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Start Making Sense

Updated 1 day ago

Society & Culture
News
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Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the week in news. Hosted by Jon Wiener and presented by The Nation Magazine.

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Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the week in news. Hosted by Jon Wiener and presented by The Nation Magazine.

iTunes Ratings

195 Ratings
Average Ratings
148
27
10
3
7

Great

By gcdem1 - May 01 2018
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Can’t wait for each episode.

Much Needed!

By ND#33 - Aug 27 2017
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Love this podcast. Informative guests and topics. Thank you!

iTunes Ratings

195 Ratings
Average Ratings
148
27
10
3
7

Great

By gcdem1 - May 01 2018
Read more
Can’t wait for each episode.

Much Needed!

By ND#33 - Aug 27 2017
Read more
Love this podcast. Informative guests and topics. Thank you!
Cover image of Start Making Sense

Start Making Sense

Latest release on Jan 22, 2020

Read more

Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the week in news. Hosted by Jon Wiener and presented by The Nation Magazine.

Rank #1: ISIS and American Muslims; Republicans and American Guns

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Laila Lalami talks about what ISIS wants from American Muslims; Joan Walsh explains the real reason we don’t have gun control; and we remember Chernobyl—Amy Wilentz and Tom Lutz talk about writer Svetlana Alexievich, the new winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dec 09 2015

46mins

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Rank #2: Naomi Klein: The Paris Climate Conference Protests Will Not Be Stopped

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Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine and the Paris climate protests, Katha Pollitt on Europe’s refugee crisis, Eric Foner on Woodrow Wilson’s racism, and Joan Walsh on the Republicans and the Planned Parenthood killings.

Dec 02 2015

40mins

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Rank #3: The Issues Republicans Are Afraid to Touch: Harold Meyerson on Politics, plus Aaron Maté on Russiagate and Alex Press on Amazon workers

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Now that the Democrats are in charge in the House of Representatives, Harold Meyerson says, we can learn a lot about progressive political opportunities by studying “the Republican dogs that didn’t bark in the night” – the political issues Republicans didn’t attack in the recent elections--because they have widespread public support.  Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect and a regular contributor to the LA Times op-ed page.
Also: Aaron Maté says new studies show that Russian social-media involvement in US politics in the recent election was small, amateurish, and mostly unrelated to the candidates—and that pundits have exaggerated the effects of Russian trolls posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Plus: now that the holidays are over, it’s time to talk about the hundreds of thousands of workers who were Christmas temporaries at Amazon warehouses – Amazon calls them “seasonal associates” and describes the places they work as “fullfillment centers.”  Alex Press explains—she’s an assistant editor at Jacobin.

Jan 09 2019

39mins

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Rank #4: Donald Trump Knows the Age of Reagan Is Over. Does Hillary?

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Hillary will have to do something different to beat Donald Trump, Bruce Shapiro argues—because appealing to moderates, like the Clintons did in the nineties, is not going to work this year. Also: The #BreakFree climate protests have mobilized tens of thousands in direct actions against coal, oil, and gas companies around the world. Zoë Carpenter reports. Plus: Patrick Cockburn, who Seymour Hersh has called “the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today,” gives us an update on Iraq, Syria, Libya, and ISIS.

May 18 2016

43mins

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Rank #5: Frank Rich: How Hillary Could Lose to Trump

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A Clinton vs. Trump campaign in the fall would be a battle of the negatives, Frank Rich says--and Hillary’s are dangerously high. Plus: Hillary and Haiti—a long relationship, and a revealing one. Amy Wilentz comments. And we speak with Viet Nguyen—his novel "The Sympathizer" just won the Pulitzer Prize. It begins in Saigon on the last day of the Vietnam war, and features a Viet Cong spy inside the Saigon army.

Apr 20 2016

42mins

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Rank #6: Naomi Klein: To Fight Climate Change, We Have to Radically Rethink What Is Possible; plus Dahlia Lithwick on Trump’s ‘Emergency’ and Manuel Pastor on Calif. vs. Trump

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Naomi Klein says the Green New Deal needs to follow the example of the New Deal of the 1930s, when nothing would have happened without “massive pressure from social movements” that “changed the calculus of what was possible.”  Naomi is a contributing editor at The Nation and author of several number one bestsellers, including “This Changes Everything.”
Plus Dahlia Lithwick talks about the national challenge to Trump’s “national emergency”—the constitutional issues, the political issues, and the dangers of treating as normal his rambling, fact-free, egomaniacal performance in the Rose Garden announcing his “emergency.”  Dahlia writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast ‘Amicus.’
And we’ll also look at California’s resistance to Donald Trump: Manuel Pastor will explain the past, the present, and the future of the fights over climate justice and immigration between the biggest state and the worst president.  Manuel’s new book is “State of Resistance.”

Feb 20 2019

41mins

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Rank #7: The anti-immigrant temptation on the left: David Adler on politics, Pedro Noguera on the LA teachers strike, and Kate Aronoff on the battle of ideas

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A political movement combining a left-wing economic program with anti-immigrant initiatives: it’s developing right now in Germany and France – could it happen here? David Adler explains: he’s the Policy Coordinator for the European Spring — Europe’s first transnational party, led by Yanis Varoufakis. He writing has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, and Jacobin—and now he has the cover story in the new issue of The Nation.
Also: 31,000 teachers are on strike right now in Los Angeles--it’s the biggest strike in a long time in the second biggest school district in the country, with 600,000 students. And it’s not just about salaries and benefits; the teachers say they want smaller classes, which means more teachers. Pedro Noguera reports.
Plus: Like everybody else on the left, we’re excited about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her proposal for a Green New Deal –but “the Left needs more than good ideas”--that’s what Kate Aronoff says. We need to change the economic and political consensus shaped by the right and build a political and intellectual infrastructure that can match theirs.

Jan 16 2019

39mins

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Rank #8: Fred Trump and the KKK of the 1920s: Linda Gordon, plus Nancy MacLean on the Roots of the Radical Right

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The KKK of the 1920s had millions of members outside the South. It targeted Catholics and Jews as well as blacks, and had impressive success at electing governors and congressmen. It passed anti-immigrant restrictions that remained in effect until 1965. And Fred Trump, the president’s father, was arrested as a young man at a Klan march in New York City. Historian Linda Gordon explains—her new book is The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan and the American Political Tradition.

Plus: Nancy MacLean uncovered the deep history of the radical right’s stealth plan for America: the historic connection between the Koch Brothers' anti-government politics, the white South's massive resistance to desegregation, and a Nobel Prize-winning Virginia economist. Nancy is an award-winning historian and the William H. Chafe Professor of history and public policy at Duke University. Her Democracy in Chains was named "most valuable book" of 2017 by John Nichols on The Nation's Progressive Honor Roll.

Jan 03 2018

38mins

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Rank #9: “Whiteness Is All They’ve Got”: Gary Younge on Trump’s Working Class Supporters; Plus D.D. Guttenplan on Jackson, Miss., and Amy Wilentz on Ivana

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Gary Younge interviews Trump’s white working class supporters; D. D. Guttenplan spends a week reporting on Jackson, Mississippi; Amy Wilentz talks about Ivana.

Dec 20 2017

38mins

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Rank #10: Is Trump Crazy? Would Pence be Worse? Jane Mayer on Pence, and Amy Wilentz on Trump; plus Raj Patel on Cheap Food

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Would Pence be worse? Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reports—she interviewed more than 60 people in search of answers, including Pence’s mother. Several say he’s wanted to be president at least since high school. Also: Amy Wilentz on Trump; plus Raj Patel on Cheap Food.

Oct 25 2017

45mins

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Rank #11: Chris Hayes: What Trump Means When He Says He’s “Strong on Crime” plus Gary Younge on Kids and Guns and Michael Walzer on Foreign Policy for the Left

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“For Donald Trump, crime is not a problem to be solved; it is a weapon to be wielded”—against people of color and immigrants: Chris Hayes talks about how Trump has transformed this long-standing weapon of the right. His book A Colony in a Nation is out now in paperback, with a new afterword. Chris is an editor-at-large of The Nation.

Plus: Gary Younge explains how the Parkland kids are changing the fight for gun control. He knows a lot about kids and guns—he wrote the award-winning book Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives.  Gary is a columnist for The Nation.

And Michael Walzer argues that a foreign policy for the left has to begin with internationalism, and with the choice of comrades abroad.  His new book is A Foreign Policy for the Left.  Michael edited Dissent for three decades and is the author of many books, including Just and Unjust Wars.  He wrote about “A Solidarity of Leftists” for The Nation.

