Fast Food Workers Victory: Harold Meyerson; Haiti update: Amy Wilentz; Black Writing: Gary Younge

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Harold Meyerson reports on a major victory in the California state legislature that will raise pay for fast food workers from $15.50 to $20. Also: those Trump polls.

Plus: the news from Haiti, where the UN, with US support, is authorizing a new security force. Made up of mostly Kenyan troops, it’s supposed to restore “law and order” in Port-au-Prince. The Nation’s Amy Wilentz reports.

Also: Gary Younge, the award-winning former columnist for The Guardian, talks about Black writing and Black writers—and his own writing about Mandela, Obama, Trayvon Martin, and Claudette Colvin.

And Your Minnesota Moment: today, child labor violations in Mankato.  9-14-2023

Heather Cox Richardson on ‘Our Authoritarian Experiment,’ Plus Chile Since Allende

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Every night, more than a million people read Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter about the day’s political events. Now she has a new book out, “Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America.” It’s about the history of Americans’ fight for equality—about which she remains optimistic, despite Trump’s current polling.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: September 11th is the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, ending 150 years of democracy there and putting the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Power. Marc Cooper wrote about Chile since the coup for Truthdig.com. He joins the show to discuss the legacy of that coup and the deep divisions in Chile today, both economic and political.

Transcript HERE  9-7-2023

Biden’s Bad Poll Numbers: Harold Meyerson, plus Marc Cooper on Chile and Heather Cox Richardson on Democracy

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Harold Meyerson analyzes Biden’s weak poll numbers, and our historic upsurge in labor activism.

Plus: September 11th is the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende in Chile, ending 150 years of democracy there and putting the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Power. Marc Cooper will comment.

Also: Every night, more than a million people read Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter about the day’s political events.  We’ll talk with her about her new book, “Democracy Awakening,” and about the history of Americans’ fight for equality—she remains optimistic, despite Trump’s current polling.  9-7-2023

Our Hot Labor Summer, Plus Melania, Ivanka, and Those 91 Felony Charges

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Our hot labor summer continues. Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, comes on the Start Making Sense podcast to discuss the coming auto strike, the continuing Hollywood strikes, the Teamsters’ big victory, and a historic action by the NLRB which will make union organizing possible again.

Also on this episode: Melania and Ivanka Trump have been mostly absent from the former president’s side as he rages against the 91 felony charges brought against him in four different trials. Amy Wilentz comments on the news, the rumors, and the photos.

Transcript HERE  8-31-2023

Drew Faust on Growing Up in the Sixties – THE NATION

Drew Faust was the first woman president of Harvard, from 2007 to 2018. Before that, she was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and before that, she was the Annenberg professor of history at Penn. Now, she’s a member of the history department at Harvard. She’s the author of six books, including This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. Her new book is Necessary Trouble: Growing up at Mid-Century. This interview has been condensed and edited.

JON WIENER:​  I’ve read a lot of memoirs written by sixties people and virtually all trace the origins of their activism to the same moment: the sit-in movement in the spring of 1960.  But your epiphany, as you call it, the shock of recognition that spurred you to take your first political act, came well before 1960​…

… continued at The Nation, HERE  5-30-2023

Drew Faust Remembers the Sixties, plus Erwin Chemerinsky on Trump and Georgia

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Drew Faust grew up in Virginia in the ’50’s, in the segregated south, in a family that was part of the white elite—and went on to make “necessary trouble” as a college student and activist in the ’60’s. The first woman to serve as president of Harvard University, Faust comes on the Start Making Sense podcast to talk about her memoir, “Necessary Trouble: Growing up at Midcentury.”

Also on this episode: If it was a good strategy for Special Prosecutor Jack Smith to charge Trump with four felonies, is it also a good idea for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to charge Trump and 18 other people with a total of 41 felonies? Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, is on the show to discuss.

Transcript HERE  8-24-2023

Hollywood Strikes: Light at the end of the tunnel? Harold Meyerson; plus Erwin Chemerinsky on the Georgia Indictments

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There seems to be progress toward a settlement of the strikes by Hollywood writers and actors–Harold Meyerson reports.

Also: if it was a good strategy for Special Prosecutor Jack Smith to charge Trump with four felonies, is it also a good idea for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to charge Trump and 18 other people with a total of 41 felonies? Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, explains.  8-24-2023

Right-Wing Attacks on Small-Town Libraries—Plus, The Snow Leopard

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Public Libraries are often wonderful places, but they have become targets of right-wing attack in the culture war. On this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast, Sasha Abramsky talks about his reporting on the battle in one small town in Washington state.

Also on this episode: Peter Matthiessen’s exploration of suffering, impermanence, and beauty in his book “The Snow Leopard,” an account of his trek in the Himalayas. Pico Iyer, who wrote the introduction to the Penguin Classics paperback edition, is on the show to talk about the book. The conversation with Iyer was recorded in 2008.

Transcript HERE  8-17-2023

Sasha Abramsky on the Culture Wars; D.D. Guttenplan on Cornel West; Francine Prose on “Vixen”

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Public Libraries are often wonderful places, but they have become targets of right-wing attack in the culture war. Sasha Abramsky reports on the battle in one small town in Eastern Washington state.

Also: Cornel West should not run as a 3rd party candidate, but in the Democratic Primaries – that’s what D.D. Guttenplan says – he’s editor of The Nation.

Plus: A comic novel about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg?  Who’d have thought that was possible?  Francine Prose has written one:  it’s called “The Vixen,” and it’s terrific. (recorded in July, 2021) 8-17-2023