Wed. 5/23: The Democrats Fold on Iraq

Today’s show features our Washingon political update from JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation, who says the Iraq war funding bill is “not a compromise, it’s a blank check. . . . The willingness of Pelosi and Reid to advance a measure that does not include a withdrawal timeline allows Bush to conduct the war as he chooses for much if not all of the remainder of his presidency.” John’s new book is The Genius of Impeachment.

Also: GOD ON TRIAL: PETER IRONS talks about legal battles over the separation of church and state – from the placement of a 43-foot cross in a public park in San Diego to teaching “intelligent design” in high school biology class in Dover, PA. His new book is God on Trial: Dispatches from America’s Religious Battlefields. Peter taught constitutional law at UCSD and is a member of the Supreme Court bar.
Peter Irons will be speaking and signing at Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, Wed at 700pm.


Plus: the rise and fall of cigarettes in America.
ALLAN BRANDT talks about “the drama of consumer desire” in which advertising made cigarettes the tobacco of choice for nearly half of all Americans in 1950. Brandt is a professor of the history of medicine at Harvard medical School; his new book is THE CIGARETTE CENTURY: The Rise, Fall, and Dedly Persistence of the Product that Defined America.

More stuff to read:
–my new piece in The Nation
on Alan Dershowitz’s campaign to block tenure for Norman Finkelstein;

–and my interview with Michael Chabon
at the Dissent magazine website about his new novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.