Mar 07 2018

44mins

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Rank #12: The Resistance to Trump, Year One: David Cole; plus Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968 and Steven Hahn on ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

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David Cole on stopping Trump, Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968, and Steven Hahn on “Hillbilly Elegy.”

Nov 21 2017

43mins

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Rank #13: How to Beat Trump in 2020: John Nichols on Strategy, Michael Kazin on Southern Democrats, and Katha Pollitt on Women

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The Democrats’ picking Milwaukee for their convention in 2020 indicates how that Wisconsin is a key battleground the party must win in order to recapture the White House.  John Nichols talks about what it going to take for the Democrats to carry Wisconsin—and Michigan and Pennsylvania—and about the far-reaching tasks that face the party after four years of Trump. 
Also: southern Democrats were an all-white party before the voting rights act of 1965; and then, as LBJ predicted, its members all became Republicans.  And yet throughout the 20th century Southern Democrats in Congress supported Progressive legislation—as long as it didn’t help black people.  Historian Michael Kazin comments—and talks about the party in the South now, where Stacey Abrams and Betto O’Rourke are building something new.
Plus: Halfway through Trump’s term, and the week after International Women’s Day, it’s a good time to look at the big picture of where women stand in the US and in the world—where the US ranks in terms of women’s political representation, legal equality, and recent reports of discrimination and violence.  Katha Pollitt surveys the good news, and the bad news.

Mar 13 2019

42mins

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Rank #14: Say It Again: Donald Trump Did Not Win the Popular Vote—E.J. Dionne; plus Ari Berman on Gerrymandering and Joan Walsh with Hillary

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E.J. Dionne argues that Trump has mobilized progressive political forces that can transform America. Plus Ari Berman reports on the argument about gerrymandering at the Supreme Court, and Joan Walsh sits down with Hillary Clinton for a conversation about what happened in the campaign.

Oct 04 2017

45mins

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Rank #15: Michelle Goldberg: Republicans and Trump, After the Indictments; plus Bob Dreyfuss on Mueller at Work, and Tony Schwartz on Trump

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Michelle Goldberg talks about Republicans and Trump, after the indictments. Bob Dreyfuss says the indictments of Paul Manafort are only the beginning of the results of the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And Tony Schwartz, who wrote Trump's monster best-seller, "The Art of the Deal," talks about Trump's personality—and the ominous implications for all of us.

Nov 01 2017

40mins

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Rank #16: Progressives and White Working-Class Voters: Joshua Holland, plus Katha Pollitt on Fetal Personhood and Ruth Marcus on Brett Kavanaugh

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Some analysts criticize progressives who urge Democrats to focus on turning out their core base—people of color, unmarried women, and younger voters—they say it’s a big mistake to give up on working class whites. And many progressives reply that it would be a disaster for the Democrats to try to “win back” working class white Trump voters by not talking about discriminatory policing, reproductive health care, and LGBTQ rights. Joshua Holland examines the actual evidence—and concludes that Democrats have already won back enough white working-class voters to defeat Trump in 2020.

Also: What happens to pregnant women when anti-abortion state legislatures grant legal personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses? What happens when pregnant women’s behavior is criminalized? Katha Pollitt reports.

Also: Brett Kavanaugh was not on the list of candidates for the Supreme Court that Trump released during the campaign—how did Kavanaugh end up ahead of everybody else? Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post has that story—her new book is Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover.

Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe

Dec 11 2019

44mins

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Rank #17: Trump’s Tax Returns: Why We Will See Them, and What We Will Find: David Cay Johnston, plus Zoe Carpenter on plastics and Laurie Winer on Stephen Miller

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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.

Apr 17 2019

41mins

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Rank #18: Katrina vanden Heuvel: Russia, Trump, and the Democrats; plus George Zornick on the GOP Tax Bill and Danny Meyer on the Trouble with Tipping

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Katrina vanden Heuvel reports on Russia's monument to victims of the Gulag and comments on Robert Mueller's investigations and the lessons of Trump's victory.
Plus George Zornick discusses the obstacles facing the GOP's tax bill in Congress, and legendary restauranteur Danny Meyer explains why he's against tipping.

