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.
This week, UN World Food Program issued a bleak warning: In the future, the WFP said, there will be food on the shelves. It's just that many won't be able to afford it.
As food prices have spiked--in some places, by up to 40%--the WFP announced that its $2.9 billion budget is no longer enough to maintain even current food deliveries, much less expand. Last year to take one example, with the rising cost of fuel and food prices, the United States purchased less than half the amount of food aid it did in 2000.
But in the case of the U.S., it doesn't have to be that way. Currently, existing U.S. rules mandate that at least 75% of its food aid be grown and packaged in the United States (that is, benefit U.S. producers) before being shipped across the sea. Accordingly, the cost in transport--particularly as oil prices have risen--is extraordinary. (A recent GAO study reported shipping costs account for 65% of total program expenditures for the largest U.S. food emergency program.) These days as the UN scrambles to ration food, as the Bush administration has proposed (and Congress has rejected), it'd be a much more charitable gesture for the U.S. to step up what it buys locally--where it's needed.
With consumers pinched across the country, today, the House will try again to eliminate the most lucrative tax breaks for oil companies--an $18-billion bounty--and simultaneously expand over $8 billion in tax incentives for the use and development of renewable energy.
While last December, Senate Republicans bucked similar legislation after it cleared the House, as gas prices inch toward $4.00 a gallon and on the heels of January job losses, House Demcorats hope the package has gained the critical across-the-aisle momentum it needs. Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.), in particular, cites the need to expand renewable-energy tax incentives--currently in place until December 2008--to maintain and expand existing U.S. jobs. (The Solar Energy Industry Association estimates that Americans could lose 116,000 jobs in the solar and wind industry if existing renewable-energy tax credits are suspended.)
Last year, the biggest five oil companies posted record profits, with ExxonMobil's earnings peaking at $40.6 billion--the largest corporate haul in U.S. history. Today, oil prices peaked at $102 a barrel for the first time.
Texas businessman Jay Johnson-Castro is a self-described Border Ambassador. But the word "crusader" might seem more fitting.
His journey started in September 2006, when Congress passed the Secure Fence Act. Outraged, Johnson-Castro decided to walk the 205 miles from Laredo to Brownsville in protest. "It was spontaneous," says Johnson-Castro, 61, who was joined on his solitary walk variously by curious stragglers, town residents and community groups. "It was the first time I did anything like that in my life--but I just didn't know how else to vent."
A longtime border resident, Johnson-Castro calls the fence an assault on a community that goes back centuries. "People don't understand that the border isn't a black line that goes down the Rio Grande," says Johnson-Castro. "It's a community on both sides of the river. To divide us is an insult, a violation of our border culture and friendship."
If it truly was an accident that the beginning of the 60 Minutes episode chronicling Karl Rove's machinations to unseat the former Democratic governor of Alabama happened to get blacked out in only one state--Alabama--that surely is a fortuitous coincidence.
As the NYT reported today, the Alabama TV station in question is managed by Robert M. Bass, who along with his brothers has contributed thousands to the Bush administration over the years. The station was also thoroughly hostile to Don Siegelman throughout the Justice Department's multi-year assault on his office.
The CBS connection had been fine before the 60 Minutes program aired. It broke off just as the program was going on.
The economy may be looking browbeaten these days, but at least one sector is still thriving: the lobbying industry. According to this week's report by The Hill, last year, the 25 biggest lobbyist firms reported across-the-board increases in revenue--a 9% jump. Topping the charts was Patton Boggs, which broke new earnings records at $42.7 million.
"2006 was the worst time," Van Scoyoc and Cassidy CEO Gregg Hartley explained to Roll Call yesterday: "With so much controversy, a lot of people were backing off the playing field." Yet now, says Hartley, the new lobbyist rules are clear. "This has been a good year, and we would anticipate that appropriations will always be a good, strong, healthy part of our business," he says.
(So far not for everyone, though. In a rather embarrassing move for the lobbying industry--which likes to preserve the delicate appearance of not wielding direct influence over Congress--the National Association of Home Builders recently announced it was freezing its PAC contributions to lawmakers until they came to the aid of the housing sector.)
