Category: Start Making Sense

 Bill McKibben: This Is Our Last Chance to Save the Planet

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“We’ll either save, or doom, the planet, during the Trump administration.” That’s what Bill McKibben says—he’s an organizer of the Climate March in Washington on Sunday, April 29.

Also: 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, despite his obvious failings as a Christian. Frances Fitzgerald examines evangelicals’ earlier history in politics, including their support for a Democrat—the “born-again” Jimmy Carter. Her new book is The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America.

Plus: Andrew Bacevich looks at America’s longest war. Our fight in Afghanistan, which began 15 years ago, shows no sign of ending, despite the recent dropping of “the mother of all bombs.”

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 Tom Frank: Would Bernie Have Been Able to Beat Trump? Hell Yes!

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In the Rust Belt, “they hated Hillary”—that’s what Tom Frank found on his recent book tour for the paperback edition of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?
Also: Is Ivanka Trump responsible for her father’s attack on Syria? Amy Wilentz comments on the president’s reliance on his daughter—and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Plus: Now that Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Ari Berman reviews the big picture of the battle for voting rights.

 Chris Hayes: Donald Trump Is a Law-and-Order President In the Worst Possible Way. TheNation 4/6

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ow we got from the events in Ferguson to the election of you-know-who: Chris Hayes talks about race, incarceration, and politics in his new book  A Colony in a Nation—Salon called it “a dark book for a dark time.”

Plus: Although Trump was the least Christian of all the Republican candidates, white evangelicals voted for him overwhelmingly, despite the work of some prominent evangelical leaders.  Sarah Posner of the Nation Institute analyzes the political deal that evangelicals made—she wrote about the issue last month for The New Republic.

And Gary Younge explains what it’s been like talking about kids killed by guns—on call-in shows on talk radio.  His book Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives recently won the Anthony J. Lukas Prize.

 

Chris Hayes: Trump ‘Knew Literally—And I Mean Literally—Nothing About’ His Health-Care Bill

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Chris Hayes assesses the damage to Trump and to the Republicans caused by the failure of their effort to end Obamacare—and the opportunities the major defeat now opens up for progressives.
Plus: The deepening crisis facing Trump over questions about his campaign’s collusion with the Russians. Joan Walsh comments.
And Amy Wilentz argues that all the publicity about Ivanka and her children is part of a Trump media campaign to distract the public and delight tabloid readers.

 Jane Mayer on the Reclusive Billionaire Who Made Trump President:
Start Making Sense 3/23

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The hedge-fund magnate Robert Mercer was probably the most important backer of Trump for president. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker has the first in-depth report on this little-known figure and former Breitbart News funder.

Also: Is Trump like Nixon? Both won by exploiting the resentments of the white working class; both covered up crimes committed by their campaigns against the Democrats. But Rick Perlstein, author of the classic book Nixonland, says the answer is no: Trump is not like Nixon.

Plus: Tom Hayden finished a book on the antiwar movement of the 1960s before he died in October: Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement. It’s out now from Yale University Press. Steve Wasserman, Tom’s editor and publisher, comments.

Democrats Need to Understand Why the Rust Belt’s White Workers Still Support Trump: Start Making Sense 3/16

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Why do many white workers who voted for Trump still support him? The Nation sent D.D. Guttenplan to Ohio to find out—he’s returned now with his report.

Also: should the feminist movement welcome people who are anti-abortion? Wouldn’t that make the resistance to Trump stronger? Katha Pollitt doesn’t think so.

And: Ari Berman reports on a big victory for voting rights in Texas, where a federal court ruled that the state intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters with its redistricting maps.

 This Is the Resistance: More Than 5,000 Grassroots Groups Have Sprung Up
Start Making Sense 3/12

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Joshua Holland surveys the new grassroots resistance groups that have sprung up since the election—he found more than 75, and that number is likely growing.

Indivisible is the biggest of these groups, with more than 5,000 local groups, at least two in every Congressional district. Jeremy Haile explains—he’s one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide.

March 8 was International Women’s Day, and Rebecca Solnit talks about about the exciting shape feminist activism has taken over the last few years—she calls it “fearless,” “unapologetic” and “gorgeously transformative.” Rebecca’s new book is The Mother of All Questions.

 How the Democrats Can Beat Trump on Tax Reform: 3/1

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Harold Meyerson says it’s time for the Democrats to move beyond simply saying “no” to Trump and challenge him with alternative tax proposals that would really help working-class people. Meyerson is executive editor of The American Prospect.

Plus: The New York Times has published two articles suggesting that Ivanka will save us from her father. Needless to say, Amy Wilentz doesn’t agree.

Also: This week we are celebrating the 90th birthday of Harry Belafonte—he’s been a central figure behind the scenes of the civil-rights movement since the 1950s, and he did some amazing things on TV in the crucial year of 1968. Joan Walsh explains.

 Jane Mayer: Dark Money and Donald Trump: Start Making Sense 2/21

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he Koch brothers, the GOP’s biggest donors, didn’t support Trump for president—but he’s supporting their pro-business and anti-environmental agenda now. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker explains; her book Dark Money is out now in paperback.

Plus: What Trump has actually done that matters, not just what he’s tweeted, during his first month: George Zornick reports.

Also: Who’s the political figure in our history most different from Donald Trump? The answer is easy: Eleanor Roosevelt. Blanche Wiesen Cook comments—the third and final volume of her biography of Eleanor is out now.

 The West Coast Is Leading the Resistance Against Trump: “Start Making Sense” 2/16

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alifornia, Oregon, and Washington are leading what could become the largest resistance movement against federal policy in more than a century. Sasha Abramsky reports.

Also: Are evangelical Christians hypocrites for supporting Trump? Katha Pollitt says they understand how politics works; now it’s payback time for the president.

Plus: Almost two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Trump’s Muslim travel ban—is that too many? David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU, says that lots of judges ruling against the president is a good thing.