College Admissions Scams, from Jared Kushner to the Present: Amy Wilentz, plus Medicaid in Arkansas and Abortion in Mississippi
Mar 20, 2019 2505
50 people in six states were accused by the Justice Department last week of taking part in a major college admission scandal. They include Hollywood stars and business leaders, who paid bribes to elite college coaches. But that’s not the way Jared Kushner got in to Harvard—his father paid the university directly. Amy Wilentz comments on the legal, and the illegal, ways wealthy people get their unqualified children into elite schools.
Also: In 2017, the Trump administration announced that, for the first time in history, states could impose a work requirement on the low-income people who rely on Medicaid for health nsurance. Arkansas was the first state to implement one, staring last June. A number of other states, including Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, are chomping at the bit to follow suit. Bryce Covert reports on the impact of the work requirement in Arkansas.
Plus: Mississippi has only one place you can get an abortion--it’s in Jackson, and the state also has a wonderful organization based there called the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. Rebecca Grant reports on the remarkable woman who founded and leads that organization.
How to Beat Trump in 2020: John Nichols on Strategy, Michael Kazin on Southern Democrats, and Katha Pollitt on Women
Mar 13, 2019 2540
The Democrats’ picking Milwaukee for their convention in 2020 indicates how that Wisconsin is a key battleground the party must win in order to recapture the White House. John Nichols talks about what it going to take for the Democrats to carry Wisconsin—and Michigan and Pennsylvania—and about the far-reaching tasks that face the party after four years of Trump.
Also: southern Democrats were an all-white party before the voting rights act of 1965; and then, as LBJ predicted, its members all became Republicans. And yet throughout the 20th century Southern Democrats in Congress supported Progressive legislation—as long as it didn’t help black people. Historian Michael Kazin comments—and talks about the party in the South now, where Stacey Abrams and Betto O’Rourke are building something new.
Plus: Halfway through Trump’s term, and the week after International Women’s Day, it’s a good time to look at the big picture of where women stand in the US and in the world—where the US ranks in terms of women’s political representation, legal equality, and recent reports of discrimination and violence. Katha Pollitt surveys the good news, and the bad news.
Bill McKibben: From Coal and Gas to Wind and Sun; plus Maia Szalavitz on the Opioid Epidemic and Sean Wilentz on Impeachment
Mar 6, 2019 2520
To replace coal and oil, do we need nuclear power? Is switching from coal powered electric plants to natural gas a step in the right direction? And what lessons can we draw from the recent victories—and setbacks--for the climate movement in California? Bill McKibben comments--and talks how to get to a Green New Deal. Bill’s new book, “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”, will be published on April 16.
Plus: The House Judiciary Committee is moving toward impeachment proceedings, and asking what kind of precedents—and what kind of lessons--can be found in the Republican effort to impeach Bill Clinton 20 years ago. Sean Wilentz comments--he’s an award-winning historian who teaches at Princeton. He writes for the New York Times, the New Republic, Rolling Stone, and the New York Review, where he wrote recently about the Clinton impeachment.
Also: what can we do to reduce the death toll in the current epidemic of opioid overdoses? Maia Szalavitz suggests our focus should be on harm reduction, and especially on the creation of safe injection sites—Philadelphia may be the first US city to follow the example of Vancouver and many West European cities.
Michelle Goldberg: The Time is Right for a Green New Deal; plus George Zornick on Elizabeth Warren and Michael Walzer on Movement Politics
Feb 27, 2019 2536
Trump’s presidency is not the end of Democracy, as some of our friends have suggested. Instead we are seeing the end of a political cycle, the one that began in 1980 with Reagan. And now, it’s time for something new—and that could be a Green New Deal. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg comments.
Also: For years Elizabeth Warren has been talking about how the political system is rigged by the rich and powerful. But suddenly her position seems almost mainstream among Democrats--almost every contender for the Democratic nomination is rejecting corporate PAC money. George Zornick has our report.
And we’ll talk about movement politics with Michael Walzer--about strategies and tactics and issues and candidates. His new book is “Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics.”
Naomi Klein: To Fight Climate Change, We Have to Radically Rethink What Is Possible; plus Dahlia Lithwick on Trump’s ‘Emergency’ and Manuel Pastor on Calif. vs. Trump
Feb 20, 2019 2516
Naomi Klein says the Green New Deal needs to follow the example of the New Deal of the 1930s, when nothing would have happened without “massive pressure from social movements” that “changed the calculus of what was possible.” Naomi is a contributing editor at The Nation and author of several number one bestsellers, including “This Changes Everything.”
Plus Dahlia Lithwick talks about the national challenge to Trump’s “national emergency”—the constitutional issues, the political issues, and the dangers of treating as normal his rambling, fact-free, egomaniacal performance in the Rose Garden announcing his “emergency.” Dahlia writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast ‘Amicus.’
And we’ll also look at California’s resistance to Donald Trump: Manuel Pastor will explain the past, the present, and the future of the fights over climate justice and immigration between the biggest state and the worst president. Manuel’s new book is “State of Resistance.”
Child Care for All belongs on the Progressive Agenda Katha Pollitt, plus David Klion on Bernie’s foreign policy and Antony Loewenstein on Afghanistan
Feb 13, 2019 2391
Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage – and how about adding Child care for all to the Progressive agenda? That’s Katha Pollitt’s proposal—she argues it will help huge numbers of people.
Also: Bernie’s foreign policy: in 2016 he ran on domestic issues almost exclusively. This time around, if he runs—and it looks like he will--he’s going to say more about foreign policy—a lot more. David Klion explains; he’s profiled Bernie’s foreign policy advisor, Matt Duss.
Plus: Peace in Afghanistan? Trump says it’s close – and Antony Loewenstein says it will bring massive corruption around mining the minerals of that country—and do nothing to help local communities.
The State of the Union is Not Good: John Nichols on Trump, plus Sasha Abramsky on TPS and Elizabeth Kolbert on climate change
Feb 6, 2019 2206
John Nichols says Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night was "cynical and crude."
Also: Temporary Protected Status – “TPS” - has allowed immigrants and refugees from half a dozen countries with terrible problems to stay in the US for decades – but now Trump is trying to get rid of all of them. Sasha Abramsky reports on the human toll of this cruel policy.
Plus: Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker on Trump, climate change and species extinction – she says “we need courage, not hope.” Her book “The Sixth Extinction” won the Pulitzer Prize.
Trump’s Wall—and the Walls of the Future: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on Borders, Joan Walsh on Pramila Jayapal, and Harold Meyerson on Politics after the Shutdown
Jan 30, 2019 2214
The battle between Democrats and Trump over a border wall was a disagreement about symbolism, not policy, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian argues; the borders of the future won’t be as easy to spot as the wall that Trump is proposing. And the new borders going up around us—digital ones—are already taking away our freedom.
Also: how the progressives in the House will fight Trump: Joan Walsh reports on the Congressional Progressive Caucus and its co-chair Pramila Jayapal—and their plans for a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Also: the strange case of the 12 Democrats who joined both the Progressive Caucus and the “centrist” New Democrat Coalition.
Trump’s throwing in the towel on the shutdown after the closure of LaGuardia airport opens a new era of challenge to the president, and also “evened the score” for the air traffic controllers, Harold Meyerson says. That came almost 40 years after Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers, which began a devastating wave of attacks on unions. This time they beat a Republican president—and progressive Democrats are eager to expand the fight. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect.
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2019 Will Be the Worst Year of Trump’s Life: John Nichols on politics, Sarah Jaffe on the LA teachers strike, and Sean Wilentz on slavery and the constitution
Jan 23, 2019 2572
What will 2019 be like for Trump? Will it be like Nixon in 1974—the Watergate year, which ended with his resignation? Or more like Clinton in 1998—the Monica year, which culminated with an impeachment trial in the Senate in 1999? He won that vote easily and came out more popular than before. John Nichols looks at the investigations coming up in the House, leading us to conclude that 2019 will be the worst year of Donald Trump’s life.
Also: The LA teachers’ strike is, among other things, a battle over the future of the Democratic party: will it embrace austerity and the steady erosion of social services, or will it fund the progressive agenda? Sarah Jaffe reports.
And Americans have always struggled over the place of black people in America, starting at the beginning, with the Constitution. Was the Constitution a pro-slavery document? Or, as Lincoln argued, did it point toward abolition? We ask Sean Wilentz—his new book is No Property in Man.
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The anti-immigrant temptation on the left: David Adler on politics, Pedro Noguera on the LA teachers strike, and Kate Aronoff on the battle of ideas
Jan 16, 2019 2365
A political movement combining a left-wing economic program with anti-immigrant initiatives: it’s developing right now in Germany and France – could it happen here? David Adler explains: he’s the Policy Coordinator for the European Spring — Europe’s first transnational party, led by Yanis Varoufakis. He writing has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, and Jacobin—and now he has the cover story in the new issue of The Nation.
Also: 31,000 teachers are on strike right now in Los Angeles--it’s the biggest strike in a long time in the second biggest school district in the country, with 600,000 students. And it’s not just about salaries and benefits; the teachers say they want smaller classes, which means more teachers. Pedro Noguera reports.
Plus: Like everybody else on the left, we’re excited about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her proposal for a Green New Deal –but “the Left needs more than good ideas”--that’s what Kate Aronoff says. We need to change the economic and political consensus shaped by the right and build a political and intellectual infrastructure that can match theirs.
The Issues Republicans Are Afraid to Touch: Harold Meyerson on Politics, plus Aaron Maté on Russiagate and Alex Press on Amazon workers
Jan 9, 2019 2361
Now that the Democrats are in charge in the House of Representatives, Harold Meyerson says, we can learn a lot about progressive political opportunities by studying “the Republican dogs that didn’t bark in the night” – the political issues Republicans didn’t attack in the recent elections--because they have widespread public support. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect and a regular contributor to the LA Times op-ed page.
Also: Aaron Maté says new studies show that Russian social-media involvement in US politics in the recent election was small, amateurish, and mostly unrelated to the candidates—and that pundits have exaggerated the effects of Russian trolls posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Plus: now that the holidays are over, it’s time to talk about the hundreds of thousands of workers who were Christmas temporaries at Amazon warehouses – Amazon calls them “seasonal associates” and describes the places they work as “fullfillment centers.” Alex Press explains—she’s an assistant editor at Jacobin.
The Best of 2018: Seymour Hersh on Trump, Barbara Ehrenreich on ‘Wellness,’ and Amos Oz Remembered
Jan 2, 2019 2329
Our most popular interviews of the year, starting with Seymour Hersh, one of our heroes; he says “don’t underestimate Trump.” He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his expose of the My Lai massacre—he was a 33-year-old freelancer at the time. Since then, he’s won pretty much every other journalism award. He’s worked as a staff writer for The New York Times and The New Yorker. He’s also written a dozen books, most recently ‘Reporter: A Memoir.’
Also: Barbara Ehrenreich is another hero of ours-- the author of more than a dozen books, including the unforgettable “Nickel and Dimed.” Now she has a new book out, a bestseller, and it’s terrific: it’s called “Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainly of Dying, and killing ourselves to live longer.”
Finally, Amos Oz died on Dec 28 --He was an Israeli novelist and unyielding critic of the occupation of the West Bank and a campaigner for a two state solution. His novels were translated into dozens of languages, and he also wrote for The Nation. Here we revisit an interview we did with him in 2004, about mideast politics.
The Facts of Russiagate have been Obvious for a Long Time: David Klion on Putin and Trump, plus Amy Wilentz on Trump’s Mental Status and Bill McKibben on Climate Change
Dec 26, 2018 2726
For our year-in-review show, we open with a Russiagate update with David Klion – he says it’s basically a corruption scandal whose basic facts have been obvious for a long time—and one that should bring down Trump’s presidency.
In a lot of ways, Trump himself was the biggest story in 2018--we ask Amy Wilentz the key question: “is Trump crazy?” She discusses the mental and emotional status of the president, as analyzed by 27 psychiatrists in ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,’ a book edited by Bandy X. Lee. The book was number four on the New York Times bestseller list.
And the biggest story of the year, for all of humanity, has been catastrophic climate change --Bill McKibben says “it’s not just an environmental issue.”
2018: A Big Year for Progressives—John Nichols on Politics, plus Erwin Chemerinsky on Obamacare and Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on Left Internationalism
Dec 19, 2018 2404
John Nichols presents the highlights of The Nation’s annual Progressive Honor Roll—our heroes in Congress, in state politics, and in leading protests at the border.
Also: is Obamacare unconstitutional? A federal judge ruled last week that all of Obamacare violates the constitution if he’s upheld by the Supreme Court, 20 million people will lose their insurance coverage. The case has the potent name “Texas versus the United States.” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, explains why that ruling is likely to be rejected at the Supreme Court—by vote of 9-0.
Plus: right-wing authoritarians have been coordinating political campaigns and disrupting elections across national boundaries – a project masterminded by Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. It’s time now for the left, especially the American left, to go on the offensive and reclaim its tradition of internationalism. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian reports on the project of Yanis Varoufakis—and Bernie Sanders—to organize a Progressive International.
William Barr: Another Jeff Sessions? David Cole, plus Dave Lindorff on Pentagon Accounting Fraud and Marc Cooper on the Revolution in Armenia
Dec 12, 2018 2642
Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, is more qualified to do the job than Matt Whitaker--but so are thousands of others. His record, however, show’s he as bad as Jeff Sessions—if not worse. David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU and The Nation’s legal affairs correspondent, explains.
Also: a report on The Nation’s investigation of Massive Accounting Fraud at the Pentagon – Dave Lindorff found that $21 million cannot be accounted for. For decades, he says, the Pentagon has been “deliberately cooking the books to mislead Congress.”
Plus: the Armenian Revolution: “a small light of hope and progressive democratic change in a Europe increasingly shadowed by authoritarian and dictatorial forces, especially in most of the former soviet-bloc states of Eastern Europe.” That’s what Marc Cooper says—he’s spent months in Yerevan, where elections on Sunday confirmed the victory of the revolutionaries.
George H.W. Bush Gave Us Today's Republican Party: Harold Meyerson, plus Katha Pollitt on White Women and Trump and Eric Foner on Frederick Douglass
Dec 5, 2018 2309
George H. W. Bush paved the way for today’s Republican party with his racist Willy Horton campaign, nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, and pardoned the Iran-Contra conspirator whose trial would have exposed his own abuse of power. Harold Meyerson explains -- he’s executive editor of the American Prospect.
Also: Katha Pollitt finds lessons from the midterms about white women who support Trump – she argues that they are unlikely to change their minds, and that we’d do better following the example of Stacey Abrams and mobilizing the nonvoters.
