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.
Here's a bit of nostalgia for the past: In 2003, we worried because Afghanistan was cultivating 80,000 hectares of opium. Now that figure is 200,000, and Afghanistan accounts for fully 93% of the world's opium supply. What's a State Department to do? Deprive farmers of their only source of income? Or focus on other issues--like the fact that security's deteriorated to the point that President Karzai only controls 30 percent of the country? (Unless, wait: aren't those pesky narcodollars the reason we're having trouble with narcoterrorists in the first place?)
You make the call. In the meantime, consider the fact that our current ambassador to Afghanistan just arrived from another beneficiary of U.S. crop eradication--Colombia--one fair signal of the State Department's plans.
Why we really need telecom immunity:
1). It's our way of saying thank you, and 2)., More to the point: as Bush put it at last week's press conference, "The litigation process could lead to the disclosure of information about how we conduct surveillance." A grim prospect not for the telecom companies, but for the White House. Glenn Greenwald sums it up:
The telecom lawsuits are...the last hope for ever having this still-secret behavior subjected to the rule of law and enabling the American people to learn about what their Government did for years in illegally spying on them. That's why -- the only real reason -- the White House is so desperate for telecom amnesty.
In a story titled "Gaza Bombshell," this week, Vanity Fair reported that the Palestinian civil war that killed dozens last summer was, in fact, the failed product of an American-backed attempt to oust the democratically-elected Hamas. News that the U.S. had backed such a plan, of course, isn't really news (reports of the U.S. arming Fatah have long circulated), but it should be. If American faith in democracy is that malleable, it's certainly too tenuous to be staking our reputation on abroad.
A press conference Bush held the day following the election said it all. The mood was awkward: after beating the drums for a Palestinian election for years and grooming Fatah with $2 million in the run-up to the election, when Hamas swept the vote with resounding turnout in a contest certified free and fair, Bush was stuck. So naturally, he hedged.
"I like the competition of ideas," said Bush. "There's something healthy about a system that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting."
America has a penchant for declaring war on abstract nouns. But while Bush may go down in history as the failed architect of the global "war on terror," when all's said and done, he's also succeeded in doing what no Democratic president has before him: help shift direction in America's "war on drugs." Last December, for example, Bush cut funding for the Byrne grant program (initially supported by his father, later made notorious by related civil-rights abuses) by a radical 67%. And since the 2004 (faith-propelled) launch of his Prisoner Reentry Initiative, nationwide, the push to expand rehabilitative services has gained steam. Last November, the Second Chance Act passed the House by an overwhelming 347-62 vote; a Senate vote is expected this spring. (If passed, the Act would be the first legislation Congress has passed that takes a restorative, not punitive approach to crime.)
To be sure, the White House's actions haven't been monolithic: Bush's crackdown on medical marijuana patients is about as poignant an illustration of the drug war as one could design. Nevertheless today, it's quite a turnaround from the "get-tough" 1990s to see 56 Attorneys General be reduced to asking Congress, hats in hand, to please stop cutting funds for drug enforcement efforts.
As the economy coils rapidly into a recession, the Bush administration is using its regulatory power to cut the legs out from under already-floundering state finances and shift $50 billion in federal Medicaid/Medicare spending onto state budgets, the House reported yesterday.
Since his election, Bush has made no bones of his opposition to entitlement spending, and these days, Bush is pummeling away at such programs with an ever more vigorous hand. In 2006, he proposed cutting $60 billion over 10 years for Medicaid. In 2007, Bush pushed $77 billion in cuts to Medicaid/Medicare spending over the next five years. This year, as Bush prepares to leave office, his proposed cuts to Medicaid/Medicare's five-year budget have swelled to $200 billion.
It goes without saying that the growth in U.S. healthcare spending (which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected last week will balloon to $4 trillion in the next 10 years) has to be checked. But unilaterally using the executive's regulatory power to roll back entitlements blindly forces states to either pony up (no easy feat when 21 states face budget shortfalls) or, more likely, simply cut people from their rolls.
Ezra makes a point here about the sense that Sen. Clinton was the next in line and has been pushed aside by a younger male colleague. Clearly that psychological dynamic has some deep resonances for a lot voters, but it reminds me of an email exchange I had with an editor when I was a 23-year-old reporter, pitching my first-ever campaign piece. I wanted to do a profile of Nancy Kaszak, a local community activist in Chicago's Lincoln Park, who'd served in the state legislature, and previously run for congress in the 5th district. Back in 2002, with Rod Blagojevich running for governor, there was an opening and she had thrown her hat into the ring. I pitched a profile about her to my editor, noting that she was facing a millionaire challenger who'd just moved into the district (a man named Rahm Emmanuel), but that "by all rights it's her turn." My editor wrote back and said something like, "Chris, if you're going to cover campaigns the first thing you have to learn is that there's no such thing as "turns" in democracy."
I've never forgotten that advice, and as grumpy as it made me at the time, it's true. Experience counts, but it counts as much as the voters think it should count. There are no turns in democracy.
Anyone feeling menaced by the long shadows cast by the White House these days should check out David Ignatius's plug for former CIA officer Marc Sageman's new book, Leaderless Jihad. Sageman has a clear prescription for the U.S. handling of terrorism: drop the act. Quit ratcheting up talk about Muslim extremists--today's 'third wave' of jihadists are less extremists, more chatroom-based 'terrorist wannabes,' and glamorizing the 'global war on terror' just incites them further.