If you value your sanity, never, ever, ever listen to GOP blowhards like Tom Coburn and Lindsey Graham discourse at length on Iraq. The arguments are so transparently ad hoc, disingenuous and overdetermined they'll make your head explode. (Sample line from Lindsey Graham: "This is the most successful counter-insurgency operation in the history of the world!")
Kevin Drum sums up the pro-surge argument smartly with this line: "I guess the surge is working so well that we have to keep it up forever."
Attorney General Michael Mukasey wants us all to be crystal-clear here. The early release of 1,500 prisoners convicted on crack-cocaine charges recommended by the US Sentencing Commission last November is a Very Bad Idea.
After all, as he told the Fraternal Order of Police yesterday, "These offenders are often violent criminals who are likely to repeat their criminal activities." Moreover, Mukasey as noted, "Nearly 80 percent of those eligible [for release]... have a prior criminal record." (Well, yes--after all, they're in prison. Okay, but poor wording aside, given that a "prior criminal record" can span anything from trespassing to turnstile jumping charges, this is not a very tremble-worthy statement. And as the Washington Post noted last Friday, less than 5% of federal crack cases involve any violence.)
According to Mukasey, Congress should void the US Sentencing Commission's policy before it takes effect on March 3. Nevermind how the 100-to-1 crack-cocaine sentencing disparity has helped fill America's prisons with a 2.5 million population overwhelmingly poor and disproprotionately black. Or that, on top of the US Sentencing Commission's recommendations, the Supreme Court also ruled in December to restore sentencing discretion to judges.
Perhaps Nicholas Kristof put it best: Condoms don't cause sex any more than umbrellas cause rain. Yet this week as Congress gears up to reauthorize the President's program to fight global HIV/AIDS, U.S. funding continues to enshrine an emphasis on pre-marital abstinence thoroughly disconnected from facts on the ground.
In the words of one African reporter who questioned Bush last week during his trip to Africa, the U.S. requirement that one-third of AIDS funding promote such abstinence is a poor use of funds because frankly, "multiple sexual relationships or partner relationships is the reality" in many African societies. In fact, as an LA Times editorial put it on Thursday, often for African girls, marriage can mean a "death sentence," as they can't dictate their husbands' extramarital behavior or condom use.
While the White House's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS are certainly laudable, they also ignore the voluminous science (as well as reports from the Institute of Medicine and General Accounting Office) that indicates the White House's strong focus on abstinence hobbles more effective tools--like condom promotion--which combat HIV.
Jacob Hacker wades into the great mandate debate this morning in the LA Times. He argues that the sturm und drang over mandates is overblown:
Still, I do not believe that the individual mandate is essential to healthcare reform, as its supporters suggest. That's because Obama and Clinton have rightly rejected reform based on the individual purchase of insurance, choosing instead to allow most people to obtain subsidized coverage through their employers. By emphasizing the individual mandate, Clinton is shifting attention from this fundamental and popular feature of her (and Obama's) approach and actually may be hurting the cause she cares so deeply about.
The cornerstone of both Clinton's and Obama's plans is the same: Employers must provide coverage to their workers or enroll them in a new, publicly overseen insurance pool. People in this pool could choose either a public plan modeled after Medicare or from regulated private plans. Both candidates have promised help for middle- and lower-income Americans, and both have said they will cut costs through administrative streamlining, prevention and quality improvement.
While over its tenure, the Bush administration has increased baseline military spending by 30% to fight a global "war on terror," this month with the release of the President's last budget, Bush delivered a final, parting blow to 9/11 victims of terror at home.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the cost of treating sick ground zero workers has reached $195 million a year, a cost likely to expand. Nevertheless, Bush's proposed budget cuts 2009 funding for 9/11 healthcare to $25 million--a 77% drop from the previous year's appropriations.
Meanwhile this December, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt eliminated plans for the center that would treat the 10,000-plus First Responders suffering health problems as the result of their service after the attacks.