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This week we speak to Ben Carrington about USC’s new head coach Lincoln Riley and the bloated contract the university offered him. Carrington goes into detail about the big issues in college athletics including the transfer portal and the very structure of college sports. We also have "Choice Words" about a hedge fund investor who owns a sizable po…
 
The paralysis of politics in Congress leads us to turn away from Washington and look at the states: What can the Democrats do when they control a state government? Like California? Democrats there are proposing dramatic changes in health care, expanding coverage to everyone below the federal poverty line–regardless of immigration status. Sasha Abra…
 
In this follow up News Brief to our Christmas-themed episode on Hallmark, we discuss an angle we glossed over in our episode: the anti-labor business model of Hallmark films and how they portend a trend in the film industry more broadly. After our episode was published, a screenwriter with experience working with Hallmark and Hallmark-adjacent prod…
 
This week we speak to Eric Dickerson about his new book Watch My Smoke: The Eric Dickerson Story, cowritten with Greg Hanlon. We also have Choice Words about Novak Djokovic and the ongoing saga taking place in Australia around the Australian Open. And don’t miss a special playoff edition of Jake’s Takes as well. All this and more on this week’s sho…
 
Beto O'Rourke's strategy for winning the governorship of Texas focuses on organizing everywhere to massively boost Democratic voter turnout—the strategy Stacey Abrams has followed in Georgia. Steve Phillips explains how more than a million young voters of color will be eligible to vote in 2022 who were not old enough four years ago—when Beto first …
 
This week we talk to L. Jon Wertheim about his new book Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever. We talk about 1984 sports, music, and what was taking place in the world that made that particular summer transformative. We also got “Choice Words” about Antonio Brown and his exit from last week’s Bucs-Je…
 
Is Omicron the kinder and gentler Covid we’ve been waiting for? Less lethal, and more like the flu? Mike Davis comments on the pandemic—and the age of pandemics we are now living in. Also: On the first anniversary of the insurrection of January 6, John Nichols argues that, to defend democracy, we need the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and …
 
For our last podcast of 2021, we want to remember two people who died in the past year, and listen again to our interviews with them. Rennie Davis was probably the New Left’s most talented organizer, best known for the trial of the Chicago 7. He died on February 2 at his home outside Boulder, Colorado. He was 80. We spoke at an event for The Nation…
 
Revelations about the January 6 insurrection include striking new information about the Trump kids that day: Who did what, and also who didn’t do anything. Amy Wilentz reports. Also: A report from Kwajalein, one of the Marshall islands in the Pacific that’s a major US military base. Tom Lutz says it’s completely paved over, and the only greenery is…
 
This week we speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer and USC professor Viet Thanh Nguyen. It’s a great conversation and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did taking part in it. We also have ‘Choice Words’ about Deion Sanders’s big splash and securing a massive victory against the college football powers that be in recruiting. D…
 
Trump is going to be indicted for racketeering and fraud, because of his financial crimes, and that will prevent him from being the Republican candidate: that’s what David Cay Johnston says—he’s an award-winning investigative reporter, and his new book is The Big Cheat: How Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family. Also: Eric Foner…
 
A blast from the past teaches a town to embrace tradition and believe in miracles we simply can’t explain. A cynical urban professional finds kindness and purpose while traveling through the heartland. Two old flames living in the fast lane discover, amid the magic of Christmas, that they were meant for each other all along. These loglines describe…
 
This week we speak to former Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier about his new book: Walking Miracle: How Faith, Positive Thinking, and Passion for Football Brought Me Back from Paralysis...and Helped Me Find Purpose. We also got “Just Stand Up” and “Sit Your Ass Down” awards to a courageous Formula 1 driver who is speaking out against racism in the sp…
 
How will global warming change the world’s systems of power? Alfred McCoy argues that American global hegemony will end around 2030, replaced by China as world leader, but Chinese hegemony will last only for about 20 years—and that by 2050, climate change will have brought environmental catastrophe to both countries, and the rest of the world, with…
 
"Deregulation will make the economy more efficient and stimulate GDP growth," insist think tanks like the Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute. "Fiscal hawks," claiming to be worried about the deficit, demand austerity measures to reign in government spending. When it comes to "entitlement programs," we hear that "there are alway…
 
The new Omicron variant of Covid-19: Gregg Gonsalves argues that it serves as a reminder of how little we're doing on pandemic prevention. We need government action to address the inequalities in power, resources, and information that leave some people at far greater risk. Meanwhile, Republicans are describing Omicron as a Democratic plot to bring …
 
“Supply and demand.” “It’s just Econ 101.” “Most economists agree...” “There’s always trade offs.” Over and over, media and policymakers spew the same tired recitations meant to convey the seemingly natural, immutable laws of economics. "The economy," we’re told, is thriving when business owners and job creators are making record profits, and faili…
 
This week I give my take on the vaccine wars in the NBA. It’s a thorny subject and I break it down. Also we have Jake’s Takes as my kid will tell you who will win this week’s NFL games. All this and more on this week’s show! Zirin, We Need Barcelona’s Hidden Radical History Now More Than Ever https://www.thenation.com/article/society/barcelona-olym…
 
A character played by an actor in a fat suit shovels food in his face, unable to restrain himself in a fit of rage. Another falls, too lazy and out-of-shape to get up without the aid of others. And yet another loses weight and avenges the anti-fat bullying she faced growing up, finally earning respect as a thin person. We see all of these tropes ad…
 
