Trump Watch


PAUL KRASSNER — Legendary Satirist, Radical Activist, and Publisher/Editor of The Realist — talks about LENNY BRUCE. Paul has been nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes for the 6-CD Lenny Bruce box set “Let the Buyer Beware.”
Paul also has been writing for The Nation (“Geezerstock: Confessions of an Aging Hippie” and has his own CD out: “The Zen Bastard Rides Again.”
PLAYLIST: Lenny Bruce, “Religions Inc.”; “Reading from the Court Transcript.”

Also: CANCER, CHEMICALS, AND HISTORY: historians David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz showed how the chemical industry concealed the fact that vinyl chloride causes cancer — and there is vinyl chloride in Saran Wrap, car upholstery, and shower curtains. Now the chemical companies are going after Rosner and Markowitz.
Read Jon Wiener’s article “Cancer, Chemicals and History” in The Nation:
Read about Deceit and Denial, the Rosner and Markowitz book
Read about the attack on Rosner and Markowitz at the Deceit and Denial website

Plus: our preview of THE STATE OF THE UNION — with HAROLD MEYERSON — he’s political editor of the LA Weekly, editor at large of The American Prospect, and columnist for the Washington Post.

today’s ITEM FROM THE ARCHIVES: a report from the New York Times in 1967: “United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson’s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam.”
New York Times, Sept. 4, 1967: Peter Grose, “U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote.”


TOM FRANK explains why so many working class and poor voters in the middle of the country “insist on re-electing the very people who are screwing them”–and what the Democrats can do about it. Tom’s best-selling book is What’s the Matter with Kansas?

How a small group of people eliminated slavery in the British Empire: ADAM HOCHSCHILD, founder of Mother Jones magazine explains. His new book is Bury the Chains, and it’s filled with implications for our movements today. Read an excerpt at

Hillary Clinton wants to find “common ground” with opponents of abortion rights; JOHN NICHOLS will comment on this and other strategies for the Democrats. He writes “The Online Beat” at, and his is new book is Dick: The Man Who Is President.

kpfk Jan. 19: Iraqi Elections

THE IRAQI ELECTIONS: comment and analysis from JUAN COLE — he knows more about Iraqi politics than just about anyone, and writes the crucial “Informed Comment” blog.

Plus: THE LIFE AND CAREER OF AN IMAGE: David Greenberg, author of the award-winning book Nixon’s Shadow, traces the transformation of Tricky Dick into spin doctor, scapegoat, statesman, and paranoiac — the president we can’t forget.

Also: how the US government tried to use JAZZ AS A WEAPON IN THE COLD WAR: Penny von Eschen tells the story. Her new book is Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War. Playlist:
1) Dizzy Gillespie, “Manteca” – from At Newport (Verve, 1957)
2) Louis Armstrong, “Cultural Exchange” – from The Real Ambassadors (Columbia, 1962)
3) Duke Ellington, “La Plus Belle Africaine” – from Soul Call (Verve, 1966)
4) Randy Weston, “African Cookbook” – from African Cookbook (Atlantic, 1972)


BARBARA EHRENREICH has some good news: a new website that matches you with a NEW country appropriate to your personal tastes and values! It’s Barbara wrote the classic Nickel and Dimed: on (Not) Getting By in America, which has now sold over one million copies. Read about in her latest column in The Progressive.

Plus: our update on the Palestinian elections and what’s next in the mideast: today with historian RON ROBIN, he’s Dean of Students at Haifa University and author of Making of the Cold War Enemy: Culture and Politics in the Military-Intellectual Complex and Scandals and Scoundrels: Seven Crises that Shook the Academy.

Also: DAVID THOMSON, our greatest living film critic and historian, talks about Hollywood past and present; he wrote the classic New Biographical Dictionary of American Film and his new book is The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood — it’s about “the murder and the majesty, the business statistics and millions of us being moved, the art and the awfulness.”


CHRIS HEDGES on war: he says “The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief.” But our embedded reporters “dine out on the myth about war and the myth about themselves as war correspondents.” He ought to know–he’s a veteran New York Times war correspondent, and author of War is a Force that Gives us Meaning and What Every Person should Know about War.

PLUS: PETER DREIER and MARK VALLIANATOS of Occidental College talk about The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City — their new book. Barbara Ehrenreich says, “With this rich account of its community and labor struggles, the City of Angels — and Apocalypse — becomes the the city of hope.”

