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)
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."
Zijn er afleveringen die ontbreken?
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.
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 Powers comments -- he’s critic-at-large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
This week the US began vaccinating people against covid-19, and we consider proposals to establish a coronavirus commission, empowered to investigate the many failures in the fight against covid-19: is that something progressives should fight for? Mike Davis says “Yes” – and explains what’s at stake.
Also: Will Donald Trump pardon Ivanka and Jared—and Don Junior and Eric? What exactly are their crimes? It sounds like it's time for another episode of The Children’s Hour—with Amy Wilentz.
Plus: John le Carré died on Saturday—he was 89 and one of the greats, author of two dozen books about the cold war and after; people called them “spy novels,” although they were much more than that. Ella Taylor reviews the best of the movies and TV mini-series based on the books, especially Alec Guiness as George Smiley.
L.A. elected a new progressive district attorney last month – George Gascon – and he just announced the sweeping changes he will make, starting with an end to cash bail and to sentencing “enhancements.” Jody Armour explains: he’s the Roy Crocker Professor of Law at USC, and his new book is “N*gga Theory: Race, language, unequal justice, and the law.”
Also: last week the Supreme Court heard arguments on Trump’s effort to change the way seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned.
It has been based on a state’s total population, as the Constitution requires; he wants to exclude the undocumented, which would mean California would lose 2 or 3 seats. David Cole reviews the arguments—he’s national legal director of the ACLU.
Plus: Our TV critic Ella Taylor talks about the documentary “Coded Bias,” and the women of color, scientists, who organized the Algorithmic Justice League; plus the Kate Winslet film “Ammonite,” and “Driveways,” Brian Dennehy’s last movie.
Joe Biden got six million more votes than Donald Trump—so how come the Democrats did so poorly in the Senate and House elections? Harold Meyerson has an analysis – and some comments on how the Dems could win the Georgia Senate runoff.
Also: how are the Trump kids dealing with the refusal of their father to admit he lost the election? Amy Wilentz will comment—on another episode of The Children’s Hour, stories about Ivanka, Don Junior, Little Eric—and Lara. But who IS Lara Trump? Answers, later in this hour.
Plus our TV critic Ella Taylor talks about the series of five films about West Indians living in London in the sixties and seventies, made by Steve McQueen, a British artist and filmmaker—it’s playing now on Amazon Prime. It’s called “Small Axe.”
All eyes are on Georgia now, as the campaigns for both senate seats are underway to determine which party will control the US Senate. For Democrats, the starting point for winning in Georgia is the historic work of Stacey Abrams. When she ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 as the first African American and the first woman candidate, she got more votes than any Democrat in Georgia history, including Obama and Hillary Clinton. But because of Republican vote suppression she was not elected. Nevertheless she paved the way for Biden to win the state—a historic victory. We spoke with her in April 2019, about how she built the coalition that now hopes to win two senate seats in January.
Mike Davis on Trump voters: Latinos in south Texas and white workers in the rust belt—and Biden’s big mistake: allowing Trump to claim "the economy" as his issue, instead of connecting jobs to controlling the pandemic.
Also: Monday we had good news on a covid vaccine from Moderna, created with a billion dollars of taxpayer funding. Gregg Gonsalves takes up the question, Why does Moderna get to keep all the profits?
And Ella Taylor talks about this season’s guilty pleasure on TV: “The Crown” – in season four, Margaret Thatcher fights the queen, and Prince Charles marries a woman he doesn’t love: Princess Diana.
Harold Meyerson argues that none of Trump’s tactics to hold on to the White House will succeed—the lawsuits are ridiculous, the proposals for Republican state legislatures to send their own Trump electors to Washington won’t work. But the fact that Trump got more votes than any Republican in history gives him a lot of power over the party.
Also: the huge victories Black Lives Matter won at the polls in L.A. County: Jody Armour explains, starting with electing a progressive District Attorney, George Gascon. Jody’s new book is N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law.
And our TV critic Ella Taylor recommends “Collective,” a terrific documentary about corruption in Romania.
Harold Meyerson considers the consequences of failing to win control of the Senate--and points to dozens of far-reaching executive actions Biden could take without Senate approval.
Plus: Joan Walsh of The Nation says, 'It shouldn't have been so close."
and TV critic Ella Taylor reviews "The Queen's Gambit," the proto-feminist story about the first female chess champion in Cold War America.
Harold Meyerson reviews Biden’s excellent recent poll results in swing states, and looks at the Democrats’ long standing problem with white male voters, and what can be done to bring them back into the party. Also: The one union that’s doing door-to-door precinct work during the pandemic.
Also: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ – the new Aaron Sorkin film - is the most-widely reviewed movie in America right now; 250 critics have written about it. Of course it’s about the trial of leaders of the antiwar protests at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 in Chicago --the indicted included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Bobby Seale, Davie Dellinger, John Froines and Lee Weiner – and we have a conversation with Lee Weiner – about the movie, and what really happened.
