Today can be two very different things to a lot of people, depending upon who they are. Yes, it's April 1 -- meaning it's April Fool's Day. (You'd better believe Melissa and her guests will have some fun with that, discussing the benefits and detriments of using humor as a political tool.) But to Christians, it is also one week before Easter -- which means that it is Palm Sunday.
As a kid, I remembered this as the one day that we got to leave church with a parting gift -- palm fronds, given to each congregant as a symbol of Jesus' entrance (on a donkey) into Jerusalem shortly before the Last Supper. Now, whether or not you believe in God or Jesus Christ, getting palm fronds at church when you're little is pretty cool. You see them tied up into any number of interesting ways, and like most Christmas trees, they're used as decoration for just a little too long.
You know what else is overstaying its welcome? The Republican presidential primary -- according to more and more Republicans! Mitt Romney was endorsed this week by former President George H.W. Bush, Senator Marco Rubio, and Congressman Paul Ryan -- all of whom urged a quick end to the presidential primary process (which I thought was helping Republicans? No? OK). We'll also talk about the Wisconsin primary coming up on Tuesday, and delve into the recall-election drama facing that state's embattled Republican governor, Scott Walker. We'll allude more directly to Palm Sunday when we discuss the relevance of faith in social policy, and how liberals, too, can use both in concert to their benefit. We'll also address how Apple's Chinese manufacturer, Foxconn, is addressing unjust labor practices there. Lastly, Melissa will update you on the latest in the Trayvon Martin case -- and also make mention of "other Trayvons" people should be talking about more.
Our guests today:
- Lizz Winstead, political satirist and co-creator of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." She's also the author of a new book of humorous essays, "Lizz Free or Die."
- Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary.
- Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor, representing the 4th Senate District of the state. She was one of the "Wisconsin 14" Democratic senators who left the state last year in order to prevent the passing of Governor Walker's anti-collective bargaining bill.
- John Nichols, political writer for The Nation and author of "Uprising," a new book examining the Wisconsin protests over Governor Walker's law.
- Obery Hendricks, visiting scholar at Columbia University and author of "The Universe Bends Toward Justice: Radical Reflections on the Bible, the Church, and the Body Politic."
- Cynthia Estlund, NYU law school professor and author of "Regoverning the Workplace."
- Kiki McLean, Democratic strategist and senior partner at the public relations firm Porter Novelli.
- Rich Galen, Republican strategist and publisher of Mullings.com.