Plus: Frederick Douglass, the black abolitionist, was the most famous black American of the 19th century. Historian Eric Foner says Douglass’s political ideas can help us in our struggles today.
Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’: Where Are the Politics? Amy Wilentz, plus Kai Wright on Midterm Victories and Tom Athanasiou on Climate
Nov 28, 2018 2495
Michelle Obama declares in her new memoir, "I am not a political person, so I'm not going to attempt to offer an analysis" of Trump’s victory. That’s her stance in the rest of the book as well. It seems strange for the person the New York Times called "The most outspoken first lady in modern history." What’s going on here? Amy Wilentz comments.
Plus: The Democrats won the midterms by the largest popular vote margin for either party in the history of midterm elections -- larger than the Watergate midterm after Nixon resigned in 1974, 44 years ago. But there was a deeper and more significant victory hidden behind those numbers, Kai Wright argues: the political mobilization of millions of people of color in the South.
Also: Last week the White House – that is, the Trump White House – released a major scientific report on climate change, with the darkest warnings to date about the consequences of rising temperatures for the United States. Tom Athanasiou explains.
How Democrats Won in the White-Hot Heart of the Republican Right: Gustavo Arellano on Orange County, plus L.A. Kauffman on Protest and Andrew Delbanco on Fugivitive Slaves
Nov 21, 2018 2532
Orange County, California, was the political starting point for Nixon, for the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, and for Reagan—as Republican as any place in America. But starting in January, not a single Republican will represent Orange County in the House. It’s solid blue. Gustavo Arellano will explain how it happened – he’s a weekly columnist for the LA Times, and wrote the legendary column “Ask a Mexican.”
Also: mass demonstrations in America, from the 1963 March on Washington to the 2017 Women’s March: what protests do when they work, and why: L.A. Kauffman explains. Her new book is "How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance."
Plus: cities providing sanctuary for people the federal government is trying to arrest and return to the oppression they had escaped-- today’s battles over Trump’s attacks on undocumented immigrants have some striking parallels with the battles over fugitive slaves in the decade before the Civil War. Andrew Delbanco comments--his new book is "The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul, from the Revolution to the Civil War."
“Chasing an Elusive Centrism is Ridiculous”: Frank Rich on politics, plus Erwin Chemerinsky on Matt Whitaker and Laura Carlsen on the Caravan
Nov 14, 2018 2453
Frank Rich finds lessons for Democrats in the midterms: seeking “the political center,” as recommended by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff, running on “clean-government themes and promises of incremental improvement to the health care system rather than transformational social change,” is “ridiculous.” Frank writes about politics for New York Magazine and is executive producer of VEEP on HBO.
Also: Trump’s appointment of a new acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker: is it legal? He hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate – or even nominated. Erwin Chemerinsky comments—he’s dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, and his new book is “We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the 21st Century.”
Plus: a report on that caravan from Central America headed across Mexico toward Tijuana, from Laura Carlsen, who has has been with the caravan. Trump has stopped talking about it, now that the midterms are over and his fear-mongering failed to win key House seats.
A Blue Wave for Progressives and Women—With Some Heartbreakers: John Nichols and Joan Walsh on the Midterms, plus Andy Robinson on Brazil
Nov 7, 2018 2312
Tuesday night was a good night for progressive Democrats, John Nichols argues—and Democratic control of the House will bring an epic change to Washington politics—starting with a return to Constitutional principles and an insistence that the president is subject to the rule of law.
Also: women won unprecedented victories in the midterms. Joan Walsh analyzes the feminist insurgency that will bring almost a hundred women to the House of Representatives in January—including the first two Muslim women (Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar); the first Native American women (New Mexico’s Deb Haaland and Kansas’s Sharice Davids), Texas’s first two Latina congresswomen (Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia); plus three young black women (Massachusetts’s Ayanna Pressley, Connecticut’s Jahana Hayes, and Illinois’s Lauren Underwood).
Plus: Brazil last week elected Jair Bolsonaro. Our man in Rio, Andy Robinson, says he is “worse than Donald Trump,” and “as close to fascism as you will get in the world today, despite a growing number of contenders.”
Women Voters and the Midterms: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Joan Walsh, and Cecile Richards; plus Ari Berman on vote suppression and Gary Younge on the Midwest
Oct 31, 2018 2365
Women voters—and candidates—are mobilized as never before for next week’s midterms: Joan Walsh and Cecile Richards report from across the country at a Nation event introduced by publisher and editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. Joan is the magazine’s National Affairs Correspondent and Cecile recently stepped down as head of Planned Parenthood after leading the organization since 2006\.
Also: the Democrats are focusing now on voter mobilization and turnout,
while the Republicans are at work on voter suppression. How significant will the Republican effort be in this election--and where is it likely to have the biggest impact? Ari Berman reports—he wrote about vote suppression for the New York Times opinion pages.
Plus Gary Younge, The Nation columnist, talks about politics in the midwest, the heartland, the rust belt – he’s covering the midterms from Racine, Wisconsin, an old Democratic factory town on Lake Michigan. After so many defeats in the state, Democrats there told him they “can’t afford the luxury of hope.”
We Have a Problem With White Men: They Support Trump—Kai Wright, plus Jill Lepore on Trump and History and Michael Kazin on Hubert Humphrey
Oct 24, 2018 2050
62 per cent of white men voted for Trump, 31 per cent for Clinton. Kai Wright has our analysis--he’s host of WNYC’s podcast The United States of Anxiety, and he’s also a columnist for The Nation. It’s easy to get confused by the crosscurrents of misogyny and racism and xenophobia, he argues; they are not discrete issues, but rather “the interlocking tools of white men’s minority rule.”
Also: Trump’s place in American history: Jill Lepore of the Harvard history department and the New Yorker talks about her new book These Truths which starts in 1492 with Christopher Columbus, and ends in 2016 with Donald Trump.
And we’ll recall the 1968 presidential election, when Richard Nixon won, and many of our current problems began. The man who almost defeated Nixon was Hubert Humphrey, the onetime Minnesota senator who had become LBJ’s vice president. Anti-war activists hated Hubert Humphrey in 1968--Michael Kazin will explain.
Can Progressive Momentum Transform The Democratic Party? Jeff Cohen, plus Sasha Abramsky on Arizona and Joan Walsh on Georgia
Oct 17, 2018 2587
Have the Democrats learned the lessons of the disaster of 2016? Jeff Cohen talks about the progressives’ fight to win the party away from dependence on corporate contributions—and instead to mobilize the grassroots. Jeff is one of the co-authors of “Democratic Autopsy—One Year Later” at TheNation.com.
Also: Arizona is a red state, ground zero for Trump’s anti-immigrant politics, but it’s changing. Sasha Abramsky has returned from Tucson, with a report on how and why the Democrats seem likely to flip a key House seat there.
Plus: A historic challenges to the Republicans is underway in Georgia, where Stacy Abrams is campaigning to become the state’s first black governor, and first female governor. The polls have her tied with her opponent, a far-right figure endorsed by Trump. Joan Walsh just got back from Georgia with a report.
Women’s Anger—and Kavanaugh’s Rage: Rebecca Traister, plus David Cay Johnston on Trump’s tax crimes and John Nichols on impeaching Kavanaugh
Oct 10, 2018 2645
Rebecca Traister sees in the Kavanaugh hearings a typical case where women’s anger was marginalized or made to sound hysterical or infantile or threatening—but men’s anger was taken to be valid and righteous. But that is changing, she argues: women’s anger increasingly is “in the beating heart of many political and social movements.” Her new book is Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger.
Also: David Cay Johnston talks about the “Mountain of Tax Cheating” by Donald Trump, as exposed in the massive New York Times report on where Trump’s money came from, and the violations of tax laws in his past. David is a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter who has written for the New York Times and the L.A. Times and is now editor of DCReport.org.
Plus: what the Democrats can do about newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when they win the House in November and take control of the Judiciary Committee in January: John Nichols talks about investigations that could lead to the filing of articles of impeachment.
Yes We Have an Activist Community Fighting Kavanaugh: Joan Walsh, plus D.D. Guttenplan on a new radical majority and Michelle Chen on the Fight for $15
Oct 3, 2018 2530
Joan Walsh explains why we lack confidence in the re-opened FBI background check into Kavanaugh’s past, and talks about the activists who are fighting the nomination, and the senators who need to be told “do not vote for this man.”
Plus: D.D. Guttenplan talks about some alternatives to those old white Republican men who shouted and pouted at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week–his new book is “The Next Republic: the Rise of a New Radical Majority.”
And while the eyes of the nation search for news on the FBI investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, the hard work of fighting for social change goes on--for example in St. Paul, where a campaign for a $15 minimum wage is being fought right now. Michelle Chen reports.
The Kavanaugh Hearings Have Been an Outrage From the Beginning: John Nichols on the hearings, plus Sasha Abramsky on Voting Rights in Florida and Bryce Covert on Universal Basic Income
Sep 26, 2018 2491
The Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh have been an outrage, even before the recent “allegations of sexual misconduct.” John Nichols comments.
Also: Florida will vote in November on restoring voting rights for felons, and polls show the measure is likely to pass. Sasha Abramsky reports on the campaign and its significance.
Plus: universal basic income—government payments to help keep people out of poverty: is that a better idea than a government job guarantee? Bryce Covert explains the current debate on the left.
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Michael Moore: From Obama to Trump: "Fahrenheit 11/9"
Sep 21, 2018 1001
Michael Moore talks about his new documentary, "Fahrenheit 11/9," opens Friday May 21 across America--It's a passionate argument about how the Democrats helped pave the way to Trump's election, and a call to arms to change our politics and vote on Nov. 9.
The Case Against Kavanaugh: Katha Pollitt; plus Harold Meyerson on the Financial Crisis and Mouin Rabbani on Oslo
Sep 19, 2018 2445
Katha Pollitt considers the arguments made by Brett Kavanaugh’s defenders in response to the charges that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old when he was 17, and the evidence supporting Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser.
Also: On the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis, Harold Meyerson argues that the recovery was a disaster all over again—and that we are still suffering from its political consequences. Harold is Executive Editor of The American Prospect.
Plus: 25 years ago, President Bill Clinton presided over a handshake on the White House grounds between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, agreeing to the Oslo Accords, which, we were told, laid the foundation for peace between Israel and a Palestinian state. Mouin Rabbani comments—he’s a fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies and a contributor to the London Review of Books and The Nation.
Fighting Climate Change—and Donald Trump: Bill McKibben plus Steve Phillips on moderate Republicans and Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on the inequality industry
Sep 12, 2018 2533
As world leaders (except for Trump) gather in San Francisco this week for the Global Climate Action Summit, Bill McKibben comments on California’s new law mandating 100 per cent clean electricity by 2045—and on the next task: keep oil and gas in the ground.
Also: Should Democratic strategy focus on winning the votes of moderate Republicans? Steve Phillips points to one key factor: there aren’t that many of them. Steve is the author of the New York Times best seller, 'Brown Is the New White: How a Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.'
Plus: the inequality industry: Atossa Abrahamian examines the new focus on inequality at the IMF, the Ford Foundation, and other elite institutions, and argues that there’s a big political difference between seeking to reduce inequality, and fighting for a world of equality.
We’re at a “Which Side Are You On” Moment: Randi Weingarten, plus Mark Hertsgaard on climate politics and David Cole on Kavanaugh
Sep 5, 2018 2536
In Oklahoma and West Virgina and Missouri, teachers have led amazingly successful battles against Republican budget-cutting and tax breaks for the wealthy. Although the Supreme Court’s Janus decision sought to cripple the ability of public sector unions to engage in politics, recent polls show that unions are more popular than ever. Randi Weingarten comments on the big picture of unions and politics – she’s president of the American Federation of Teachers, with 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
Also, At the California Global Climate Action Summit, in San Francisco next week, all the world’s major nations will be represented--except for our own government. Mark Hertsgaard reports on how California, under Governor Jerry Brown, has taken the lead in fighting climate change -- and how climate activists have organized at the upcoming summit to demand that the governor end new oil and gas drilling. Mark wrote the cover story for The Nation’s special issue on climate politics.
Plus: Some questions for Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, from David Cole. The legal director of the ACLU and legal affairs correspondent for The Nation says some questions—about current cases—are inappropriate for Democrats to ask in the current confirmation hearings; but there are other questions—on Kavanaugh’s legal philosophy, and on his past statements and decisions—that he should be required to answer.
Melania Trump: Hero of the People? Amy Wilentz, plus Katha Pollitt on the Politics of Motherhood and Lee Saunders on Unions after Janus
Aug 29, 2018 2238
Amy Wilentz takes up the vital question, is Melania Trump a hero of the resistance—or an accomplice of evil? Is she edging “ever closer to open contempt for him,” as New York Times columnist Frank Bruni argues, and finding “increasingly clever ways to show it”? Or is she sticking with her role as wife to a racist tyrant with a clear history of infidelity, and lots of cash?
Also: how mothers and pregnant women are discriminated against and punished – here at home, and around the world. Katha Pollitt talks about how that has happened—and why.
And as Labor Day approaches, we talk labor unions and politics with Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME. His union was the target of that decision by the Supreme Court in June, when it ruled, 5-4, that government workers who choose NOT to join unions may NOT be required to help pay for collective bargaining. Saunders explains what unions are doing to fight back – in the November election, and in the long run.
Centrism Is Not the Answer! Gary Younge; plus Todd Gitlin on 1968 and Farah Griffin on Aretha
Aug 22, 2018 2716
Centrism lost for the Democrats in 2016, and it will lose again in 2018, Gary Younge argues: the party needs not just to oppose Trump, but also to put forward an alternative vision that can earn the support of working-class Americans. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has shown how to do it, running on a program of tuition-free higher education, Medicare for all, and a federal jobs guarantee.
Plus: Trump’s 1968 – and ours. In August 1968, 50 years ago this week, young antiwar demonstrators fought the police outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, while the whole world was watching. It was the culmination of an overwhelming year for the anti-war movement. But where was young Donald Trump? Todd Gitlin explains–he’s an activist, a sociologist, and author of "The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage."
Also: Aretha Franklin, who died last week, was a musical genius who seems unique; but she came out of a specific place and time: Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s. Farah Griffin, Professor of Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, comments—and explains the central role Aretha played in Angela Davis’s fight for freedom after facing capital charges in California in 1970\. Also: Aretha and Obama—at the beginning of his presidency, at his inauguration, and at the Kennedy Center concert at the end.
