Recent Posts

Trump’s Supreme Court & Abortion Rights: Katha Pollitt; plus David Cole on Voting Rights, and Amy Wilentz: Trump in June

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The Supreme Court gave the green light to anti-abortion ‘pregnancy crisis centers’ in California, and the campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade is under way — we talk with Katha Pollitt about the future of abortion rights with Trump’s Supreme Court.
Next up, David Cole, Legal Director of the ACLU, and legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, talks about voting rights and the ACLU in the age of Trump–and says “vote like your rights depended on it.”
Finally: Trump in June: the bad, the ugly, and the merely inexplicable — Amy Wilentz comments on politics in a really bad month.

Trump Watch

How We Can Block Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: John Nichols, plus Tom Frank on Trump’s supporters, and David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs

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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.

Start Making Sense

The Supreme Court: What We Should Do Now: Harold Meyerson; plus Dana Goodyear on Flipping a District, and Sonia Nazario on Migrant Children

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It’s been a really bad week at the Supreme Court Unions: for unions, for stopping gerrymandering, and for replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy: Harold Meyerson of the American Prospect reports on what we should do now.
Also: The only Republican in the House from LA County, Steve Knight, is facing a strong challenge from first-time Democrat Katie Hill. He’s against Obamacare; she’s for Medicare for All — and her chances look good. Dana Goodyear of the New Yorker reports.
Plus: Despite Trump’s reversal on family separation at the border, the crisis continues. Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of “Enrique’s Journey,” a book that detailed experiences of Latin American children immigrating to the US, joins us today to talk about Trump’s fake news, the experiences of migrants, and how we might improve family detention while people are waiting for their asylum hearings.

Trump Watch

Cruelty and Confusion in Trump’s Treatment of Migrant Children: Zoë Carpenter; plus Eyal Press on Drone Warriors and Amy Wilentz on Haiti

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More than 2,000 migrant children are still 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).

Start Making Sense

Trump’s political disaster: Harold Meyerson; Inside a Border Patrol detention center for children-Zoe Carpenter; plus Ahilan A. on ACLU Action

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Over 11,000 immigrant children are being held in detention centers across the US: Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect comments on the political disaster for Trump–and the Republicans–of his family separation policy.
Plus Zoe Carpenter of The Nation reports on the inside of a Border Patrol children’s detention center in Texas–and the uncertainties those children now face.
And Ahilan Arulanatham, Legal Director of the ACLU of Southern California, has the latest on family detention litigation–and what people can do to help.

Trump Watch

Catastrophic Climate Change is Not an “Environmental” Issue: Bill McKibben; plus Andrew Bacevich on Endless War and Robert Edelman on the World Cup

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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.

Start Making Sense

In Trump’s Madness, There’s Opportunity in Korea: Bruce Cumings

Bruce Cumings: “There’s a silver lining in having Trump as president: he is untethered to anybody, especially the Washington establishment, and in a curious way he may be able to make a lot of progress when all those other folks would raise all kinds of problems and insist on a laundry list of all the things North Korea has to do to please us. We seem to be in a different realm now.”
. . . read at TheNation.com HERE  6/14/2018

Journalism

‘We’ll Surivive Trump’: Seymour Hersh; ‘We Can Beat the GOP in November’: John Nichols

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Seymour Hersh 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.
Plus: Since Trump took office, the Democrats have flipped 44 state legislative seats. What will it take to repeat that to win control of the House and the Senate?  John Nichols explains.  6/14/18

Trump Watch

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

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“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. 6/13/18

Start Making Sense

‘Call Me a Refugee, Not an Immigrant’: Viet Thanh Nguyen

Refugees are different from immigrants. Refugees are unwanted where they come from. They’re unwanted where they go to. They’re a different legal category. They’re a different category of feeling in terms of how the refugees experience themselves. If you call yourself an immigrant here, you fit. People will want to hear your heartwarming story about getting to this country. If you say you’re a refugee, that’s the quickest way to kill a conversation, because people can’t relate to that.. . .
… continued at TheNation.com, HERE  6/11/18

Journalism