Living in the USA

Fox News & Us: Harold Meyerson; Afghan girls: Shabana Basij-Rasikh; Abortion Politics: John Nichols

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Fox News created a Frankenstein – and the story isn’t over yet: Harold Meyerson comments on the Dominion Voting Systems settlement.

Also: Afghan girls who escaped from the Taliban: the boarding school that evacuated its students from Kabul during the chaotic withdrawal of the Americans. SOLA, the School of Leadership Afghanistan is the place where Afghan girls study to become members of the generation that will one day lead a peaceful and united Afghanistan. The founder, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, will explain.

Plus: John Nichols will comment on how the fight for abortion rights will be a key issue for Democrats in the 2024 election, especially after Republican judges have tried to ban medication abortions.  4-20-2023


Abortion Politics: Harold Meyerson; plus Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover

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The latest move by a Republican judge to ban the abortion drug Mefipristone is likely to turn out more Democratic voters, says Harold Meyerson. Also: Trump’s Easter Sunday tweet.
Plus: We know a lot about the bad things J. Edgar Hoover did, but it turns out there’s a lot we didn’t know. Historian Beverly Gage joins the podcast to explain. Her new book is “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover & the Making of the American Century” — it’s been nominated for an LA Times Book Prize, which will be awarded next week.  4-13-2023

Progressives win in Chicago and Wisconsin: Harold Meyerson & John Nichols; plus Chris Lehmann on Trump in Court

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Progressive Brandon Johnson won the Chicago mayoral election: Harold Meyerson explains how he did it, and the lessons for progressives.
Also: The landslide victory of the progressive candidate in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race, Janet Protaisewicz, ten times bigger than Biden’s, shows how abortion wins elections–John Nichols explains.
plus: Will Trump’s indictment on 34 felonies change anything in the 2024 election? Or had everybody already decided what they think about Donald Trump? Chris Lehmann reports.  4-6-2023

Low-Wage Workers’ Victory in LA: Harold Meyerson; the Minor League Baseball Union: Kelly Candaele and Peter Dreier; Women v. Trump: Dahlia Lithwick

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Last week’s 3-day strike in LA by public school custodians, food service workers, teachers’ aides and bus drivers won a 30% pay increase–Harold Meyerson reports.

Also: How minor league baseball players organized a union for the first time in history: Kelley Candaele and Peter Dreier report.

And Dahlia Lithwick talks about some of the heroes of the Trump years: the women lawyers who fought him on the big issues—the Muslim ban, neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, and voting rights. Her book is “Lady Justice” has been nominated for an LA Times book award.  3-30-2023

Billionaires and banks: Harold Meyerson; Women in 2023: Katha Pollitt; Vietnam Era Protest: Christian Appy

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Harold Meyerson comments on the fed, the banks, and the billionaires; also, the coming indictment of Donald Trump.

Plus: American women in 2023: the news is bad, but it’s not all bad. Katha Pollitt explains.

Also: the largest anti-war demonstrations in American history were protests in the fall of 1969–with more than two million people in the streets demanding “End the War in Vietnam.” But did those demonstrations help end the war?  Historian Chris Appy comments on the new documentary, “The Movement and the ‘Madman,’” on PBS American Experience March 28.  3-23-2023

Banks and Democrats: Harold Meyerson; Masks and Covid: Gregg Gonsalves; Wisconsin votes: John Nichols

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Harold Meyerson reports on the Democrats who supported reducing regulation of mid-sized banks like Silicon Valley Bank – and on the Democrats who are taking a stand against Netanyahu’s moves against democracy for Israeli Jews.

Also: John Nichols reports on the promising situation in the most important election before the 2024 presidential race: the Wisconsin Supreme Court election coming up on April 4, which could switch the court from conservative to liberal control, legalizing abortion and ending gerrymandering. Plus: the Democrats who tried to block the 2019 bill that reduced regulation on banks like Silicon Valley Bank.

