Summer of Strikes, plus After Affirmative Action: Jane McAlevey on Labor, John Nichols on Education

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Two nationwide strikes may be in the works right now. The Teamsters have been negotiating with UPS for a new contract, and the Auto Workers have been preparing to strike at least one of the Detroit auto makers. These have the potential to provide swing-state voters with a political education in the lead-up to the 2024 election. The Nation’s Strikes Correspondent, Jane McAlevey joins the podcast to discuss.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: After affirmative action, what should progressives do to help people of color and other working class students get into college, and pay for it? The Nation’s National Affairs correspondent, John Nichols comments on the politics and economics of higher education.

Transcript HERE  7-6-2023

LA’s Summer of Strikes: Harold Meyerson; After Affirmative Action: John Nichols; Writers and Politics: Adam Shatz

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The Summer of Strikes in Los Angeles continues, with hotel workers picketing hotels from Santa Monica to downtown on July 4 weekend, plus Teamsters preparing to strike UPS and Actors in negotiations with the studios. Harold Meyerson reports.

Also: After affirmative action: what should progressives do to help people of color and other working class students attend college, and pay for it? John Nichols comments.

Plus: what does it mean to be a politically committed

writer? That’s the central question of Adam Shatz’s new book, “Writers and Missionaries: Essays on the Radical imagination.” Adam is The Nation’s former literary editor and the US editor of the London Review of Books.  7-6-2023

The Battle on the Abortion Borderland, plus RFK Jr.

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Crossing the abortion borderland from Texas to New Mexico: Amy Littlefield describes the heroic work being done in both states to provide help to people seeking abortions, one year after the repeal of Roe, and reports on the new obstacles being raised by anti-abortion forces.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense, 20 percent of likely Democratic voters tell pollsters they support Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in his primary challenge to Joe Biden. Joan Walsh joins the podcast to tell the story of her history with Kennedy and his anti-vax crusade.

Transcript HERE   6-29-2023

L.A. Strikes: Harold Meyerson; Abortion Borderlands: Amy Littlefield; ‘Learning to Drive’: Katha Pollitt

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There are two big strikes in the works in L.A. right now: hotel workers and actors. 15,000 hotel workers are preparing to strike; and 200 people – including City Council and State Assembly members – were arrested during a UNITE HERE local 11 protest. Also, 160,000 actors are on the verge of joining the 11,500 writers already on strike. Harold Meyerson comments.

Next: Crossing the abortion borderland from Texas to New Mexico: Amy Littlefield describes the heroic work being done in both states to provide help to people seeking abortions, one year after the repeal of Roe, and reports on the new obstacles being raised by anti-abortion forces.

Plus: From the archives: Katha Pollitt learned to drive at age 51 – she wrote about that experience for The New Yorker; and in 2015, she was played by Patricia Clarkson opposite Ben Kingsley in the film version, Learning to Drive. This interview was first recorded in 2007.  6-29-2023

How Democrats can win Working-Class Voters; how Doctors are Fighting—against Hospitals

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How can Democrats win back at least some white working class swing voters? We have some striking new research about that. Katie Rader joins the Start Making Sense podcast to discuss the issues that are most likely to mobilize them.

Also on this episode: Doctors these days are caught between caught between the Hippocratic oath–“first, do no harm” — and “the realities of making a profit from people at their sickest and most vulnerable.” Eyal Press is on the show to report on the ways doctors are fighting back.  Transcript HERE   6-22-2023

Democrats and Working Class Voters: Katie Rader; Doctors vs. Hospitals: Eyal Press; Biden and ‘Freedom’: Eric Foner

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How can Democrats win back at least some white working class swing voters? We have some striking new research about that. Katie Rader discusses the issues that are most likely to mobilize them.

Next: Doctors these days are caught between caught between the Hippocratic oath – “first, do no harm” – and “the realities of making a profit from people at their sickest and most vulnerable.” Eyal Press reports on the ways doctors are fighting back.

Plus: When Joe Biden announced the theme of his reelection campaign he said that the Democrats are the party of “freedom.” But the Republicans claim that they are the defenders of freedom. Who is right?  Eric Foner has the answer – he’s the author of “The Story of American Freedom.”  6-22-2023

Cornel West Should Not Be Running for President; plus the GOP vs. Divorce

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Cornel West is running for president as a third party candidate, so he’s not going to get many votes. Nevertheless, Joan Walsh argues, he could discourage Democrats from voting, which would make Trump’s election more likely.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: you might think Republicans would take a breather after banning abortion in the states they control, but no! Instead, they’ve set their sights on a new target: no-fault divorce. The Nation’s Katha Pollitt is on the podcast to discuss.  6-15-2023

Cornel West Should Not be Running for President: Joan Walsh; plus Katha Pollitt on divorce and Brenda Stevenson on the enslaved Black family

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Cornel West is running for president – he can only help Trump win, argues Joan Walsh, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.

also: You might think Republicans would take a breather after banning abortion in the states they control, but no! Instead, they’ve set their sights on a new target: no-fault divorce. The Nation‘s Katha Pollitt reports.

Also: historian Brenda Stevenson talks about the Black family under slavery and after. Her book, a history of the enslaved family in America. is “What Sorrows Labour in My Parent’s Breast.”

And we have an episode of Your Minnesota Moment: the state joins National Popular Vote!  6-15-2023

Sowing the Future – LARB Quarterly

“Sowing the Future” (co-authored by Mike Davis), LARB Quarterly 37 (Spring 2023), pp. 37-44.  Excerpt from “Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties,” with a new introduction.

… continued in LARB Quarterly, HERE  6-10-2023

The Far Right’s Takeover of Shasta County, plus the Enslaved Black Family: Sasha Abramsky on politics, Brenda Stevenson on history

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Shasta County, California, north of San Francisco, is a pretty place, but right wing extremists have taken over the Board of Supervisors there. They’ve driven out public health workers and pushed to make the county what they call a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” They’re dubbing it a blueprint for the rest of the nation. The Nation’s Sasha Abramsky reports.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense, historian Brenda Stevenson dissects the Black family both under slavery and after. Stevenson is the author of a new book on the history of the enslaved black family, titled “What Sorrows Labour in My Parent’s Breast.”  6-8-2023