Trump Watch

Trump’s Favorite Justice: Clarence Thomas–Corey Robin; plus Katha Pollitt on abortion and Sasha Abramsky

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Trump says his favorite Supreme Court justice is Clarence Thomas – but Thomas is not a conventional right-wing thinker, Corey Robin says—he’s a conservative black nationalist. Corey’s new book is “The Enigma of Clarence Thomas.”
Plus: The political promise of the abortion pill: Despite the fact that more than 75% of Americans favor Roe v. Wade, abortion rights face increasing jeopardy at the Supreme Court,
and the right finally succeed at defunding Planned Parenthood. But there’s one immensely promising factor at work: abortion drugs, especially misoprostol, which is easily obtained on the Internet, despite the FDA’s attempts to prevent online pharmacies from selling them. Katha Pollitt will explain.
Also: Our increasingly desperate president: even Fox News has become an inconsistent and unreliable defender of Trump’s actions. Sasha Abramsky will separate Trump’s efforts at distraction from the political reality he now faces. 10-24-19

Bernie Looks Great-and Biden Doesn’t: John Nichols; plus Elie Mystal on the Supremes and Amy Wilentz on Ivanka and Impeachment

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Twelve Democrats debated for three hours on TV Tuesday night.  John Nichols says Bernie looked great–and Biden didn’t.
Also: The Supreme Court term began its fall term this week–and even though Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed at the start of last year’s court term, this year the Supremes’ decisions will be worse – a lot worse. Elie Mystal explains why—he’s the executive editor of Above the Law and a contributing writer for The Nation.
Plus: a new episode of ‘The Children’s Hour’–stories about Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior, and little Eric. This week: who’s helping Dad fight impeachment? Amy Wilentz has our story. 10-17-19

White Power from Reagan to Trump-Kathleen Belew, plus Joan Walsh on Republicans & Trump in Minneapolis

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Trump’s base among white nationalists goes back to at least the Reagan era. The recent El Paso killings have been treated as an isolated event carried out by a loner. But the attacks in Charleston, Charlottesville, Christchurch, El Paso and elsewhere are connected; they are all part of the White Power movement, with roots going back to the 1970s. That’s what Kathleen Belew says — she writes for the New York Times op-ed page, she teaches history at the University of Chicago, and she’s the author of the book “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America,” it’s out now in paperback.
Also: Your Minnesota moment: Trump comes to Minneapolis, home of Ilhan Omar, on Thursday night.
Plus: The big question about impeachment is not the House — there now seem to be enough votes there to pass at least one article of impeachment–the big question is about the Senate and whether some Republicans will abandon Trump. Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake says that at least 35 Republican senators would vote to remove Trump from office–IF they could vote in private. Joan Walsh comments.  10/10/19

John Nichols on Impeachment; D.D. Guttenplan on Edward Snowden; Day One Post Trump–David Dayen

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After months of resisting calls for impeachment, Nancy Pelosi has authorized beginning the proceedings–and the whistleblowers’ complaint became public today — it’s devastating for Trump. John Nichols comments on the latest.
Next up: Edward Snowden has published an new memoir called “Permanent Record” — for comment we turn to DD Guttenplan, editor of The Nation, which has published an excerpt.
Plus: What should day one of the post Trump era look like? We talk with David Dayen of the American Prospect about the things that the next president of the US could do on the first day in office without passing any new legislation. 9/26/19

Working Families Party Endorses Warren: John Nichols; UAW On Strike: Jane McAlevey; Tories v. GOP: D.D. Guttenplan

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The Working Families Party has just endorsed Elizebeth Warren – not Bernie Sanders. For comment and analysis we turn to John Nichols, host of the Nation podcast “Next Left”.
Next Up: Fifty-thousand auto workers went out on strike Sunday night against General Motors – we hear from Jane McAlevey, the new Strikes Correspondent at The Nation.
Plus: The Tories rebelled against Boris Johnson; how come the GOP doesn’t rebel against Trump? DD Guttenplan compares and contrasts the two parties.  9/18/19

Afghanistan After a US Pullout: Andrew Bacevich; California’s New Gig Workers Law: Harold Meyerson; HUAC and history: David Maraniss