And: Do masks work — to help stop the spread of covid?  A New York Times columnist recently said that they don’t, and cited an authoritative review of research as his source. But it turns he was wrong about that study.  Gregg Gonsalves of the Yale School of Public Health, will explain.  3-16-2023

The Kamala Conundrum: Harold Meyerson; Covid: Gregg Gonsalves; The Oscars: John Powers

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Kamala Harris is not a popular figure in American politics, and the vice presidential candidate for Biden’s reelection campaign in 2024 is unusually important because of his age. What to do? Harold Meyerson comments.

Plus: COVID remains the number 3 cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer, with almost 3,000 deaths every week. But Biden and the Democrats are ending the federal COVID emergency. Is that really a good idea? Greg Gonsalves doesn’t think so — he’s the Nation’s public health correspondent and a professor of epidemiology at Yale..

Also: Sunday is Oscar night in America! and, as usual, we have a lot of complaints about the nominations. So does John Powers, critic at large on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. We’ll talk about this year’s films we didn’t like—and some we thought were wonderful.

Finally: Your Minnesota Moment: the story of the Japanese temple bell that ended up in Duluth.  3-9-2023

Palestinians and Liberal Zionism: Saree Makdisi; Black Studies: Kimberlé Crenshaw; Walmart: Rick Wartzman

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Israel’s new far-right government, headed, again, by Benjamin Netanyahu, is working to undermine democracy for Israelis and advance Israel’s annexation of Palestinian land. Provocations by Israel in the West Bank have been followed by settler pogroms against Palestinian villages. Saree Makdisi provides comment and analysis of how Israel is “destroying the fantasies of liberal Zionism.”

Also: the worst thing that happened to Black History during Black History Month was not Ron DeSantis banning critical concepts and approaches – it was the College Board revising its new African American Studies curriculum to meet all of his demands. But now scholars in Black History, Black Studies and related fields are fighting back. Kimberlé Crenshaw will explain.

Plus: Walmart is the biggest employer in America, and the Walton family, the children of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is the richest family in the world. The company has raised wages and become more socially conscious-but it provides a case study of the limits of socially conscious capitalism. Rick Wartzman will explain – his new book on Walmart and its workers is titled “Still Broke.”  3-2-2023

Israel & American Jews: Harold Meyerson; Wisconsin & Politics: John Nichols; Blacks & the Constitution: Elie Mystal

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Harold Meyerson says American Jewish organizations haven’t said much about the recent attacks by the Netanyahu government on Palestinians, and on Israeli democracy. The big exception is J Street, which is leading a delegation of members of Congress to Israel this week.

Also: John Nichols reports on the good news from Wisconsin, where the liberal candidate came out way ahead in the primary for a new state Supreme Court Justice.

Plus: Our Black History month feature this week: Elie Mystal explains why “our constitution is not good.” He’s The Nation’s justice correspondent, and his book is “Allow Me to Retort.”  2-24-2023

The 1619 Project on Hulu: Robin Kelley; ‘The Crown’ on Netflix: Gary Younge; The Supremes: Erwin Chemerinsky

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“The 1619 Project” miniseries on Hulu sets a new standard for documentaries about Black life and history in America: Robin Kelley explains. Also Black history, banned in Florida—and excluded from the College Board’s recommended AP Black Studies course. Robin is one of the historians whose work has been targeted.

Also: the Royal Family and “The Crown”– you know, Queen Elizabeth and Charles and Diana, and the Netflix series about them. Gary Younge explains why he loathes the monarchy in Britain, but loved “The Crown” on Netflix.

Plus: Should the Supreme Court base its decisions on what it can discern about the original intent of the framers? That’s what the “originalists” say – and they dominate today’s court. Erwin Chemerinsky disagrees. He’s dean of the law school at UC Berkeley and author of many books, most recently “Worse Than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism.”  2-16-2023