The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with David Masciotra, author, lecturer and journalist based in Indiana, to discuss his recent book Exurbia Now: The Battleground of American Democracy. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Israel’s continuing operations in the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, mounting pressure on Biden to halt weapons transfers to Israel, Sec. Mayorkas’ impeachment, student debt relief, unionization, and Mike Johnson’s Ukraine aid package, before diving into Donald Trump’s new middle-ground stance on abortion legislation, and the subtle backlash from his evangelical base. David Masciotra then joins, first outlining the definition of the “exurbs” – distinct from suburbia due to its lower density and greater distance from urban centers, yet much wealthier and with much more robust infrastructure than rural areas – and exploring the particular role they play in bolstering far-right politics electorally. After contextualizing the rise of exurbs as a late-stage development of white flight beginning in the mid-‘90s, with real estate firms building up isolated communities in previously rural towns and using exclusionary politics and property tax gimmicks to recruit those still escaping the growing diversity of urban centers and even some suburban areas, Masciotra walks Sam and Emma through the infrastructure of exurbia’s isolation, with residents largely working outside of their towns while all civic, media, and commercial roles are taken over by mega-churches, casinos, and massive corporations, resulting in little-to-no connection with their community, much less the outside world. Wrapping up, David explores the major issue that comes with addressing these severely isolated communities, particularly when their “problems” largely arise from reactionary cultural issues grounded in racial resentment and Christian nationalism, and why our hope in conquering this issue lies in on-the-ground and bottom-up organizing.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma dive into the increasing pressure on Biden to halt weapons transfers to Israel after the IDF’s slaughter of the employees of DC’s favorite Chef José Andrés, Bernie Sanders’ staunch rejection of Biden’s rhetorical posturing of anger with Netanyahu, and Jonathan Guyer’s recent reporting on the role of one Brett McGurk in Biden’s Israel policy (particularly when it comes to the risk of expanding the conflict into a regional war). Jon Stewart discusses Apple’s massive fear of the FTC and Lina Khan, Dawn Staley has no time for transphobic fear-mongers, and far-right weirdos Rudy Giuliani and Brian Glenn posit interesting scientific theories. Bill Maher struggles to find common ground with Billy Dee Williams despite their shared appreciation for blackface.

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The Majority Report with Sam Seder -

Direct download: 4_8_Masciotra_-_pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT