Recent Posts

The Missing Candidate in California: Joe Biden–David Dayen, plus Bruce Shapiro on Assange & Ezra Levin on the Indivisible Pledge

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Joe Biden was the only leading Democratic candidate who did NOT come to the California state Democratic convention last weekend in San Francisco – David Dayen reports on the biggest of the Super Tuesday primaries; he’s the new executive editor of The American Prospect.
Also: The British should extradite Julian Assange to Sweden for the investigation of rape charges against him, but neither the Swedes nor the Brits should extradite him to the US – because the new “espionage” charges against him are a political threat to freedom of the press and to all journalists and publishers—Bruce Shapiro explains.
Plus: Every Democratic primary candidate with more than 1 per cent in the polls has signed the Indivisible Pledge to support the Democratic winner – with one exception: Joe Biden.  Why not?  Ezra Levin comments—he’s co-founder of Indivisible, the nationwide network of grassroots progressive groups.  6/5/19

Start Making Sense

Remembering our Mideast Wars: Andrew Bacevich; plus Katha Pollitt: Abortion & Men; Michael Ames: Bowe Bergdahl; & Ilhan Omar w/John Nichols

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Over 8,000 names are engraved on the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial, and each year, more are added. The wall is unlike any other war memorial in the US — particularly because of its location: not in Washington DC but in Marseilles, Illinois, a small prairie town with a population of about 5,000. We talk with historian Andrew Bacevich about his recent visit to the memorial.
Also: Isn’t abortion rights a women’s issue? Katha Polllitt says, ‘no’ and explains what men should be doing differently to help women and themselves.
Plus: Michael Ames on Bowe Bergdahl & the disaster of the Afghan war–his new book is “American Cypher”.
And Ilhan Omar on John Nichols’ new podcast from The Nation, “Next Left.”  6/6/19

Trump Watch

Daniel Ellsberg: Espionage and Julian Assange; plus Robert Pollin on Medicare for All and Alyssa Battistoni on Climate Politics

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The indictment of Julian Assange on espionage charges is an attack on freedom of the press—that’s what Daniel Ellsberg argues. Ellsberg too was indicted under the Espionage Act – and put on trial by the Nixon Administration in 1972, because he leaked a top secret history of American involvement in Viet Nam to the New York Times and other publications. They called it the Pentagon Papers.
Also: Medicare for All: Opponents say it would be impossibly expensive. Exactly how are we going to pay for it? Robert Pollin of U Mass Amherst explains; he’s one of 219 economists who just signed an open letter to Congress urging passage of Medicare for All.
Plus: the politics of climate change. We know the world is getting hotter and the storms are getting bigger and the seas are rising. What we need to know now is not what climate change will do, but rather what we should do—because, for us, climate change is a political problem. Alyssa Battistoni comments.  5/29/19

Start Making Sense

Why does the NYTimes Hate Bernie? Amy Wilentz, plus Karen Greenberg on Redactions from the Muller Report

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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.
Plus: There are 1,000 redactions in the 448 pages of the Mueller 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.  5/30/19

Trump Watch

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