Category: Start Making Sense

 The West Coast Is Leading the Resistance Against Trump: “Start Making Sense” 2/16

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alifornia, Oregon, and Washington are leading what could become the largest resistance movement against 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. “Start Making Sense,” 2/9

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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 Neal Gorsuch? David Cole on “Start Making Sense” 2/2

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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: Matt Taibbi on The Nation podcast 1/26

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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: The Nation podcast 1/19

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Fran 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: Gary Younge on The Nation Podcast 1/12/17

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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?
Kai Wright on TheNation Podcast 1/5/2017

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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 2016: The Nation podcast 12/29

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ohn 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.

And, from the archives, Hunter S. Thompson talking with Studs Terkel in 1966—about Hell’s Angels, the motorcycle gang that was the subject of the book he had just published. What Hunter Thompson had to say fifty years ago about Hell’s Angels is amazingly prescient in anticipating the support for certain hellish people in American politics today.

Robert Reich: Why Republicans Are Wrong About Taxes. The Nation podcast 12/22

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ould 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: The Nation podcast 12/15

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How come Obama’s presidency ended 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 all 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.”