Chris Hayes, Editor-at-Large of The Nation, hosts “All In with Chris Hayes” at 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday on MSNBC.
Previously, Hayes hosted the weekend program “Up w/ Chris Hayes,” which premiered in 2011. Prior to joining MSNBC as an anchor, Chris had previously served as a frequent substitute host for “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Chris became a MSNBC contributor in 2010 and has been with The Nation since 2007.
He is a former Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. From 2008-2010, he was a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. From 2005 to 2006, Chris was a Schumann Center Writing Fellow at In These Times.
Since 2002, Hayes has written on a wide variety of political and social issues, from union organizing and economic democracy, to the intersection of politics and technology. His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Time, The Nation, The American Prospect, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, the Guardian, and The Chicago Reader.
His first book, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, which is about the crisis of authority in American life, was published in June 2012. Chris grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Brown University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.
I find this Reuters headline, "Get elected to Congress and get rich," fairly silly. Like many of the wealthiest Americans (the report doesn't factor in the recent economic slowdown), members of Congress have seen their net worth rise in recent years. But what the report doesn't note is that as campaign costs have ballooned, not surprisingly, the average net worth of those entering Congress in the first place has experienced a corresponding rise as well. While the Senate has always been a bastion for the well-heeled, of late, even the People's House has sprouted a growing crop of millionaires. Today, 58% of the Senate are millionaires, as are 44% of the House--a figure that's nearly doubled since just 2002.
Every year, the U.S.-China exchange of human rights reports is one of my favorite events to observe. Not only does it invariably produce some amusing bureaucratic sniping, but of late, it's also become one of the best front seats from which to witness the increasingly awkward dance that ensues when the U.S. tries to take on the role of human rights cop abroad.
This week, the countries traded their usual flurry of barbs: the United States censured China for being repressive, while China, indignant, hammered back against the U.S.'s own record with gusto. While the exchanges are always testy, in recent years, with the persistence of secret prisons and Guantanamo, as well as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, China's had an especially rich vein of cases to mine. (It didn't help that the White House formally endorsed torture as a form of official U.S. policy just days before releasing its China report.)
I'm no apologist for the Chinese regime, but whatever moral currency the U.S. could once claim on human rights has long since been squandered. (Or as the French foreign minister put it yesterday: "The magic is over.") When a PRC bureaucrat looks at America and sees a country that incarcerates 1 out of 100 people and accounts for two-thirds of child executions worldwide, it's no wonder the force of U.S. scrutiny seems somewhat misplaced.
Well, not actually cry, more like whine. Sen. Kent Conrad, who's managing the floor on the budget bill for the Dems turned 60 yesterday. It wasn't a particularly happy birthday:
Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I thank the ranking member for his continuing courtesy and graciousness. This is my 60th. As I left the house this morning, I told my wife and our son, who is there visiting, I have to question: What have I done wrong in my life to have my 60th birthday spent here managing the budget? But I will get over it.
A few hours later, after lengthy debate over which amendments would be considered when, he kind of lost it:
It's hard to begin to capture the blighting effects of the U.S. prison system--though Sasha Abramsky gets close when he likens the current U.S. gulag's effects to that of the GI Bill in reverse: creating a generation of millions who return to their communities jobless, without skills, with untreated addictions and frequently homeless. Accordingly, the Second Chance Act's passage is a major victory: as Chris Suellentrop notes in his excellent piece on the GOP's 'jailhouse conversion,' the Act marks the first piece of legislation Congress has passed that takes a restorative, not punitive, approach to crime.
Still though, I'm reminded of a conversation I had last summer with the Legal Action Center's Glenn Martin--himself formerly incarcerated--who expressed trepidation about allowing the national conversation on prisons focus too much on prison reentry (along with the cost-benefit analyses that generally accompany such arguments). "Beyond prisoner reentry," he says, "we can't overlook the deeper questions of why we put so many people in prison in the first place." And, as well, the question of who.
Our bailiwick here at J Street is to bring you news, ideas, opinions and thoughts from the capital, but I went to dinner with a bunch of beltway denizens last night and all anyone could talk about was Spitzer, so why not share some thoughts, right?
First, I want to stipulate that what Spitzer apparently did is gross and, most of all, cruel to his wife and family. I think he probably also had no choice but to resign. But one of my first thoughts upon hearing about the breaking scandal was "at least he didn't start a war based on lies." This dovetails with a post by Brian Beutler, where he notes that:
And as a rule, I think that's deeply unfortunate. Americans, to some great extent, have internalized this cartoonish idea that politicians ought to be policy-making and policy-enforcing robots, but they almost never seem to bring the hammer down unless a politician errs in some extremely frivolous way. Some senators and congressmen, it's worth pointing out, take legislative action to settle personal vendettas as a matter of routine. Some take bribes, both real and de facto. Others see prostitutes. If I had to pick, I know which "oops" I'd rather catch my elected official in--the only one, it turns out, that's likely to put an entire career in public service at risk.