Living in the USA

Biden’s Budget w/out Build Back Better: Harold Meyerson; Student Debt: Astra Taylor

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Build Back Better never made it through congress. So, what’s in Biden’s new budget proposal? Harold Meyerson of The Prospect comments.
Plus: Monday April 4 is the Day Of Action to Abolish Student Debt, when thousands of young people will gather in Washington D.C. to say “Pick Up the Pen, Joe” — and abolish student debt via executive action. Astra Taylor will explain; she’s co-founder of the Debt Collective.
Also, the dangers (and the benefits) of antidepressants: P.E. Moskowitz talks about the science, and about personal experiences. Their report, “Breaking Off My Chemical Romance,” is featured in the magazine’s special issue on drugs.  3-31-2022

Biden’s Tasks Now: Harold Meyerson; Confirmation Hearings: Fishkin & Forbath; Jan. 6: Jamie Raskin

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Since the demise of Biden’s Build Back Better bill, the Democrats need other achievements to run on in the midterm campaigns. That means Biden should start using executive action. Harold Meyerson talks about the most politically important possibilities: student debt cancellation and action on prescription drug prices.
Also: the Senate confirmation hearings for Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson follow a familiar script. Progressives instead should be arguing–inside and outside the hearings–that the Constitution requires protecting our “republican form of government” from becoming a “moneyed aristocracy” or “oligarchy.” Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath explain; their new book is The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy.
Plus: Congressman Jamie Raskin, member of the House Select Committee
investigating the January 6 insurrection, talked about the committee’s evidence against Trump–-and the committee’s future if Republicans prevail in the midterms. He was manager of Trump’s second impeachment trial.  3-24-2022

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