Recent Posts

The Mueller Report: Now it’s Congress’s Turn. John Nichols–plus Bill McKibben, and We Remember Gary Stewart

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The Mueller Report–we have the evidence, especially on obstruction; now Congress needs to do its part. John Nichols reports.
Plus: Our Climate Moment: we talk with Bill McKibben, founder of 350.0rg, about balancing fear and hope in the face of the grim realities of climate change — his new book is “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”
Also: Gary Stewart, activist, organizer, and popular music maven, passed away last week — we remember him, with an interview from 2005–on Girl Groups.  4/18/19

Trump Watch

Trump’s Tax Returns: Why We Will See Them, and What We Will Find: David Cay Johnston; plus Zoe Carpenter and Laurie Winer

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The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee formally requested six years of Trump’s personal & business tax returns earlier this month. Trump has said he won’t do it—and that the law is “100 per cent” on his side. He’s 100 per cent wrong about that. David Cay Johnston explains why the IRS Director is required to hand over the returns—or face 5 years in jail—and also what we’re likely to find in Trump’s tax returns—about his tax cheating and his money laundering for Russian oligarchs. David is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter who is founder and editor of DCReport.org.
Also: Plastics and pollution: the problem isn’t just all the plastic in the oceans; it’s the manufacturing of plastics, a toxic petro-chemical. The Nation’s Zoe Carpenter reports from the Texas and Louisana gulf coasts.
Plus: In Trump’s latest blowup over immigration, Stephen Miller has played the central role — goading him to close the border, warning him of the dangers of looking weak, and encouraging his sudden purge of his homeland security team. But who is this Stephen Miller? He grew up in liberal Santa Monica– what happened? What went wrong? Laurie Winer will report—she wrote about Stephen Miller for LA Magazine.  4/17/19

Start Making Sense

Kirsten Gillibrand’s Journey to the Left: Joan Walsh, plus Eric Foner on Reconstruction & Amy Wilentz on Jared Kushner

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Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren are the women in the Senate who have announced campaigns for the Democratic nomination—and Gillibrand is running on Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. She started out in Congress as more of a centrist Democrat—how authentic has her transformation been? Joan Walsh reports.
Also: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War—that’s the new four-hour PBS documentary premiering this week. Produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the show explores the years after the Civil War, when the defeated South faced revolutionary social change—the world’s first interracial democracy. Eric Foner comments—he was chief historical adviser on the documentary.
Plus: We’re still waiting for the text of the report of special counsel Robert Muller, but in the meantime we’ve been told he did not recommend bringing charges against Jared Kushner  in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election. But that does not mean Jared is innocent of everything. Amy Wilentz explains. 4/11/19

Start Making Sense

Netanhayu’s Election & American Jews: Harold Meyerson; plus Eric Foner on Reconstruction and Laurie Winer on Stephen Miller

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Israel’s 2019 election results are in, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to serve a record fifth term — with help from Trump.  For American Jews, it means more alienation from Israel.  Harold Meyerson comments–he’s executive editor of The American Prospect.
Next, “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” premieres on PBS this week; we talk with historian Eric Foner about the first interracial democracy in the world–and how it was destroyed.  Eric is the award-winning historian and author of the definitive history “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution.”
Plus: Stephen Miller went from being a shy middle school kid in Santa Monica to Trump’s top advisor, the evil genius behind Trump’s vicious immigration and asylum policies — Laurie Winer reports on what happened to him.  Laurie wrote about Stephen Miller for LA Magazine.  4/11/19

Trump Watch

Stacey Abrams: ‘Open That Door’ The continuing fight for the right to vote

Q. Everybody I know says that if there’d been a fair count in the Georgia election, and no voter suppression, you would be the governor of Georgia right now. But you did accomplish some amazing things in that race.
Stacey Abrams: We received more votes than any Democrat in Georgia history, including President Obama, or Secretary Clinton, or any Democrat who’s ever run. We tripled Latino turnout, we tripled Asian Pacific Islander turnout, we increased youth participation rates by 139 per cent, we increased black turnout by 40 per cent.. . .
. . . continued at TheNation.com, HERE

Journalism

Republicans and ‘Socialism’: John Nichols; plus Zoe Carpenter on Toxic Plastics, and Ben Ehrenreich on Climate and Commerce

