Living in the USA

Trump in Court: Harold Meyerson; Israel in Gaza: Amy Wilentz; ‘Corporate B.S.’: Joan Walsh

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“Trump’s Lawyers Invite Biden to Assassinate Him.” That’s the headline at — Harold Meyerson explains.

Plus: Only Joe Biden can stop the war in Gaza: Israel’s war in Gaza has been going on now for three months, and the IDF said over the weekend they plan to keep the war going for another year. Amy Wilentz talks about Netanhayu’s use of the war to hold on to power.

Also: the lies that protect profit, power and wealth in America: they are documented, and dealt with, in a wonderful new book co-authored by Joan Walsh. It’s called Corporate Bullsh*t.  1-11-2024

Dread and Hope in 2024: Harold Meyerson; Political forecast: John Nichols; Bill Gates:Tim Schwab

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For many,​ the upcoming presidential election ​is a source of dread and pessimism. Harold Meyerson talks about sources of hope in 202​4 – including Trump’s upcoming trial for attempted insurrection and the promise of ongoing progressive political action by America’s youth.

​Also: Hope is different from optimism – it’s an embrace of uncertainty, and a basis for action. The polls look bad for Joe Biden, but Democrats’ chances are much brighter in the House, and perhaps the Senate. John Nichols talks about reasons for hope in 2024, starting in the tipping point state of 2020, Wisconsin.

​Plus: Bill Gates is now the 6th richest man in the world, with 104 billion dollars. He’s spent the last 20 years giving away some of his money​ – the Gates Foundation gave away $7 billion in 2022. But with the money comes a host of problems. Tim Schwab will explain; his new book has a great title: “The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire.”  01-04-2024

End-of-year Giving: Katha Pollitt; the Xmas Truce of 1914: Adam Hochschild; Bob Dylan’s Xmas: Sean Wilentz

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Our holiday giving list: Katha Pollitt presents her list of groups that need—and deserve—our support: Gaza aid, abortion assistance, and organizing against Trump.

Also: On Christmas Day, 1914, after five months of unparalleled industrial-scale slaughter, British and German soldiers stopped fighting and exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols, and played soccer. It’s a unique event in the history of modern warfare. Adam Hochschild​ comments – originally recorded on the 100th anniversary in 2014.

Plus: Bob Dylan fans have been puzzled and troubled by his Christmas album ever since he released it in 2009. To help figure out what Dylan was doing, we turned to Sean Wilentz. He’s the official historian at, and he also teaches history at Princeton.  12-28-2-23

Class struggle in 2023: Harold Meyerson; Hamas and rape: Katha Pollitt; schools and politics: Randi Weingarten; plus Arthur Danto on Las Vegas

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Harold Meyerson comments on the Colorado supreme court’s ruling that the constitution prohibits Trump from serving as president because he participated in an insurrection. Also – class struggle in 2023 – the year in review.

Plus: Why have some feminists been reluctant even to acknowledge that Hamas members raped Israeli women and girls on Oct. 7? Katha Pollitt comments.

Also: “parents rights” failed as a Republican political tactic in the 2023 elections – but what about 2024? Randi Weingarten has our analysis – she’s president of the AFT.

And from the archives: Arthur Danto on art in Las Vegas. This segment was recorded in 2000.  12-21-2023

The Palestinian Future: David Myers; Democrats are Sleepwalking toward disaster: Harold Meyerson; “Rebel Cinderella”: Adam Hochschild

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The War against Gaza: How we got here, where we need to go: David Myers comments. Also: The left in Israel today.

Also: Joe Biden has historic achievements as president, but polls show him to be the candidate least able to defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 election. Democrats need someone else to run and an open primary. Harold Meyerson will argue that Biden must not run again.

Plus: the story of an immigrant sweatshop worker who became one of the most charismatic radical leaders of the early 20th century.  Rose Pastor Stokes has been forgotten, but Adam Hochschild tells her amazing story: his book about her is titled “Rebel Cinderella.”  12-14-2023

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