Trump Watch

The Protests, the Police, & the President: Harold Meyerson; “Reaganland”: Rick Perlstein; Virus-Time TV: Ella Taylor

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In almost all of our big cities we’ve seen massive protest against racist police violence after the murder of George Floyd by that Minneapolis cop — in almost every city the police response to protest against police violence has been more police violence. For comment we turn to Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect.
Next up, can Trump do what Nixon did with white backlash — when it comes to backlash, will America in 2020 be like America in 1968, or Reagan in 1980? We talk with Rick Perlstein, author of “Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980” out in August of 2020.
Plus: Virus-time TV with Ella Taylor — this week, police procedurals with women detectives: starting with the Netflix mini-series “Unbelievable”.  6/5/2020


Tara Reade vs. the Evidence: Katha Pollitt; “Shirley”: Ella Taylor; “Kochland”: Christopher Leonard

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Did Joe Biden sexually assault Tara Reade in 1993? Katha Pollitt examines the evidence—and concludes that it supports Biden’s denial. Especially significant: the PBS NewsHour interviews with 74 former Biden staffers, of whom 62 were women; none said they had experienced sexual harassment, assault or misconduct by Biden. All said they never heard any rumors or allegations of Biden engaging in sexual misconduct, until the recent assault allegation made by Tara Reade.
Also: Film critic Ella Taylor has news you can use — some recommendations about virus-time television. In particular: the new film “Shirley” starring Elisabeth Moss and novelist Shirley Jackson.
Also: Your Minnesota Moment: today, the secret history of the Koch Brothers: how the key to their empire, and their fortune, is a refinery south of St. Paul. Christopher Leonard has that story—his book is “Kochland.”  5/28/2020

The Labor Movement After the Virus: Harold Meyerson, plus Greil Marcus on ‘The Great Gatsby’

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High unemployment usually hurts working class organizing–“except when it doesn’t,” Harold Meyerson says. He looks a the possible futures for the labor movement when the virus is finished. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect.
Also: Greil Marcus has a new book out–it’s about The Great Gatsby and its place in American culture and American life–including on Saturday Night Live with Andy Kaufman. Greil of course has written many books, Starting with the classic “Mystery Train” and including “Lipstick Traces.” His new book is titled “Under the Red White and Blue: Patriotism, Disenchantment and the Stubborn Myth of The Great Gatsby.” 5-21-2020

The Battle for the Soul of the Democratic Party: Nichols; Those Trump Kids: Wilentz; The Supremes & Inequality: Cohen

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Before Bernie and AOC, before Jesse Jackson and George McGovern, there was Henry Wallace, FDR’s vice president, who fought for the soul of the Democratic party in the 1940s. John Nichols tells that story, and links it to today’s battles between progressives and Wall Street Democrats—his new book, out now, is “The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party.”
Also: One of the key forces making inequality greater in America has been the Supreme Court — Adam Cohen will explain — his new book is, “Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America.”
Plus: a new episode of “The Children’s Hour” with Amy Wilenz, stories about Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior, and little Eric–boy are those kids in trouble this week! Amy of course is our Chief Jared Correspondent—and was just awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.

David Dayen: Save the Postal Service!; Mike Davis: the virus around the world; John Powers: Virus Time TV

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s parts of the US reopened their economies, the Trump Administration defunded the W.H.O., and Dr. Micheal Osterholm reminded that the point of flattening the curve was not to keep everyone from getting the virus, it was to spread-out the infection-rate over time – Mike Davis reports.
Next up, we talk with David Dayen of the American Prospect about the need to save the United States Postal Service; he also reports on reasons for the shortage of hospital beds in New York City, the US healthcare system on the whole and Medicare for all.
Plus, John Powers of NPR’s Fresh Air makes his recommendations for virus-time TV watching.  5-7-2020

Harold Meyerson: The Virus and the Workers; Joseph Stiglitz: The Virus and the Economy; Katrina vanden Heuvel: the Virus and Solidarity

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the US has “one of the poorest systems of unemployment insurance in the world”—and that our number one priority should be to keep workers connected to their jobs. His book “People, Power and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent” is out now in paperback, with a new preface.
Plus: Harold Meyerson has today’s update in the politics of the coronavirus–and we also talk about about the future of labor after the pandemic.
Also: Katrina vanden Heuvel reports on solidarity with the front-line workers fighting the virus—starting in New York, where people cheer hospital workers coming off their shifts at 7pm every night.
Finally: Where’s Paul Krassner when we need him? 4-30-2020

Mike Davis: Coronavirus Around the World; plus Harold Meyerson and Barbara Ehrenreich

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Mike Davis argues that the coronavirus crisis is bringing about the fragmentation of Europe and the marginalization of the WHO; he also considers the danger to Africa, and whether China will emerge less powerful in the world economy because of the rise of economic nationalism. Mike wrote about the avian flu in ‘The Monster at Our Door.’
Plus Harold Meyerson comments on southern states reopening for business–and also surveys the possible Democratic candidates for vice president.
Also Barbara Ehrenreich reports on her experiment in trying to survive on low wage work. Her classic essay “Nickel and Dimed,” is the lead piece in her new book, a collection of essays titled Had I Known. We recorded this interview when her book Nickel and Dimed was published, in 2002.  4/22/20

The Good News from Wisconsin: John Nichols; plus Harold Meyerson on Bernie and Biden

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Despite massive Republican efforts to prevent Democrats from voting in the Wisconsin primary, the Democrats won–by a huge margin. John Nichols explains how they did it — and the implications for November.
Also: Harold Meyerson comments on Bernie’s endorsement of Biden on Sunday – and the skepticism of some of Bernie’s supporters about Biden, as well as the apparent reluctance of some progressive leaders to join Bernie in the endorsement.  4-16-2020

John Nichols: Wisconsin votes–or tries to; plus Bob Edelman on Cold War Sports and Laila Lalami

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Republicans forced Wisconsin to go ahead with an election on Tuesday, despite the coronavirus, after rejecting the proposals to extend voting by mail. John Nichols reports — he says it’s a frightening example of what they will try to do in November to reduce the Democratic vote.
Also: The Cold War was fought in many ways: it was a traditional political and military confrontation, but it was also a cultural contest, on a global scale –
and one of the most important arenas in the cultural contest was sports. historian Robert Edelman explains: he’s co-editor of the new book The Whole World Was Watching: Sport in the Cold War.”
Plus: Nation columnist Laila Lalami talks about her novel “The Other Americans.” it’s about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant in a small town in California. It’s a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story. And it’s out now in paperback.  4-10-2020

Republicans and the Virus Economy: Harold Meyerson; plus E.J. Dionne, Katha Pollitt & Gail Collins

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Harold Meyerson reports that Republicans in the Senate voted against expanded unemployment benefits almost unanimously. And the bailout support for big banks and corporations has many fewer restrictions than the small business funding support. But moments of crisis are also moments of opportunity, and number one on the Dem’s list should be Medicare for All.
Also: E. J. Dionne, the Washington Post columnist, talks about what it’s going to take to beat Trump in the Age of the Coronavirus – his new book is called “Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country.”
Also, Katha Pollitt has some advice about how to spend all those hours at home – watching movies on TV — and reading the classics.
And finally, the great Gail Gollins of the New York Times op-ed page talks about the adventures of older women. Her book, “No Stopping us Now,” is out in paperback. 4/2/20