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On this episode, Kumars is joined by returning guest-co-host Nora Barrows-Friedman, reporter and associate editor for The Electronic Intifada. In the intro, Kumars and Nora discuss the latest developments in Israel/Palestine as well as Roqayah's triumphant return to the show!
For the interview, Kumars and Nora welcome Jeff Stein, Congressional reporter for Vox, where he reports on politics, policy, and activism. He is also the former editor and founder of the Ithaca Voice. We wanted to talk to Jeff about the reporting he’s been doing on healthcare and other issues of relevance to the Left which happens to be some of the most valuable work coming out of a mainstream outlet. We first learn about what got Jeff interested in the worlds of politics and journalism, as well as the way he approaches his work. We ask Jeff about his coverage of the defensive fight against the various iterations of Trumpcare, as well as the offensive fight for single-payer/Medicare for all, and why he is one of the few journalists who is covering these issues so thoroughly for a mainstream outlet. We also talk about the activist groups engaged in these fights, most notably ADAPT, and the impact they are having.
Aside from the healthcare fights, we also talk about the new Democratic slogan which Jeff revealed to the world (A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages) and whether it will resonate with anyone. We also talk about new legislation that would criminalize participation in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Jeff tells us about a conversation he had with ranking Democratic congressman Eliot Engel where Engel didn't seem to have a problem with criminalizing speech he didn't personally agree with.