Refugees, Immigrants, and Donald Trump: Viet Thanh Nguyen; plus Anna Deavere Smith on the school-to-prison pipeline and Rachel Kushner on women in prison
Aug 15, 2018 2631
One of the defining features of Trump’s politics has been the way he’s appealed to hatred and fear of refugees and immigrants. Viet Thanh Nguyen talks about refugee lives, and refugee writers. He’s the author of the novel The Sympathizer—it won the Pulitzer prize—and editor of the new book The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. He’s also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant—and he’s a refugee himself, arriving from Vietnam with his family in 1975, when he was 4 years old.
Also: Anna Deavere Smith talks about the the school-to-prison pipeline—that’s the subject of her one-woman show, called ‘Notes from the Field,’ which dramatizes the real-life accounts of students, parents, & teachers caught in a system where young people of color who live in poverty get pushed out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system. It’s streaming online now, at HBO.com and HBO GO.
Plus: There are 219,000 women in prison in the United States—Rachel Kushner’s new novel, The Mars Room, is a story about of one of them. We talk about the way she mixed facts and imagination in writing the novel.
These segments previously aired on the Start Making Sense podcast.
A Golden Age for News Media under Trump? John Nichols; plus Harold Meyerson on Politics around Kavanaugh and Nomi Prins on Trump and Economic Entropy
Aug 8, 2018 2440
The Age of Trump, despite the opportunities it brings to investigative journalism, is hardly a “golden age”, John Nichols argues: cutbacks and layoffs have crippled the nation’s news media—not just in covering the White House, but state and local government as well. The New York Daily News provides a vivid example of the crisis.
Also: The Democrats need to retake control of the Senate if they are to have a chance of preventing Trump from transforming the Supreme Court into a right-wing bulwark. Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect analyzes the political battles in key states—and the factors that may weaken Brett Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearings.
Plus: Trump has done something genuinely new as president: he specializes in creating uncertainty. Nomi Prins will talk about the economic consequences for us, and for our future.
Is Trumpism Fascism? Katha Pollitt; plus Mike Lux on Political Strategy and Harold Meyerson on Jonathan Gold
Aug 1, 2018 2201
Katha Pollitt is not happy with leftists calling Trump a “fascist” – maybe there’s a better term for his attacks on democracy, which have a lot in common with authoritarian leaders in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Hungary, Poland, and other places. The foundation for all of them: austerity, pushed by the big banks and right-wing parties, which creates the economic anxiety that fuels racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Plus: left politics can win all over the country, not just in New York City and Chicago and LA – that’s what Mike Lux says , he’s a longtime strategist for the progressive movement and Democratic candidates.
Also: Jonathan Gold, who died on July 21, was the first food writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He wrote, not about high-end restaurants, but about mom-and-pop places in immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect talks about the significance of Gold’s writing about immigrants and their food in the Age of Trump.
After Trump’s Worst Week: Joan Walsh; plus David Cole on Brett Cavanaugh and Michael Kazin on Jimmy Carter
Jul 25, 2018 2390
A week ago Trump returned from his disastrous press conference with Putin in Helsinki to face a firestorm of criticism. Joan Walsh reviews the political landscape this week, when a significant minority of Republicans disagree with Trump on Putin – but nevertheless “approve” of his presidency. On the Democratic side, he tumultuous week has further energized candidates and voters for the fall elections.
Also: Some questions for Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: David Cole, legal director of the ACLU and legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, says there are questions that Kavanaugh should be required to answer.
Plus: Jimmy Carter is widely regarded as a failed president, despite the fact that he promoted human rights around the world, granted amnesty to Vietnam era draft resisters, and was a dedicated opponent of racism who enforced the Voting Rights Act. Historian Michael Kazin analyzes what went wrong with Carter’s presidency.
Trump and Putin: Separating the Surreal From the Sensible—Katrina vanden Heuvel; plus John Nichols on Kavanaugh and Adam Winkler on Corporate ‘Rights’
Jul 19, 2018 2546
Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki on Monday might have brought progress on nuclear arms control and conflict reduction in Syria; but when Trump argued that the US and Russia were “both . . . responsible” for Russian interference in the 2016 election, he squandered the opportunity—outlined in the “Common Ground” open letter published in The Nation, and signed by two dozen prominent figures including Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, and Valerie Plame.
Plus: John Nichols examines the record of Trump’ Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and assesses the progress of the effort to block his confirmation by the Senate. Also: UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler explores the long and terrible history of how corporations were given rights by the Supreme Court–all the same rights that people have.
Adam’s book is ‘We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights.’
Is Trump Crazy? Would Pence Be Worse? Amy Wilentz on Trump, Jane Mayer on Pence, and E.J. Dionne on America After Trump
Jul 12, 2018 2761
Amy Wilentz comments on the mental and emotional status of the president, as analyzed by 27 psychiatrists in The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book edited by Bandy X. Lee. The book was number four on the New York Times bestseller list.
Also: Would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reports—she interviewed more than 60 people in search of answers, including Pence’s mother. Several say he’s wanted to be president at least since high school.
Plus: America After Trump: E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post argues that Trump has mobilized progressive political forces that can transform America—and he reminds us that Trump never had a majority of voters, and is the most unpopular presidents in our history. E.J. is co-author of One Nation After Trump: A Guide to the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported.
These segments previously aired on the Start Making Sense podcast.
How We Can Block Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: John Nichols; plus Thomas Frank on Trump’s Supporters and David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs
Jul 5, 2018 2365
The most important political task of the year is blocking Trump’s supreme court pick. It can be done, John Nichols argues—with the right political strategy: organizing in the states with the swing votes: Maine and Alaska. It’s not New York and LA, but rather Portland and Anchorage where the fight will be won.
Also: Just eight years ago Democrats held not only the presidency but both houses of Congress. How did they lose so much in such a short time? Thomas Frank explains the disaster, and how, for millions of people, the recession of 2008 has never ended. His new book is 'Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society.'
Plus: “Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world?” David Graeber posted that question on the internet – and a million people clicked on it. A lot of them posted answers. Now his book about those answers is out – it’s called 'Bullshit Jobs,' and it casts dramatic light on our economy and politics.
Cruelty and Confusion in Trump’s Treatment of Migrant Children: Zoë Carpenter; plus Eyal Press on Drone Warriors and Amy Wilentz on Haiti
Jun 28, 2018 2481
What’s happening to migrant children separated from their parents by the Border Patrol? Zoë Carpenter reports on the confusion and uncertainty around Trump’s ever-changing and ever-cruel “policy”—and on her recent visit inside a Border Patrol “processing facility” in McAllen, Texas, where migrants are taken after being apprehended, and where children were being held separately from their parents.
Also: Drones have become the centerpiece of America’s war on terror. We are told that drones have turned warfare into a costless and bloodless exercise for Americans, something resembling a video game for the people at the computer screens. Eyal Press reports that the costs of our drone war include not only the casualties on the ground, including civilians, but also the drone warriors themselves—who suffer, not from PTSD, but from something else—“moral injury.”
Plus: Haiti: for Trump, it’s a “shithole country”; for us, it’s the country with the first and only successful slave revolution of the modern era—1791-1804—for which the French exacted a heavy price from the Haitians. Amy Wilentz has just returned from Haiti with a report—on earthquake reconstruction (not much), street demonstrations for a higher minimum wage (now $4.50/day)—and World Cup fever (high).
Catastrophic Climate Change is Not an “Environmental” Issue: Bill McKibben; plus Andrew Bacevich on Endless War and Robert Edelman on the World Cup
Jun 20, 2018 2465
It’s the most crucial security question that humans have ever faced: catastrophic climate change. Bill McKibben says it’s too late to halt global warming, but we still have a chance to curb it, “short of civilizational destruction.”
Also: Donald Trump, the Trump supporters, and wars without end: Andrew Bacevich notes that Trump alone among presidents since 9-11 has said our 17 years of war have resulted in “nothing except death and destruction” – a statement that’s “more true than false.”
Plus: the World Cup is a political event not only in Russia but many other countries as well, where issues of nationalism, immigration, and race have surfaced in many different ways. Sports historian Robert Edelman explains
In Trump’s ‘Madness,’ A Chance for Peace in Korea: Bruce Cumings; plus Ahilan Arulanantham on Trump’s family separation policy, and Harold Meyerson on the Democrats
Jun 13, 2018 2532
“In Trump’s madness, he brings innocent eyes” to the Korean conflict, says University of Chicago historian Bruce Cumings—which frees Trump from Washington establishment thinking, and create a real possibility of peace in Korea.
Plus: The Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents seeking asylum at the border is unusually cruel—and also unconstitutional. Ahilan Arulanantham, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, explains the organization’s recent legal victory—and the need for citizen activism on the issue.
Also: Now that some of the key primaries are over, the Democrats’ chances of retaking the House, and maybe the Senate, have come into sharper focus. Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect is optimistic.
Trump Is ‘Crazy Like a Fox’: Seymour Hersh—Plus Bryce Covert on homelessness and Viet Thanh Nguyen on refugees
Jun 6, 2018 2581
Seymour Hersh has won dozens of awards for his reporting on My Lai, Abu Ghraib, CIA surveillance of the anti-war movement in the Nixon years, and the crimes of Kissinger and the CIA in Chile and other places. He worked as a staff writer for the New York Times and The New Yorker, where he wrote during the Iraq war. He’s also written a dozen books—the new one is Reporter: A Memoir. In this interview he talks about his career, and the president and the media, today.
Also: Nearly half of all renters in America today can’t afford rent, and over half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. The problem is simple: a severe shortage of affordable housing. How did we get here? Bryce Covert reports.
Plus: One of the defining features of Trump’s politics has been the way he’s appealed to hatred and fear of refugees and immigrants. Viet Thanh Nguyen talks about refugee lives, and refugee writers. He’s the author of the novel The Sympathizer—it won the Pulitzer prize—and editor of the new book The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. He’s also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant—and he’s a refugee himself, arriving from Vietnam with his family in 1975, when he was 4 years old.
How Abortion Rights Triumphed in Ireland: Katha Pollitt; plus Wendy Pearlman on Syrian Refugees and Tom Engelhardt on ‘America’s Empire of Nothing’
May 30, 2018 2373
Everyone said the Irish vote on abortion would be close – but 66 per cent voted “yes” last Friday, including a majority of men, and a majority of every age group except those over 65\. Katha Pollitt was there – she reports on the campaign, and the victory celebrations.
Also: the American military is the most massive, the most technologically advanced, and the best-funded fighting force in the world -- but in the last fifteen years of constant war it has won nothing. Tom Engelhardt comments; he’s the legendary editor who created and runs the TomDispatch website, and his new book is “A Nation Unmade by War.”
Plus: Trump and Syrian refugees: During Obama’s last year, about 10,000 were admitted to the US; so far this year, the number is eleven. Wendy Pearlman explains – she interviewed hundreds of Syrian refugees across the Middle East and Europe. Her new book is “We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria.”
Progressive Dems Win Big in Primaries: John Nichols; plus Yanis Varoufakis on Trump and Europe, and Arthur Goldhammer on Paris in May '68
May 23, 2018 2436
Progressive and populist Democrats had some impressive victories in primaries last week in Pennsylvania, and also in Nebraska and Idaho—defeating centrist, establishment rivals, and showing a new path to victory in November for the party. John Nichols explains.
Also: Trump versus Europe. He’s threatening European banks and industries with sanctions: if they don’t cut off trade with Iran, they would be barred from American markets and transactions with American banks. We asked Yanis Varoufakis for his analysis—he’s the former finance minister of Greece who led the resistance to European Bankers demanding austerity—now he has co-founded an international grassroots movement that is campaign for the revival of democracy in Europe.
Plus: Fifty years ago this month, in May ’68, students in Paris took to the streets calling for a new kind of revolution. Over the next year or two, there were student uprisings and revolts around the world in many places. But Paris in May 1968 was the best one, the only one to move beyond the campus, with a general strike involving ten million workers threatening the political system. Arthur Goldhammer, the translator and writer, comments.
From Gaza to Jerusalem: Amy Wilentz; Plus Rachel Kushner on 'The Mars Room' and Patricia Williams on lynching
May 16, 2018 2308
Every day Trump makes the world less safe; Monday was a big one. Amy Wilentz comments on Ivanka and Jared—and Sheldon Adelson—dedicating the new American embassy in Jerusalem, while the Israeli military killed 60 Palestinians in a mass nonviolent protest at the Gaza border. Amy was Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker and wrote the novel Martyrs' Crossing about Palestinians and Israelis.
Also: There are 219,000 women in prison in the United States—Rachel Kushner’s new novel, The Mars Room, is a story about of one of them. She explains the mix of fact and imagination that went into the book.
Plus: More than 4,400 African Americans were murdered by white mobs between 1877 and 1950—that’s the conclusion of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal center. The new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, is dedicated to the victims—it opened last month. Patricia Williams comments; she’s a longtime columnist for The Nation.
Trump has No Plan B on Iran—Except War: Michael Klare, plus D.D. Guttenplan on Texas and Eric Foner on Columbia ‘68
May 9, 2018 2527
Trump’s plan on pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is to pressure Iran to restart negotiations on terms more favorable to the US—but that’s never going to happen, says Michael Klare. And Trump has no Plan B – except for war—which could quickly involve Israel fighting in Lebanon against Iran’s ally Hezbollah, which has thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
Also: the coming showdown in Texas between populist Democrats and establishment Democrats” D. D. Guttenplan has returned from the Lone Star State with a report on the political transformation underway there.
Plus: It’s the 50th anniversary of the student uprising at Columbia University, against university complicity in the war—setting the path for that students at hundreds of other schools followed during the next few years. Historian Eric Foner explains how it happened, and finds lessons for today’s movements for social justice.
Trump’s Financial Crimes Are More Likely to Bring Him Down than Russiagate: David Cay Johnston on Trump, plus Bruce Cumings on Korea and Elizabeth Drew on Comey
May 2, 2018 2561
Trump’s greatest vulnerability may not be Russiagate, but rather his financial and tax crimes. David Cay Johnston has been investigating and reporting on Trump’s finances for nearly 30 years. He won a Pulitzer Prize at The New York Times, and now he’s editor-in-chief of DCReport.org.
Plus: The amazing news from Korea about the prospects for peace and de-nuclearization: historian Bruce Cumings of the University of Chicago comments, warning that the Washington consensus opposes a treaty. His books include “The Korean War: A History” and “North Korea: Another Country.”
Also: James Comey has tried to justify his announcement 11 days before Election Day about re-opening his investigation of Hillary’s emails– but what the fired FBI Director said on his book tour is different from what’s in his book “A Higher Loyalty.” Elizabeth Drew, the legendary Washinton journalist, comments--she's the author of "Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall."
