Trump Watch

Elizabeth Warren Challenges Joe Biden: Joan Walsh and Jeet Heer

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Campaigning in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren has made her story an American story, Joan Walsh says, and thereby found a good way to connect her policy proposals to her own life, and thereby to other people’s lives–and also to refute critics who say she’s an out-of-touch policy wonk.
Also: Joe Biden and his friends: he says some of them were segregationist senators – and he thinks that was a good thing, something that made it possible for him to pass important legislation. Jeet Heer says that’s a fantasy—Republicans are not going to work with Biden if he gets the nomination and defeats Trump. Jeet is a new National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.  7/4/19

The Supremes OK Gerrymandering: John Nichols; plus Trump & Iran: Jeet Heer; & Florida Voting Rights: Sasha Abramsky

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The Supremes gave the green light to gerrymandering–a disaster, but they also blocked the census citizenship question, at least temporarily; and the first round of 2020 Democratic nominees debated last night, with Elizabeth Warren clearly dominating the discussion — John Nichols reports.
Next up, Trump and war with Iran–not this week: comment from Jeet Heer, the newly-appointed national affairs correspondent at The Nation.
Plus: The re-enfranchisement of felons who have served their sentences in Florida is law now and the Republicans are attacking it (again) — Sasha Abramsky reports. 6-27-19

Trump & Brexit: DD Guttenplan; Elon Musk & Mars: Katha Pollitt; Plus: Rashida Tlaib w/Nichols

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For most Americans, the question “Which is worse: Trump or Brexit?” has an easy answer: of course it’s Trump! But D. D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s new Editor, says it’s more complicated than that: for starters, Americans can get rid of Trump in next November’s elections, but it’s almost impossible now for the Brits to get rid of Brexit.
Also: Elon Musk wants us to go to Mars. Should we join him? Katha Pollitt explains why not – she wrote about zillionaires and space travel in this week’s column for Nation magazine.
Plus: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib talks with John Nichols about being one of the first two Muslim women in Congress. 6/20/19

Bernie on Socialism w/Meyerson; The Dems in CA w/David Dayen; The Indivisible Pledge w/Ezra Levin

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During Bernie’s speech in Washington yesterday he defined democratic socialism as: “Requiring and achieving political and economic freedom in every community in this country.” He also proposed a 21st century economic bill of rights, based on FDR’s 1944 proposals — which he described as “the unfinished business of the Democratic Party.”  For comment we turn to Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospoect.
Next up, the Democrats in California: Joe Biden was MIA at the state Democratic party convention–why was that?  David Dayen was there; he joins us with a report. Also: The Indivisible Pledge, to support whoever wins the Democratic nomination–because beating Trump is the most important thing.  Why didn’t Joe Biden sign? Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, the nationwide network of volunteers, explains.  6/13/19

Remembering our Mideast Wars: Andrew Bacevich; plus Katha Pollitt: Abortion & Men; Michael Ames: Bowe Bergdahl; & Ilhan Omar w/John Nichols

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Over 8,000 names are engraved on the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial, and each year, more are added. The wall is unlike any other war memorial in the US — particularly because of its location: not in Washington DC but in Marseilles, Illinois, a small prairie town with a population of about 5,000. We talk with historian Andrew Bacevich about his recent visit to the memorial.
Also: Isn’t abortion rights a women’s issue? Katha Polllitt says, ‘no’ and explains what men should be doing differently to help women and themselves.
Plus: Michael Ames on Bowe Bergdahl & the disaster of the Afghan war–his new book is “American Cypher”.
And Ilhan Omar on John Nichols’ new podcast from The Nation, “Next Left.”  6/6/19

Why does the NYTimes Hate Bernie? Amy Wilentz, plus Karen Greenberg on Redactions from the Muller Report

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Bernie is back on Page One of the New York Times, but their report last weekend was not about his new plan to save public schools–the most progressive education program in modern American history–or his proposal to end all subsidies for oil and gas companies. Instead, it was about a trip he made to Nicaragua in 1985, more than 30 years ago. They didn’t like it. How do we explain the New York Times’s coverage of Bernie Sanders? Amy Wilentz comments.
Plus: There are 1,000 redactions in the 448 pages of the Mueller report–individual names and entire pages–that we are not allowed to see. They are part of a larger problem of government secrecy which started long before Trump and which is now threatening to cripple our democracy—Karen Greenberg explains.  5/30/19

Joe Biden has One Thing in Common with Donald Trump: Harold Meyerson; plus Laila Lalalami

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Joe Biden has one thing in common with Donald Trump: a campaign promising “restoration” of a lost past, rather than the kind of transformation we need to deal with our current problems—that’s what Harold Meyerson says. Of course, the past Biden wants to restore is not the white man’s 1950s, but rather the pre-Trump America of the Clintons and Obama.
And we talk about immigrants with Nation magazine columnist Laila Lalami—her new novel is ‘The Other Americans,’ 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.  5/23/19

Bill McKibben: Fear & Hope about Climate Change, plus Amy Wilentz on the Other Ruined Notre Dame

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The ‘debate’ over global warming was always phony. Bill McKibben says the fossil fuel industry knew everything there was to know about climate change back in the 1980s. And they believed what their scientists were telling them. Exxon started building all its drilling rigs to compensate for the rise in sea level it knew was coming. But of course the thing they didn’t do was tell any of the rest of us. Just the opposite. They’ve spent billions of dollars building the architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that has spread with relentless efficiency the lie that science was unsure about climate change. Bill talks about his new book “Falter.”
Also: there’s another ruined Cathedral of Notre Dame awaiting reconstruction — in Haiti, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Amy Wilentz talks about why France should pay reparations to Haiti to help rebuild it. 5/16/19

Is Joe Biden Necessary? Joan Walsh; Impeachment is Necessary: Joshua Holland

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When Joe Biden finally declared his candidacy, he immediately pulled way out in front in the polls of Democratic candidates. The polls also show him the one most likely to beat Trump. Joan Walsh points to some of the problems with Biden—a centrist who is focusing on older white male voters–and considers the alternatives.
Also: the case for impeachment—starting with the Mueller Report, and what Trump has done since its release. The politics of impeachment may be debatable, But congress’s duty is clear–that’s what Joshua Holland says.
Also: when muckraking journalists, independent Marxists, trade-union rebels, freedom riders, beatniks and peace protesters all found a home at America’s Oldest Weekly, The Nation magazine. That was the work of a great editor—who was also a great historian–Carey McWilliams. Peter Richardson will explain. 5/9/19

The Lies of William Barr: John Nichols

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Today, the AG is defying the House of Representatives — after a day of lies and deception with the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. we turn to John Nichols for comment; he says it’s time to impeach — both the president and the attorney general.
Also: The changing American electorate favors the Democrats, big time: Steve Phillips explains.
Plus, Michael Walzer on his seminal how-to guide for political activists: “Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics”.  5/2/19