Nov 08 2017

40mins

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Rank #19: Trump Is Inviting America Into the Torture Chamber—Sasha Abramsky; Plus, Katha Pollitt and D.D. Guttenplan on Hillary’s Memoir.

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Sasha Abramsky on Trump and fear, plus Katha Pollitt and D.D. Guttenplan on Hillary’s memoir.

Sep 27 2017

43mins

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Rank #20: Robert Reich: Trump vs. the Common Good—plus Katha Pollitt on Russiagate Skeptics, and Remembering the My Lai Massacre

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Robert Reich says it’s time to turn away from the unbridled greed and selfishness of the Age of Trump and restore the idea of the common good. Reich was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor; his new book is The Common Good.

Also: Katha Pollitt takes up the central arguments of those on the left who are Russiagate skeptics, who say that focusing on Russian interference in the election means neglecting more important things, and that, so far, nothing proves that Trump and Putin colluded in the election campaign.

Plus: March 16 is the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre. We have an interview with the man who stopped the My Lai massacre, American helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson.

Mar 14 2018

40mins

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Impeachment Has Already Succeeded: John Nichols, plus Andrew Bacevich on the End of the Cold War and Michael Klare on Climate

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51 per cent of Americans now think Trump should be removed from office, according to the new CNN poll (and 45 per cent think he shouldn’t).  That, John Nichols argues. shows impeachment has succeeded—and if Republicans in the Senate block Trump’s removal from office, voters can do it in November.Also historian Andrew Bacevitch argues that America has squandered its Cold War victory – and considers where Trump fits into the history of the US since the collapse of the USSR.  His new book is The Age of Illusions.
And we talk about climate change –as seen from the perspective of the Pentagon.  Trump may deny that the world is getting warmer, fast, but the Pentagon has been preparing for that for several years now—and is making disaster relief part of its mission.  Michael Klare reports—his new book is All Hell Breaking Loose.

Jan 22 2020

38mins

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Hunger and Hope in Haiti: Amy Wilentz, plus Mia Birdsong on poverty and Kate Aronoff and Michael Kazin on socialism

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It’s been ten years since Haiti was devastated by the earthquake that killed more than a hundred thousand people.  Amy Wilentz, who has been reporting on Haiti for three decades, returned to the island and found the country oddly calm, despite deepening poverty, violence, and corruption.  She also found “little sprouts of possibility everywhere.”Also: We have a lot of experts on what to do about poverty -- academics and policy makers.  Mia Birdsong has been working with a different sent of experts: poor people themselves.  She’s a Senior Fellow of the Economic Security Project, and her TED talk “The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True” has been viewed almost two million times.  Now she has a new 4-part podcast at The Nation – it’s called “More Than Enough.” Plus: Democratic socialism, American style: Kate Aronoff and Michael Kazin talk about socialism in America today—they are co-editors with Peter Dreier of “We Own the Future,” which includes chapters on sports, banks, work, health care, campaign finance, immigration, and families.

Jan 15 2020

40mins

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The Failure of Trump’s Iran Strike: Andrew Bacevich, plus Henry Louis Gates on American slavery and Jelani Cobb on Joe McCarthy

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Trump’s Iran strike continues a long, failed history of American actions based on the idea that the U.S. military can shape the mideast in accord with our wishes.  That’s what Andrew Bacevich argues—his new book is The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered its Cold War Victory. Plus: Henry Louis Gates discovers slave-owners – and also slaves—in the family histories of some surprising people--on the PBS series “Finding Your Roots.”  On this season’s premiere, Anjelica Houston learned that one of her ancestors, who died in Maryland in 1811, was a slaveowner, and that in his will he acknowledged fathering four slave children.  Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, also talks about his collaboration with historian Eric Foner on the award-winning PBS documentary on Reconstruction. Also: Joe McCarthy as a predecessor of Donald Trump: the connections and similarities (“McCarthy was willing to assert things that he knew weren’t true, and did it with aplomb”) are traced by Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker and the Columbia University faculty.  He’s a contributor to the new McCarthy episode of the PBS series “American Experience.”

Jan 08 2020

40mins

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Trump Will Lose in 2020: Stan Greenberg, plus Naomi Klein on the Green New Deal and J. Hoberman on Reagan and the Movies

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The 2020 election will liberate us from Donald Trump and Republican hegemony. A sweeping Democratic victory will make it possible at last for us to address our most serious problems—because 2020 will bring the death of the Republican party as we’ve known it. That’s what Stan Greenberg says—he’s a longtime pollster and adviser to presidents from Clinton to Obama. He’s also a bestselling author, with a new book out—it has the wonderful title R.I.P. G.O.P.: How the New America is Dooming the Republicans.

