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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Are Campaigns to Raise the Minimum Wage Really ‘Recruitment Ground for Fascism’?

Mitch McConnell at press briefing

In late August, The Nation published exclusive audio from a secretive summer retreat for billionaire Republican donors organized by the Koch brothers. In the audio, released by Lauren Windsor of The Undercurrent, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tells those assembled that he will do everything in his power to block government spending on “healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board.”

In additional audio from the retreat, top Koch strategist Richard Fink describes the minimum wage as “the recruitment ground for fascism,” and compares liberals to groups ranging from the Nazi Party to modern-day suicide bombers. So yesterday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brought The Nation and The Undercurrent’s reporting to the Senate floor by asking McConnell to denounce Fink’s inflammatory remarks. Later in the afternoon at a press briefing, Windsor again asked McConnell to comment on the Fink recording. McConnell turned away without answering, moving on to the next question.

—Naomi Gordon-Loebl

Stephen Cohen: ‘Europe Is Splintering Over the Ukrainian Crisis’

An pro-Russian separatist in front of damaged buildings following what locals say was shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

“The crisis has split Europe. It’s not quite a barricade, they’re not shouting at each other, but it’s clear that behind closed doors two European…points of view have emerged,” said Stephen Cohen, a contributing editor at The Nation, on The John Batchelor Show. “One is that this Ukrainian crisis shows a resurgent, revanchist, aggressive, imperialistic, soviet-like Russia headed by Putin and that Ukraine is only his first act of aggression—that he’s headed after this to the Baltics and elsewhere. The other Europe doesn’t see it that way at all; it sees it as conflicts of interest, as policies that got out of control that require compromise on both sides, Russia and Europe.”

Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro

Stephen Cohen: ‘Russia Will React Militarily’ if Ukraine Joins NATO

“By NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, [because it is] a country that does not control its own territory,” Nation contributing editor Stephen Cohen said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, addressing speculation that Ukraine will join NATO after it signed a cease-fire deal with pro-Russian rebels. Cohen went on: “You have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO. Ukraine meets none of them…. most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.”
—Aaron Cantú

Alison Lundergan Grimes: Secret Koch Conference Recording Is Mitch McConnell’s ‘47 Percent Moment’

Mitch McConnell

This week, The Nation obtained audio revealing Mitch McConnell’s plans to further hinder any impact that Obama could have in the remaining years of his term. During a secret strategy conference, McConnell said of the upcoming spending bill, “We will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board [inaudible]. All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.” CNN featured this audio yesterday, as well as McConnell’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes’s response: “I think Mitch McConnell got caught in his 47 percent Mitt Romney moment. I think it shows the extent and the lengths he will go to to pander to his party millionaires and billionaires at the expense of hurting Kentuckians.”
—Hannah Harris Green

Stephen Cohen: Kiev Intensifies Mortar Attacks in Eastern Ukraine

“The most I can boast is, I try hard to understand,” Nation contributing editor Stephen Cohen told Thom Hartmann yesterday in an interview about the latest from Ukraine. “There is so much misinformation, whether intended or unintended, coming out of Washington, particularly [out of] Kiev and out of Moscow that a person has to figure out what is true and what isn’t true.” What’s for sure, Cohen said, is that Kiev’s heavy weapons attack on two cities in eastern Ukraine has intensified.
— Alana de Hinojosa

Is Diplomacy Now Possible in Ukraine?

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Is Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko getting desperate? Despite Russian convoys to Ukraine’s conflict region, Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko agreed to meet Tuesday, August 27. However, those talks were distracted by Ukraine’s capturing of Russian paratroopers the day of. Listen here as Nation contributing editor and Russian historian Stephen Cohen discusses the latest on the John Batchelor Show.

Simon Davis-Cohen

The Most Important Political Figure in Europe Visits Kiev This Saturday

Angela Merkel

(Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)

“The most important political figure in Europe—I think it’s fair to say she is—is coming to Kiev, ” said Stephen Cohen on The John Batchelor Show this Tuesday. Cohen, contributing editor for The Nation and author of Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold Wars, and The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag after Stalin, is referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s upcoming visit with President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, which is scheduled for this Saturday. In debating whether Merkel’s position has or has not changed, Cohen asserted, “The fact that she’s going to Kiev is an enormous concession for Kiev. She is coming…but she wants something in return. I have to assume that what she wants in return is for Poroshenko to declare a cease-fire before something happens in the East.”
—Victoria Ford

America Can’t Control the World’s Destiny Anymore

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Morning Joe

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reports—perhaps unsurprisingly—that President Obama’s approval numbers are at an all-time low. With 60 percent of Americans polled disapproving of Obama’s foreign policy and another 71 percent believing America is “on the wrong track,” The Nation’s editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on Morning Joe to discuss “how we got here and how we can fix it” with political commentator Nicole Wallace, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, and political strategist Anita Dunn. Vanden Heuvel notes that this is not the first time Americans have lost faith in political institutions, especially when engaging in foreign affiars: “Americans want to engage with the world but they don’t want to listen to the armchair warriors.”
—Victoria Ford

The New Cold War Is Obama’s Rendezvous With Destiny

Obama

President Barack Obama delivers a speech at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

In his interview with Ian Masters, Nation contributing editor Stephen Cohen discusses the dangerous tensions between Washington and Moscow. Unlike other regional conflicts, Cohen states that the violence in Ukraine “is global…and the destiny of our children and grandchildren is playing out.” Cohen also critiques the Obama administrations lack of statesmanship and diplomacy: “This is [Obama’s] defining moment. This is what Roosevelt called his rendezvous with destiny and [Obama] seems to flee [his] destiny.” As the Washington hawks continue to take incremental action, Cohen asserts that we’re in the “worst American-Russian crisis since the Cuban missile confrontation.”
Crystal Kayiza

The Civil War Rages on in Eastern Ukraine

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Democracy Now!

The recent downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine has received a huge amount of attention from the press, but, according to Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, neither the mainstream media nor our government are adequately acknowledging the already violent atmosphere that surrounded the crash. On Democracy Now! this morning, vanden Heuvel explained that the tragedy should have presented an opportunity to end violence that she says has already escalated into civil war: “There should be a renewed effort, not to trigger more violence, but to trigger cease-fire, to trigger talks that could end the humanitarian catastrophe in the southeast of Ukraine.”
—Hannah Harris Green

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