Living in the USA

Biden’s Child Benefit proposal: Harold Meyerson; Trump’s future: Rick Perlstein; ‘Allen v. Farrow’: Ella Taylor

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Biden’s Pandemic Relief Bill should pass the House Friday–-it includes child benefit payments for every family with children. But in order for Biden’s plan to be included in the bill, it can only be for a year. Mitt Romney has proposed a permanent program – that’s what we really need.
Also: Rick Perlstein talks about the future of the Republicans with Trump defeated – how divided are leaders over Trump’s continued domination of the party? Rick’s new book is “Reaganland.”
And Ella Taylor critiques the tabloid documentary Allen v. Farrow – and recommends “It’s a Sin,” a British series on HBO Max about a group of gay men who share a London apartment as the AIDS epidemic hits.  2-25-2021

Living in the USA

Biden & the economy: Harold Meyerson; UCLA & the LAPD: Kelly Lytle Hernandez & Shannon Speed; ‘Judas & the Black Messiah’: Ella Taylor

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Biden’s economic recovery plan: Harold Meyerson comments, starting with the latest obstacles to keeping the $15 minimum wage in the Senate bill that goes to reconciliation – also, is aid to state governments a “blue-state bailout”?
Also: UCLA has gotten a multi-million dollar grant to establish an archive of the age of mass incarceration, starting with 177 boxes of LAPD records from the seventies through the 2000s –Kelly Lytle Hernandez and Shannon Speed explain the project and how they will be partnering with community groups.
Plus: our TV critic Ella Taylor reviews “Judas and the Black Messiah,” now on HBU Max, about the Chicago police assassinating Black Panther Fred Hampton in 1969, and also talks about “Nomadland,” the wonderful film starring Francis McDormand as a working class woman who has lost her husband, her job and her house and is living and working out of her van—it opens Friday on Hulu.  2-18-2021

Living in the USA

Impeachment: Harold Meyerson; the Progressive Agenda: Alan Minsky; ‘The Maurianian’: Ella Taylor

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Harold Meyerson says the devastating new footage of the rioters shown on Day Two of the impeachment trial underlines Trump’s failure to try to stop them, the most undeniable grounds for a guilty verdict on his impeachment trial.
Also, Alan Minsky of Progressive Democrats of America makes the case for the $15 minimum wage, and looks ahead at Biden’s plans for reviving American manufacturing.
And Ella Taylor reviews “The Mauritanian,” the new film about a Guantanamo detainee and his attorney, played by Jodie Foster.  2-11-2021

Living in the USA

Pandemic Aid: Harold Meyerson; Biden & Black America: Barbara Ransby; ‘Dear Comrade!’: Ella Taylor; Remembering Rennie Davis

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Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill: Harold Meyerson says he won’t reduce it. Also: the Republicans, and the impeachment.
Plus: Biden and Black America: Barbara Ransby comments.
And Ella Taylor reviews “Dear Comrades!”, the Russian film about a massacre of striking workers in Russia in 1962.
Finally, we remember Rennie Davis — he died on Feb. 2.   2-4-2021

Living in the USA

Biden’s First Week: Harold Meyerson; The Insurrectionists: Gary Younge; “White Tiger”: Ella Taylor

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Joe Biden’s first week was filled with bold and necessary executive orders, and a plan to pass pandemic economic relief, before the impeachment trial, without Republican support–Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect explains.
also: Gary Younge talks about the coming fight with Trump and Trumpsim, starting with the insurrection of January 6.  Key question: what was the plan?
plus: Ella Taylor reviews “White Tiger,” the Indian rags-to-riches film that combines satire, melodrama and action film. 1-28-2021

Living in the USA

Returning to Normal: Harold Meyerson; Progressives and Biden: Alan Minsky; ‘Assassins’: Ella Taylor

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The inauguration of Joe Biden was delightfully normal–Harold Meyerson comments on what happened — and what didn’t.
Plus: Alan Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, discusses the challenges facing the Congressional Progressive Caucus–and the opportunities.
And our film and TV critic Ella Taylor reviews “Assassins,” an amazing documentary about the assassination of the brother of Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, in Kuala Lampur airport, by two teenage girls. 1-21-2020

Living in the USA

Impeachment and the Inauguration: Harold Meyerson; Insurrection in History: Eric Foner; “MLK/JFK”: Ella Taylor; Trump & Golf: Bob Lipsyte

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The impeachment vote barely papered over the growing crisis in the Republican party, says Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect. Harold comments also on security at the Biden inauguration.
Also: Eric Foner provides some historical perspective on the attack last week on the capitol.
Plus: Ella Taylor talks about the new documentary “MLK/FBI”, on J. Edgar Hoover’s attempt to “destroy” Martin Luther King–“destroy” is the FBI’s own term.
And finally, the PGA is cancelling their longstanding plans to hold the US Open at Trump’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey. Trump, we are told, is more devastated by this than by impeachment. The legendary sportswriter Robert Lipsyte comments on Trump and golf. (broadcast originally in August 2017)  1-14-2021

Trump Watch

The Trump mob at the capitol: Harold Meyerson; Gregg Gonsalves on Vaccines; Ella Taylor on TV

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The Trump mob attack on the capitol should have been expected, says Harold Meyerson–Trump himself had been calling for it for weeks. But it signals an irreparable split in the Republican Party.
Also: Priorities for vaccination against covid-19 need to be based both on science and on ethics – Gregg Gonsalves explains.
And Ella Taylor talks about the documentary “Dissident,” on the murder of Jamal Kashoggi, and the Tom Hanks western, “News of the World.” 1-7-2021

Trump Watch

Voters in 2020: Joan Walsh; Trump Kids in 2020: Amy Wilentz; Films in 2020: Ella Taylor

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A year, and a decade, of political challenges: Joan Walsh reviews the fall and rise of Kamala Harris, the return of Joe Biden, and the deepening problem posed over the last decade by white voters who now support Trump.
Also, Amy Wilentz looks back on how things went in 2020 for Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior and Little Eric.
And Ella Taylor talks about her favorite films of 2020 – starting with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman—his last film. 12-31-2020

Trump Watch

Politics in 2020: Harold Meyerson; Remembering John le Carré: John Powers

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2020 began with Kamala Harris dropping out of the first primary, and is ending with Trump blowing up the Republican Party – it was also the year of the biggest protests in American history, organized by Black Lives Matter. Harold Meyerson comments.
And we’re still thinking about John le Carré, who died last week—he was 89, and one of the greats, author of two dozen books people called “spy novels,” although they were much more than that. John Powes comments — he’s critic-at-large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. 12-23-2020

Trump Watch