James Comey’s Self-Justification Is Just ‘Not Good Enough’—Jonathan Freedland, plus Lawrence Wright on Trump and Texas and Margaret Atwood on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale'
Apr 25, 2018 2541
James Comey’s monster best-seller, A Higher Loyalty, is “a plea for exculpation,” says Jonathan Friedland, but its self-justifications are “not good enough.” Jonathan is a columnist for The Guardian and a best-selling author.
Also: How long will Texas remain a red state? Lawrence Wright says demographic and political change is underway, and that Betto O’Rourke’s campaign for the senate, challenging Ted Cruz, is a crucial one. Wright’s new book is God Bless Texas.
Plus: The Handmaid’s Tale, that feminist dystopian novel, is beginning its second season as a TV series on Hulu this week. Margaret Atwood talks about the significance of The Handmaid’s Tale in the Age of Trump (recorded a year ago, just before the first season’s premiere).
The Trump Reelection Scenario: Thomas Frank; plus Adam Hochschild on Guns and Gary Younge’s Return to Muncie
Apr 18, 2018 2412
Trump is the most unpopular president in history—but could he be reelected in 2020? Thomas Frank says it wouldn’t be hard—if the economy continues to boom and wages go up, even a little. But the Democrats can stop him—if they change their ways.
Also: Adam Hochschild on guns in Trump’s America after the Parkland shootings. He talks about armed militias, about the law in Iowa that permits the carrying of loaded guns in public by people who are blind, and about why the Koch Brothers are major funders of the NRA—even though they are not especially enthusiastic about guns.
Also: Gary Younge returns to Muncie, Indiana, to talk to Trump supporters—and opponents—a year after Trump took office. He found supporters still enthusiastic, and opponents mobilized as never before. Gary spent the month leading up to the 2016 election in that rust belt city.
Barbara Ehrenreich: What’s Wrong with ‘Wellness’; plus David Cole on Trump and Mueller, and Katha Pollitt on Stormy and Melania
Apr 11, 2018 2458
Barbara Ehrenreich talks about the pressure to remain fit, slim, and in control of one's body, even as the end of life approaches—and about the epidemic of unecessary testing pushed by our for-profit medical profession. Barbara’s new book is 'Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.'
Plus: David Cole explains why the FBI raid on the offices and residences of Michael Cohen was not, as Trump said, “an attack on our country,” but rather an example of the rule of law. David is National Legal Director of the ACLU and Legal Correspondent for The Nation.
And Katha Pollitt comments on the recent developments in the legal battle over the payoff to Stormy Daniels by Trump’s attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, and she explains why she likes Stormy, and why she’s sympathetic to Melania. Katha is a columnist for The Nation.
A Russia Strategy for Progressives: Katrina vanden Heuvel; plus Mark Hertsgaard on cellphone safety, and Stephanie Schriock on Emily’s List
Apr 4, 2018 2307
How progressives should think about Russia: Katrina vanden Heuvel talks about Putin and his history, the democratic opposition inside Russia, and assuring American election integrity in the face of threats from both Russians and Republicans.
Plus: How big wireless muddied the waters on cell phone safety research: Mark Hertsgaard reports on a special investigation by The Nation—and warns about the lack of testing of G5 technology.
Also: How women will turn the House from red to blue: 34,000 women contacted Emily’s List about running for office in the wake of Trump’s election. Stephanie Schriock, the organization’s president, explains the organization’s training and endorsement procedures, and the project of Democrats retaking the House this November.
How Trump Radicalized the Parkland Kids in Their Fight Against Guns: George Zornick, plus Micah Sifrey on Facebook and Sue Halpern on Trump vs. Libraries
Mar 29, 2018 2367
Last Sunday’s Rally for Our Lives shows that having Trump in the White House has made the demands of those wonderful Parkland kids more radical. **George Zornick** comments on the ways the Parkland students have transformed the fight for gun control.
Also: It’s time to break up Facebook: that’s what **Micah Sifrey** says, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed Facebook’s business model—selling users’ data to advertisers, including political campaigns—and raised the problem of monopoly power on the internet.
Plus: Why does Trump want to defund libraries? **Sue Halpern** explains; her new novel is “Summer Hours at the Robber’s Library.”
Hey, Democrats Are Actually Running to Win! Joan Walsh on the Democrats’ new strategy, Amy Wilentz on Ivanka, and Anna Deavere Smith on the school-to-prison pipeline
Mar 21, 2018 00:41:10
After years of getting beaten in state legislative races, the Democrats have a new energy and a new wave of candidates—especially after last year’s stunning victories in Virginia. Joan Walsh reports.
Plus: Should Ivanka be indicted? She’s been part of some of the Trump administration's conspiracies to obstruct justice, including the decision to fire James Comey as FBI director. Amy Wilentz reviews the evidence and considers the arguments.
Also: Anna Deavere Smith talks about the school-to-prison pipeline—that’s the subject of her one-woman show, called Notes from the Field, which dramatizes the real-life accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught in a system where young people of color who live in poverty get pushed out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system. It’s playing on HBO through the end of March.
Robert Reich: Trump vs. the Common Good—plus Katha Pollitt on Russiagate Skeptics, and Remembering the My Lai Massacre
Mar 14, 2018 00:39:38
Robert Reich says it’s time to turn away from the unbridled greed and selfishness of the Age of Trump and restore the ideal of the common good. Reich was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor; his new book is 'The Common Good.'
Also: Katha Pollitt takes up the central arguments of those on the left who are Russiagate skeptics, who say that focusing on Russian interference in the election means neglecting more important things, and that, so far, nothing proves that Trump and Putin colluded in the election campaign.
Plus: March 16 is the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre. We have an interview with the man who stopped the My Lai massacre, American helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson.
Chris Hayes: What Trump Means When He Says He’s “Strong on Crime” plus Gary Younge on Kids and Guns and Michael Walzer on Foreign Policy for the Left
Mar 7, 2018 00:43:09
“For Donald Trump, crime is not a problem to be solved; it is a weapon to be wielded”—against people of color and immigrants: Chris Hayes talks about how Trump has transformed this long-standing weapon of the right. His book A Colony in a Nation is out now in paperback, with a new afterword. Chris is an editor-at-large of The Nation.
Plus: Gary Younge explains how the Parkland kids are changing the fight for gun control. He knows a lot about kids and guns—he wrote the award-winning book Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives. Gary is a columnist for The Nation.
And Michael Walzer argues that a foreign policy for the left has to begin with internationalism, and with the choice of comrades abroad. His new book is A Foreign Policy for the Left. Michael edited Dissent for three decades and is the author of many books, including Just and Unjust Wars. He wrote about “A Solidarity of Leftists” for The Nation.
How the Parkland Kids Are Beating the Gun Industry: George Zornick, plus Jane McAlevey on Unions and Amy Wilentz on Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr .
Mar 1, 2018 00:42:15
The mass shooting at that high school in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago, where 17 kids were killed, is still in the news, because of the brilliant political work being done by the students who survived. George Zornick analyzes the big picture: the decline of the gun industry, the growth in popular support for an assault weapons ban, and campaigns to shame companies that support the NRA and haven't divested from gun manufacturers.
Plus: This week the supreme court heard a case that could cripple public-sector unions, some of the last strong unions in America. Jane McAlevey talks about Janus v. AFSCME and what the unions need to do to recover the ground they have lost.
And we have another episode of The Children’s Hour: stories from Amy Wilentz—this week, about Ivanka in Korea, Don Junior in India, and Jared in trouble—over his security clearance.
It's Time to Break Up Amazon—Stacy Mitchell; plus Bryce Covert on low wage workers and Bob Dreyfuss on the Russiagate indictments
Feb 22, 2018 00:41:52
Amazon is a radically new kind of monopoly that seeks to control all of online commerce. Stacy Mitchell says it’s time for anti-trust action to separate the Amazon Marketplace from Amazon’s own retail operations.
Also: Why have wages stagnated since the seventies? Bryce Covert says one reason is the mandatory noncompete and no-poaching agreements that prevent low-wage workers from taking better-paying jobs. California, Oklahoma and North Dakota have made them unenforceable; the rest of the states should do the same.
Plus: Our Russiagate reporter Bob Dreyfuss explains the indictments of 13 Russians for crimes that involved supporting Trump for president—and talks about the next steps Special Counsel Robert Mueller might take—following the trail left by the Russian hacker group “Cozy Bear.”
Elizabeth Warren on Monopoly Power: George Zornick reports; plus David Dayen on Warren Buffett and Katha Pollitt on Trump and women
Feb 15, 2018 00:39:32
Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to make the fight against monopoly power in America a key part of the Democrats’ agenda; George Zornick reports on his interview with her for the magazine’s special issue on the topic.
Also, Warren Buffett’s secret: “The sage of Omaha” is America’s favorite tycoon. He supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for president; even Bernie Sanders has praised his unselfishness. But David Dayen says Warren Buffett’s wealth has actually been built on monopoly power—and the unfair advantages it provides.
Plus: Trump and that white working class woman who voted for him. Is she “stupid,” “gullible,” and “turned on by Trump’s bigotry”? Katha Pollitt comments on Renee Elliott, the laid-off worker at that Carrier plant in Indiana—her recent speech at a labor-group press conference made her the face of the white working class Trump voter.
Is it ‘Treason’ Not to Clap for the President? Joan Walsh, plus Nomi Prins on Financial Deregulation and Ann Jones on Norwegians
Feb 8, 2018 00:40:05
In a speech in Ohio on Monday, Trump said it was “treason” for the Democrats not to applaud him during his State of the Union speech. Tuesday, his spokesperson said he was just kidding. Joan Walsh says it’s not treason—and he wasn’t kidding. Maybe he was just diverting attention from another issue: what happens if Trump refuses to meet with special prosecutor Robert Mueller?
Also, here comes the next financial crisis: maybe not this week, but eventually—and Republican deregulation, undermining the institutions designed to protect us, will make it much worse. Nomi Prins explains.
Plus: Remember when Trump said we should get fewer immigrants from “shithole countries,” and more from places like Norway? Ann Jones lived in Norway for four years; she explains what Norwegians might bring to the US if they did come: a commitment to equality in health care, education, and a dozen other necessities.
The Trouble with Teleprompter Trump's State of the Union: Harold Meyerson; plus Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth on Phony Forensics
Feb 1, 2018 00:38:46
Trump’s Teleprompter reading of his State of the Union speech was reprehensible in so many ways—why bother listening at all? Don’t we already know enough about him? Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect comments on the lies, and the inadvertent truths, in the president’s speech.
Plus, injustice in America: It’s not just the police, it’s also the prosecutors—and their reliance on “forensics”—who create much of the injustice in the American justice system. Despite the portrayal on TV of forensic analysts on the show “CSI” as crime-solving seekers of truth, prominent scientists and criminal justice experts have questioned whether suspects can really be identified by forensic techniques like matching bite marks, hairs, shoeprints, tire tracks, or even fingerprints. According to the Innocence Project, faulty forensic science is a factor in nearly 50 percent of wrongful convictions. Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth explain in their Nation article, “The Crisis of American Forensics.”
Women Show How to Run—And Win—Against Trump’s GOP: John Nichols, plus Alfred McCoy on Fortress America and the Rev. William Barber on White Nationalism
Jan 25, 2018 00:47:20
Trump’s not on the ballot this year, but that’s not stopping Democratic women from running against him in races across the country. John Nichols reports on recent Democratic victories where female candidates in special elections in state races flipped formerly Republican seats—they show how to do it in the mid-term elections in November.
Also: Fortress America is crumbling—the rise of China started long before Trump, but he’s alienated allies and abandoned alliances in a way that may now make the process irreversible. Alfred McCoy explains.
And the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber talks about white nationalism, patriotism, and Donald Trump—he’s the architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, president of the North Carolina NAACP and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
How Trump Brought Feminism Back With a Vengeance: Katha Pollitt; plus Bob Dreyfuss on Russiagate and David Bromwich on Trump’s Ruling Passions
Jan 18, 2018 00:41:24
Since Trump took office a year ago, Katha Pollitt says, women have been unleashing decades of pent-up anger: starting with the Women’s March, then in some amazing political victories, and in the #MeToo movement. But Trump has also shown how terrible the loss of the White House has been.
Also: David Bromwich says there are no surprises with Trump: he’s been the same for decades, a “wounded monster” with a history of racism and a contempt for people he considers “losers.” But defeating him requires more than an issue—it has to be a cause.
And Bob Dreyfuss explains the secrets behind the creation of the Trump-Russia dossier assembled by Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS—as revealed in Congressional testimony released last week by Diane Feinstein, against the wishes of the Republicans.
Oprah for President? John Nichols; plus Harold Meyerson on Trump vs. California and Father Greg Boyle on Working with Ex-Gang Members
Jan 11, 2018 00:43:29
John Nichols points out the problems with running a celebrity like Oprah for president; plus Harold Meyerson comments on how Trump is attacking California, the biggest blue state, and how California is resisting. Also: Father Greg Boyle of LA's Homeboy Industries talks about his work with ex-gang members.
Fred Trump and the KKK of the 1920s: Linda Gordon, plus Nancy MacLean on the Roots of the Radical Right
Jan 4, 2018 00:36:36
The KKK of the 1920s had millions of members outside the South. It targeted Catholics and Jews as well as blacks, and had impressive success at electing governors and congressmen. It passed anti-immigrant restrictions that remained in effect until 1965. And Fred Trump, the president’s father, was arrested as a young man at a Klan march in New York City. Historian Linda Gordon explains—her new book is The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan and the American Political Tradition.
Plus: Nancy MacLean uncovered the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America: the historic connection between the Koch Brothers' anti-government politics, the white South's massive resistance to desegregation, and a Nobel Prize-winning Virginia economist. Nancy is an award-winning historian and the William H. Chafe Professor of history and public policy at Duke University. Her Democracy in Chains was named "most valuable book" of 2017 by John Nichols on The Nation's Progressive Honor Roll.
From Bill O’Reilly to Al Franken: Katha Pollitt on #MeToo in 2017; plus John Nichols on The Resistance in 2017 and Howell Raines on Alabama's Amazing Year
Dec 28, 2017 00:39:09
Plus, John Nichols on The Resistance in 2017 and Howell Raines on Alabama’s amazing year.
