Trump Watch

Chris Hayes: Fear and Hope; Manuel Pastor: Covid and Inequality; Ella Taylor: Russian hackers

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We are in “one of the most perilous and fraught moments for American democracy since the mid-nineteenth century,” says Chris Hayes; what’s hopeful is that “the movement we’ve seen in the streets is the largest protest movement in American history.” Chris of course hosts “All In” weeknights on MSNBC; he’s also editor-at-large of The Nation, and he spoke recently with Katrina vanden Heuvel at a Nation magazine online event.
Plus: Covid-19 is the disease that reflects all our social and economic illnesses: that’s what Manuel Pastor says, he’s director of the Equity Research Institute at USC. He reports on who’s got the dangerous jobs and who’s unemployed, which kids have computers and internet connections for at-home classes, and which don’t, and whether Trump’s effort to recruit Latino voters in key states might work.
Also: Russian efforts to interfere with our elections – that’s the subject of a new HBO documentary by one of our favorite documentary makers, Alex Gibney. He’s got footage from inside Russian “troll farms” and videos unearthed from the Russian deep web to reveal the “agents of chaos” who were key players in our elections. Ella Taylor has a review – she’s our resident TV critic.  9-17-20

Rick Perlstein: From Reagan to Trump; Katie Porter on the postal service, Ella Taylor: ’60s TV

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Rick Perlstein talks about the rise of Reagan, from what seemed like a career-ending defeat in the 1976 GOP primary, to his narrow victory in the popular vote in 1980–and how the darkness of the culture war has shaped the Republican Party that Trump came to dominate. Rick’s long-awaited book, 1100 pages long, is “Reaganland: America’s Right Turn, 1976-1980.”
Also: Katie Porter, the new member of Congress who flipped a longtime Republican district in Orange County, talks about defending the postal service and about ending student loan debt.
Plus: we’ll talk about politics on TV in 1968 with Ella Taylor — and about a new documentary, called “The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show,” when his guests included Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and also Aretha Franklin. And it’s streaming now on Peacock.  9-10-2020

Republicans! Harold Meyerson; Trump Kids: Amy Wilentz; Deportation Doc: Ella Taylor

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The Republican National Convention was hard to watch, but Harold Meyerson did it for us. He reports on the highlights (Melania, dressed like Fidel) and the low moments (Kimberly Gilfoyle, sounding like Mussolini).
Also: The Children’s Hour, stories about Don Jr., Ivanka, Little Eric, and Tiffany, told by Amy Wilentz. Today: the kids go to the convention!
Plus: Our TV critic Ella Taylor recommends the six-part documentary “Immigration Nation” on Netflix, and the 72-episode drama “A French Village,” about collaboration and resistance in WWII – on Prime.  8/27/2020

Naomi Klein: Black Lives Matter & the Pandemic; Gregg Gonsalves: Vaccine Politics; Ella Taylor on ‘Boys’ State”

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The pandemic has slowed the speed of life under capitalism, Naomi Klein suggests in her recent conversation with Katrina vanden Heuvel—and that has created greater empathy and solidarity, expressed in the unprecedented support for the Movement for Black Lives. But the “Screen New Deal”—the virtual classroom and workplace—are bringing greater isolation and increasing corporate power.
Also: Trump’s rushing to develop a vaccine and declare victory over Covid-19 just before the November election – whether or not the current research, “Operation Warp Speed,” has succeeded. Gregg Gonsalves explains the challenges to the researchers, and the dangers posed by Trump: an ineffective vaccine that will create more resistance and skepticism about future vaccines. Gregg teaches epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health. He’s also the winner of a MacArthur genius fellowship.
Plus Ella Taylor talks about the new film “Boy’s State” – it’s about 1100 teenage boys in Texas brought together by the American Legion to organize a state government. And no, it’s not a horror movie – it’s a documentary.
Finally, Your Minnesota Moment: Ilhan Omar defeats a well-funded opponent.  8-13-20

Tom Frank: Trump, Biden & ‘Populism’; Ella Taylor on TV; Mike Davis: LA before Watts

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We’ve been told many times that Trump won the 2016 election because his populist appeal won the white working class. Populism is the problem, in this view — populism mobilized the irrationality, bigotry, & authoritarianism of the white working class. Tom Frank say that’s all wrong — he wrote the classic “What’s the Matter with Kansas?,” and now he has a new book out: “The People, NO: A Brief History of anti-Populism.”
And Ella Taylor reviews “A Thousand Cuts,” a documentary about fascism in the Phillipines – where the regime of President Rodriguez Duterte has killed 30,000 people, claiming they were drug dealers – and drug users.  It’s on PBS Frontline.
Also: Mike Davis talks about LA in the Sixties –the huge nonviolent direct action campaign for integrated housing that came before Watts. The defeat of that campaign, in a statewide referendum, was one of the things that made the Watts rebellion, 55 years go this month, inevitable.  8-6-2020