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How will the American war in Afghanistan end? Probably like the American war in Southeast Asia–that’s what Andrew Bacevich says– he’s Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University.
Next up: A new labor law has passed in the state of California, requiring that gig workers at Uber, Lyft and elsewhere be classified as employees — how big a deal is it? Harold Meyerson of the American Prospect explains.
Also: Who is “Un-American”? We talk with David Maraniss, author of the new book, “A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father”.  9/12/19

The Problems with Biden on Labor & Climate: Harold Meyerson; Amy Wilentz on Melania; Educating girls in Afghanistan

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Democratic candidates debated climate change last night on CNN and we’re especially interested in what the front-runner in the polls, Joe Biden, had to say; also, a new labor bill that could determine the future of the gig economy — for comment, we turn to Harold Meyerson.
Next up: Is Melania Trump a secret hero of the people– or an accomplice of evil?  Amy Wilentz explains.
Also: Sola means “peace” in Pashto; and SOLA (The School of Leadership, Afghanistan)is the first and only boarding school for girls in Kabul; we talk with the school’s founder, Shabana Basij-Rasikh about the future of girls’ education in Afghanistan after an American pullout.  9-5-19

The Green New Deal & Labor: Harold Meyerson; Trump’s Polls: Jeet Heer; J. Hoberman on Movies and Reagan

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In Los Angeles, a local of the electrical workers, the IBEW, has blocked the city from signing a deal for the cheapest solar power in history – and has been running ads on TV opposing the mayor’s Green New Deal proposal to move to renewable energy. A similar dynamic is underway in northern Minnesota, where the Building Trades unions are supporting a pipeline that would bring crude from the terrible Alberta Tar Sands to the port of Superior/Duluth–“Enbridge Line 3,” which is opposed by Elizabeth Warren–in her biggest campaign appearance to date, at Macalester College in St. Paul. Harold Meyerson comments — and points to the unions that support the Green New Deal.
Also: Trump is trailing badly in the polls–so how does he think he can win? Jeet Heer explains.
Plus: Star Wars, Ghost Busters, Rocky and Dirty Harry — we talk with J. Hoberman author of “Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan”. 8/29/19

DSA says ‘Bernie or Bust’: Meyerson; Katha on Jeffrey Epstein; Nichols on White Nationalism

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If Bernie does NOT get the nomination, the Democratic Socialists of America will not endorse the Democrat who does. “Bernie or Bust” was what they decided at their recent convention – but is that a good idea? Harold Meyerson comments–he’s editor-at-large of The American Prospect and a regular contributor to the LA Times op-ed page.
Also: Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile and accused sex trafficker – who surrounded himself with an elite network of political leaders, wannabe billionaire types, and even scientists – and who committed suicide. Katha Pollitt considers the people who have been named in court documents as having accepted invitations from Jeffrey Epstein and also had sex with the underage girls he provided.
Plus: After the El Paso killings by a white nationalist–Tucker Carlson said on Fox news that white supremacy was “not a real problem in America.” He called it “a hoax, just like the Russia hoax.” John Nichols examines the history of white nationalism in recent American politics, going back to the election of Barack Obama.  8/22/19

Taking it to the Streets: Katha Pollitt; plus D.D. Guttenplan: the Green New Deal: Our Moonshot; and Pico Iyer on Peter Matthiessen

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Trump gets worse every week. Two years ago we had massive nationwide protest demonstrations — so why don’t more people take it to the streets these days? Nation columnist Katha Pollitt has been thinking about that.
Plus: last month was the 50th anniversary of Americans walking on the moon-what would it take to get a similar mobilization today of money & effort—and vision–-to combat climate change? D.D. Guttenplan comments – he’s editor of The Nation.
Also: Fifteen Minutes without Trump – we want to take a brief break from Trump Talk, and instead,we want to talk about a trek in the Himalayas –
would you call that taking a break from Trump? We spoke with Pico Iyer about Peter Mattheson’s exploration of suffering, impermanence, and beauty in his classic book The Snow Leopard — it’s out now in paperback.  8/15/19