Recent Posts

What Does It Take to Write a Novel About Prison? An interview with Rachel Kushner about her new novel, ‘The Mars Room’

Rachel Kushner: I committed myself to understanding the structural conditions of prison—not so much as a novelist, but as a person and citizen of California and someone who was interested in the way that the society is layered and structured. I wanted to know why some people end up inducted into the criminal-justice system, and others are not touched by it in any way. . . . ”
continued at TheNation.com, HERE  5/23/2018

Journalism

Progressive Dems Win Big in Primaries: John Nichols; plus Yanis Varoufakis on Trump and Europe, and Arthur Goldhammer on Paris in May ’68

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Progressive and populist Democrats had some impressive victories in primaries last week in Pennsylvania, and also in Nebraska and Idaho—defeating centrist, establishment rivals, and showing a new path to victory in November for the party. John Nichols explains.
Also: Trump versus Europe.  He’s threatening European banks and industries with sanctions: if they don’t cut off trade with Iran, they would be barred from American markets and transactions with American banks. We asked Yanis Varoufakis for his analysis—he’s the former finance minister of Greece who led the resistance to European Bankers demanding austerity—now he has co-founded an international grassroots movement that is campaign for the revival of democracy in Europe.
Plus: Fifty years ago this month, in May ’68, students in Paris took to the streets calling for a new kind of revolution. Over the next year or two, there were student uprisings and revolts around the world in many places. But Paris in May 1968 was the best one, the only one to move beyond the campus, with a general strike involving ten million workers threatening the political system. Art Goldhammer, the translator and writer, comments.  5/24/18

Start Making Sense

Is Trump Crazy? The Psychiatrists Speak & Amy Wilentz Reports; plus George Zornick: Trump & the NRA

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Is Trump crazy? Amy Wilentz talks about The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book edited by Bandy X. Lee, in which 27 psychiatrists and mental-health experts give their assessments of the president. The book was number four on the New York Times bestseller list.
Also: Trump and the NRA: at the beginning of the 2016 campaign, Trump’s status as a gun person was uncertain — but he succeed in tranfsorming himself during the campaign. The Nation’s George Zornick reports (recorded after the Las Vegas shootings).  5/24/2018

Trump Watch

From Jerusalem to Gaza: Q&A w/Amy Wilentz on Trump, Israel, and Palestine

Every day, Trump makes the world less safe. Monday was a big one.
The Americans moved their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the Israel Defense Forces killed at least 60 Palestinian protesters. That’s the very bland version of the news. . . .
. . . Continued at TheNation.com, HERE  5/18/18

Journalism

From Gaza to Jerusalem: Amy Wilentz; Plus Rachel Kushner on ‘The Mars Room’ and Patricia Williams on lynching

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Every day Trump makes the world less safe; Monday was a big one. Amy Wilentz comments on Ivanka and Jared—and Sheldon Adelson—dedicating the new American embassy in Jerusalem, while the Israeli military killed 60 Palestinians in a mass nonviolent protest at the Gaza border. Amy was Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker and wrote the novel Martyrs’ Crossing about Palestinians and Israelis.
Also: There are 219,000 women in prison in the United States—Rachel Kushner’s new novel, The Mars Room, is a story about of one of them. She explains the mix of fact and imagination that went into the book.
Plus: More than 4,400 African Americans were murdered by white mobs between 1877 and 1950—that’s the conclusion of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal center. The new National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, is dedicated to the victims—it opened last month. Patricia Williams comments; she’s a longtime columnist for The Nation.  5/17/18

Start Making Sense

Trump v. Iran: There will be No Happy Ending–Michael Klare; plus D.D. Guttenplan: Trump & Texas

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Trump’s plan on pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is to pressure Iran to restart negotiations on terms more favorable to the US—but that’s never going to happen, says Michael Klare. And Trump has no Plan B – except for war—which could quickly involve Israel fighting in Lebanon against Iran’s ally Hezbollah, which has thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
Also: the coming showdown in Texas between populist Democrats and establishment Democrats: D. D. Guttenplan has returned from the Lone Star State with a report on the political transformation underway there.
5/17/18

Trump Watch

Trump Has No Plan Left on Iran Other Than War: Q&A w/Michael Klare

Read at TheNation.com, HERE
Michael Klare:  I don’t think there’s really a happy outcome from this. I don’t see some way in which Europe can rescue the Iran nuclear deal at this point. Trump says that he wants new negotiations with the Iranians for a totally new deal. I don’t think that’s in the cards at all. We’re going to see very tough sanctions on Iran. And I don’t think the Europeans will be able to protect their companies from the effects of U.S. sanctions, so they will have to quit trading with Iran. And if the Iranians move to restart their nuclear enrichment program, the next step is war. . . .

Journalism

Trump has No Plan B on Iran—Except War: Michael Klare, plus D.D. Guttenplan on Texas and Eric Foner on Columbia ‘68

Listen HERE
Trump’s plan on pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is to pressure Iran to restart negotiations on terms more favorable to the US—but that’s never going to happen, says Michael Klare.  And Trump has no Plan B – except for war—which could quickly involve Israel fighting in Lebanon against Iran’s ally Hezbollah, which has thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
Also: the coming showdown in Texas between populist Democrats and establishment Democrats: D. D. Guttenplan has returned from the Lone Star State with a report on the political transformation underway there.
Plus: It’s the 50th anniversary of the student uprising at Columbia University, against university complicity in the war—setting the path for that students at hundreds of other schools followed during the next few years.  Historian Eric Foner explains how it happened, and finds lessons for today’s movements for social justice. (SMS 5-10-18)

Start Making Sense

Trump, the Two Koreas, and the Washington Consensus: Bruce Cumings; plus David Cay Johnston on Trump’s financial and tax crimes

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The amazing news from Korea about the prospects for peace and de-nuclearization: historian Bruce Cumings of the University of Chicago comments, warning that the Washington consensus opposes a treaty. His books include “The Korean War: A History” and “North Korea: Another Country.”
Plus: Trump’s greatest political vulnerability may not be Russiagate, but rather his financial and tax crimes. David Cay Johnston has been investigating and reporting on Trump’s finances for nearly 30 years. He won a Pulitzer Prize at The New York Times, and now he’s editor-in-chief of DCReport.org.  (Trump Watch 5/10/18)

Trump Watch

A Peace Treaty in Korea—and a Nobel Prize for Trump? Bruce Cumings on Korea’s past and future.

A North Korean representative came to Washington in 2000 and signed an agreement with President Clinton that neither North Korea nor the United States would have hostile intent toward the other. This diplomatic agreement is very much like what North Korea appears to want again in 2018. However the Bush people acted as if it had never been signed, never even been written. . .
continued at TheNation.com, HERE  5/3/18

Journalism