ALSO: BOB DYLAN LIVE 1964: Princeton historian SEAN WILENTZ has been nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes; he’s historian-in-residence at the official Bob Dylan website. We’ll talk about 1964, and about Dylan’s move from political songs to more personal, visionary and apolitical music.
PLAYLIST: “The Times They Are A-Changin'”; “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”; “With God on Our Side”; “It’s All Right Ma”; “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

KPFK Wed. Dec. 29: Susan Sontag remembered

SUSAN SONTAG died yesterday — She was a towering public intellectual who had the courage to test the limits of coventional thought and to challenge both the Right and the Left. We’ll have comment from STEVE WASSERMAN, editor of the Los Angles Times Book Review.
Read Steve Wasserman’s obit in the LA Times.

The music that mattered–from the decade that didn’t: “Left of the Dial” is a Rhino 4-CD set covering the ’80s musical underground. GARY STEWART, who works under the slogan “Opinions Galore,” will talk about the music and the decade.
PLAYLIST: Pretenders “Message of Love” 1981; English Beat “Mirror in the Bathroom” 1980; Gang of Four “To Hell with Poverty” 1981; Dream Syndicate “Tell Me When it’s Over” 1983; X “”Johnny hit and Run Pauline” 1981; Husker Du “Don’t Want to Know” 1986

PLUS: IAN WILLIAMS of The Nation looks at the Palestinian elections and the phony neocon scandal over the UN’s Iraq oil-for-food program. Ian’s new book is The Deserter: Bush’s War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past.


KATHA POLLITT, columnist for The Nation, asks “how long did it take Republicans to write their thank-you note to the Christian right?” Answer: “About five minutes.”
Katha recommends supporting the National Network of Abortion Funds,

Plus: in the wake of John Kerry’s shattering defeat, it’s once again the labor movement that has plunged itself into a far-reaching debate over the changes it needs to make to rebuild a progressive, more equitable nation. HAROLD MEYERSON reports; he’s a columnist for the LA Weekly and the Washington Post.

Also: the punk rock politics of JOE STRUMMER: he transformed punk from its early nihilistic politics into a social movement. Antonino D’Ambrosio explains; his new book is Let Fury Have the Hours: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer. Antonino also is founder/director of La Lutta New Media Collective.

Wed. Dec. 8: AMOS OZ

AMOS OZ, the Israeli peace activist and novelist, says there is good news in the mideast: “the vast majority of the Israeli Jews and the vast majority of the Palestinian Arabs know now that in the end of the day, there is going to be a two-state solution.” His amazing new book, A Tale of Love and Darkness, describes his family in Jerusalem in the 1940s and 1950s.

PLUS: historian GEORGE CHAUNCEY says gay marriage is not the cause of the Democrats’ defeat at the polls: his new book is Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today’s Debate Over Gay Equality.

AND: our Iraq war update with JUAN COLE: he knows more about Iraqi politics than anyone in America — he writes the “Informed Consent” blog at

Also: it was 24 years ago today that JOHN LENNON was killed — we’ll be playing some Lennon music and remembering him.

WEB EXTRA: HOWARD ZINN says the argument that “Kerry won” is a diversion from the left’s real task: building the anti-war movement. LISTEN TO HOWARD ZINN online:

Wed. Nov 24: Sex, Death, and Hope

“Sex is easy; love isn’t”: That’s the theme of the new film “EASY” . It opens in LA this weekend at Laemmle theaters. We’ll speak with writer-director Jane Weinstock.
Watch the trailer for “Easy”:

Death, love and liberty in the American ballad: GREIL MARCUS and SEAN WILENTZ have been listening to some classic American songs, and now they have put together a CD of the songs and book about them, both called “The Rose & the Briar.”
Listen to the CD:

Hope in the Dark is the title of a great book by REBECCA SOLNIT. She wrote it before the Nov. 2 election, but we certainly need it now. She’s an activist and writer who won a Lannan Literary fellowship and the 2004 award for criticism from the National Book Critics Circle.

Web extras: Friday is Buy Nothing Day: check “9 theses against corporate rule” at

Wed. Nov. 17: HOWARD ZINN

HOWARD ZINN says the argument that “Kerry won” is a diversion from the left’s real task: building the anti-war movement. His new book is Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
LISTEN TO HOWARD ZINN at the Radio Nation audioblog:

plus: the Mideast after Arafat: comment and analysis from AMY WILENTZ, former Jerusalem correspondent for the New Yorker. She also writes for The Nation, the LA Times Opinion section, and the New York Times op-ed page. She wrote the award-winning novel Martyr’s Crossing about Israelis and Palestinians.

and TERRY GROSS of NPR’s “Fresh Air” talks about what went wrong in her interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, and Bill O’Reilly. Her new book is All I Did was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists.

Web Extra: Read Howard Zinn at on Voices of a People’s History.