Trump Watch

Life After Iowa: Harold Meyerson; Plus Taylor Branch on MLK from Selma to Memphis

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It’s been a big week in American politics: Monday: the long awaited Iowa Democratic caucuses failed to give results; Tuesday: Trump gave his State of the Union address; Wednesday: the Senate Republican majority voted NOT to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors or to remove him from office; and today Trump gave a 63-minute victory speech — Harold Meyerson comments.
Next up: February is Black History month — we talk with Taylor Branch about Martin Luther King Jr. from 1965 and the Selma campaign to 1968 and the Memphis sanitation strike. 2/5/20

How the Dems Won the Political Fight over Impeachment: Harold Meyerson; plus Coronavirus: Wasserstrom; and The NFL & Trump: Lipsyte

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As Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate approaches its end, the Democrats continue to come out ahead politically. also, the latest on Bernie on the campaign trail — Harold Meyerson of the American Prospect comments.
Also The W.H.O. declared the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China a global health emergency today — we talk with historian of modern China about China’s handling of the crisis with Jeff Wasserstrom.
Plus: Toxic masculinity — on the football field and in the White House — Robert Lipsyte talks about the Super Bowl and Trump.  1-30-20

Impeachment and Empiricism: Harold Meyerson; plus Amy Wilentz: Haiti 10 Years after the Earthquake

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The Senate impeachment trial shows the “ism” the Republicans fear more than socialism or liberalism is empiricism, says Harold Meyerson — as the House Democrats move toward concluding their presentation, and the Senate Republicans refuse to subpoena documents or hear witnesses.
Also: A Report from Haiti: It’s been ten years since Haiti was devastated by the earthquake that killed more than a hundred thousand people. Amy Wilentz, who has been reporting on Haiti for three decades, returned to the island and found the country oddly calm, despite deepening poverty, violence, and corruption. She also found “little sprouts of possibility everywhere.” 1/23/20

Bernie v. Elizabeth Warren: Harold Meyerson; Hong Kong Report: Jeff Wasserstrom; “Born Slippy”- novelist Tom Lutz

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Harold Meyerson talks about how to get past the fight between Bernie and Elizabeth Warren– and about the upcoming trial in the Senate.
Next up — a report from Hong Kong: historian Jeff Wasserstrom talks about the months of demonstrations there and what they mean for the future.
Plus: Tom Lutz, founding editor of the LA Review of Books, has a novel out: “Born Slippy” from Repeater Books.  1/16/20

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