Plus: Naomi Klein on the Green New Deal—she says we need to follow the example of the New Deal era of the 1930s, when nothing would have happened without “massive pressure from social movements” that “changed the calculus of what was possible.” Naomi is the author of several number one bestsellers, including This Changes Everything.

Also: movies and politics. No political figure has blurred the line between them more than Ronald Reagan—and no president understood the power of collective fantasy better than Reagan did. That’s what the great movie critic J. Hoberman says—his new book about movie culture in the Age of Reagan is called Make My Day.

Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe

Dec 31 2019

48mins

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Socialism is on the Agenda for 2020: Katrina vanden Heuvel, plus Kathleen Belew on White Nationalism and Rick Perlstein on Impeachment

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Capitalism is broken – that's why socialism is on the agenda for 2020.  Katrina vanden Heuvel explains - she's publisher and editorial director of The Nation.
We also look back at some of the big events of 2019, and some of our favorite interviews, starting with the terrorist attacks by white nationalists, 
 in El Paso and elsewhere.  Historian Kathleen Belew says they are NOT isolated events  carried out by loners; in fact they are connected, the work of a movement, with tens of thousands of active members.Also 2019 of course has been the year of impeachment -- historian Rick Perlstein has comment and analysis.

Dec 24 2019

48mins

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Does Boris Johnson’s victory in the UK mean Trump will win in the US? D.D. Guttenplan, plus John Nichols with the Progressive Honor Roll and Arundati Roy on India

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The British Labour Party suffered a historic defeat last week—working class people who voted Labour their entire lives have now switched sides.  Centrists in the Democratic Party say this means that the socialist program doesn’t work as an alternative to racism and xenophobia--in other words, it’s bad news for Bernie.  And for us at The Nation.  They say Boris Johnson is a lot like Donald Trump, and that Boris’s victory suggests Trump will win in 2020—the way Brexit foretold the 2016 vote in the US.  D.D. Guttenplan disagrees, and explains why.Plus: the end of the year brings The Nation’s progressive honor roll for 2019 - honoring those who’ve done the steady work of advancing economic, social and racial justice.  John Nichols names the elected officials and also activists, organizations, and ideas that are shaping our future.Also: this week India is on fire--with massive protests, and massive repression, of Muslim students saying “no” to the government’s move toward making India a Hindu nation – the great Indian novelist and activist Arundhati Roy explains.

Dec 18 2019

39mins

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Progressives and White Working-Class Voters: Joshua Holland, plus Katha Pollitt on Fetal Personhood and Ruth Marcus on Brett Kavanaugh

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Some analysts criticize progressives who urge Democrats to focus on turning out their core base—people of color, unmarried women, and younger voters—they say it’s a big mistake to give up on working class whites. And many progressives reply that it would be a disaster for the Democrats to try to “win back” working class white Trump voters by not talking about discriminatory policing, reproductive health care, and LGBTQ rights. Joshua Holland examines the actual evidence—and concludes that Democrats have already won back enough white working-class voters to defeat Trump in 2020.

Also: What happens to pregnant women when anti-abortion state legislatures grant legal personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses? What happens when pregnant women’s behavior is criminalized? Katha Pollitt reports.

Also: Brett Kavanaugh was not on the list of candidates for the Supreme Court that Trump released during the campaign—how did Kavanaugh end up ahead of everybody else? Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post has that story—her new book is Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover.

Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts: thenation.com/podcastsubscribe

Dec 11 2019

44mins

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How the Dems Can Win in 2020: Lessons of the Virginia Victories--Joan Walsh, plus Jeet Heer on Trump and War Crimes and Bryce Covert on Strikes

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Democrats need to learn the lessons of their historic victory last month, when Virginia became the first Southern state in the post–civil-rights-movement era to entirely flip back to Democratic control.  Virgina Democrats now hold the governorship AND both houses of the state legislature.  How did they do it?  Joan Walsh says one key was that Republican attacks on abortion didn’t send Democrats running scared.Also: Trump’s pardons for war criminals: Jeet Heer says the military is right to stand up for the laws of war, but the basic issue is a political one, and the military can’t make this a political fight.  But the voters can.And Bryce Covert has been examining strikes in America over the last couple of years.  More workers went on strike last year than at any time since 1986 – more than 20 years ago.  They include public sector workers, like teachers and nurses, and corporate employees, like auto and hotel workers – and even low-paid, part-time and temporary people who don’t have unions—like fast food workers and Uber drivers.  
Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts:
thenation.com/podcastsubscribe

Dec 04 2019

37mins

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‘It Can’t All Be Bernie’: The Candidate with John Nichols, plus Adam Hochschild on deportation and John Powers on “The Irishman”

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Bernie Sanders says it will take a movement to change America: “It can’t all be Bernie.”  John Nichols comments on his interview with the candidate, who is now back in second place in the polls.  And we play clips from the interview, originally broadcast on the Next Left podcast. Also: deporting the immigrants called “undesirable”--now, under Trump, and a hundred years ago.  Historian Adam Hochschild notes that  it’s the 100th anniversary of the Palmer Raids, where J Edgar Hoover got his start rounding up and trying to deport immigrant radicals—and when one heroic Labor Department official blocked thousands of deportations.Plus: Martin Scorcese’s new film “The Irishman” opens on Netflix this week; it claims to tell the true story of the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, the head of the Teamsters Union, who disappeared in 1974.  But nobody who’s studied that history thinks the movie is right about what happened to Hoffa.  Does that fact change our judgement about the film?  John Powers comments; he’s critic at large for Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts:
thenation.com/podcastsubscribe

Nov 27 2019

41mins

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Gail Collins: Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the Complicated Story of Women and Aging in America; plus Rick Perlstein on Impeachment and Eric Foner on The 1619 Project

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The adventures of older women in America: Ruth Bader Ginsburg for example is 86,and Nancy Pelosi just turned 80. But where are the prominent Republican women in politics today who are older?  Gail Collins has been thinking about that; of course she’s the New York Times op-ed columnist.  Her new book is No Stopping Us Now. Also: Rick Perlstein says the Nixon impeachment limited the charges against the president in order to win a Republican majority in the Senate; since that’s not going to happen with Trump, the Democrats might as well include all his high crimes in their articles of impeachment. And historian Eric Foner talks about the New York Times’s “1619 Project,” which argues that the legacy of slavery is central to all of the American past and present.

Subscribe to The Nation to support all of our podcasts:
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Nov 20 2019

43mins

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Sherrod Brown: How to Beat Trump; plus D.D. Guttenplan on Joe Biden and Thom Hartmann on the Supreme Court

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Sherrod Brown, the senior senator from Ohio, was re-elected in 2018. He won by 7 points—in a state Hillary Clinton had lost—by 8 points—just 2 years earlier. What are the lessons for 2020? “You need to talk to workers,” he says, “and you need to fight for workers—all workers.” Now he has a new book out: Desk 88 – Eight progressive senators who changed America.

Also: why Joe Biden is the wrong candidate to take on Donald Trump: D.D. Guttenplan, The Nation’s editor, explains why the magazine has published an “anti-endorsement.”

Plus: this week the Supreme Court heard arguments about the fate of DACA residents—whether those young people brought here as small children should be deported. But why should that be decided by the nine justices on the Supreme Court? In a democracy, shouldn’t that be decided democratically? That’s Thom Hartmann’s argument—not just about DACA, but about all of judicial review. His new book is The Hidden History of the Supreme Court.

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Nov 13 2019

44mins

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The Election, One Year Away: John Nichols on the Polls, plus Paul Adler on Socialism and John Powers on John Le Carré

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Where do we stand one year out from the election? The best polls this week show Trump losing the popular vote by around 15 points—but also show that he’s still “highly competitive” in the swing states Democrats must carry in order to defeat him. John Nichols has our analysis.

Also: Trump is trying to knock off Joe Biden because he wants to run against Elizabeth Warren—he thinks he can win by campaigning against “socialism.” And more young people have favorable views of socialism than they do of capitalism these days—but what is socialism? Paul Adler explains; his new book is The 99 Percent Economy: How Democratic Socialism Can Overcome the Crises of Capitalism.