“Whiteness Is All They’ve Got”: Gary Younge on Trump’s Working Class Supporters; Plus D.D. Guttenplan on Jackson, Miss., and Amy Wilentz on Ivana
Dec 21, 2017 00:36:48
Gary Younge interviews Trump’s white working class supporters; D. D. Guttenplan spends a week reporting on Jackson, Mississippi; Amy Wilentz talks about Ivana.
Victory in Alabama: How Doug Jones Won—Howell Raines. Plus Joan Walsh on #MeToo after Al Franken and John Nichols on Net Neutrality
Dec 14, 2017 00:44:08
Alabama voters defeated Roy Moore and elected civil rights hero Doug Jones to the Senate—to take the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Howell Raines, the legendary Alabama journalist, explains what happened—and what it means for the future.
Plus: What should happen with the “Me Too” campaign to expose sexual harassment, now that Al Franken has said he will leave the Senate? Joan Walsh says Franken’s departure should be “a beginning, not an end.”
Also, net neutrality: the FCC is planning to bring it to an end on Thursday. John Nichols thinks that’s a terrible idea.
How the Democrats Can Defeat Roy Moore in Alabama: Howell Raines on Doug Jones, plus Bob Dreyfuss on Russigate and Gary Younge on American Nazis
Dec 7, 2017 00:40:10
From the Alabama hill country to the state’s Black Belt, Roy Moore, the Republican senate candidate accused of sexual assault of a 14-year-old, seems to be losing ground to his Democratic opponent Doug Jones. Howell Raines, the legendary Alabama newsman, reports on the final days of the election campaign.
Also: It’s been a big week for Russiagate special counsel Robert Mueller. Bob Dreyfuss discusses the guilty plea by Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and the subpoena for Trump’s records at Deutsche Bank, notorious for money laundering—two developments with ominous implications for the president.
Plus: Two ways to interview a Nazi: on the one hand, The New York Times recently did a profile of “the Nazi next door,” portraying him as an ordinary guy; on the other, Gary Younge confronted Richard Spencer, America’s leading white supremacist, on video. With Gary’s help, we compare and contrast the two approaches.
What Will It Take for the GOP to Pass its Terrible Tax Bill? George Zornick on Senate politics, plus Joan Walsh on sexual harassment in Washington and Rick Perlstein on Republicans against Trump
Nov 30, 2017 00:39:53
What will it take for Republicans to pass “the biggest tax scam in history” (Paul Krugman’s phrase)? George Zornick reports on the obstacles the GOP is facing in the Senate, and the pressure its members are feeling from donors. Still to come, if the bill passes the Senate: problems in the House, where the Tea Party Republicans may be more serious about the deficit and the debt.
Plus: Sexual harassment in Washington—we’ve learned a lot about that in the last week, and about the way Congress deals with complaints against its members. The procedures have been called “flawed.” Joan Walsh comments, starting with the different cases of John Conyers and Al Franken.
Also: Republicans who have stood up to Trump—like Jeff Flake and John McCain—seem like truth-telling heroes to a lot of liberals; but not to Rick Perlstein. The author of the classic political history Nixonland talks about the trouble with anti-Trump Republicans.
The Resistance to Trump, Year One: David Cole; plus Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968 and Steven Hahn on ‘Hillbilly Elegy’
Nov 22, 2017 00:41:43
David Cole on stopping Trump, Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968, and Steven Hahn on “Hillbilly Elegy.”
Can the Democrats Beat Roy Moore in Alabama? Howell Raines; plus Adam Shatz on Trump and the Bomb, and Corey Robin on Trump's Reactionary Mind
Nov 16, 2017 00:40:48
The legendary journalist Howell Raines reports from Alabama on the continuing Republican support for Roy Moore; Adam Shatz talks about Trump's place in the system to control nuclear weapons; and Corey Robin talks about Trump's place in the tradition of reactionary political thought.
Katrina vanden Heuvel: Russia, Trump, and the Democrats; plus George Zornick on the GOP Tax Bill and Danny Meyer on the Trouble with Tipping
Nov 9, 2017 00:39:16
Katrina vanden Heuvel reports on Russia's monument to victims of the Gulag and comments on Robert Mueller's investigations and the lessons of Trump's victory.
Plus George Zornick discusses the obstacles facing the GOP's tax bill in Congress, and legendary restauranteur Danny Meyer explains why he's against tipping.
Michelle Goldberg: Republicans and Trump, After the Indictments; plus Bob Dreyfuss on Mueller at Work, and Tony Schwartz on Trump
Nov 2, 2017 00:38:30
Michelle Goldberg talks about Republicans and Trump, after the indictments. Bob Dreyfuss says the indictments of Paul Manafort are only the beginning of the results of the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And Tony Schwartz, who wrote Trump's monster best-seller, "The Art of the Deal," talks about Trump's personality—and the ominous implications for all of us.
Is Trump Crazy? Would Pence be Worse? Jane Mayer on Pence, and Amy Wilentz on Trump; plus Raj Patel on Cheap Food
Oct 26, 2017 00:43:51
Would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reports—she interviewed more than 60 people in search of answers, including Pence’s mother. Several say he’s wanted to be president at least since high school. Also: Amy Wilentz on Trump; plus Raj Patel on Cheap Food.
How Much Time Could Women Reclaim If They Didn't Have to Deal With Men’s Bullshit? Joan Walsh on Harvey Weinstein—plus John Nichols on Trump's Generals and Zoë Carpenter on the Future of Food
Oct 19, 2017 00:42:27
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations of sexual harassment and assault, Joan Walsh talks about the torrent of #metoo stories, which reveal just how much time women spend dealing with male abuse. Plus John Nichols on Trump's Generals and Zoë Carpenter on the Future of Food.
Ai Weiwei on Refugees: They Are Part of Us—plus David Dayen on JPMorgan Chase and Amy Wilentz on Ivanka, Jared, and Don Jr.
Oct 12, 2017 00:46:23
“Human Flow” is Ai Weiwei’s amazing documentary on the global refugee crisis. He’s our greatest political artist—here he talks about his first feature film, shot in 23 countries and dozens of refugee camps.
Say It Again: Donald Trump Did Not Win the Popular Vote—E.J. Dionne; plus Ari Berman on Gerrymandering and Joan Walsh with Hillary
Oct 5, 2017 00:43:34
E.J. Dionne argues that Trump has mobilized progressive political forces that can transform America. Plus Ari Berman reports on the argument about gerrymandering at the Supreme Court, and Joan Walsh sits down with Hillary Clinton for a conversation about what happened in the campaign.
Trump Is Inviting America Into the Torture Chamber—Sasha Abramsky; Plus, Katha Pollitt and D.D. Guttenplan on Hillary’s Memoir.
Sep 28, 2017 00:42:20
Sasha Abramsky on Trump and fear, plus Katha Pollitt and D.D. Guttenplan on Hillary’s memoir.
Trump’s Campaign Chief Paul Manafort Faces Indictment—plus Hillary’s Book and Ken Burns’s Vietnam Doc
Sep 21, 2017 00:41:09
Bob Dreyfuss reports the big news in the Russiagate scandal, plus Sarah Leonard on Hillary’s Book and Todd Gitlin on Ken Burns’s Vietnam documentary on PBS.
Hurricane politics and climate change in the Age of Trump: Mark Hertsgaard and John Nichols; plus Alfred McCoy on Cyberwar with China
Sep 14, 2017 00:40:10
Scott Pruitt, who Trump appointed to head the EPA, says we should be helping victims of the hurricanes in Florida and Texas, and not debating climate change. Mark Hertsgaard has a different view--and John Nichols explains why Scott Pruitt is a disaster. Also, Alfred McCoy talks about the Pentagon's plans for war with China, and why we might lose.
Behind Trump’s Heartless Attack on the Dreamers: John Nichols, plus Elizabeth Holtzman on Robert Mueller and Joan Walsh on Mike Pence
Sep 7, 2017 00:35:09
Why Trump sent Jeff Sessions to announce they were targeting the Dreamers for deportation—John Nichols explains. Plus Elizabeth Holtzman, veteran of the Watergate investigations, on Robert Mueller’s brilliant move against Trump, and Joan Walsh answers the question, would Pence be worse?
Houston vs Climate Change: Roane Carey; plus Erwin Chemerinsky on Trump & Arpaio, and Bob Dreyfuss on Seth Rich
Sep 1, 2017 00:40:28
Roane Carey, plus Erwin Chemerinsky on Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio and Bob Dreyfuss on Seth Rich.
Bannon’s Exit: All Power to Jared? Amy Wilentz & John Nichols; plus Joshua Holland on Russia & Democracy
Aug 25, 2017 00:37:27
Amy Wilentz on the boy wonder, John Nichols on Trump after Bannon, and Joshua Holland on Russia and democracy.
White Nationalists in Charlottesville & DC: Eric Foner; plus Bob Dreyfuss on Manafort and Robert Lipsyte on Trump and Golf
Aug 18, 2017 00:41:10
Plus Bob Dreyfuss on Paul Manafort, and Robert Lipsyte on Trump and golf
How the Trump Presidency Ends: Frank Rich Compares the President’s Situation to Watergate
Aug 11, 2017 00:44:04
Plus Joshua Holland on Trump voters and David Cole on the resistance.
Surviving the Trump Years: Katha Pollitt’s Guide for the Anxious and the Depressed
Aug 3, 2017 00:43:41
Plus John Nichols on Medicare-for-All and Rosa Brooks on the generals.
Is Trump Desperate Enough to Pardon Himself? Plus Healthcare in the Senate and Happiness in Denmark
Jul 27, 2017 00:35:31
David Cole, legal director of the ACLU and The Nation’s legal affairs correspondent, argues that Trump would only be talking about pardoning himself if he was desperate—because he knows what the Special Counsel is likely to find—and thus willing to pay a tremendous political price to avoid impeachment. Plus: The Senate GOP healthcare bill is confusing—that’s the way they want it, says George Zornick: it’s their only chance of repealing Obamacare. And Joshua Holland explains why Danes are so much happier than Americans: it’s not just because Donald Trump is NOT their president.
Trump's Attorney & Russian Bankers: Bob Dreyfuss, plus Amy Wilentz on Don Jr. and Suzanne Gordon on the VA
Jul 20, 2017 00:42:36
Bob Dreyfuss reports on the lawyers on both sides of the Russia investigations, starting with Mark Kasowicz, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, who is also working for Russian bankers connected to the meeting with Don Jr. at Trump Tower. Also: the deep challenges facing Trump's legal team. Plus: Amy Wilentz with The Children's Hour: news about Don Jr., Jared, Ivanka, and Eric—boy, are those kids in trouble this week! One big question: Why were Jared and Ivanka partying with Chuck Schumer in the Hamptons last week? And Suzanne Gordon argues, in the wake of the Republicans' failure to repeal or replace Obamacare, that the VA provides a strong example of healthcare for America—better in many ways than Medicare for all.
Al Franken Versus the De-Humorizer—Plus Ari Berman on Voting & Joan Walsh on Trump Jr.
Jul 13, 2017 00:44:31
Al Franken talks about the dangers of humor in politics, about the voters who supported Trump, the “deep hole” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dug for himself, and the need for a public option in health care in America. His new book is Al Franken: Giant of the Senate. Also: Joan Walsh comments on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian government representative promising dirt on Hillary: it may make him a criminal, and it certainly made him a liar. And Ari Berman explains what the Russians did to hack voting, and what it would take to make our systems less vulnerable—and why Trump’s commission on “electoral integrity” should be disbanded.
Naomi Klein: We’re All in Trump’s Reality Show Now—Plus Amy Wilentz on Jared; and Al Franken
Jul 6, 2017 00:38:21
Trump’s presidential reality show is non-stop, Naomi Klein says in Part 2 of our interview—and, as a result, people really die. Naomi’s new book, No Is Not Enough, debuted at number two on the New York Times bestseller list. Also: The Jared Report: Amy Wilentz talks about the most trusted man in the Trump White House—his real estate holdings, his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East, and his first speech as a public official—sad! And we revisit our 2003 interview with Al Franken about his number one bestseller, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Now he has a new number one bestseller: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.
Naomi Klein: Kill the Trump Within—Plus, Health-Care in the Senate and Trump's Travel Ban
Jun 29, 2017 00:40:39
It's not enough to say 'no' to Trump, Naomi Klein argues; we need to transform ourselves and our movement to bring about the change we need. Also: Senate Republicans postponed voting on their "health-care" bill, after the CBO revealed its terrible consequences; Zoë Carpenter comments. And, David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, explains the Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments in October about Trump's travel ban.
Trumpcare Is the Most Unpopular Legislation in History—Plus, Socialism and Thoreau
Jun 22, 2017 00:42:36
Only 17 percent of Americans approve of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare; George Zornick says maybe that explains the secrecy of Senate Republicans in drafting their bill. Also: Why are young people voting for old socialists? Sarah Leonard comments on the support for Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and similar candidates across Europe. And Jedediah Purdy responds to critics of Henry David Thoreau and Walden, outlining the radicalism of his politics and his writing.
The Case for Impeaching Trump—Plus, Trump’s Tweets and Corbyn’s Triumph
Jun 15, 2017 00:35:57
John Nichols argues that Trump should be charged by the House with obstruction of justice and abuse of power and put on trial in the Senate. Plus: Amy Wilentz talks about the trouble with Trump's tweets, which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited Monday in their ruling rejecting his travel ban. And: Paul Mason analyzes last week’s elections in Britain, and finds lessons for the American left in the historic campaign led by Labour's Jeremy Corbyn. This episode of Start Making Sense is brought to you by The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin magazine. Check out The Dig on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jacobin-radio/id791564318?mt=2
Norman Lear: Donald Trump Is the Middle Finger of the American Right Hand
Jun 7, 2017 00:39:03
Norman Lear, who created "All in the Family," reflects on why it succeeded in the Age of Nixon—and on what is different about political satire in the Age of Trump. Plus: The Nation's Zoë Carpenter reports on Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who has taken the lead in fighting for an alternative to the GOP's repeal and replacement of Obamacare. And: Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post discusses what happened when Paul Ryan's hometown lost its GM plant. Her new book is Janesville.
Sasha Abramsky: Trump Is Like a Cornered Animal. Plus: David Cole and Paul Mason
Jun 1, 2017 00:40:41
The "new normal" of daily disasters for the White House make Trump more dangerous and irrational, Sasha Abramsky says, and more likely to adopt fascistic tactics. Plus: conservatives argue that the courts have gone too far in rejecting Trump's travel ban as an unconstitutional attack on Muslims—David Cole of the ACLU responds. And Paul Mason analyzes the British elections in the wake of Trump's troubled trip to Europe.
