Living in the USA

Red States and Green Energy: Harold Meyerson; Kyrsten Sinema and Ruben Gallego: Steve Phillips; UBI and LA: Sasha Abramsky

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Every Republican voted against the clean energy tax credits that made up the bulk of the Inflation Reduction Act.  Yet, the clean energy projects, for solar, wind and battery technology – are going to Republican states.  Why?  Harold Meyerson comments.

Plus: Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona senator who quit the Democratic Party in December, is up for reelection next year, and will be challenged by progressive Democrat Ruben Gallego. Steve Phillips points to evidence that her chances of reelection are poor. His new book, “How We Win the Civil War,” has a chapter on Arizona politics.

Also: What if government provided a basic income to all residents? Something like $1000 a month? How much could that change inequality and poverty? Sasha Abramsky reports on the experiment in Los Angeles with Universal Basic Income.  1-26-2023

Bernie’s Priorities: Harold Meyerson; UC Strike, Cont.: Nelson Lichtenstein; Abortion Voters: John Nichols; Happy in Denmarkr: Joshua Holland

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Senator Bernie Sanders gave a major speech on Tuesday about the lives of working Americans – Harold Meyerson comments. Also: the coming primary for Diane Feinstein’s senate seat.

Plus: the UC TA strike: just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in – with “attestation” forms to dock back pay. Nelson Lichtenstein explains.

Also: Abortion remains a potent force mobilizing liberal and progressive voters in the upcoming 2023 state legislative races – John Nichols has our analysis.

And Joshua Holland explains why people in Denmark are so much happier than people in the USA.  1-19-2023

Unions at Yale and UPS: Harold Meyerson; Coups in the US: Fintan O’Toole; “She Said”: Katha Pollitt

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After a 30-year campaign, Yale finally recognized UNITE-HERE as the union representing TAs. Harold Meyerson reports – and also on the Teamsters as they prepare to strike against UPS in August.

Plus: f you were planning a future coup, what could you learn from the failure of Trump’s efforts on January 6? Fintan O’Toole says it would need a better story—not attacking Congress, but “defending democracy.” He teaches at Princeton, and is the author most recently of We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland.

Also: who’d want to see a movie about Harvey Weinstein? Well, the film She Said, about the two New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, is not about Harvey; it’s about the system that protected him. And it’s really good. Katha Pollitt comments.  1-12-2023

The House Republican Mess: Harold Meyerson; plus Nelson Lichtenstein on the UC Strike Victory and Andrew Bacevich on “The Long War”

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Harold Meyerson analyzes the Republican failure to elect a Speaker of the House – and what it tells us about the future of the new Congress.

Teaching Assistants and other grad student employees at the University of California won a historic victory in their strike last month. What does that mean for other universities and other union organizing campaigns? Nelson Lichtenstein joins the show to comment.

Also this week, Andrew Bacevich talks about our “very long war” going back to the sixties, and the relative insignificance of Donald Trump. Bacevich’s new book is On Shedding an Obsolete Past: Bidding Farewell to the American Century.  1-5-2023

Best of 2022: Elie Mystal on the Constitution, Kelly Lytle Hernandez on ‘Bad Mexicans,’ Beverly Gage on the FBI

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For our end-of year show we are featuring some of our favorite book segments from 2022, starting with Elie Mystal, The Nation’s Justice Correspondent, who says our constitution is not good.  His new book is “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution.”

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, and talks about her book on race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands.

Also: 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 explains; Her book is “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover & the Making of the American Century.”  12-29-2022

Best of 2022: Elie Mystal on the Constitution, Kelly Lytle Hernandez on ‘Bad Mexicans,’ Beverly Gage on the FBI

Listen HERE
For our end-of year show we are featuring some of our favorite book segments from 2022, starting with Elie Mystal, The Nation’s Justice Correspondent, who says our constitution is not good.  His new book is “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution.”

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, and talks about her book on race, empire, and revolution in the borderlands.

Also: 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 explains; Her book is “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover & the Making of the American Century.”  12-29-2022

UC Strike Settlement? Nelson Lichtenstein; the WWI Xmas Truce: Adam Hochschild; Bob Dylan’s Xmas: Sean Wilentz

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The biggest strike in the country this year, and the biggest in the history of American universities, may be over– after five weeks of picketing and protests, the union representing 48,000 grad student employees at the University of California announced a settlement offer by the university, and members are voting this week. Nelson Lichtenstein has our analysis.

Also: For our holiday show, we want to talk about the Christmas Truce of World War I — it’s a unique event in the history of modern warefare.  Adam Hochschild will explain.

Plus, our Christmas music special: Bob Dylan fans have been puzzled and troubled by his Christmas album, “Christmas in the Heart”,  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 the official website BobDylan.com, and he also teaches American history at Princeton.  12-22-2022

Homelessness in LA: Harold Meyerson; On Strike at the U of Cal: Nelson Lichtenstein; plus Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover

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The new mayor in LA, Karen Bass, the former community organizer and former head of the Congressional Black caucus, LA’s first woman mayor, was sworn in on Sunday, and her first act was to declare a state of emergency to address homelessness.  Harold Meyerson comments.

plus: In the biggest strike in the nation this year, the strike by University of California graduate student employees, one group of strikers—the postdocs–settled, and another agreed to go into mediation—the Teaching Assistants, who are refusing to grade final exams for tens of thousands of students. Nelson Lichtenstein has our report.

Also: 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 explains; Her new book is “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover & the Making of the American Century.”  12-15-2022

After DACA: Ahilan Arulanantham; Hoover’s FBI: Beverly Gage; LA’s Grassroots Activists: Eliza Moreno

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Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought here by their undocumented parents since 2007 are not eligible for DACA. But now they are eligible for jobs–at the University of California. UCLA law professor Ahilan Arulanantham explains.

Also: The left has hated J. Edgar Hoover for a hundred years ever since the Palmer Raids of 1919, the attacks on radicals that began his career. Now there’s a terrific new biography of Hoover, called “G-Man” – the author is Beverly Gage.

Also: the fight against air pollution in the port communities of Los Angeles, where 300,000 people, mostly Latino, live next door to oil refineries, chemical facilities,  and one of the largest oilfields in the nation. For decades they’ve been fighting for basic rights and a cleaner environment.  Eliza Moreno has that story.  12-1-2022