Recent Posts

Trump: Vicious, but Vulnerable: Gary Younge on The Nation Podcast 1/12/17

Listen HERE
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.

Start Making Sense

Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump, etc.: John Nichols on KPFK 1-11-17

Listen HERE
Today in Washington: the Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings for Attorney General, the Rex Tillerson confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, and then Trump’s wild press conference: John Nichols comments–John of course is National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation magazine.

Also: Black life and death in the Age of Obama: Kai Wright of The Nation talks about what might have been–if Obama had been willing to address the racial divide in America directly.

Plus: The case for a pardon for Edward Snowden: Ben Wizner of the ACLU argues that Obama ought to bring Snowden home.

Trump Watch

Obama Didn’t Talk Much About Race. Did that Open the Door to Trump?
Kai Wright on TheNation Podcast 1/5/2017

Listen HERE
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.

Start Making Sense

The Republican’s Day One: John Nichols on KPFK 1/4/2017

Listen HERE
The Republicans started out their new era not by abolishing Obamacare but by trying to abolish the House ethics office.  JOHN NICHOLS comments–he says the popular response showed how mobilization outside of Washington can have a powerful effect.

Also: Legendary trial attorney MARTIN GARBUS makes the case for clemency for Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who has been in federal prison for 41 years.

And David Cole assesses Obama’s achievements on civil rights and his failures on civil liberties — David’s new job is National Legal Director of the ACLU.

Trump Watch

Best of the Left 2016: The Nation podcast 12/29

Listen HERE
J
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.

Start Making Sense

Michelle Obama: Success and Failure KPFK 12/28/16

Listen HERE
Michelle Obama‘s greatest political moment came in October, when she spoke about Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood groping tape.  During the preceding eight years, she limited herself to campaigning against childhood obesity — but even on that seemingly innocuous feminine topic, she was defeated — by Big Food and agribusiness.  Amy Wilentz wrote about Michelle in 2008 for the Washington Post.

Also: Andrew Bacevich reviews eight years of Barack Obama’s wars and foreign policies, starting with Iran and Afghanistan and including cyberwar.  Bacevich wrote about the topic for The Nation’s special issue on “The Obama Years.”

And Harold Meyerson talks about Trump’s choice for secretary of labor — fast food exec Andy Puzder (or is it “Pudzer”?), who wants to replace workers with robots — and about what mainstream economists learned –too late — about the effects of free trade on the once-industrial midwest.  Harold wrote about it for The American Prospect, where he is executive editor.

Trump Watch

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

Listen HERE
C
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.

Start Making Sense

What Workers Need: Harold Meyerson KPFK 12/21

Listen HERE
For America’s working class,both minority and white workers suffer, but in different ways: white employment has fallen, while people of color face low-wage work for years to come.  HAROLD MEYERSON of The American Prospect reviews the grim evidence about changes in the labor market over the last decade — and talks about what we need to do to change things.

Trump Watch

Chris Hayes: How We Got from Obama to Trump: The Nation podcast 12/15

Listen HERE
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.”

Start Making Sense

Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Zack Exley: How Organizing Can Still Win:
The Nation Podcast 12/8

LISTEN HERE
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.  His new book is Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.

Journalism