Trump Watch

Trump, Iran, & the World: John Nichols; Politics in Orange County: Gustavo Arellano; plus Australia on Fire

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The House voted on the war powers resolution and we are NOT at war with Iran today — for comment and analysis we turn to John Nichols, who emphasizes that the world finds itself in the tenuous circumstance of counting on an unstable Iran to act rationally when Trump keeps making irrational pronouncements.
Also: progressive politics in the red, purple and blue districts of Orange County — Gustavo Arellano reports on the county which not long ago was the bedrock of Reagan Republicanism.
Plus: Fires continue to devastate Australia; Lizzie O’Shea reports from Melbourne. Also, we talk about her new book, ‘Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us About Digital Technology’  1/9/20

2020 will Bring a Historic Defeat for the GOP: Stan Greenberg, plus Stacey Abrams, & Kathleen Belew on White Nationalists

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The 2020 election will liberate us from Donald Trump and Republican hegemony. A sweeping Democratic victory will make it possible at last for us to address our most serious problems. That’s what Stan Greenberg says – he’s a longtime pollster and adviser to Democratic presidents from Clinton to Obama. He’s also a bestselling author, with a new book out – it has the wonderful title R.I.P. G.O.P.: how the New America is Dooming the Republicans.
Plus: Stacey Abrams probably would be governor of Georgia right now if the vote count had been fair and the vote suppression stopped – she’s a remarkable person and a fighter for the right to vote. Her new book is “Lead from the Outside”–it was Number Three on the New York Times bestseller list.
Also: We look back at some of the big events of 2019, and some of our favorite interviews, starting with the terrorist attacks by white nationalists,
in El Paso and elsewhere. Historian Kathleen Belew says they are NOT isolated events carried out by loners; in fact they are connected, the work of a movement, with tens of thousands of active members. 12/26/19

 

Does impeachment help the Democratic candidates? Harold Meyerson-
plus Azadeh Moaveni on the Women of ISIS

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Wednesday was the worst day of Trump’s life: He became the third president to be impeached.  But does impeachment help the Democratic candidates? Harold Meyerson doesn’t think so — he’s editor at large of the American Prospect.
Also, our segment that has nothing to do with Trump: Thousands of Muslim women left their homes in the US and Europe to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the Islamic State, especially after it declared a Caliphate in 2013. Many of them were educated and successful – Why did they do it? Azadeh Moaveni wanted to find out—she spent years interviewing former ISIS women in camps in Turkey and Kurdistan. Her book is ““Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS.” 12/19/19

Lessons for 2020 from the Dems’ Victories in Virginia: Joan Walsh,
plus Trump & War Criminals: Jeet Heer, & Bryce Covert: the Strike Wave

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Last month, Virginia became the first Southern state in the post-civil rights movement era to entirely flip back to Democratic control. How did they do it? And can the Democrats do the same thing in other states in 2020? Joan Walsh comments.
Also: what Trump is doing about war criminals: maybe you heard that he’s pardoning them–and firing Pentagon officials who object. Jeet Heer has a report, and a political analysis.
Plus: More workers went on strike in America last year than at any time since 1986, more than 20 years ago. There’s something happening here–we have comment from Bryce Covert. 12/12/19

Bernie talks politics-with John Nichols; plus Scorsese’s “The Irishman”: John Powers

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Bernie’s back in second place – he spoke recently with John Nichols of The Nation, and we have highlights—“It can’t all be Bernie Sanders,” he says to John, emphasizing that a movement is necessary to change America.
Also: Martin Scorcese’s new film “The Irishman” is playing now on Netflix; it claims to tell the true story of the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, the head of the Teamsters Union, who disappeared in 1974. But nobody who’s studied that history thinks the movie is right about what happened to Hoffa. Does that fact change our judgement about the film? John Powers comments; he’s critic at large for Fresh Air with Terry Gross. 12-4-19

Drafting Articles of Impeachment: for Trump, & Nixon: Rick Perlstein; plus John Powers on John LeCarre

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The Trump impeachment proceedings have one big difference from Nixon’s–the Republicans are not participating in drafting articles of impeachment. Rick Perlstein argues that, as a result, the Democrats should include all of Trump’s high crimes–not just those that might win a few Republican votes.
And we also talk about one of our favorite writers, John le Carré –he has a new book out: ‘Agent Running in the Field’–they’re calling it his “Brexit book.” It’s number five on the best seller list. He’s now 88 years old, he’s written twenty-six books, mostly about loyalty and betrayal, mostly during the Cold War – they’ve been published in over 50 countries and 40 languages. John Powers comments-–he’s Critic-at-Large on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross.  11/28/19

Impeachment hearing highlights: Harold Meyerson; Sherrod Brown on Politics; Against Biden w/ DD Guttenplan

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This week’s impeachment hearings–esp. Gordon Sondland and Fiona Hill–leave the Republicans with no good arguments. Harold Meyerson comments, and takes up the question, why are they focusing exclusively on Ukraine when Trump has committed so many other crimes?
Next up, Senator Sherrod Brown was reelected in Ohio by 7 points, a state Hillary lost by 8. We ask him: what are the lessons for 2020?
Plus: Against Biden — D.D. Guttenplan explains The Nation’s “anti-endorsement” of the former vice-president.  11/21/19

Impeachment Day One: John Nichols; Deportations Then and Now: Adam Hochschild; “The Great Eastern”: Howard Rodman

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Impeachment proceedings began yesterday–John Nichols comments; he has some doubts about “bribery” as a charge.
Also: it’s an unhappy anniversary: 100 years since the Palmer Raids. Adam Hochshild talks about deportations of people the government considered “undesirable” – in 1919–and also today.
Also, Howard Rodman reads from and talks about his new novel “The Great Eastern.” Ricky Jay called it “A splendid and notable achievement.”  11/15/19

The Koch Brothers and Donald Trump; How TV Made Trump; Ilhan Omar in Minneapolis

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Christopher Leonard explains why the Koch Brothers did not want Trump to get the nomination – and how they got to be as wealthy, and politically active, as they are. His new book is “Kochland.”
Also: We all know Trump got famous on TV with The Apprentice – but how many of us ever watched The Apprentice? Reality TV was a key force in making Trump president. Tom Carson talks about “Audience of One” by James Poniewozik. Tom, a longtime writer on pop culture and politics, won two National Magazine Awards during his time as Esquire‘s “Screen” columnist; now he writes for BookForum.
Pls: Ilhan Omar has endorsed Bernie for president – how does she deal with Trump’s vicious attacks? David Perry has spent the last few months with her in her Minneapolis district—he says he’s never seen a politician talk as little about themselves as she does in her town halls.  10/31/19

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