Plus: This week more than ever we need a bit of relief from the election
--maybe the new Borat movie? Sasha Baron Cohen’s return with his memorable character from ‘Khazakstan’--but of course it’s all about “President MacDonald Trump.” Ella Taylor will talk about “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
Maybe the November election will have a big enough vote for Biden so that it can’t be challenged in court; maybe the Republicans won’t dispute the outcome. But maybe they will – we’ve had other disputed elections in our history -- of course we had the Supreme Court stopping the count in Florida in 2000--and there was another one, much less well known–the election of 1876. For some comparisons we turn to Eric Foner -- he’s won the Pulitzer prize, the Bancroft Prize and the Lincoln prize for his work, most of which has been about Reconstruction.
Also: making music together in a dark time: that’s David Byrne’s utopia. there’s a movie about it, and it’s playing now on HBO Max: “American Utopia.” Ella Taylor comments.
When Attorney General Bill Barr told the House Judiciary Committee recently that voting by mail on a large scale presented a “high risk” for “massive voter fraud,” Pramila Jayapal challenged him—with evidence. She’s co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she represents Seattle, and she talks about the fight against Trump for voting by mail. Her new book is Her new book is "Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change."
Plus: The new Aaron Sorkin film, "Trial of the Chicago 7," opens on Netlfix Friday--Ella Taylor comments on the film, and on other political films of the week.
Pence faced an impossible task in the VP debate Wednesday night - defending Trump's inaction on the pandemic; but Kamala Harris also faced challenges: she couldn't be an angry black woman. Harold Meyerson comments.
also: Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown talks politics and history, and the lessons Biden should learn from his recent reelection in Ohio, where he won by 8 points in a state Hillary lost by 6.
plus: "Totally Under Control" is Alex Gibney's powerful new documentary on Trump's Covid-19 failures - Ella Taylor comments.
Finally, we remember John Lennon - tomorrow, Oct. 9, would have been his 80th birthday.
Trump made no attempt in the first debate to win over undecideds- so what WAS his plan? And what is to be done to make future debates more bearable? Harold Meyerson comments.
Plus: Ella Taylor on women in politics on TV this week: "Mrs. America" with Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly; "The Glorias," with Julianne Moore as Gloria Steinem, and "All In," a voting rights documentary featuring Stacey Abrams.
Trump’s rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy will help Biden in several ways, Harold Meyerson says--first of all, by making the Republican threat to Obamacare an urgent issue. Harold is editor-at-large of The American Prospect.
Also: Refugees—after World War II in Europe, and today. Historian David Nasaw explains—his new book is The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons, from World War to Cold War.
Plus: Hacking your mind: We make many of our decisions, including political ones, NOT on the basis of what we “think,” but rather on feelings, intuition, and habits. New work by social scientists helps explain how this works for Donald Trump -- that’s the argument of a new series on PBS called “hacking your mind.” Ella Taylor has our review.
We are in “one of the most perilous and fraught moments for American democracy since the mid-nineteenth century,” says Chris Hayes; what’s hopeful is that “the movement we’ve seen in the streets is the largest protest movement in American history.” Chris of course hosts “All In” weeknights on MSNBC; he’s also editor-at-large of The Nation, and he spoke recently with Katrina vanden Heuvel at a Nation magazine online event.
Plus: Covid-19 is the disease that reflects all our social and economic illnesses: that’s what Manuel Pastor says, he’s director of the Equity Research Institute at USC. He reports on who’s got the dangerous jobs and who’s unemployed, which kids have computers and internet connections for at-home classes, and which don’t, and whether Trump’s effort to recruit Latino voters in key states might work.
Also: Russian efforts to interfere with our elections – that’s the subject of a new HBO documentary by one of our favorite documentary makers, Alex Gibney. He’s got footage from inside Russian “troll farms” and videos unearthed from the Russian deep web to reveal the “agents of chaos” who were key players in our elections. Ella Taylor has a review – she’s our resident TV critic.
Rick Perlstein talks about the rise of Reagan, from what seemed like a career-ending defeat in the 1976 GOP primary, to his narrow victory in the popular vote in 1980--and how the darkness of the culture war has shaped the Republican Party that Trump came to dominate. Rick's long-awaited book, 1100 pages long, is "Reaganland: America's Right Turn, 1976-1980."
Also: Katie Porter, the new member of Congress who flipped a longtime Republican district in Orange County, talks about defending the postal service and about ending student loan debt.
Plus: we’ll talk about politics on TV in 1968 with Ella Taylor -- and about a new documentary, called “The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show,” when his guests included Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and also Aretha Franklin. And it’s streaming now on Peacock.
After Kenosha: will Trump’s efforts to mobilize white backlash voters succeed, the way Nixon did in 1968? “No,” says Harold Meyerson.
Also: Radically changing our broken criminal justice system—Jody Armour's visionary radicalism. He teaches law at USC and he’s a prominent defender of Black Lives Matter—and his new book has just been published—it’s called “N*gger Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law.”
Plus: Ella Taylor recommends “Epicentro,” sort of a documentary about Cuba—it’s streaming now on KinoMarquee.com.