Trump Watch

Trump and Immigrants: Laila Lalami; plus Michael Walzer on Organizing, and Michael Ames on Bowe Bergdahl

Listen HERE
Trump’s target in the 2020 election will be immigrants, ‘The Other Americans’—that’s the title of the new novel by Laila Lalami. Her last novel, “The Moor’s Account,” won the American book award and was a Pulitzer finalist. She’s written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, and The Guardian, and she’s a columnist for The Nation.
Plus: we talk about organizing to defeat Trump–about movement strategies and tactics, & political issues and campaigns. Our guest is Michael Walzer — His new book is “Political Action: A practical guide to Movement politics.”
Also: during the presidential campaign, Donald Trump often talked about an American soldier in Afghanistan who became the longest-held American POW since Vietnam. Trump said was quote “a dirty rotten traitor” who should be shot or thrown from a plane. He was talking about Bowe Bergdahl, that story is told in a new book, “American Cypher”–we’ll speak with the co-author, Michael Ames. 8/1/19

Democracy in Trouble: Astra Taylor; plus Viet Nguyen on Refugees

Listen HERE
Democracy is not doing well these days – we have Trump, and Brexit, and a host of other examples. Astra Taylor has been thinking about that: she talks about the paradoxes of rule by the people, the many ways it’s being frustrated, and why it remains at the center of our hopes for the future. Her new book is “Democracy may not exist, but we’ll miss it when it’s gone.”
Also: Trump will make hatred and fear of refugees and immigrants a central theme of his reelection campaign next year – and so we turn to Viet Nguyen – he’s a Pulitzer-prize winner and recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius” grant – and he says “call me a refugee, not an immigrant.” His book “The Displaced,” featuring writing by refugees,is out now in paperback. 7/22/19

How Trump Happened: Joy Reid; plus Jared’s Mideast Peace “Plan”: Amy Wilentz

Listen HERE
Racial anxiety was more important than economic anxiety in motivating Trump’s voters, Joy Reid of MSNBC argues. A key factor in Trump’s victory was nostalgia for a white, Christian America where men were still in charge. And of course Hillary fell short not only with male voters but with voters of color overall. Joy’s new book is The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.
Also: Jared Kushner’s Mideast Peace Plan, announced in Bahrain to an audience of billionaires and Gulf potentates, promised $50 billion in economic development funds to Palestinians—if they would abandon their aspirations for an independent state. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis participated in the conference. Amy Wilentz, a longtime contributing editor at The Nation, comments – she was Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker.  7/19/19

Trump’s Census Defeat: John Nichols; Anti-Immigrant History: Linda Gordon; MAD Magazine RIP: Jeet Heer

Listen HERE
Today, Trump admitted defeat on is effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 United States Census — as he addressed cameras live from the White House Rose Garden, we turned to John Nichols for comment.
Next: Walls have been used against immigrants to the US before Trump– historian Linda Gordon talks about the 1920s, when anti-immigrant hostility conquered Congress.
Also: MAD Magazine (1952 – 2020): Jeet Heer on the death and influence of “one of the major showcases for media criticism in America.” 7/12/19

Elizabeth Warren Challenges Joe Biden: Joan Walsh and Jeet Heer

Listen HERE
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

Listen HERE
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

Listen HERE
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

Listen HERE
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

Listen HERE
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

Listen HERE
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