We’re still thinking about the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in Kenosha, where Republicans have been celebrating the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of a 17-year-old who shot three people, killing two, during the street protests over the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake. John Nichols comments on the threat from white vigilantes to Black pro…
 
This week we speak to Rob Goldman, author of the new book, The Sisterhood: The 99ers and the Rise of U.S. Women's Soccer. This book looks at the US Women’s 1999 World Cup team, how they came together, personalities on the team, and their lasting impact on sport in the world. We also have “Choice Words” about what’s happening in China with Peng Shua…
 
Republicans continue to work to ban teaching about Black Americans’ place in our history – their legislation, proposed in 27 states, would prohibit teaching the 1619 Project, which has just published a book offering what the authors call “a new origin story” about the United States. Martha Jones, a historian at Johns Hopkins University, and one of …
 
The Democrats need to do big things fast if they want to have a chance of winning in 2022 and 2024. John Nichols says that Trump will be a “lousy candidate” then—but he will still pose an even greater threat to American democracy than he did in 2020. Plus: Rebecca Solnit talks about politics and pleasure, about knowing your enemies, and about joy a…
 
“The elites are out to get you and your hard-earned pay.” “We’re spending too much on protecting foreign nations and not enough defending our own borders against immigrant invaders.” “China is taking your job and will soon take over your phone.” We are consistently fed this type of “rightwing populism” –– sticking up for the working man against an …
 
The Debt Collective has a new project: Cancelling probation debt of formerly incarcerated people. They’re actually doing it, for tens of thousands of people—and setting out to abolish bail debt completely in California. Astra Taylor explains how they're going about it, and reports on the continuing campaign to get Joe Biden to use executive action …
 
“It’s not about right vs left, but the people vs the elites,” “Wall Street and the media are leaching off hard working Americans like you and me who play by the rules.” “Our elite have sold us out to China.” American media consumers are routinely fed, a particular, and often confusing brand of so-called “rightwing populism” –– nominally taking on “…
 
In this News Brief, we recapped how, in the face of a once in a generation opportunity to relieve poverty and address curb climate change, US media largely gave us personality, Horse Race coverage, and defensive snark–– aiding conservatives efforts to winnow down the bill to a fraction of its original size.…
 
This week we speak to Britni de la Cretaz & Lyndsey D’Arcangelo, authors of the new book, Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women's Football League. This book is incredible and unearths an entire history that most of us were never familiar with. We also have “Choice Words” about the new Netflix special, Colin in Black and White. We also …
 
Who really runs Haiti—the government, or the gangs? The kidnappings suggest it’s the gangs – and the leader of the gang that kidnapped 16 Americans has openly expressed political ambitions. Amy Wilentz explains. Plus: Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest, taking a knee, became the symbol of resistance to racial injustice in America. Dave Zirin talks a…
 
"Feed the world." "We are the world." "Be a light to the world." Every few years, it seems, a new celebrity benefit appears. Chock full of A-listers and inspirational tag lines, it promises to tackle any number of the world’s large-scale problems, whether poverty, climate change, or disease prevention and eradication. From Live Aid in the 1980s to …
 
This week we are talking to Paul Knepper, author of the book “The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers That Almost Won It All.” We talk the Knicks, Pat Riley, John Starks, Anthony Mason and whether this team was badder than the Bad Boys of the 80s. We also have “Choice Words” about the latest news in the efforts to wrest j…
 
A recent poll found that only 42 per cent of registered voters in Texas say Republican Governor Gregg Abbott deserves to be re-elected in 2022. Biden lost Texas by only 630,000 votes, and millions of young people and people of color didn’t vote. John Nichols reports on how the biggest Republican state could elect a Democratic governor next year. Al…
 
In this News Brief, we recap the recap of Powell's life, from the handwringing over his Iraq War UN speech to the erasure of his role in covering up My Lai massacre to training rightwing death squads in Central America and the central importance of "Good Intentions" when venerating our beloved, bipartisan war-makers.…
 
This week we speak to long-time former Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt about the leak of NFL emails and what they say about the league. Also, we have choice words about the latest attack on trans youth athletes coming out of Texas. In addition, I’ve got a few things to say about Kyrie Irving, and of course, we have Jake’s Takes. Andrew Br…
 
Some pundits say the only way Democrats can hold the House and Senate in 2022 is by appealing to swing voters in Republican states by talking about economic issues—and NOT talking about climate change, immigration reform, or policing. John Nichols challenges that argument. Also: The co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA, Melina Abdullah, talks about …
 
This week, Bob Glauber joins the show to discuss the new book that he co-wrote with Keyshawn Johnson, The Forgotten First. Such an informative interview, you don’t want to miss it! Bob Glauber Twitter: @BobGlauber https://www.powells.com/book/the-forgotten-first-9781538705483 Zirin, Crisis in the National Women’s Soccer League: A Story of Predation…
 
Are we a nation of lunatics? Katha Pollitt has been thinking about that—about the millions of people who say that Satan-worshipping pedophiles control American politics and media, or that, if you’ve come down with Covid-19, you should pick up some Ivermectin at the local feed store. Plus: The murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955 is probably…
 
In this recording of a Live Interview for Patrons from 9/22, we speak with The Nation sports editor Dave Zirin about his new book, The Kaepernick Effect, and how a series of protests in youth sports, namely among black youth, set off firestorms and backlash in dozens of small towns throughout the country. And what the "leave politics out of sports"…
 
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