Donald Trump's Cruel and Unusual Budget—Plus the Supreme Court on Voting and Trump in Saudi Arabia
May 25, 2017 00:35:46
All budgets are political statements—Trump’s, submitted to the House on Tuesday, represents a cruel attack on the weakest and most vulnerable, in order to slash taxes for the wealthiest. And the assumptions behind the claim that it is “balanced” could generously be called “unusual.” George Zornick comments. Plus: The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that two of North Carolina’s congressional districts had been gerrymandered to weaken the black vote in the state. Ari Berman explains. Also: Trump’s weekend visit to Saudi Arabia was an embarrassment in many ways, and sinister in others. Joshua Holland has the details.
Will Trump Even Make It Through One Term? Plus: Montana’s Special Election, and Ivanka's New Book
May 18, 2017 00:38:50
Could the Democrats remove Trump from office? Harold Meyerson comments on the politics of impeachment, and the lessons of the Democrats’ successful effort to remove Nixon, and the Republicans’ failed effort to remove Clinton. Also: D.D. Guttenplan reports on the Democrats’ efforts to flip a Republican House seat in the special election in Montana on May 25, where Democrat Rob Quist, a musician, is running against a multi-millionaire. And Amy Wilentz comments on Ivanka’s new book 'Women Who Work'. She calls it “a collated collection of bogus ideas and self-help puffery and platitude.”
Rick Perlstein: What We Didn’t Understand about Trump
May 11, 2017 00:42:59
The leading histories of the conservative movement don’t account for the Klan enthusiasts and the “tribunes of white rage” that Trump mobilized and that he represents—that’s what Rick Perlstein argues in a mea culpa on behalf of historians of American politics. Also: The rock-star appeal of Modern Monetary Theory for the Sanders generation. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian says that, if money is understood correctly, “debt is not the end.” And Heather Ann Thompson talks about the Attica prison uprising of 1971 and its legacy—her book Blood in the Water won The Nation Institute’s Ridenhour award.
Laura Poitras: The Many Contradictions of Julian Assange
May 4, 2017 00:43:02
Risk is the new film by Laura Poitras, about Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. Poitras, who won the Oscar for best documentary for her film about Edward Snowden, Citizenfour, calls Assange “admirable, brilliant, and flawed.” Also: Stephen Cohen says a new cold war is threatening world peace, and a new McCarthyism is undermining American politics. And Eric Foner says it might be possible to impeach Donald Trump—but having Mike Pence as president would probably be worse.
Margaret Atwood: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in the Age of Trump
Apr 27, 2017 00:41:36
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about the US after a right-wing coup has installed a theocratic regime, is now a ten-part series on Hulu. The TV version is shocking, scary, and surprisingly relevant in Trump’s America. In this interview, she recalls how and why she wrote the book—in 1984—and what in the TV version seems most resonant today. Also: Katha Pollit says “It’s not ‘McCarthyism’ to demand answers on Trump, Russia, and the election.” And, for our Ivanka Watch segment, Amy Wilentz comments on Ivanka’s debut on the world stage with her first official foreign trip—to the W20 in Germany, where she was booed.
Bill McKibben: This Is Our Last Chance to Save the Planet
Apr 20, 2017 00:38:02
“We’ll either save, or doom, the planet, during the Trump administration.” That’s what Bill McKibben says—he’s an organizer of the Climate March in Washington on Sunday, April 29. Also: 81 percent of white Evangelicals voted for Trump, despite his obvious failings as a Christian. Frances Fitzgerald examines Evangelicals’ earlier history in politics, including their support for a Democrat—the “born-again” Jimmy Carter. Her new book is The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America. Plus: Andrew Bacevich looks at America’s longest war. Our fight in Afghanistan, which began 15 years ago, shows no sign of ending, despite the recent dropping of “the mother of all bombs.”
Tom Frank: Would Bernie Have Been Able to Beat Trump? Hell Yes!
Apr 13, 2017 00:38:59
In the rust belt, "they hated Hillary" -- that's what Tom Frank found on his recent book tour for the paperback of "Listen, Liberal: Or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?" Also: Is Ivanka Trump responsible for her father's attack on Syria? Amy Wilentz comments on the president's reliance on his daughter and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Plus: Now that Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Ari Berman reviews the big picture of the battle for voting rights.
Chris Hayes: Donald Trump Is a Law-and-Order President In the Worst Possible Way
Apr 6, 2017 00:42:41
How we got from the events in Ferguson to the election of you-know-who: Chris Hayes talks about race, incarceration, and politics in his new book A Colony In a Nation—Salon called it “a dark book for a dark time.” Plus: Although Trump was the least Christian of all the Republican candidates, white Evangelicals voted for him overwhelmingly, despite the work of some prominent Evangelical leaders. Sarah Posner of The Nation Institute analyzes the political deal that Evangelicals made—she wrote about the issue last month for The New Republic. And Gary Younge explains what it’s been like talking about kids killed by guns—on call-in shows on talk-radio. His book Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives recently won the Anthony J. Lukas Prize.
Chris Hayes: Trump ‘Knew Literally—And I Mean Literally—Nothing About’ His Health-Care Bill
Mar 30, 2017 00:41:00
Chris Hayes assesses the damage to Trump and to the Republicans caused by the failure of their effort to end Obamacare—and the opportunities the major defeat now opens up for progressives. Plus: The deepening crisis facing Trump over questions about his campaign’s collusion with the Russians. Joan Walsh comments. And Amy Wilentz argues that all the publicity about Ivanka and her children is part of a Trump media campaign to distract the public and delight tabloid readers.
Jane Mayer on the Reclusive Billionaire Who Made Trump President
Mar 23, 2017 00:43:39
You may not have heard of the hedge-fund magnate Robert Mercer, but he was probably the most important backer of Trump for president. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker has the first in-depth report on this little-known figure and former Breitbart News funder. Also: Is Trump like Nixon? Both won by exploiting the resentments of the white working class; both covered up crimes committed by their campaigns against the Democrats. But Rick Perlstein, author of the classic book Nixonland, says the answer is no: Trump is not like Nixon. Plus: Tom Hayden finished a book on the antiwar movement of the sixties before he died in October: Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement. It’s out now from Yale University Press. Steve Wasserman, Tom’s editor and publisher, comments.
Democrats Need to Understand Why the Rust Belt’s White Workers Still Support Trump
Mar 15, 2017 00:41:20
Why do many white workers who voted for Trump still support him? The Nation sent D.D. Guttenplan to Ohio to find out—he’s returned now with his report. Also: should the feminist movement welcome people who are anti-abortion? Wouldn’t that make the resistance to Trump stronger? Katha Pollitt doesn't think so. And: Ari Berman reports on a big victory for voting rights in Texas, where a federal court ruled that the state intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters with its redistricting maps.
This Is the Resistance: More Than 5,000 Grassroots Groups Have Sprung Up Since Trump Was Elected
Mar 9, 2017 00:42:17
Joshua Holland surveys the new grassroots resistance groups that have sprung up since the election—he found more than 75, and that number is likely be growing. Indivisible is the biggest of these groups, with more than 5,000 local groups, at least two in every Congressional district. Jeremy Haile explains—he’s one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide. March 8 was International Women’s Day, and Rebecca Solnit was on strike during it. She talks about about the exciting shape feminist activism has taken over the last few year—she calls it “fearless,” “unapologetic” and “gorgeously transformative.” Rebecca’s new book is The Mother of all Questions.
How the Democrats Can Beat Trump on Tax Reform
Mar 2, 2017 00:41:35
Harold Meyerson says it’s time for the Democrats to move beyond simply saying “no” to Trump and challenge him with alternative tax proposals that would really help working class people. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect. Plus: The New York Times has published two articles suggesting that Ivanka will save us from her father. Needless to say, Amy Wilentz doesn’t agree. Also: This week we are celebrating the 90th birthday of Harry Belafonte—he’s been a central figure behind the scenes of the civil rights movement since the 1950s, and he did some amazing things on TV in the crucial year of 1968. Joan Walsh explains.
Jane Mayer: Dark Money and Donald Trump
Feb 23, 2017 00:43:11
The Koch brothers, the GOP’s biggest donors, didn’t support Trump for president—but he’s supporting their pro-business and anti-environmental agenda now. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker explains; her book Dark Money is out now in paperback. Plus: What Trump has actually done that matters, not just what he’s tweeted, during his first month: George Zornick reports. Also: Who’s the political figure in our history most different from Donald Trump? The answer is easy: Eleanor Roosevelt. Blanche Wiesen Cook comments—the third and final volume of her biography of Eleanor is out now.
The West Coast Is Leading the Resistance Against Trump
Feb 16, 2017 00:40:39
California, Oregon and Washington are leading what could become the largest resistance movement to federal policy in more than a century. Sasha Abramsky reports. Also: Are Evangelical Christians hypocrites for supporting Trump? Katha Pollitt says they understand how politics works: now it’s payback time for the president. Plus: Almost two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Trump’s Muslim travel ban—is that too many? David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, says that lots of judges ruling against the president is a good thing.
Keith Ellison: How the Democrats Can Win
Feb 9, 2017 00:42:08
The Democrats need to “champion working families and give voters a reason to show up at the polls in 2018 and beyond”—that’s what Representative Keith Ellison says. The Nation has endorsed him for chair of the Democratic National Committee. Also: What can Ivanka possibly do for women who work? Amy Wilentz examines the website of our de facto first lady to find some answers. And historian Eric Foner talks about another time in our past when the federal government was as vicious as Trump wants it to be: the 1850s, when the Fugitive Slave Act was the law of the land.
How Far Outside the Legal Mainstream Is Neil Gorsuch?
Feb 2, 2017 00:42:18
David Cole, the national legal director of the ACLU, discusses Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and its implications for constitutional rights and liberties in the Trump era and beyond. Cole also says that last weekend’s demonstrations against Trump’s Muslim ban were crucial to the court victories the ACLU has won so far against the executive order. Also, Zoë Carpenter reports on what Trump has actually done in his first days in office, as opposed to what he has tweeted. Plus, John Nichols takes the long view, explaining the significance of recent victories against gerrymandering in Wisconsin.
Our ‘Insane Clown President’—and the Women Who Marched Against Him
Jan 26, 2017 00:37:56
Matt Taibbi says “Trump made idiots of us all.” He covered the campaign for Rolling Stone—and his new book is Insane Clown President. Also: The Women’s March last Saturday was glorious—what’s the next step? Joan Walsh comments—and responds to David Brooks’s argument that the marchers focused on the “wrong issues”: reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change—which, he said, are only “for upper-middle-class voters in university towns and coastal cities.” And Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School at UC Irvine, is suing Donald Trump—for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits officials from taking money or gifts from foreign governments. To determine whether and how much he has received from foreign governments, the plaintiffs are seeking Trump’s tax returns.
We Can’t Just Protest Trump. We Must Defy Him.
Jan 19, 2017 00:39:10
Frances Fox Piven argues that social movements need to “make trouble” to effectively challenge Trump—starting with sanctuary movements that will enlist large numbers of people in resisting his deportation efforts. Plus, David Cole says defending First Amendment freedoms to criticize the president will be a major task in the coming year. And Katha Pollitt talks about the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, and about the danger of underestimating Trump.
Trump: Vicious, But Vulnerable
Jan 12, 2017 00:41:31
Gary Younge says Trump’s victory shows the weakness of the Republican Party, not its strength—and argues that progressives must avoid despair and channel their anger into an effective resistance. Plus: Obamacare has changed America, and that makes it hard for the Republicans to simply repeal it. David Dayen explains. And Joy Reid of MSNBC talks about Obama’s rhetoric on race and what it suggests for the coming fight against Trump and white nationalism. Her new book is 'We Are The Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama.'
Obama Didn’t Talk Much About Race. Did that Open the Door to Trump?
Jan 5, 2017 00:41:40
Obamacare saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of black people, but Obama never mentioned that fact—his rhetoric throughout his presidency was always more “race-neutral” than not. And the Obama years also saw the resurgence of white supremacy. Kai Wright asks whether there’s a connection. Plus: Amy Wilentz comments on Michelle Obama’s White House years—her passion and eloquence in the face of Donald Trump, and also how big food and agribusiness defeated her campaign against childhood obesity. And Harold Meyerson examines what Democratic control of California has achieved this year, and explains the forces that have made Republicans powerless in state politics.
Best of the Left in 2016
Dec 23, 2016 00:27:38
John Nichols says 2016 wasn’t all bad. With this year’s Progressive Honor Roll, we remember some of the people who fought the good fight, and sometimes even won; activists who pointed the way in the resistance to come. Also: David Cole looks back on Obama’s achievements in civil rights, and his mixed record in civil liberties, over the last eight years.
Robert Reich: Why Republicans Are Wrong about Taxes
Dec 22, 2016 00:33:01
Could Republicans be right when they say taxes on business hurt the economy, and low wages help? Robert Reich says there’s an easy way to find out: compare economic growth in high-tax, high-wage California, with Texas. Also: Legendary attorney Marty Garbus argues that Obama should grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who’s been in prison for 41 years. And, as the horrible year of 2016 comes to an end, Amy Wilentz talks about some of the year’s worst moments—and some of the best.
Chris Hayes: How We Got from Obama to Trump
Dec 15, 2016 00:38:04
How did Obama’s presidency end with the election of Donald Trump? Chris Hayes comments—and talks about his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin this week with Bernie Sanders to meet with Trump voters. Plus, Joan Walsh says Democrats shouldn’t focus exclusively on the worst of Trump’s cabinet nominees, starting with his Attorney General-designee Jeff Sessions; instead, they should fight ever last one of them. And Andrew Bacevich talks about how Trump’s appointments violate the principle of civilian control of the military—especially his choice for National Security advisor, retired General Michael Flynn, who is “something of a nutcase.”
Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Zack Exley: How Organizing Can Still Win
Dec 8, 2016 00:41:39
Naomi Klein reports from Standing Rock on the victory there over the Dakota Pipeline—the lesson, she says, is that resistance and organizing can win. Plus, Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark, says “when big dangers arise, you have to think big.” She finds grounds for hope in the Standing Rock story. And Zack Exley, who organized grassroots supporters in the Bernie campaign, talks about the campaign for a Brand New Congress in 2018.
Is the Recount Assuring Electoral Integrity, or Wasting Money on a Distraction?
Dec 1, 2016 00:40:52
Jill Stein has raised almost $7 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. John Nichols says it won’t make Hillary president, but it is a worthwhile electoral practice. Critics on the left say the real problem is vote suppression, voter disfranchisement, and the electoral college. Also: We’re still thinking about Fidel Castro, who died Saturday—Katrin Hansing, who has studied and written about Cuba for two decades, and served as a leader on The Nation’s Cuba trips, comments. And Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, proposes a “shotgun marriage” between capitalism and socialism.
