Living in the USA

Elie Mystal: Blacks and the Constitution; plus Eric Foner on slaveholders in Congress, & Eyal Press

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“Our constitution is not good. It urgently needs to be reimagined if we want justice and equality for all,” That’s what Elie Mystal says–he’s The Nation’s justice correspondent, and his new book is “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution.”
Also: slavery and its political legacy in Congress: More than 1,700 congressmen owned Black slaves, according to The Washington Post. Even after the abolition of slavery in 1865, hundreds of men who had owned slaves were senators and members of the House of Representatives. The last senator who had owned slaves served in 1922. Eric Foner comments on the political power of slavery in America’s past.
Plus: Dirty work—and the people who do it: the low-income workers who do our most ethically troubled jobs. What does that have to do with the rest of us? Eyal Press explains—his new book is Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.  3-10-2022

After Biden’s State of the Union: Harold Meyerson; Katrina vanden Heuvel: Ukraine; plus Jeet Heer

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Biden chose bipartisanship in his State of the Union speech–but the Republicans show no signs of cooperating, Harold Meyerson says. Also: progressive gains in the Texas midterm primary elections.
plus: Katrina vanden Heuvel on what she calls “Putin’s War” in Ukraine, and how Russians are responding.
Also: The Canadian truckers’ protest is over–what are the lessons for American Progressives? Jeet Heer comments.  3-3-2022

Republicans and Ukraine: Harold Meyerson; Amy Wilentz on Paul Farmer; Ahilan A. on immigration

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Republicans and Ukraine – this segment recorded Wednesday afternoon, before Putin’s attack on Thursday. Harold Meyerson comments. Also: news of the class struggle in America.
plus: Amy Wilentz on Paul Farmer – he founded Partners in Health, bringing high quality health care to some of the world’s poorest people.
Also: Biden and the Border: Ahilan Arulanantham of the UCLA Law School comments on Biden’s broken promises about immigration and asylum.  2-24-2022

Hope for Democrats: Ro Khanna; Amy Wilentz on Haiti & John Nichols on Trump & the Virus

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The Democrats are not doomed to defeat in the midterms, says Ro Khanna. Politics can turn around in the next few months. Khanna represents Silicon Valley in Congress, where he’s a prominent figure in the Progressive Caucus. His new book is Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us.
Also: Amy Wilentz discusses Haiti: a country that should be inaugurating a new president. It has done so every five years on February 7—except for glitches, coups, and postponements—ever since Baby Doc Duvalier fled the island 37 years ago. But not this year. Wilentz explains why it’s struggling to get the new beginning in needs, and how it might make it there.
One more thing: Donald Trump is responsible for about 100,000 unnecessary deaths from Covid-19 during his presidency, according to scientists at The Lancet. John Nichols explains who in his administration made which of the deadly decisions, and who made money off of the pandemic: a topic he delves into in his new book, Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers.  2-10-2022

Biden’s Pick for the Supremes: Meyerson; Great Migration: Wilkerson; on Organizing: Jayapal

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Republican strategies in the coming Supreme Court nomination fight: Harold Meyerson comments. Also: A billionaire for mayor in L.A.?
also: It’s Black History Month, and we feature Isabel Wilkerson and her unforgettable book about the Great Migration, “The Warmth of Other Suns.”
Plus: Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, talks about her path from immigrant to organizer to member of Congress. Her book is “Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.”  2-3-2022

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