Living in the USA

Latinos and the Midterms: Harold Meyerson; Marijuana and the Democrats: John Nichols; plus Greil Marcus on Bob Dylan

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Latino voters hold the keys to Democratic victories in the swing states of Arizona and Nevada, Harold Meyerson argues. New polling data highlights the possibilities – and the problems.

plus: Joe Biden has just made marijuana legalization a campaign issue–the Democrats should run with it, says John Nichols.

Also: Greil Marcus talks about Bob Dylan, from “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1962 to “Murder Most Foul” in 2020. Greil has a new book out, it’s called “Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in 7 Songs.”  10-20-2022

LA’s Political Scandals: Harold Meyerson; Bryce Covert on Nurses’ Strikes; John Powers on “The Trees”

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LA’s political scandal is about the racism of some Latino politicians. Harold Meyerson has the big picture: Ethnic succession is the history of urban politics in the US. In America today, progressives need ethnic and racial alliances, and the participants in this taped conversation have to go.

Also: Nurses have taken the lead in the wave of this year’s labor activism. The largest private-sector nurses’ strike in American history took place recently in Minnesota. Bryce Covert reports a key front in the fight for better health care in America.

Plus: There’s a novel, which is sort of about the murder of Emmett Till in Money Mississippi in 1955, written by a professor at USC, that’s been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The author is Percival Everett, and the book is called “The Trees.” John Powers comments. (originally broadcast in October 2021).  10-13-2022

Bernie in 2024? Bhaskar Sunkara; The Senate campaigns: John Nichols; The Brooks Brothers Riot: Chris Lehmann

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Should Bernie Sanders run in the Democratic primaries in 2024? Bhaskar Sunkara, President of The Nation, says “yes” IF Biden doesn’t. Sanders transformed American politics and, Bhaskar argues, he remains a uniquely important figure for Democrats and the left.

Plus: can Republicans win control of the Senate? Trump’s candidates are the GOP’s biggest problem, starting in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. The Nation’s National Affairs Correspondent, John Nichols has our analysis.

Also: 20 years before the January 6 attack on the capitol, a Republican mob attacked a central hub of government operations claiming the vote count in the presidential election that year was fraudulent, trying to reverse the results. That was the “Brooks Brothers Riot” in Miami, a Republican effort long before Trump. The Nation’s DC Bureau Chief, Chris Lehmann reviews that history.  10-6-2022

The Youth Vote: Harold Meyerson; Ken Burns’s ‘Holocaust’: David Nasaw; ‘Bad Mexicans’: Kelly Lytle Hernandez

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To increase young voters’ turnout, we need to appeal not only to abortion rights but also to economic issues, Harold Meyerson concludes after reading the polls.

Also: Ken Burns’ new documentary on PBS, “The US and the Holocaust,” searches for heroes and happy endings – but there aren’t any, Historian David Nasaw argues.

Plus: “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)–it’s been long-listed for the National Book Award.  9-29-2022


Gustavo Arellano on L.A.’s Lying Sheriff; Eyal Press on Dirty Work; Eric Foner on 1776 & 2022

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We’re still thinking about LA County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva ordering a raid on the home of Sheila Kuehl last Wednesday–she’s one of the county supervisors who has called for his resignation. He says she’s the target of an investigation of corruption in the award of contracts by the supervisors – but he says all kinds of things, many of which are lies. Gustavo Arellano reports – he’s a columnist for the LA Times.

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 will explain—his book “Dirty Work” is out now in paperback.

Also:Historian Eric Foner comments on the ways Republicans have made the teaching of American history a key battleground in their culture war against Democrats in the upcoming elections —especially the history of the American revolution.

And we’ll also have Your Minnesota Moment: the Pillow Guy and the FBI.  9-22-2022

Abortion Politics: Harold Meyerson; Sarah Posner: Southern Baptists; Amy Wilentz: Jared’s book

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Republican moves on abortion continue to strengthen Democratic candidates, says Harold Meyerson–especially in Michigan. Also: Amazon workers organize in the Inland Empire, and nurses are on strike in Minnesota.

Plus: The transformation of the Southern Baptist Convention into a powerful right wing political force developed over the last 50 years. Before 1973, when abortion became a constitutional right, the Southern Baptists did not have a political position on abortion. Then came what they call the “conservative resurgence”—we call it the “fundamentalist takeover.” Sarah Posner explains that history.

Also: a new installment of The Children’s Hour: stories about Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior and Little Eric. This week: Jared writes a book! He called it “Breaking History.” We have comment from our Chief Jared Correspondent, Amy Wilentz.  9-15-2022

Biden v. Newsom: Harold Meyerson; Amy Littlefield on Kansas; Remembering Barbara Ehrenreich

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The president and the governor of Calif arguing about who is more pro-labor – that’s something new: Harold Meyerson comments.
Also: the organizing that won that huge abortion rights victory in Kansas: Amy Littlefield reports.
And we remember Barbara Ehrenreich, who died last week – we did this interview with her in 2002, when “Nickel and Dimed” had just been published.  9-8-2022

A Labor Landmark: Harold Meyerson; The GOP & the NLRB: Chris Lehmann; Jan. 6: Patrick Leahy

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Harold Meyerson on the labor breakthrough in California: a statewide panel to set standards for wages and working conditions for the 550,000 fast food workers in the state.
Also: Republicans are making plans if they win control of the House in November–Chris Lehmann reports that their top targets include the NLRB and the Department of Labor. Chris is The Nation’s new D.C. Bureau Chief.
Plus: Patrick Leahy of Vermont has been a senator for almost 50 years. He describes how, on January 6, when senators took refuge from the mob attacking the capitol, they prepared to complete the work of counting the electoral votes in their underground bunker–until he insisted they should wait until they could return to the Senate chamber. His new book is ”The Road Taken.”  9-1-2022


Advantage Democrats: Harold Meyerson; The States: Daniel Squadron; Wisconsin: John Nichols

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The fight for abortion rights and against a resurgent Donald Trump are mobilizing Democrats for the midterms; student debt cancellation helps. Harold Meyerson reports.
Also: The Supreme Court next term will take up a case that could make Trump’s fake electors scheme the law of the land. Daniel Squadron explains the situation – and how winning majorities in state legislatures in swing states is the key to preserving democracy in 2024. Squadron is the co-founder and executive director of The States Project.
And John Nichols reports on Wisconsin, where Mandela Barnes is challenging the horrible Ron Johnson for the Senate, and the indispensable Tony Evers is running for reelection as governor.  8-25-2022