Recent Posts

Reading the Mail of the Ruling Class: From the Old Mole in 1969 to Wikileaks today

Fifty years ago this spring, Harvard students occupied the school’s administration building, demanding that the university end its complicity in the Vietnam War by kicking ROTC off campus. The student demands also included creating a black studies program and ending evictions of working-class people from property the university wanted to develop.
We didn’t realize at the time that we were also raising another issue that continues to resonate today: whether the 1st Amendment protects the publication of “stolen” documents — a question back in the headlines today with the Trump administration’s indictment of Julian Assange, publisher of WikiLeaks, for espionage.
. . . continued at LATimes.com, HERE  5/23/19

Journalism

The New York Times vs. Bernie: Amy Wilentz on media bias, plus John Nichols on Ilhan Omar and Karen Greenberg on government secrecy

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Bernie is back on Page One of the New York Times, but their report last weekend was not about his new plan to save public schools–the most progressive education program in modern American history–or his proposal to end all subsidies for oil and gas companies.  Instead, it was about a trip he made to Nicaragua in 1985, more than 30 years ago.  They didn’t like it.   How do we explain the New York Times’s coverage of Bernie Sanders?  Amy Wilentz comments.
Also: John Nichols talks about Justin Amash, the first Republican member of Congress to say that Trump has committed impeachable offenses—and also about The Nation’s new podcast, which he hosts – it’s called “Next Left,” and the premiere episode, out now, features Ilhan Omar.
Plus: There are 1,000 redactions in the 448 pages of the Muller report–individual names and entire pages–that we are not allowed to see.  They are part of a larger problem of government secrecy which started long before Trump and which is now threatening to cripple our democracy—Karen Greenberg explains. 5/22/19

Start Making Sense

Joe Biden has One Thing in Common with Donald Trump: Harold Meyerson; plus Laila Lalalami

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Joe Biden has one thing in common with Donald Trump: a campaign promising “restoration” of a lost past, rather than the kind of transformation we need to deal with our current problems—that’s what Harold Meyerson says. Of course, the past Biden wants to restore is not the white man’s 1950s, but rather the pre-Trump America of the Clintons and Obama.
And we talk about immigrants with Nation magazine columnist Laila Lalami—her new novel is ‘The Other Americans,’ about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant in a small town in California. It’s a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story.  5/23/19

Trump Watch

What Joe Biden Has In Common with Donald Trump: Harold Meyerson, plus Michael Ames on Bowe Bergdahl & Laila Lalami on ‘The Other Americans’

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Joe Biden has one thing in common with Donald Trump: a campaign promising “restoration” of a lost past, rather than the kind of transformation we need to deal with our current problems– That’s what Harold Meyerson says. Of course the past Biden wants to restore is not the white man’s 1950s, but rather the pre-Trump America of the Clintons and Obama. Harold is Executive Editor of The American Prospect and a regular contributor to the LA Times op-ed page.
Also: during the presidential campaign, Donald Trump often talked about an American soldier in Afghanistan who became the longest-held American POW since Vietnam. Trump said he was “a dirty rotten traitor” who should be shot or thrown from a plane. He was talking about Bowe Bergdahl. Michael Ames explains how the Bergdahl story reveals a lot about why the Afghan war has been a disaster. Ames is co-author of the new book, “American Cypher: Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. Tragedy in Afghanistan.”
And we’ll also talk about immigrants, with Nation columnist Laila Lalami– her new novel is “The Other Americans,” about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant in a small town in California. it’s a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story.  5/16/19

Start Making Sense

Bill McKibben: Fear & Hope about Climate Change, plus Amy Wilentz on the Other Ruined Notre Dame

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The ‘debate’ over global warming was always phony. Bill McKibben says the fossil fuel industry knew everything there was to know about climate change back in the 1980s. And they believed what their scientists were telling them. Exxon started building all its drilling rigs to compensate for the rise in sea level it knew was coming. But of course the thing they didn’t do was tell any of the rest of us. Just the opposite. They’ve spent billions of dollars building the architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that has spread with relentless efficiency the lie that science was unsure about climate change. Bill talks about his new book “Falter.”
Also: there’s another ruined Cathedral of Notre Dame awaiting reconstruction — in Haiti, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Amy Wilentz talks about why France should pay reparations to Haiti to help rebuild it. 5/16/19

Trump Watch

The Other Ruined Cathedral of Notre Dame—in Haiti: Amy Wilentz

JW: Paris isn’t the only place where a cathedral of Notre Dame is in ruins and awaiting rebuilding. There’s another Notre Dame—in Haiti, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Remind us first of all why we care about Haiti, including those of us who’ve never been there.
Amy Wilentz: We should all care about Haiti, because it was the first black republic ever established on the globe. It had the only successful slave revolution, which began in 1791, and eventually created the Republic of Haiti.
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE
5/10/19

Journalism

The New Voters of 2020: Steve Phillips, plus Ben Ehrenreich on Climate and Commerce and Amy Wilentz on Haiti’s Notre Dame

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or the 2020 election, we’ve been focusing mostly on the candidates who want to challenge Trump – but we also need to consider the voters, and the changes in the electorate since 2016. Especially significant: young people of color. Steve Phillips explains – he’s the author of the best-seller “Brown Is the New White: How a Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.”
Also: climate change and living in the city, where the health effects of hyrdocarbon production and global trade are felt most intensely. Ben Ehrenreich reports on local organizing in the city of Commerce, California, a transit point for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Plus: Paris isn’t the only place where a cathedral of Notre Dame is in ruins and awaiting rebuilding – there’s another Notre Dame in Haiti, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Amy Wilentz has a modest proposal about a source for the money: reparations — from France.  5/9/19

Start Making Sense

Is Joe Biden Necessary? Joan Walsh; Impeachment is Necessary: Joshua Holland

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When Joe Biden finally declared his candidacy, he immediately pulled way out in front in the polls of Democratic candidates. The polls also show him the one most likely to beat Trump. Joan Walsh points to some of the problems with Biden—a centrist who is focusing on older white male voters–and considers the alternatives.
Also: the case for impeachment—starting with the Mueller Report, and what Trump has done since its release. The politics of impeachment may be debatable, But congress’s duty is clear–that’s what Joshua Holland says.
Also: when muckraking journalists, independent Marxists, trade-union rebels, freedom riders, beatniks and peace protesters all found a home at America’s Oldest Weekly, The Nation magazine. That was the work of a great editor—who was also a great historian–Carey McWilliams. Peter Richardson will explain. 5/9/19

Trump Watch

The Lies of William Barr: John Nichols

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Today, the AG is defying the House of Representatives — after a day of lies and deception with the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. we turn to John Nichols for comment; he says it’s time to impeach — both the president and the attorney general.
Also: The changing American electorate favors the Democrats, big time: Steve Phillips explains.
Plus, Michael Walzer on his seminal how-to guide for political activists: “Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics”.  5/2/19

Trump Watch

Bill McKibben: The ‘Debate’ Over Global Warming Was Always Phony

The fossil fuel industry knew everything there was to know about climate change back in the 1980s. And they believed what their scientists were telling them. Exxon started building all its drilling rigs to compensate for the rise in sea level it knew was coming.  But of course the thing they didn’t do was tell any of the rest of us. Just the opposite. They’ve spent billions of dollars building the architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that has spread with relentless efficiency the lie that science was unsure about climate change. . . .  4/25/19
continued at TheNation.com, HERE  4/25/19

Journalism