Portland and protest: David Cole, plus Ella Taylor on TV and Mike Davis on LA in the Sixties

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The Feds vs the Protests in Portland: David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, explains what’s at stake there.  He also proposes one way to reduce police misconduct: reduce enforcement of misdemeanors, which account for 16 million arrests annually.
And Ella Taylor reviews a documentary on the ACLU’s legal battles of the past few years–the fight for immigrant rights, voting rights, abortion rights and LGBTQ rights.
Also, Mike Davis talks about LA in the Sixties –the fight in those years against the LAPD and for black lives continues today.  7/30/2020

Fascism comes to Portland: Harold Meyerson; Disarm the Police: D.D. Guttenplan; plus Ella Taylor on TV

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Trump’s “performative authoritarianism” is a campaign ploy designed for Fox News—that’s what Harold Meyerson says about Trump sending federal forces into the streets of Portland to grab activists off the streets.  Harold is Editor at Large of The American Prospect.
Plus: it’s time to disarm the police—that’s what Don Guttenplan argues.  He’s editor of The Nation.
And film critic Ella Taylor is back with virus-time TV recommendations: this week, two Netflix shows about Brazil: an animated feature on migrant labor, and a documentary about the crisis of democracy there.  7-23-2020

Defund the LAPD–Kelly Lytle Hernandez; plus BLM is everywhere; Amy Wilentz on Ivanka and Ella Taylor on “Stateless”

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Black Lives Matter-L.A. says “defund the LAPD.” And the sherriffs, and the school police. Kelly Lytle Hernandez explains – she teaches history at UCLA, and she’s the recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius” grant.
Also: Black Lives Matter protests are everywhere, including some fo the most unlikely places: Zoe Carpenter reports on what’s been happening in Laramie, Wyoming; Florence, Alabama; and even Vidor, Texas—it’s a former Ku Klux Klan haven that Texas Monthly described as the state’s “most hate-filled town.”
Plus: another episode of “The Children’s Hour,” stories about Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior, and Little Eric, with Amy Wilentz. This week Ivanka gets in trouble for wearing a mask – and Don Junior’s girlfriend tests positive.
And Ella Taylor talks about the new Netflix series “Stateless,” about a refugee detention camp in Australia, created by and starring Kate Blanchett—and also about “The Old Guard,” starring Charlize Theron, it’s the first superhero movie directed by an African-American woman, Gina Prince-Bythewood.  7-16-2020

Why the US is the World’s Sickest Country: Harold Meyerson; plus Ella Taylor on ‘Perry Mason” and Sandra Bland Remembered

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The US accounts for 4 per cent of the world’s population, but 25 per cent of the people who have come down with COVID-19 and 25 percent of those who’ve died from it. How did the richest country in the world –that spends the most on health care–become the sickest? Harold Meyerson comments.
Also: in our ‘news you can use’ segment, Ella Taylor talks about the new L.A. noir detective show, “Perry Mason”–and about the wonderful HBO series “My Brilliant Friend,” about two girls growing up poor in Naples in the Fifties.
Also later in this hour: Black Lives Matter, and Sandra Bland’s was one of them. This week is the fifth anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail—July 13, 2015. What happened to Sandra Bland? To understand that, you have to begin way before she died. Debbie Nathan reports on the life, as well as the death, of Sandra Bland.  7-9-2020

The Coronavirus Spike: David Dayen; Michelle Goodwin: Racism in Mpls.; Ella Taylor: “Babylon Berlin”

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As new cases of Covid-19 continue to climb, the price of the drug Remsidivir, which helps reduce hospital stays, was announced: $3,120. Cost to Gilead Pharmaceuticals of production: $10. David Dayen talks about Biden how could cut the price–he’s executive editor of The American Prospect, and writes the daily “Desanitized” blog.
Also: UC Irvine law prof Michelle Goodwin talks about her experience of racism in Minneapolis.
And film critic Ella Taylor discusses “Babylon Berlin,” the German series set against the rise of fascism in Germany in 1929, and Kore-Eda’s new film “The Truth,” starring Catherine Deneuve. 7/2/2020