Trump Watch

Impeachment and the Inauguration: Harold Meyerson; Insurrection in History: Eric Foner; “MLK/JFK”: Ella Taylor; Trump & Golf: Bob Lipsyte

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The impeachment vote barely papered over the growing crisis in the Republican party, says Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect. Harold comments also on security at the Biden inauguration.
Also: Eric Foner provides some historical perspective on the attack last week on the capitol.
Plus: Ella Taylor talks about the new documentary “MLK/FBI”, on J. Edgar Hoover’s attempt to “destroy” Martin Luther King–“destroy” is the FBI’s own term.
And finally, the PGA is cancelling their longstanding plans to hold the US Open at Trump’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey. Trump, we are told, is more devastated by this than by impeachment. The legendary sportswriter Robert Lipsyte comments on Trump and golf. (broadcast originally in August 2017)  1-14-2021

The Trump mob at the capitol: Harold Meyerson; Gregg Gonsalves on Vaccines; Ella Taylor on TV

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The Trump mob attack on the capitol should have been expected, says Harold Meyerson–Trump himself had been calling for it for weeks. But it signals an irreparable split in the Republican Party.
Also: Priorities for vaccination against covid-19 need to be based both on science and on ethics – Gregg Gonsalves explains.
And Ella Taylor talks about the documentary “Dissident,” on the murder of Jamal Kashoggi, and the Tom Hanks western, “News of the World.” 1-7-2021

Voters in 2020: Joan Walsh; Trump Kids in 2020: Amy Wilentz; Films in 2020: Ella Taylor

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A year, and a decade, of political challenges: Joan Walsh reviews the fall and rise of Kamala Harris, the return of Joe Biden, and the deepening problem posed over the last decade by white voters who now support Trump.
Also, Amy Wilentz looks back on how things went in 2020 for Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior and Little Eric.
And Ella Taylor talks about her favorite films of 2020 – starting with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman—his last film. 12-31-2020

Politics in 2020: Harold Meyerson; Remembering John le Carré: John Powers

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2020 began with Kamala Harris dropping out of the first primary, and is ending with Trump blowing up the Republican Party – it was also the year of the biggest protests in American history, organized by Black Lives Matter. Harold Meyerson comments.
And we’re still thinking about John le Carré, who died last week—he was 89, and one of the greats, author of two dozen books people called “spy novels,” although they were much more than that. John Powes comments — he’s critic-at-large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. 12-23-2020

Mike Davis on Covid-19; Amy Wilentz on Pardons for the Trump Kids; Ella Taylor on le Carré on film

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This week the US began vaccinating people against covid-19, and we consider proposals to establish a coronavirus commission, empowered to investigate the many failures in the fight against covid-19: is that something progressives should fight for? Mike Davis says “Yes” – and explains what’s at stake.
Also: Will Donald Trump pardon Ivanka and Jared—and Don Junior and Eric? What exactly are their crimes? It sounds like it’s time for another episode of The Children’s Hour—with Amy Wilentz.
Plus: John le Carré died on Saturday—he was 89 and one of the greats, author of two dozen books about the cold war and after; people called them “spy novels,” although they were much more than that. Ella Taylor reviews the best of the movies and TV mini-series based on the books, especially Alec Guiness as George Smiley.  12-17-2020

LA’s Progressive D.A.: Jody Armour; The Supremes & Trump: David Cole; “Coded Bias”: Ella Taylor

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L.A. elected a new progressive district attorney last month – George Gascon – and he just announced the sweeping changes he will make, starting with an end to cash bail and to sentencing “enhancements.” Jody Armour explains: he’s the Roy Crocker Professor of Law at USC, and his new book is “N*gga Theory: Race, language, unequal justice, and the law.”
Also: last week the Supreme Court heard arguments on Trump’s effort to change the way seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned.
It has been based on a state’s total population, as the Constitution requires; he wants to exclude the undocumented, which would mean California would lose 2 or 3 seats. David Cole reviews the arguments—he’s national legal director of the ACLU.
Plus: Our TV critic Ella Taylor talks about the documentary “Coded Bias,” and the women of color, scientists, who organized the Algorhythm Justice League; plus the Kate Winslet film “Ammonite,” and “Driveways,” Brian Dennehy’s last movie. 12-10-2020

Georgia Voters: Harold Meyerson; Trump Kids: Amy Wilentz; ‘Small Axe’: Ella Taylor

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Joe Biden got six million more votes than Donald Trump—so how come the Democrats did so poorly in the Senate and House elections? Harold Meyerson has an analysis – and some comments on how the Dems could win the Georgia Senate runoff.
Also: how are the Trump kids dealing with the refusal of their father to admit he lost the election? Amy Wilentz will comment—on another episode of The Children’s Hour, stories about Ivanka, Don Junior, Little Eric—and Lara. But who IS Lara Trump? Answers, later in this hour.
Plus our TV critic Ella Taylor talks about the series of five films about West Indians living in London in the sixties and seventies, made by Steve McQueen, the British artist and filmmaker—it’s play now on Amazon Prime. It’s called “Small Axe.”  12-3-2020

The Fight for Georgia: Stacey Abrams

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All eyes are on Georgia now, as the campaigns for both senate seats are underway to determine which party will control the US Senate. For Democrats, the starting point for winning in Georgia is the historic work of Stacey Abrams. When she ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 as the first African American and the first woman candidate, she got more votes than any Democrat in Georgia history, including Obama and Hillary Clinton. But because of Republican vote suppression she was not elected. Nevertheless she paved the way for Biden to win the state—a historic victory. We spoke with her in April 2019, about how she built the coalition that now hopes to win two senate seats in January.  11-25-20

Mike Davis on Trump Voters; Gregg Gonsalves on Vaccine Profits; Ella Taylor on ‘The Crown’

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Mike Davis on Trump voters: Latinos in south Texas and white workers in the rust belt—and Biden’s big mistake: allowing Trump to claim “the economy” as his issue, instead of connecting jobs to controlling the pandemic.
Also: Monday we had good news on a covid vacine from Moderna, created with a billion dollars of taxpayer funding. Gregg Gonsalves takes up the question, Why does Moderna get to keep all the profits?
And Ella Taylor talks about this season’s guilty pleasure on TV: “The Crown” – in season four, Margaret Thatcher fights the queen, and Prince Charles marries a woman he doesn’t love: Princess Diana. 11/20/2020

Trump’s Tactics Will Fail: Harold Meyerson; BLM Victories in LA: Jody Armour; “Collective”: Ella Taylor

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Harold Meyerson argues that none of Trump’s tactics to hold on to the White House will succeed—the lawsuits are ridiculous, the proposals for Republican state legislatures to send their own Trump electors to Washington won’t work. But the fact that Trump got more votes than any Republican in history gives him a lot of power over the party.
Also: the huge victories Black Lives Matter won at the polls in L.A. County: Jody Armour explains, starting with electing a progressive District Attorney, George Gascon. Jody’s new book is N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law.
And our TV critic Ella Taylor recommends “Collective,” a terrific documentary about corruption in Romania.  11-12-2020