Recent Posts

Joe Biden has No Place to Go Except Down: Robert Borosage; plus Martin Duberman on the lost world of gay liberation

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It’s an extraordinary victory: the first round of Democratic debates shows that all the major candidates are working within a progressive framework.  Robert Borosage says Bernie gets the credit—and that, although Biden currently is far ahead in the polls of Democratic voters, he has nowhere to go except down, once he is challenged on his record: Iraq, mass incarceration, NAFTA, and Clarence Thomas.
Also: 50 years after Stonewall, historian Martin Duberman argues that, despite the obvious and necessary victories, the radical heart of gay liberation has been abandoned.  The Gay Liberation Front of the late sixties critiqued monogamy, rather than campaigning for marriage equality, and opposed militarism and imperialism, rather than fighting to get gays into the military.  Duberman is a longtime activist and writer on gay politics.   7/4/19

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Elizabeth Warren Challenges Joe Biden: Joan Walsh and Jeet Heer

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Campaigning in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren has made her story an American story, Joan Walsh says, and thereby found a good way to connect her policy proposals to her own life, and thereby to other people’s lives–and also to refute critics who say she’s an out-of-touch policy wonk.
Also: Joe Biden and his friends: he says some of them were segregationist senators – and he thinks that was a good thing, something that made it possible for him to pass important legislation. Jeet Heer says that’s a fantasy—Republicans are not going to work with Biden if he gets the nomination and defeats Trump. Jeet is a new National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.  7/4/19

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The Supremes OK Gerrymandering: John Nichols; plus Trump & Iran: Jeet Heer; & Florida Voting Rights: Sasha Abramsky

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The Supremes gave the green light to gerrymandering–a disaster, but they also blocked the census citizenship question, at least temporarily; and the first round of 2020 Democratic nominees debated last night, with Elizabeth Warren clearly dominating the discussion — John Nichols reports.
Next up, Trump and war with Iran–not this week: comment from Jeet Heer, the newly-appointed national affairs correspondent at The Nation.
Plus: The re-enfranchisement of felons who have served their sentences in Florida is law now and the Republicans are attacking it (again) — Sasha Abramsky reports. 6-27-19

Trump Watch

Elizabeth Warren’s American Story: Joan Walsh, plus Jeet Heer on Joe Biden and Andrew Bacevich on Mideast Wars

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Campaigning in Iowa, Elizabeth Warren has made her story an American story, Joan Walsh says, and thereby found a good way to connect her policy proposals to her own life, and thereby to other people’s lives–and also to refute critics who say she’s an out-of-touch policy wonk.
Also: Joe Biden and his friends: he says some of them were segregationist senators – and he thinks that was a good thing, something that made it possible for him to pass important legislation.  Jeet Heer says that’s a fantasy—Republicans are not going to work with Biden if he gets the nomination and defeats Trump.  Jeet is a new National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.
Plus: Recently Andrew Basevitch visited the Middle East Conflicts Memorial – it’s like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but for all the Americans who fought and died in all of America’s wars in the Mideast. But unlike the Vietnam Memorial and the World War II Memorial, it’s not on the National Mall in Washington DC; instead, it’s in Marseilles, Illinois.  That says a lot about the place of our unending mideast wars in our current political debates. 6-26-19

Start Making Sense

Elizabeth Warren Is Winning the Ideas Primary: Katrina vanden Heuvel; plus John Nichols on Bernie & Socialism, & Sasha Abramsky on Florida voting rights

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Elizabeth Warren may be running third in the Democratic polls, after Biden and Bernie, but she seems to be the clear leader in what we call “the ideas primary.”  Katrina vanden Heuvel comments—and suggests that foreign policy, where Warren has said little, should be a focus for the upcoming Democratic candidate debates.
Also: Trump declared in his State of the Union speech “America will never become a socialist country.” Of course that only makes it seem like maybe it will.  Bernie Sanders gave an important speech on socialism last week, and our John Nichols spoke with him about it — beforehand.
Also: One of the great progressive victories last November, along with the mid-term Congressional races, was the vote in Florida to restore voting rights to people who had been convicted of felonies and served their sentences–1.4 million people.  But the voting rights news from Florida since then has NOT been so good–Sasha Abramsky will explain.  6/19/19

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Trump & Brexit: DD Guttenplan; Elon Musk & Mars: Katha Pollitt; Plus: Rashida Tlaib w/Nichols

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For most Americans, the question “Which is worse: Trump or Brexit?” has an easy answer: of course it’s Trump! But D. D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s new Editor, says it’s more complicated than that: for starters, Americans can get rid of Trump in next November’s elections, but it’s almost impossible now for the Brits to get rid of Brexit.
Also: Elon Musk wants us to go to Mars. Should we join him? Katha Pollitt explains why not – she wrote about zillionaires and space travel in this week’s column for Nation magazine.
Plus: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib talks with John Nichols about being one of the first two Muslim women in Congress. 6/20/19

Trump Watch

Bernie on Socialism w/Meyerson; The Dems in CA w/David Dayen; The Indivisible Pledge w/Ezra Levin

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During Bernie’s speech in Washington yesterday he defined democratic socialism as: “Requiring and achieving political and economic freedom in every community in this country.” He also proposed a 21st century economic bill of rights, based on FDR’s 1944 proposals — which he described as “the unfinished business of the Democratic Party.”  For comment we turn to Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospoect.
Next up, the Democrats in California: Joe Biden was MIA at the state Democratic party convention–why was that?  David Dayen was there; he joins us with a report. Also: The Indivisible Pledge, to support whoever wins the Democratic nomination–because beating Trump is the most important thing.  Why didn’t Joe Biden sign? Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, the nationwide network of volunteers, explains.  6/13/19

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Trump or Brexit: Which is Worse? DD Guttenplan; plus John Nichols w/Rashida Tlaib & Katha Pollitt on abortion and men

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For most Americans, the question “Which is worse: Trump or Brexit?” has an easy answer: of course it’s Trump! But D. D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s new Editor, says it’s more complicated than that: for starters, Americans can get rid of Trump in next November’s elections, but it’s almost impossible now for the Brits to get rid of Brexit.
Also: Rashida Tlaib is one of the two the Muslim woman elected to the House. John Nichols spoke with her for the “Next Left” podcast, our sister podcast at The Nation. Tlaib, who represents Detroit, was born there; her parents are Palestinian immigrants, and she a long and deep engagement with progressive politics in that city. In this segment John introduces clips from his interview.
Plus: At a time when several states have passed draconian new abortion restrictions, you don’t have to be a woman to stand up for reproductive rights: Katha Pollitt talks about abortion and men. 6/12/19

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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

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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

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