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Christopher Hayes | The Nation

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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

The Racialized Response to Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman

After making a career-defining play that sent his team to the Superbowl, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman launched into a spirited on-camera rant against ‘49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. The clip has since gone viral, and Chris Hayes spoke with Nation writer Dave Zirin, commentator Tara Dowdell and former-NFL player Roman Oben about the racialized response to Sherman’s diatribe. As Zirin pointed out, “It’s a racial Rorschach test by so many in politics who want free speech and want people to be passionate, but only certain people.”
—Allegra Kirkland

Is the Tea Party Losing Steam? Last Night’s Election Results Say Yes

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During coverage of last night’s elections, MSNBC host and Nation editor-at-large Chris Hayes contrasted Tuesday’s results with the off-year elections of four years prior. While GOP wins in 2009 predicted a forthcoming House takeover, last night’s results don’t point to “the same kind of prophecy,” Hayes observed. He was later joined by colleagues Alex Wagner and Steve Kornacki to talk Chris Christie’s re-election and what it means for the New Jersey governor’s almost inevitable 2016 run for president.

—Steven Hsieh

The Costs of the Shutdown

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One day into the government shutdown—despite emerging fissures within the GOP and widespread public opposition to their strategy—House Republicans continue to hold the federal government hostage in their attempt to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Fox News has ramped up their spin machine, calling the crisis a “slimdown.” Meanwhile 72 percent of Americans oppose a government shutdown to block the Affordable Care Act.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes documents the human cost of the Republican’s intransigence and the growing frustration within the GOP to the Tea Party caucas’ political unteneble position.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

The Republican Ransom Note

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On October 17, the US government will no longer be able to fund itself. In order to meet the spending obligations that Congress has already debated and appropriated, House Republicans will have to agree to raise the debt ceiling. Though every partisan and policy-maker agrees that the failure to meet debt obligations would be catastrophic, Republicans, once again, are holding the economy hostage by tying the vote to a series of conservative legislative principles.

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This week, House Republicans leaked their demands—the ransom note includes, among other things, a one year delay to the Affordable Care Act, progress on the Keystone pipeline and tax reform measures based on Paul Ryan budget. As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes notes, “Republicans are blackmailing the American people with the agenda that lost the last presidential election by 3.5 million votes.”

—Jake Scobey-Thal

The False Choice Between Military Action and Moral Complacency

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Last night President Obama gave a speech outlining the administration’s policy towards Syria. Obama not only made the case for intervention, but also, as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes notes, “attempted to articulate a vision of America’s role in the world.” The speech came just one day after Russian officials expressed support for a potential diplomatic solution that would require the Assad regime to relinquish all remaining chemical weapons caches, opening the door for an alternative to military action.

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Hayes spoke with Katrina vanden Heuvel, Nation editor and publisher, and Joy Reid, managing editor of theGrio.com, about whether a war-weary public would accept Obama’s moral argument and the renewed possibility of a negotiated settlement.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Chris Hayes Comes Out Against Military Action in Syria

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With the president now seeking congressional approval for punitive attacks on Assad, lawmakers can no longer posture—they must now cast a vote.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes addresses where he stands on airstrikes in Syria, explaining why he thinks military action would be destructive and ineffectual, and outlining a range of “concrete things we can do that don't involve missiles.”

—Jake Scobey-Thal  

Take Action: Demand Your Reps Vote No on Military Intervention in Syria

Is Detroit’s Bankruptcy Filing Unconstitutional?

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Bond holders are at odds with municipal workers over who will bear the brunt of Detroit’s bankruptcy. Yesterday, unions and two public pension funds that represent City workers and retirees submitted formal objections to Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, arguing that emergency manager Kevin Orr is miscalculating how much the City’s pension obligations are underfunded.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is joined by Lee Saunders, president of the AFSCME union, and Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, to respond to the right-wing caricature of Detroit’s demise and debate whether the City’s effort to defund pension plans is unconsitutional.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Bankruptcy court is not a democracy.

The Real Politics of Power


Solar panels are seen at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 1, 2008. (Reuters/Steve Marcus)

Editor’s note: The following is in response to Wen Stephenson’s post, “Dear Chris: Good Job. Now Let’s Get Real.

I don’t really disagree with your point, Wen, which is that we didn’t emphasize the full scope and depth of the problem and scope and depth of the solution. We let people off too easy, we painted too encouraging and rosy a picture. But that was a choice, and one I still stand behind. There are different aspects of the climate story one can choose to emphasize and different tones to strike, partly depending on the audience or the specific set of facts involved or, as in this case, one’s own judgment about how to best penetrate the reflexive shell of indifference and hopelessness that even the most conscientious people have erected between themselves and the problem.

Some think that doubling down on the severity of the crisis—its world-historical size and importance—will break through, but I know that I find myself retreating even further from that kind of storytelling. It is very, very easy to look at the facts as they stand now and conclude that we are screwed. And, perversely, the right has begun to very ably use this in their own rhetoric. Albert Hirschman once divided reactionary arguments into three categories: perversity, futility and jeopardy. We are now seeing the right pivot from arguments that emphasized perversity and jeopardy to sheer futility. I hear it all time: “OK, even if we act, isn’t it too late? Won’t China and India just keep pumping carbon into the atmosphere?” Etc.

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So I strongly believe that it is extremely important to convince people that the problem is, in fact, solvable. Our record of environmental regulation of pollution, in fact, shows that very often the eventual cost is far, far less than was originally estimated. Human ingenuity is an incredible thing! So if you picked up a certain upbeat undercurrent in the show, you weren’t wrong. I happen to think the problem, as big and terrifying as it is, really is solvable and really will be solved. And I think it’s doubly important to let people know that so as to engender the level of investment and action we need to make sure that hopeful future is ours.

Read Wen Stephenson’s original post to Chris Hayes, “Dear Chris: Good Job. Now Let’s Get Real.

The Real Story Behind 'Orange is the New Black'

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The US criminal justice system disproportionately incarcerates individuals from disadvantaged communities, particularly people of color. For privileged Americans, this system is often an afterthought—prison is for other people. Netflix’s new hit show Orange is the New Black aims to address what happens when these two worlds collide. The show, which is based on a true story, chronicles the travails of Piper Chapman, an upper-class white women, as she spends a year in federal prison.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is joined by Piper Kerman, the author of the memoir on which the show is based, to discuss the unequal application of criminal justice, as well as Kerman’s year in prison and the women with whom she spent it.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Salamishah Tillet on how the show seeks to challenge the racial stereotypes of women of color.

Justice Department Goes After Texas’s Discriminatory Voting Laws

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After the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, conservative legislatures from North Carolina to Texas rejoiced by enacting a range of discriminatory measures. But was it too early to celebrate? This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would be using Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act—a section that remains intact after the Supreme Court’s decision—to ask a federal court in Texas to subject the state to a pre-clearance regime whenever the state tries to change voting laws and practices.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is joined by Congressman Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Julie Fernandes, senior policy analyst with Open Society Institute, to try to figure out what the federal government can do to combat Texas’ new voter suppression laws.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Ari Berman on the country’s worst voting law yet.

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