Also: One of our favorite writers, John le Carré, has a new book out: Agent Running in the Field—they’re calling it his “Brexit Book.” It’s number five on the best seller list. He’s now 88 years old, he’s written 26 books, which have been published in over 50 countries and 40 languages. The books are about loyalty and betrayal, and many are about the ambiguities of the Cold War. John Powers comments—he’s Critic-at-Large on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross.

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Nov 06 2019

42mins

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Joe Biden’s Zombie Campaign: Jeet Heer on Moderate Dems, plus Elie Mystal on Senate Republicans and Amy Wilentz on Haiti

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Joe Biden may be the frontrunner, but he’s slipping, and it seems doubtful that he will get better at this.  Big donors are pulling away from him.  But do the “moderates” in the party–-the Wall Street Democrats--have a Plan B? A backup candidate?  A viable alternative?  Jeet Heer evaluates the possibilities—there are a lot of them, but none are very promising.Also: Republicans in the Senate--we will need 20 of them to vote to convict Trump if he’s going to be removed from office.  Is that possible?  Elie Mystal runs the numbers--and concludes, “maybe—if we the people work really hard.”  Plus: Haiti is at the brink of collapse—Amy Wilentz reports on one of Trump’s “shithole countries.”

Oct 30 2019

40mins

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How TV Made Trump: Tom Carson, plus David Perry on Ilhan Omar and Pico Iyer on Japan

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We all know Trump got famous on TV with The Apprentice – but how many of us ever watched The Apprentice?  Reality TV was a key force in making Trump president.  Tom Carson talks about “Audience of One” by James Poniewozik.  Tom, a longtime writer on pop culture and politics, won two National Magazine Awards during his time as Esquire‘s “Screen” columnist; now he writes for BookForum.Also: Ilhan Omar has endorsed Bernie for president – how does she deal with Trump’s vicious attacks?  David Perry has spent the last few months with her in her Minneapolis district—he says he’s never seen a politician talk as little about themselves as she does in her town halls.Plus: Pico Iyer has lived in Japan part-time for the last 30 years – he says it’s hard to imagine how different that country is from our own.  His new book is “A Beginner’s Guide to Japan.”

Oct 23 2019

41mins

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The Deepening Desperation of Donald Trump: Sasha Abramsky on the President, plus Corey Robin on Clarence Thomas and Katha Pollitt on Abortion

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Trump’s increasingly reckless efforts at intimidation reveal the increasingly desperate situation he has created for himself, where even Fox News has become an inconsistent and unreliable defender of his actions.  Sasha Abramsky separates Trump’s efforts at distraction from the political reality he now faces.Also: With the Supreme Court back in session, we turn our attention to the most right-wing and longest-serving Justice, Clarence Thomas.  Is he a self-hating sell-out?  Corey Robin says he’s something else: a conservative black nationalist.  His new book is The Enigma of Clarence Thomas. Plus: The political promise of the abortion pill: Despite the fact that more than 75% of Americans favor Roe v. Wade, abortion rights face increasing jeopardy at the Supreme Court, and the right finally succeed at defunding Planned Parenthood.  But there’s one immensely promising factor at work: abortion drugs, especially misoprostol, which is easily obtained on the Internet, despite the FDA’s attempts to prevent online pharmacies from selling them.  Katha Pollitt explains.

Oct 16 2019

46mins

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The new Supreme Court term will be worse than the last one—a lot worse: Elie Mystal, plus Amy Wilentz on Ivanka and Jeet Heer on impeachment

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The Supreme Court term began its fall term this week--and even though Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed at the start of last year’s court term, this year the Supremes’ decisions will be worse – a lot worse.  Elie Mystal explains why—he’s the executive editor of Above the Law and a contributing writer for The Nation.Also: a new episode of ‘The Children’s Hour’--stories about Ivanka, Jared, Don Junior, and little Eric.  This week: who’s helping Dad fight impeachment? Amy Wilentz has our story.Plus: Republicans and impeachment: lessons from the Nixon years.  Jeet Heer comments.

