Christopher Hayes | The Nation

Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

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

Savoring Small Victories in the Fight to Rein in Wall Street

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After Harry Reid’s threat to amend Senate rules broke the longstanding Republican filibuster, Richard Cordray was finally confirmed Tuesday as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB, which was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, regulates consumer financial products so that they work for ordinary Americans.

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was joined by the visionary of the bureau, Senator Elizabeth Warren, to celebrate Cordray’s confirmation and discuss what’s next in the fight to reign in Wall Street.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Why were the banks fighting against CFPB? Because it works.

Abortion Opponents' Underhanded Tactics

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On Sunday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a state budget that includes some of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures in the country. One day later—and just a week after the now famous Wendy Davis filibuster—the Texas state legislature kicked off their second special session, in which Republican lawmakers aim to pass their own legislation that would make Texas one of the hardest places in the country for women to get an abortion.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is joined by Texas State Senator Leticia van de Putte and Ohio-based columnist Connie Schultz to discuss the draconian tactics these legislatures have employed to bypass public debate and offer some friendly PR advice for the men that sign anti-abortion bills.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

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When it comes to abortion, Katrina vanden Heuvel is sick of being patronized.

In Defense of Rachel Jeantel

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George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin. As the last person to speak with Martin before his death, Rachel Jeantel took the stand this week as a key witness for the prosecution.

After a cross-examination in which the defense attempted to impugn Jeantel’s credibility, much of the court commentary devolved into crass and racialized barbs attacking her intelligence. But as Nation blogger Mychel Denzel Smith wrote yesterday, amid this tactical denigration, “Rachel stood and defended herself and Trayvon (and frankly, many other black youth) against the condescension, against silencing, and against the character attacks.”

Quoting Denzel Smith, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes defends Jeantel and takes her haters to task for their “willful” misunderstanding of a young, black woman’s vernacular.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Can Obama Reverse Climate Change—or Is it Too Late?

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In a speech that Al Gore described as “the best on climate by any president ever,” President Obama forcefully called for action to address man-made global warming. Refusing to wait for skeptics or be sidelined by industry special interests, the president outlined a series of executive actions aimed at curbing climate change. And it is about time. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes talks to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse about what has stunted the climate debate and why Republicans can’t accept that the EPA actually exists.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

Can Boehner Save Immigration Reform?

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While the immigration bill is getting bipartisan support in the Senate, the House is a different story. Yesterday, Representative Steve King led a six-hour press conference outside the Capitol steps to raise concerns about the pathway to citizenship. While right-wing intransigence is nothing new, these calls for obstruction from the Tea Party caucus are in conflict with more mainstream Rebulicans’ support for the bill. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes evaluates Speaker John Boehner’s options: kill the bill to appease his base; or bring it to the floor for the good of the party—and, more than likely, say goodbye to his speakership.

—Jake Scobey-Thal

The Two Faces of Marco Rubio

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On Tuesday, the immigration reform bill passed a crucial procedural hurdle. With the Senate set to begin formal debate on the bill, Chris Hayes explains why Marco Rubio continues to attach amendments that undermine his own legislation.  

—Jake Scobey-Thal 

The Pitfalls of Testing-Based Education

Atlanta's cheating scandal has gripped the nation, with 35 educators indicted Friday for raising their students' standardized test scores. But while the scandal should be investigated and dishonest teachers held to account, the overall picture is more complicated. On the first episode of his new primetime show on MSNBC, Chris Hayes also takes a critical look at the testing-obsessed education system that has created an incentive for this kind of cheating.

Speaking with a panel that includes Nation contributor and NYU education professor Pedro Noguera, Hayes discusses the nationwide practice of evaluating education mainly on the basis of test scores under George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama's Race to the Top laws. 

Alec Luhn

It's a been a big week for Nation contributors Chris Hayes and Katha Pollitt, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes.

The Real Problem With Brooklyn College's BDS Forum Was the Backlash

When Alan Dershowitz led the charge against a forum at Brooklyn College discussing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement as a counter to Israeli aggression in the occupied territories, the pile-on from both sides of the political spectrum was quick. New York politicians from Assemblyman Dov Hikind to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller John Liu all publicly called for the College’s Political Science department to drop its support for the forum. All the forum’s detractors took issue with the fact that the forum was unbalanced, and did not represent the spectrum of views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Brooklyn College’s president has since come out strongly in support of the panel’s value as an expression of free speech, and the forum will take place as scheduled on February 7. But as Chris Hayes explains in this clip, there was something disingenuous about the cries of imbalance in the first place. 

The Brooklyn College panel will feature Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, both of whom have written on BDS for The Nation.

Why Top Republicans Are Bailing on the Norquist Pledge

It turns out a deal with Grover Norquist isn’t exactly set in stone. During the past couple weeks, several top Republicans said they’d bail on the lobbyist's anti-tax pledge if it meant averting the so-called “fiscal cliff.” On Sunday's Up, Chris Hayes said the death of the “Norquist consensus” reflects the country's shift of opinion on taxes—as Americans, in general, pay their lowest rate since the ’80s. But Hayes says ending tax breaks for the richest Americans is only the first step to a more prosperous society. Eventually, he says, everyone should have to give more in exchange for better social programs.

Steven Hsieh

Lee Fang reports that just two billionaire-backed non-profits make up 66 percent of Grover Norquist's budget.

Our Unconditional Support of Israel Is Encouraging Terrorism in the Middle East

One of the stipulations in the Gaza cease-fire appears to be a loosening of Israel’s restrictions on the transfer of goods into the territory. On Sunday’s Up, Chris Hayes says this long-sought agreement could validate Hamas’s tactic of firing 1,500 rockets at Israel and killing six people. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s peaceful diplomacy efforts have been met with increased Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank. By refusing to condemn Israel's oppressive policy towards Palestine, Hayes says, “We in the US are creating the conditions in which terrorism…brings strategic benefits, while the path of nonviolence leads to a dead end.”

—Steven Hsieh

For more on Gazans' reaction to the ceasefire, read Sharif Abdel Kouddous's report from the ground.

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