How to Stop Trump
Nov 23, 2016 00:36:58
In 2002, we had Bush and Cheney in the White House with Republican control of the House and the Senate and a Republican majority on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless virtually all of Bush’s most outrageous “national security” initiatives were reversed – because of citizen action and groups like the ACLU. David Cole says the lessons for us as Trump comes to power are clear. Also: We’re still trying to understand exactly how Trump won. Gary Younge spent a month in Muncie, a rust-belt city in the Indiana heartland; he reports that Trump won there not because of Republican enthusiasm for Trump—there wasn’t much of that—but because Democrats lacked enthusiasm for Clinton. And Michelle Chen talks about resettlement programs for Muslim refugees in Minneapolis and elsewhere—how they succeed, and what Trump might do to stop new refugees from entering.
Mike Davis: The Real Revolution of 2016 Was Not Trump’s
Nov 17, 2016 00:44:44
Trumpism is inherently chaotic, Mike Davis argues, and won’t last long, while the emergence of the Bernie Sanders movement has the potential to transform American politics. Plus Joan Walsh looks at how Hillary lost women voters she needed, and what comes next for feminist politics. Also, Kai Wright revisits Trump supporters on Long Island, and reconsiders the place of race in America since Obama’s 2008 Philadelphia speech on race. And Adam Shatz argues the vote in the Rust Belt shows Hillary never should have been the Democratic candidate; but Bernie Sanders couldn’t have beaten Trump either.
Mourn, Resist, Organize: Our Tasks Now
Nov 10, 2016 00:32:36
Katrina vanden Heuvel says there’s no denying the magnitude of our defeats. We need to mourn our losses—but then we have to resist, and organize. Plus John Nichols analyzes the changes we need in the Democratic Party. And Laila Lalami talks about the most vulnerable group in the Trump era: Muslims in America.
Donald Trump: The View From the Rustbelt
Nov 3, 2016 00:40:22
Gary Younge has spent the last several weeks in Muncie, Indiana, reporting on politics in the rust belt. Trump voters there, he says, know his faults, but want “something big” to change their world. Plus, Katha Pollitt asks whether Trump’s misogyny will spark a wave of women’s political action. Also, Tom Frank talks about email: he says the John Podesta emails—released by Wikileaks—tell us much more about how America is run than Hillary’s do. And Adam Shatz argues that Obama’s presidency provoked a white backlash—and rekindled a spirit of black resistance—both of which are prominent features of this year’s campaign.
The Progressive Candidates Who Are Shaking Up This Election
Oct 27, 2016 00:39:50
John Nichols talks about some of our favorite progressive candidates—for the Senate, the House, and state legislatures—who show what good politics look like these days—and who have been endorsed by “Our Revolution,” the Bernie Sanders political group. Also: Tom Hayden, who died on Sunday at 74, meant a lot to a lot of us, including Katrina vanden Heuvel—she comments on his amazing life as an activist and writer. Tom was a long-time member of the Editorial Board of The Nation and a frequent contributor to the magazine’s pages. Plus: The documentary filmmaker, Deia Schlosberg, who was arrested while reporting on a climate-change protest in North Dakota. She is now charged with three counts of felony conspiracy and faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years.
Donald Trump’s ‘Horrifying’ Refusal to Accept the Election Results
Oct 21, 2016 00:43:45
Maybe you heard the news: in the third debate, Donald Trump wouldn’t say he would accept the results of the election if he lost. Clinton called that “horrifying.” Joan Walsh comments—she’s The Nation’s National Affairs Correspondent. Plus: Kai Wright comments on the media that have shaped the world-view of Trump supporters—it explains a lot about their thinking. Kai is host and producer of the podcast “The United States of Anxiety.” And we’re still feeling good about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last week—we’ll talk about it, and listen to some Bob Dylan songs, with Greil Marcus—he’s the author of the book “Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus, Writings 1968-2010”
Greil Marcus: Maybe Bob Dylan Isn’t a Poet, but He Is One of America’s Greatest Artists
Oct 20, 2016 00:19:11
In this special edition of our podcast, Greil Marcus talks about “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Masters of War,” and “Like a Rolling Stone”—and the way Dylan has changed those songs in live performances over the decades. Greil’s 30 years of writings about Dylan have been collected in the book Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus, 1968-2010.
Donald Trump’s 'Great Respect for Women'
Oct 13, 2016 00:39:17
Katha Pollitt has some words for Trump and his defenders after the groping tape and the second debate, where he argued that ISIS “chopping off heads” was worse than his statements about women who will “let you do it” if you are “a star.” Plus D.D. Guttenplan reports on the campaigns in Ohio—he found a distinct lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among Democrats there. And Nation columnist Gary Younge talks about children killed by gun violence in America—in his new book, Another Day in the Death of America, he profiles ten kids killed by guns on one typical day.
A Journey into the Heart of Trump Country
Oct 6, 2016 00:47:42
For her new book, sociologist Arlie Hochschild listened to Trump supporters explain their world in their own words. She spent five years in southwestern Louisiana searching for their “deep story,” which she recounts in Strangers in Their Own Land—it’s been longlisted for the National Book Award. Plus: The battle inside Trump’s campaign about whether to take the low road, or the high one. Amy Wilentz analyzes the role of the Trump children—who, we are told, are trying to get their father to campaign on actual political issues. And we’ll also hear a chilling disaster at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980, where the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal was almost detonated. That’s the subject of the new documentary Command and Control—director Robert Kenner and writer Eric Schlosser explain. The film rolls out this week across the nation.
Katha Pollitt: It’s Time to Get Active for Hillary
Sep 29, 2016 00:44:04
Feeling unenthusiastic about Hillary Clinton? Katha Pollitt says “If she loses, it’s your fault”—so it’s time to go to work on phone banks and canvassing. Also: Why does Trump appeal to so many voters? Kai Wright went deep into to Trump territory on Long Island to find out – he’s host and producer of The Nation’s new podcast, “The United States of Anxiety.” Plus: The Labour Left won a big victory in Britain with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. D.D. Guttenplan explains.
Bernie Sanders Speaks: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Building a Revolution
Sep 22, 2016 00:43:41
The Nation interview with Bernie: John Nichols, who with Katrina vanden Heuvel sat down with the senator, sets the scene and introduces our excerpts. Plus: Edward Snowden explains his motivation for revealing the extent of NSA surveillance, and says he’d be willing to go to jail if he could come home. Amy Wilentz explains Snowden’s appearance via live video from Moscow at a UC Irvine conference and introduces our excerpts. Also: Henry Kissinger, war criminal and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has announced he will not endorse either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Greg Grandin talks about Kissinger’s life and crimes—his book Kissinger’s Shadow is out now in paperback.
Oliver Stone: Edward Snowden Has Done Something ‘Quite Amazing’
Sep 15, 2016 00:45:36
The film 'Snowden,' which opens this weekend, was turned down by all of the big Hollywood studios. Director Oliver Stone explains what it took to make his film about the NSA whistleblower—and why Snowden deserves a presidential pardon. Plus: Nation Sports Editor Dave Zirin says Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police violence is changing the NFL, which has been a bastion of support for our permanent state of war. And Margo Jefferson talks about what she calls 'Negroland'—the world of the black elite in the fifties, the world in which she grew up. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism; her book Negroland: A Memoir won the National Book Critics Circle award –it’s out now in paperback.
White Workers, Trump, and Clinton
Sep 8, 2016 00:40:11
It’s the year of the white working class, and Joan Walsh reports on the Democrats’ efforts to win back the voters they have been losing since the sixties. Plus, the fight over the Clinton Foundation: Amy Wilentz says it’s time for Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea to step aside—immediately, and forever. Also: What is it like to be an abortion provider in an anti-choice state? Dr. Leah Torres describes her work as one of the only doctors providing abortions in Utah.
The Green Party’s Jill Stein Wants a Green New Deal
Sep 1, 2016 00:49:42
In this exclusive interview with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president responds to the most common criticisms she hears: Won’t a Green vote make Trump’s victory more likely? Didn’t Bernie show it was better for progressives to work inside the Democratic Party? She also lays out her plan for a “Green New Deal.” Plus: French officials banned the burkini from beaches on the grounds that it was “a symbol of the enslavement of women.” Katha Pollitt has a different view. And as Labor Day weekend approaches, Harold Meyerson analyzes some political victories for the working class, especially in California, where Democrats have complete control of state politics.
Why Won’t Obama Grant Edward Snowden Amnesty?
Aug 25, 2016 00:43:48
The power of independent journalism was demonstrated last week when the Obama Justice Department announced the end of incarceration of federal prisoners in private prisons. Seth Freed Wessler explains what it took to uncover dozens of questionable deaths in his yearlong investigation for The Nation. Also: Who is Jared Kushner, and why does Trump listen to his advice? Amy Wilentz tells the story of Ivanka’s husband—how his father was sent to prison by Chris Christie, how the 2007 crash nearly destroyed his family’s fortune, and how he’s advising the Republican candidate. Plus: Amnesty for Edward Snowden. ACLU Attorney Ben Wizener argues that Obama should do the right thing in view of Snowden’s contributions to freedom and democracy.
The Woman Behind Trump
Aug 18, 2016 00:43:27
The most powerful person in Donald Trump’s campaign is not a political professional but rather his own daughter, Ivanka. Amy Wilentz explains how Ivanka got there, and comments on her personal, and political, history. Also: Rosa Brooks talks about “how everything became war and the military became everything”—the title of her new book. She worked at the Pentagon; now she’s a law professor at Georgetown University. Plus: We’re still thinking about the sixties—and so is Calvin Trillin. He went to Mississippi in 1964 as a young journalist, and in the decades since, he’s written a lot about race in America. His new book is Jackson 1964.
What Donald Trump Got Very Wrong About Sexual Harassment
Aug 11, 2016 00:40:38
Katha Pollitt explains how women employees’ complaints of sexual harassment forced out Roger Ailes—and examines Donald Trump’s comments about it. Plus: Ari Berman analyses the effect of voting rights victories in court on Trump’s chances in North Carolina and other swing states. And David Zirin reports from the Olympics in Rio—the protests, the displaced people, and the real problem: not the Brazilian government, but the International Olympic Committee.
An Hour Without Trump
Aug 4, 2016 01:00:12
Trump is everywhere in the news this week, so we decided to do something different: 60 minutes of political talk that is Trump-free. Guaranteed. Instead: The fight to limit government surveillance tactics: Ben Wizner talks about what we have won—and what we need to do next. He’s director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and the lawyer for Edward Snowden. Plus: Susan Faludi tells the story of transgender woman—her father, who transitioned when she was 75. Susan of course is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Now she has a new book out: it’s called "In the Darkroom." And Tom Lutz has been traveling a lot – he went to Lhasa to talk about Tibetan resistance to China; he went to Jordan to talk about Iran and America; and he went to Teheran to talk about the Kurds. His new book is "Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World."
Will Hillary’s Outreach to Bernie’s Supporters Work?
Jul 29, 2016 00:42:23
John Nichols analyzes Hillary Clinton’s big speech and the place of Bernie Sanders supporters in Democrats’ plans to fight Donald Trump. Plus D.D. Guttenplan reports on Bernie and the Bernie people at the convention—the battles, the booing, and the work to keep the movement alive after November. And Amy Wilentz looks at gender in politics today: Donald Trump’s brand of masculinity, Ivanka Trump’s brand of femininity, and all those criticisms of Hillary Clinton’s voice, smile, and more.
Can Trump Win? The Republicans After Cleveland
Jul 22, 2016 00:46:27
Amy Wilentz and Jon Wiener debate Trump’s chances for victory in November: Jon says he won’t win; Amy says ‘don’t be so sure.’ Plus: John Nichols and D.D. Guttenplan analyze the candidate's speech and the aura of violence inside the convention hall, and George Zornick reports on the action in the streets and the conduct of the Cleveland police.
Don’t Forget: Someone Loved Philando Castile, Someone Loved Alton Sterling
Jul 14, 2016 00:41:00
The shooting of police officers in Dallas does not change anything about the shootings of black men in Baton Rouge or St. Paul, Kai Wright argues—he’s Features Editor of The Nation. Also: Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party in fundamental ways, says Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, and it may never recover. And Clara Bingham talks about how the sixties changed America, starting with young Hillary and young Bernie. She interviewed 100 people for her new book Witness to the Revolution.
Clinton's Email, the FBI, and the Voters
Jul 7, 2016 00:46:46
Joan Walsh says the FBI director’s blunt criticism of Clinton’s handling of her email provides the presidential hopeful with an opportunity to acknowledge mistakes and make amends. Walsh is The Nation’s National Affairs correspondent. Plus: we found something else to worry about: Cyber attacks on the US paralyzing our electric grid and our water supply. The award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney has a new documentary about that, called Zero Days—it opens this Friday. Also: Ben Ehrenreich and Amy Wilentz talk about life for Palestinians on the West Bank. Wilentz is a contributing editor at The Nation, and Ehrenreich’s new book is “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.” And “A Prairie Home Companion” is ending its long run on public radio—Garrison Keillor explains that the secret of the show’s success was “no competition.”
Brexit’s Unlikely Lessons for Hillary Clinton
Jun 30, 2016 00:36:44
The victorious campaign in Britain to leave the European Union has many striking parallels to Donald Trump’s campaign to win the White House. D.D. Guttenplan says “that ought to keep Hillary supporters awake at night.” Also: the Supreme Court issued a sharp rebuke to Texas’s anti-choice laws on Monday in the most sweeping victory for abortion rights in 25 years. Zoë Carpenter comments. Plus: A test case of Republican vs. Democratic rule in two states. Minnesota and Wisconsin have taken opposite approaches to voting rights, and some other things too—and the results are now clear. Ari Berman explains.
Donald Trump Really Could Ban Muslims From Entering the Country
Jun 23, 2016 00:43:34
The People’s Summit brought organizers and activists to Chicago last weekend for three days of planning about where to go next with the Bernie movement—at the Democratic National Convention, and after. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, weighs in. Also, lessons for the left from the NRA in the wake of the Orlando shootings: David Cole, The Nation’s legal affairs correspondent, argues that gun control advocates can win if they focus on state laws rather than Supreme Court challenges. His new book is Engines of Liberty. Plus: Could Donald Trump really ban Muslims from entering the country if he were president? Sasha Abramsky says the answer is simple: yes.