Oct 09 2019

40mins

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Republicans and Impeachment: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly--Joan Walsh, plus Andrew Bacevich on Afghanistan and Azadeh Moaveni on ISIS Women

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The big question about impeachment is not the House -- there now seem to be enough votes there to pass at least one article of impeachment--the big question is about the Senate and whether some Republicans will abandon Trump.  Former Republican Senator Jeff Flake says that at least 35 Republican senators would vote to remove Trump from office--IF they could vote in private.  Joan Walsh comments.Also: Afghanistan held elections on Saturday.  Trump had declared a couple of weeks ago that negotiations with the Taliban were “dead”-this was after he had promised to end the American war there. How WILL that war end? Andrew Bacevich has been thinking about that.Plus: Thousands of Muslim women left their homes in the US and Europe to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the Islamic State, especially after it declared a Caliphate in 2013.  Many of them were educated and successful –  Why did they do it? Azadeh Moaveni wanted to find out—she spent years interviewing former ISIS women in camps in Turkey and Kurdistan.  Her new book is Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS.

Oct 02 2019

42mins

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Impeachment at Last: Jeet Heer on Trump, plus Eric Foner on voting rights and Jane McElevey on the UAW strike

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Trump finally went too far, even for Nancy Pelosi: he used money appropriated by Congress for foreign aid to pressure the president of Ukraine to come up with dirt on Joe Biden—dirt that Trump could use in the upcoming election.  Jeet Heer comments – he’s National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.Also: historian Eric Foner talks about about voter suppression, about who gets to be a citizen, what rights undocumented immigrants have, and about the roots of mass incarceration--they all relate to the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, part of the country’s attempt to redefine citizenship after the end of slavery.  His new book is The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.   Plus: In the UAW strike against General Motors, workers are seeking not only higher pay but also ending plant closures and making temporary workers permanent--many of them have been on the job for several years, and yet they are paid less and denied union benefits. Jane McAlevey comments—she’s The Nation’s new Strikes Correspondent.

Sep 25 2019

40mins

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2020 will Bring a Historic Defeat for the Republicans: Stan Greenberg on the Election, plus D.D. Guttenplan on Edward Snowden and Sasha Abramsky on Trump

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The 2020 election will liberate us from Donald Trump and Republican hegemony.  A sweeping Democratic victory will make it possible at last for us to address our most serious problems. That’s what Stan Greenberg says – he’s a longtime pollster and adviser to Democratic presidents from Clinton to Obama.  He’s also a bestselling author, with a new book out – it has the wonderful title R.I.P. G.O.P.: how the New America is Dooming the Republicans. Also: Edward Snowden published a memoir this week, called Permament Record, and The Nation magazine features an excerpt--it’s about his youthful enthusiasm for home computers connected to the internet, which had just become available, and the contrast he draws between the internet in those days and what it soon brought: the “identitarian consistency” required by “surveillance capitalism.”   Editor D.D. Guttenplan explains.
Also: What’s Really Going on While Trump Creates Chaos: Sasha Abramsky separates what Trump is actually doing from what he’s tweeting.  His new column at TheNation.com is “Signal/Noise.”

Sep 18 2019

42mins

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Why Doesn’t the GOP Resist Trump the Way Tories Resist Boris Johnson? D.D. Guttenplan on Britian and America, plus Katha Pollitt on Trump and John Nichols on Republican Resignations

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Last week Tory rebels in parliament staged a dramatic insurrection against their own Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, blocking his plans for a “no-deal Brexit.”  But virtually no Republicans in Congress have resisted Trump.  Why is that?  D.D. Guttenplan compares and contrasts the two parties and political systems – he’s editor of The Nation, and he’s lived in Britain for the last 25 years.Also: It’s hard to keep track of Trump’s outrages—there are new ones virtually every day.  But Nation columnist Katha Pollitt remembers; she discusses almost every bad thing Trump did this summer.  And she takes up the question, is Trump getting worse?  More unhinged, more desperate, perhaps because he sees that his chances of winning reelection are not good?Plus: Thirteen House Republicans have announced their retirements in the past several weeks—they don’t want to run for reelection in 2020.  They are a diverse group, and include moderates as well as conservatives, some newcomers and some with decades of seniority, two of the party’s 13 women, and its only African-American Congressman.  How much can the Democrats hope to gain from this development?  John Nichols comments--he’s National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation and host of the “Next Left” podcast.

Sep 11 2019

40mins

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iTunes Ratings

195 Ratings
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Great

By gcdem1 - May 01 2018
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Can’t wait for each episode.

Much Needed!

By ND#33 - Aug 27 2017
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Love this podcast. Informative guests and topics. Thank you!