Trump Watch

Trump & Brexit: DD Guttenplan; Elon Musk & Mars: Katha Pollitt; Plus: Rashida Tlaib w/Nichols

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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

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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

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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

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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

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