Trump Watch

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

The Supremes and the census: Harold Meyerson; plus Stacey Abrams on her campaign, and Joan Walsh on Gillibrand

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New York v. US Dep’t of Commerce, the challenge to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, was heard on Tuesday.  Why Trump wants it–and why the conservative majority is not objecting: Harold Meyerson comments.  Also, Joe Biden announced his campaign for the presidency–he says he can win back the older white working class men in PA, MI and WI that Hillary lost.
Next up, Stacey Abrams talks about her life and shares advice from her book, ‘Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change’.
Also: Kirsten Gillibrand: how authentic has her lean to the left been? Joan Walsh comments. 4/25/19

The Mueller Report: Now it’s Congress’s Turn. John Nichols–plus Bill McKibben, and We Remember Gary Stewart

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The Mueller Report–we have the evidence, especially on obstruction; now Congress needs to do its part. John Nichols reports.
Plus: Our Climate Moment: we talk with Bill McKibben, founder of 350.0rg, about balancing fear and hope in the face of the grim realities of climate change — his new book is “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”
Also: Gary Stewart, activist, organizer, and popular music maven, passed away last week — we remember him, with an interview from 2005–on Girl Groups.  4/18/19

Netanhayu’s Election & American Jews: Harold Meyerson; plus Eric Foner on Reconstruction and Laurie Winer on Stephen Miller

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Israel’s 2019 election results are in, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to serve a record fifth term — with help from Trump.  For American Jews, it means more alienation from Israel.  Harold Meyerson comments–he’s executive editor of The American Prospect.
Next, “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” premieres on PBS this week; we talk with historian Eric Foner about the first interracial democracy in the world–and how it was destroyed.  Eric is the award-winning historian and author of the definitive history “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution.”
Plus: Stephen Miller went from being a shy middle school kid in Santa Monica to Trump’s top advisor, the evil genius behind Trump’s vicious immigration and asylum policies — Laurie Winer reports on what happened to him.  Laurie wrote about Stephen Miller for LA Magazine.  4/11/19

Republicans and ‘Socialism’: John Nichols; plus Zoe Carpenter on Toxic Plastics, and Ben Ehrenreich on Climate and Commerce

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Republicans and ‘Socialism’ — Republicans are running in 2020 against ‘socialism’; John Nichols talks about Milwaukee, America’s socialist city for 50 years.
Also: Plastics and Petrochemicals: An estimated 8 tons of plastic end up in the oceans per year. But the real problem is the manufacturing of plastics.  Zoë Carpenter explains.
Plus, Climate Change in the City: Ben Ehrenreich reports from Commerce, CA. on a community movement fighting for environmental justice. 4/4/19

The Mueller Report: Harold Meyerson; plus the 50th Anniversary of John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace and Jane Mayer on Mike Pence

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The Mueller Report: a three page summary of the 300-plus page report has been released — that’s less than one percent of Mueller’s findings — Harold Meyerson comments.
also: Today marks the 50th Anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton, “our protest against all the suffering and violence in the world.. . . there are many ways to protest.” Celebrated in song: “The newspapers said – Say what you’re doing in bed; I said we’re only trying to get us some peace.”  We talk with Dick and Mickey Flacks about their lives on the left — their new memoir is “Making History Making Blintzes: How Two Red Diaper Babies Found Each Other and Discovered America”.
Plus: Jane Mayer on Mike Pence – and his mother.  The big question: would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer says “probably yes.”  She wrote about Mike Pence for The New Yorker, where she’s a longtime staff writer. 3/28/19

College Admissions Scams, from Jared Kushner to the Present: Amy Wilentz, plus Medicaid in Arkansas and Abortion in Mississippi

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50 people in six states were accused by the Justice Department last week of taking part in a major college admission scandal. They include Hollywood stars and business leaders, who paid bribes to elite college coaches. But that’s not the way Jared Kushner got in to Harvard—his father paid the university directly. Amy Wilentz comments on the legal, and the illegal, ways wealthy people get their unqualified children into elite schools.
Also: In 2017, the Trump administration announced that, for the first time in history, states could impose a work requirement on the low-income people who rely on Medicaid for health nsurance. Arkansas was the first state to implement one, staring last June. A number of other states, including Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, are chomping at the bit to follow suit. Bryce Covert reports on the impact of the work requirement in Arkansas.
Plus: Mississippi has only one place you can get an abortion–it’s in Jackson, and the state also has a wonderful organization based there called the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. Rebecca Grant reports on the remarkable woman who founded and leads that organization.  3/20/19