Start Making Sense

Robert Reich: Why Republicans Are Wrong About Taxes. The Nation podcast 12/22

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C
ould Republicans be right when they say taxes on business hurt the economy, and low wages help?  Robert Reich says there’s an easy way to find out: compare economic growth in high-tax, high-wage California, with Texas.

Also: Legendary attorney Marty Garbus argues that Obama should grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who’s been in prison for 41 years.

And, as the horrible year of 2016 comes to an end, Amy Wilentz talks about some of the year’s worst moments—and some of the best.

Chris Hayes: How We Got from Obama to Trump: The Nation podcast 12/15

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How come Obama’s presidency ended with the election of Donald Trump?  Chris Hayes comments—and talks about his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin this week with Bernie Sanders to meet with Trump voters.

Plus Joan Walsh says Democrats shouldn’t focus exclusively on the worst of Trump’s cabinet nominees, starting with his Attorney General-designee Jeff Sessions; instead, they should fight all of them.

And Andrew Bacevich talks about how Trump’s appointments violate the principle of civilian control of the military – especially his choice for National Security advisor, retired General Michael Flynn, who is “something of a nutcase.”

Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Zack Exley: How Organizing Can Still Win:
The Nation Podcast 12/8

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Naomi Klein reports from Standing Rock on the victory there over the Dakota Pipeline—the lesson, she says, is that resistance and organizing can win.
Plus, Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark, says “when big dangers arise, you have to think big.” She finds grounds for hope in the Standing Rock story.
And Zack Exley, who organized grassroots supporters in the Bernie campaign, talks about the campaign for a Brand New Congress in 2018.  His new book is Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.

The recount: waste of money, or exercise in democracy? The Nation Podcast, 12/1

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Jill Stein has raised almost $7 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  John Nichols says it won’t make Hillary president, but it is a normal electoral practice; critics on the left say the real problem is not the count, but rather vote suppression, voter disfranchisement, and the electoral college.

Also: We’re still thinking about Fidel, who died Saturday—Katrin Hansing, who has studied and written about Cuba for two decades, and served as a leader on The Nation’s Cuba trips, comments.

And Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, proposes a “shotgun marriage” between capitalism and socialism.  His new book is Folding the Red into the Black, or Developing a Viable Un-Topia for Human Survival in the 21st Century.

How to Stop Trump: The Nation Podcast 11/24

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In 2002, we had Bush and Cheney in the White House with Republican control of the House and the Senate and a Republican majority on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless virtually all of Bush’s most outrageous “national security” initiatives were reversed – because of citizen action and groups like the ACLU. David Cole says the lessons for us as Trump comes to power are clear.

Also: We’re still trying to understand exactly how Trump won. Gary Younge spent a month in Muncie, a rust-belt city in the Indiana heartland; he reports that Trump won there not because of Republican enthusiasm for Trump—there wasn’t much of that—but because Democrats lacked enthusiasm for Clinton.

And Michelle Chen talks about resettlement programs for Muslim refugees in Minneapolis and elsewhere—how they succeed, and what Trump might do to stop new refugees from entering.

Mike Davis: The Real Revolution of 2016 was not Donald Trump’s: The Nation podcast 11/17

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Trumpism is inherently chaotic, Mike Davis
argues, and won’t last long, while the emergence of the Bernie Sanders movement has the potential to transform American politics.
Plus Joan Walsh looks at how Hillary lost women voters she needed, and what comes next for feminist politics.
Also, Kai Wright revisits Trump supporters on Long Island, and reconsiders the place of race in America since Obama’s 2008 Philadelphia speech on race.
And Adam Shatz argues the vote in the Rust Belt shows Hillary never should have been the Democratic candidate; but Bernie Sanders couldn’t have beaten Trump either.