-Garde,” the ballet dancer who went from revolutionary Russia to Kiev to Hollywood in the 1930s – “La Nijinska,” sister of the legendary Nijinsky.  6-2-2022

Abortion in the midterms: Harold Meyerson; Haiti in the NYTimes: Amy Wilentz; plus Hunter S Thompson

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Reproductive rights initiatives and referendums on the ballot in November will boost Democratic turnout in swing states including Arizona and Michigan–Harold Meyerson reports.
Also: Haiti is back on the front page–at least in the New York Times–and it’s not because of what’s happening there right now. The Times has published the results of a deep investigation into the history of Haiti’s forced payments to France, starting more than 200 years ago–an immense amount of money, Amy Wilentz comments.
Plus: Peter Richardson discusses Hunter S. Thompson, the writer credited for inventing “Gonzo Journalism.” Thompson wrote a classic book about Richard Nixon,’ Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, ‘72.’ Richardson, author of Savage Journey: Hunter S. Thompson, explains how he did it.  5-26-2022