Life and Death in Gay Orlando
Jun 16, 2016 00:43:59
Orlando was one of the most gay-friendly cities in the South—and still is, says Nadine Smith of Equality Florida. Also: Bernie won the war of ideas in the Democratic party—what does that mean for Hillary now? Harold Meyerson comments. And historian Adam Hochschild talks about the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, American leftists who fought the fascists in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.
What Happened in California?
Jun 9, 2016 01:00:12
Everything you need to know about the California primary—John Nichols explains it all to producer Alan Minsky. Also: Andrew Cockburn of Harper’s magazine explains how Obama’s drone “kill list” is approved—and what happens after. Because politics isn’t everything, we talked about the great Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai with John Powers—he’s critic at large on “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”
Does Bernie’s Movement Have a Future?
Jun 2, 2016 00:38:48
Bernie Sanders’s campaign rallies in California have brought out more than 100,000 people—many of whom think he can win the state’s primary next week. Nicky Woolf of Guardian US has been following the campaign; he thinks they may be right. Also: Elizabeth Warren seems to be Donald Trump’s most effective critic—and she seems to enjoy the work. Margaret Talbot of The New Yorker comments. Plus: Can the millions of Bernie supporters become a long-lasting force in American politics? D. D. Guttenplan examines four efforts to organize progressives for the years after November 2016.
Can the Democratic Party Be United?
May 26, 2016 00:42:00
Bernie Sanders has stopped his direct attacks on Hillary, and he’s been able to make some strong appointments to the platform committee for the Democratic National Convention. Is the unification of the party underway? Harold Meyerson explains. Plus: Most “independent” voters in fact have long-standing ties to one party or the other—very few swing from one party to the other between elections. Joshua Holland has the facts. And Tom Frank examines the “Hillary Doctrine,” her long-standing commitment to microfinance as the best way to help poor women around the world. It doesn’t work, he argues. Tom’s new book is Listen, Liberal!
Donald Trump Knows the Age of Reagan Is Over. Does Hillary?
May 19, 2016 00:41:35
Hillary will have to do something different to beat Donald Trump, Bruce Shapiro argues—because appealing to moderates, like the Clintons did in the nineties, is not going to work this year. Also: The #BreakFree climate protests have mobilized tens of thousands in direct actions against coal, oil, and gas companies around the world. Zoë Carpenter reports. Plus: Patrick Cockburn, who Seymour Hersh has called “the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today,” gives us an update on Iraq, Syria, Libya, and ISIS.
Hillary Clinton Is Donald Trump’s Dream Opponent
May 12, 2016 00:38:10
Donald Trump’s ideal opponent is a member of the establishment, Steve Fraser argues—the kind that used to be called a “limousine liberal.” Hillary Clinton, he argues, fits the bill perfectly. Also: The only way Trump could win, says Ari Berman, is through suppressing the vote of Democrats in half a dozen swing states. A state-by-state survey suggests he’s unlikely to succeed. And historian Eric Foner takes up the question that has troubled Bernie Sanders’s supporters for months: How did he lose the African-American vote to Clinton?
If Donald Trump Loses, Will There Be Violence?
May 5, 2016 00:32:43
When Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump in November, his millions of supporters will be told that their American birthright has once again been stolen from them. Rick Perlstein talks about the potential for violence in the streets after election day. Plus: What really happened to Sandra Bland? To understand that, you have to begin way before she died in a Texas jail. Debbie Nathan reports.
Could Donald Trump Actually Win Some of Bernie’s Supporters?
Apr 28, 2016 00:37:42
Trump says he’ll fight for jobs against NAFTA-type trade deals, and he doesn’t take money from Wall Street. Is that enough to win some of Bernie Sanders’s supporters to his side? John Nichols weighs in on this week’s primary results. Plus: The Prince of Sex: Richard Kim explains why Prince is a gay icon today—despite the artist’s lack of support for the gay movement. Also: Challenging “Political Correctness” is a favorite theme of Donald Trump—but what exactly does that mean? Laila Lalami explains.
Frank Rich: How Hillary Could Lose to Trump
Apr 21, 2016 00:40:36
A Clinton vs. Trump campaign in the fall would be a battle of the negatives, Frank Rich says--and Hillary’s are dangerously high. Plus: Hillary and Haiti—a long relationship, and a revealing one. Amy Wilentz comments. And we speak with Viet Nguyen—his novel "The Sympathizer" just won the Pulitzer Prize. It begins in Saigon on the last day of the Vietnam war, and features a Viet Cong spy inside the Saigon army.
Naomi Klein Says Climate Justice Requires Bernie’s Boldness
Apr 14, 2016 00:41:41
Naomi Klein argues that the problem with Hillary Clinton’s climate policy is not her corporate contributions; it’s her corporate ideology. The climate justice movement, she says, "requires the kind of boldness Bernie Sanders represents." Also: Military historian Andrew Bacevich says America can never win its twenty-year war for the Middle East. Plus: Amy Goodman talks about how she got arrested at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008—and other highlights from the 20-year history of the show Democracy Now!
Bernie Sanders Has Momentum on His Side
Apr 7, 2016 00:38:21
John Nichols says that, after the Wisconsin primary, Bernie has momentum on his side. Also: David Cole argues that citizen activists are the real force behind changes in constitutional law—look at how the NRA changed the meaning of the Second Amendment; look at how the gay rights movement changed the meaning of “marriage.” His new book is Engines of Liberty. Plus, Obama’s legacy: Gary Younge contrasts the symbolic victory with the real defeats for the left, especially in the use of US military power in the Mideast.
What Kind of President Would Donald Trump Be?
Mar 31, 2016 00:46:07
Sasha Abramsky asks, if Donald Trump were president, would he be a familiar kind of New York deal-maker—or a deluded demagogue? Campaign contributions go mostly to TV ads that don’t work, and consultants who are even more useless, Andrew Cockburn reports—what counts is face-to-face canvassing to build voter turnout. Obama is a “folk hero” in black America, says Erin Aubrey Kaplan—her new book is "I Heart Obama.” And, for opening day of major league baseball, our Dave Zirin talks about the game with Noam Chomsky—who recalls growing up with the hapless Philadelphia Athletics, and going to Little League games with his grandson today.
Bernie Is Bringing the Reagan Era to an End
Mar 24, 2016 00:39:52
Bernie Sanders is the leading edge of the historical forces bringing the 40-year Reagan era to an end, says Richard Parker of Harvard’s Kennedy School. Plus: Obama’s legacy for black America is mostly symbolic, Gary Younge argues—the wealth gap between black and white Americans has grown over the last eight years, along with black poverty. Gary writes for The Guardian and The Nation. Also: the real politics of hope—Rebecca Solnit talks about untold histories and wild possibilities—her new book is Hope in the Dark.
Bernie Isn't Finished
Mar 17, 2016 00:39:42
John Nichols answers the question, what’s left for Bernie Sanders after Tuesday’s primaries? Quite a bit, he says—he’s The Nation’s National Affairs correspondent. Plus: North Carolina’s new voter ID requirements, the most restrictive in the country, went into effect on Tuesday—Ari Berman explains the problem. He's the author of 'Give Us the Ballot.' And Thomas Frank asks the question, whatever happened to the party of the people? His new book is 'Listen, Liberal.'
Bernie on the Move
Mar 10, 2016 00:45:17
Harold Meyerson says Bernie’s victory in Michigan shows he'd be a stronger candidate than Hillary in big industrial states with diverse populations and big problems. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect. Plus: Donald Trump: fascist, or clown? John Powers says there are clownish aspects to Trump’s performance at his rallies, but also an aura of violence against those who would challenge him. John is critic at large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he has a listening audience of around four million. Also: A different kind of politics: the gay revolution. Lillian Faderman talks about the 50-year fight—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers. Her new book is The Gay Revolution.
Donald Trump, Master of Hate
Mar 3, 2016 00:41:00
Joan Walsh on panic in the GOP establishment over Trump's triumphs on Super Tuesday; Joan is The Nation’s national affairs correspondent. Plus: What Trump supporters really think. Sasha Abramsky interviewed a bunch of them; he reports regularly on politics for The Nation. Also: Trump says he reviles Muslims and reveres veterans—but some vets have been speaking out in defense of the Muslims they know and work with. Laila Lalami has that story—she’s The Nation’s newest columnist.
Can Anything Stop Donald Trump?
Feb 25, 2016 00:41:48
John Nichols says it’s hard to see how the Republican Party can stop Trump from winning the nomination—for starters, nobody is trying—and it’s not hard see how his appeal to working class white voters could make him president. Julianne Hing reports from Nevada on what it's like to go to a Trump rally and a Cruz rally—on the same day—and what voters who are not white are saying about the campaigns. And, for something completely different, A.O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times, talks about art, pleasure, beauty, and truth—topics in his new book, Better Living Through Criticism.
Who Is Hillary Clinton?
Feb 18, 2016 00:37:25
Katha Pollitt asks, “Is it wrong for women Democrats to want to vote for a woman Democrat?” In 2008 she voted for Obama rather than Hillary; today she’s a Clinton supporter. Gary Younge looks back on Hillary’s 30-plus years in American politics and argues that “It is easy to forget what a mould-breaking, bad-ass figure Hillary cut when she first appeared on the national stage in 1992.” Award-winning filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talks about The Look of Silence, his Oscar-nominated documentary on genocide in Indonesia in 1965-66 and its aftermath today—in Indonesia, and in American politics.
The Secret to Bernie’s Startling Success
Feb 11, 2016 00:38:42
Republican disarray deepens after New Hampshire: Rick Perlstein explains the dilemma of the GOP establishment, as their chosen candidates continue to slide. Also: The startling success of Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. It’s not just that he’s from the state next door, says D. D. Guttenplan. And Hillary’s problem is bigger than “the messaging.” And Jane Mayer of The New Yorker examines the secret efforts of the Koch Brothers and their billionaire friends to move the Republican Party to the right—the far, far right.
How Bernie Sanders Went From Trailing by Double Digits to Tying in Iowa
Feb 4, 2016 00:39:35
Gary Younge says Donald Trump is not a uniquely American phenomenon, but part of a broader Western European phenomenon of white, nativist responses to globalization, immigration and terrorism. Joan Walsh analyzes the Republicans after Trump’s second-place finish—as the party establishment has a chance to reassert itself, John Nichols explains how Bernie went from 50 points behind to tie Hillary in Iowa—and what she is doing to change course. And, as the Superbowl approaches, David Zirin has some unkind words about the NFL’s claims that its “Head Health Initiative” has reduced concussions.
Frank Rich on Donald Trump; plus Bill McKibben and Anna Deavere Smith
Jan 28, 2016 00:44:28
The GOP establishment is moving toward accepting Donald Trump as their candidate, says Frank Rich—they think he will make deals with them, while Ted Cruz won’t. Also: Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the global climate movement: he says the fight to end the fossil fuel era is happening almost in secret, as local activists battle on thousands of fronts around the world. Plus: Anna Deavere Smith, the actor and playwright, talks about her new work on the school-to-prison pipeline, and performing in her home town of Baltimore after the police killed Freddie Gray.
Katrina vanden Heuvel: Why We've Endorsed Bernie Sanders
Jan 21, 2016 00:37:45
The Nation magazine has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president; editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel explains why. Also: Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation, talks with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about black politics, Ferguson, John Lewis, Donald Trump, and also Gil Scott-Heron. Plus: The Big Short is probably the best movie Hollywood has ever made about an economic crisis—it’s fun, but it’s also serious. Kenneth Turan explains—he’s film critic for the LA Times.
Should Feminists Vote for Clinton?
Jan 14, 2016 00:40:06
Katha Pollitt says feminists should vote for Hillary Clinton, who will be good for women, and who is the only Democratic candidate who can win. But Liza Featherstone says feminists should not vote for Clinton—her record is full of attacks on poor women, starting with “welfare reform.” Also, Tavis Smiley talks about Martin Luther King’s last year—the year that began with his speech condemning the war in Vietnam, where he called the US “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”
Rick Perlstein: Rahm Emanuel Must Go
Jan 7, 2016 00:43:41
Rick Perlstein on Chicago’s mayor; Adam Gopnik and Amy Wilentz on the Charlie Hebdo shooting, one year later; and Rebecca Solnit on climate change in the Himalayas.
The Best of the Left in 2015
Dec 23, 2015 00:38:42
The most valuable activist, the biggest ideological comeback, the best newspaper front page, and more: John Nichols presents The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll for 2015. Also: guns in America. What is to be done? Amy Wilentz weighs in. Plus: The great Gore Vidal: Jay Parini wrote a great biography.
Barbara Ehrenreich Explains Why the White Working Class Is Dying—Literally
Dec 17, 2015 00:32:43
On this week’s podcast, Barbara Ehrenreich talks about the alarming rise in the death rate of middle-aged white working class men, who are committing suicide and dying of drug overdoses and alcoholism. Also: Rebecca Solnit explains the achievements and limitations of the Paris climate agreement, and the tasks facing the environmental movement now. And John Powers reports on Canada’s popular new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has already welcomed Syrian refugees—and defended the Alberta tar sands.
ISIS and American Muslims; Republicans and American Guns
Dec 10, 2015 00:45:01
Laila Lalami talks about what ISIS wants from American Muslims; Joan Walsh explains the real reason we don’t have gun control; and we remember Chernobyl—Amy Wilentz and Tom Lutz talk about writer Svetlana Alexievich, the new winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Naomi Klein: The Paris Climate Conference Protests Will Not Be Stopped
Dec 3, 2015 00:39:27
Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine and the Paris climate protests, Katha Pollitt on Europe’s refugee crisis, Eric Foner on Woodrow Wilson’s racism, and Joan Walsh on the Republicans and the Planned Parenthood killings.
Bernie Sanders’s Socialism; the Future of Football
Nov 24, 2015 00:40:42
Eric Foner on how Bernie should talk about socialism, Dave Zirin on parents and football, Ari Berman on the battle for the vote, and Julianne Hing on Republicans and refugees.
The Arab World and ISIS; The New York Times and Bernie Sanders
Nov 18, 2015 00:37:29
Laila Lalami talks about the origins of ISIS, and what to do about it now. Laila grew up in Morocco; her novel 'The Moor's Account' was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Also: The New York Times coverage of Bernie Sanders has been condescending, and terrible: journalist Amy Wilentz comments on the recent page one story 'Bernie Sanders Won’t Kiss Your Baby.' Plus: Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, talks about growing up poor and black in rural Louisiana; his book 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones' is out now in paperback; And Terry Gross explains the difference between interviewing Hillary and interviewing Bill. It’s her 40th anniversary hosting 'Fresh Air.'