Trump Watch

Bill McKibben: Climate Victories–and Setbacks; plus Harm Reduction and the Opiate Epidemic

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What lessons can we draw from the recent victories—and setbacks–for the climate movement in California?  To replace coal and oil, do we need nuclear power? Is switching from coal powered electric plants to natural gas a step in the right direction? Bill McKibben comments–and talks how to get to a Green New Deal. Bill’s new book, “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” will be published on April 16.
Also: what can we do to reduce the death toll in the current epidemic of opioid overdoses? Maia Szalavitz suggests our focus should be on harm reduction, and especially on the creation of safe injection sites—Philadelphia may be the first US city to follow the example of Vancouver and many West European cities.  3/14/19

Naomi Klein: The Politics of the Green New Deal; plus Dahlia Lithwick on Trump’s ‘Emergency’

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Naomi Klein says the Green New Deal needs to follow the example of the New Deal of the 1930s, when nothing would have happened without “massive pressure from social movements” that “changed the calculus of what was possible.” Naomi is a contributing editor at The Nation and author of several number one bestsellers, including “This Changes Everything.”
Plus Dahlia Lithwick talks about the national challenge to Trump’s “national emergency”—the constitutional issues, the political issues, and the dangers of treating as normal his rambling, fact-free, egomaniacal performance in the Rose Garden announcing his “emergency.” Dahlia writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast ‘Amicus.’

The Case for Universal Child Care: Katha Pollitt; plus David Klion on Bernie’s New Foreign Policy

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Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage – and now it’s time to add Child care for all to the Progressive agenda. That’s Katha Pollitt’s proposal—she argues it will help huge numbers of people. (And Elizabeth Warren just made it a campaign issue of hers.)
Also: Bernie’s foreign policy: in 2016 he ran on domestic issues almost exclusively. This time around, he’s going to say more about foreign policy—a lot more. David Klion explains; he’s profiled Bernie’s foreign policy advisor, Matt Duss, for The Nation.  2/21/19

The Green New Deal in California: David Dayen; Plus Isabel Wilkerson on ‘The Warmth of Other Suns’

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The Green New Deal in California: bad news is that the governor seems to be pessimistic about high-speed rail; meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the mayor had good news about stopping natural gas plants – David Dayen reports.
Next up, February is Black History Month in America – we revisit an interview with Pulitzer-prize winning author, Isabel Wilkerson, where she talks about her book ‘The Warmth of Other Suns’ and the great migration of Black people out of the South.  2/14/19


Trump and ‘Socialism’: Harold Meyerson, plus Manuel Pastor: Calif. vs. Trump, and Elizabeth Kolbert, Trump vs. Climate change

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Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect on the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night — and whether “socialism” is as big a negative for Americans as Trump thinks it is.
Also: as of October, 2018, California had filed 44 lawsuits against Trump, and more are expected for 2019. We talk with Manuel Pastor about climate, immigration and the future of California v. Trump.  His book is “State of Resistance.”
Plus Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize winning author of “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History,” on Trump, climate and endangered species. 2/7/19

Fred Trump and the KKK: Linda Gordon; the Right’s Stealth Plan for America: Nancy MacLean

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We take a step back from all the Trump headlines to look at how we got here. Later in the show, historian Nancy MacLean talks about the roots of the right’s stealth plan for America, bringing together the Koch Brothers and their libertarian economic policy advocacy with segregationist opposition to civil rights. Nancy is an award-winning historian and the William H. Chafe Professor of history and public policy at Duke University. Her book “Democracy in Chains” was named the “most valuable political book of the year” on The Nation’s progressive honor roll.
But first, Fred Trump and the KKK of the 1920s. The group had millions of members outside the South. It targeted Catholics and Jews as well as blacks, and had impressive success at electing governors and congressmen. It passed anti-immigrant restrictions that remained in effect until 1965. And Fred Trump, the president’s father, was arrested as a young man at a Klan march in New York City. Historian Linda Gordon explains—her new book is ‘The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan and the American Political Tradition’. 1-24-19

The LA Teachers Strike Tests the Democrats; Trump’s Shutdown w/John Nichols; Viet Nguyen on Refugees

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Today is day four of the LA teachers’ strike. “This bitter conflict is also a fight about the meaning of progressive politics”–that’s what Nelson Lichtenstein says — he’s professor of history and director of The Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara.
Also: despite the fact that 58% of Americans oppose the wall, we are on day 27 of Trump’s government shutdown over funds to build one. What are the politics of the Republicans in this situation? We turn to John Nichols for comment.
Plus: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen says “call me a refugee, not an immigrant” — his new book is “The Displaced.” 1/17/19

Russiagate in Review; plus Jane Mayer: Would Pence Be Worse?

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Russiagate is basically a political corruption scandal, says David Klion of The Nation. The basic facts have been obvious for a long time—and they should bring down Trump’s presidency.
Also: we ask Jane Mayer of the New Yorker what may be the most important question of the year: Would Pence be worse?
Plus: Why are Danes so much happier than Americans? Is it just because Donald Trump is NOT their president? Joshua Holland says there’s more to it than that.
And we also have a history segment today: Sean Wilentz talks about the place of slavery in the origins of the United States–his new book is No Property in Man.  1/10/19

Now it’s the Democrats’ Turn: Harold Meyerson; Plus, Amy Wilentz on Amos Oz & Alex Press on Amazon Workers

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The 116th Congress convened today — the Democrats, including two socialists, took over the House; there were many firsts and a few surprises: Harold Meyerson has our report.
Also:, Amos Oz, Israeli author and peace advocate passed away last week; former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker, and contributing editor at The Nation, Amy Wilentz remembers Oz and his work.
Plus: What’s it like to work at Amazon?  In the holiday season, as a “seasonal associate” — i.e. Christmas Temporary — at a “fulfillment center”? Alex Press reports.  1/3/2019

Progressive Heroes of 2018: John Nichols; Gustavo Arellano: the OC, & David Cay Johnston on Trump

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2018 was a big year for progressives — John Nichols with the Progressive Honor Roll names some names — on our year in review show.
Next, we talk with Gustavo Arellano about the biggest change in California politics in decades: how the OC.the white-hot heart of right-wing politics in the nation, turned blue.  Gustavo is now a staff writer for the LA Times.
Finally, David Cay Johnston reports on Trump family financial fraud, saying, “Nixon’s crimes are pebbles compared to the mountain of tax cheating by the Trumps.”