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Republicans and ‘Socialism’ — Republicans are running in 2020 against ‘socialism’; John Nichols talks about Milwaukee, America’s socialist city for 50 years.
Also: Plastics and Petrochemicals: An estimated 8 tons of plastic end up in the oceans per year. But the real problem is the manufacturing of plastics.  Zoë Carpenter explains.
Plus, Climate Change in the City: Ben Ehrenreich reports from Commerce, CA. on a community movement fighting for environmental justice. 4/4/19

Trump Watch

Stacey Abrams: How We Fight for the Right to Vote; Plus Harold Meyerson on the trouble with Beto

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When Stacey Abrams ran for governor of Georgia last November as the first African-American and the first woman candidate, she got more votes than any Democrat in Georgia history, including Obama and Hillary Clinton. She tripled Latino turnout; she increased the youth turnout by 139 per cent and black turnout by 40 percent. But because of Republican vote suppression she was not elected. In 2020 she could run for the Senate, or even for president. Her new book is Leading From Outside. In our interview, she talks about her campaign strategy and the centrality of the fight for the right to vote.
Also: The Trouble with Beto—he’s got a huge following, but what exactly does he stand for? And what does his narrow defeat in the Texas senate race last year tell us about what kind of campaign he would run if he won the Democratic nomination for president? Harold Meyerson comments—he’s executive editor of The American Prospect.  4/3/19

Start Making Sense

The Mueller Report: Harold Meyerson; plus the 50th Anniversary of John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace and Jane Mayer on Mike Pence

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The Mueller Report: a three page summary of the 300-plus page report has been released — that’s less than one percent of Mueller’s findings — Harold Meyerson comments.
also: Today marks the 50th Anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton, “our protest against all the suffering and violence in the world.. . . there are many ways to protest.” Celebrated in song: “The newspapers said – Say what you’re doing in bed; I said we’re only trying to get us some peace.”  We talk with Dick and Mickey Flacks about their lives on the left — their new memoir is “Making History Making Blintzes: How Two Red Diaper Babies Found Each Other and Discovered America”.
Plus: Jane Mayer on Mike Pence – and his mother.  The big question: would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer says “probably yes.”  She wrote about Mike Pence for The New Yorker, where she’s a longtime staff writer. 3/28/19

Trump Watch

Don’t Trust Barr on the Mueller Report: John Nichols; Plus Greg Grandin on Trump’s Wall and Adam Hochschild on Woodrow Wilson

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Nobody should be satisfied with Attorney General William Barr’s account of the Mueller report, says John Nichols. We had assumed that the independent counsel’s investigation into obstruction of justice would conclude one way or the other. Instead we have Barr making exactly the kind of political decision by a Trump appointee that the independent counsel’s office was created to prevent. There’s no substitute for seeing the full Mueller report, Nichols concludes.
Also: In the wake of the Barr letter, Trump is calling his opponents “treasonous.” He’s vowing to pursue and punish those responsible for the Russia investigation. What would it be like if he got his way, if there were no way to restrain him? Historian Adam Hochschild says it would be like the three-year period of censorship, mass imprisonment, and deportations during World War I, under Woodrow Wilson. His new book is “Lessons from a Dark Time.”
Plus: Trump’s Wall has become a powerful symbol of a radically new idea about what America stands for—replacing the myth of the frontier as a place of possibility, rebirth, and freedom. Historian Greg Grandin talks about the wall, the border, and the frontier–his new book is “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America.”  3/27/19

Start Making Sense

College Admissions Scams, from Jared Kushner to the Present: Amy Wilentz, plus Medicaid in Arkansas and Abortion in Mississippi

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50 people in six states were accused by the Justice Department last week of taking part in a major college admission scandal. They include Hollywood stars and business leaders, who paid bribes to elite college coaches. But that’s not the way Jared Kushner got in to Harvard—his father paid the university directly. Amy Wilentz comments on the legal, and the illegal, ways wealthy people get their unqualified children into elite schools.
Also: In 2017, the Trump administration announced that, for the first time in history, states could impose a work requirement on the low-income people who rely on Medicaid for health nsurance. Arkansas was the first state to implement one, staring last June. A number of other states, including Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, are chomping at the bit to follow suit. Bryce Covert reports on the impact of the work requirement in Arkansas.
Plus: Mississippi has only one place you can get an abortion–it’s in Jackson, and the state also has a wonderful organization based there called the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. Rebecca Grant reports on the remarkable woman who founded and leads that organization.  3/20/19

Trump Watch