TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.
This week, President Obama dined with Congressional Republicans to wheel-and-deal on policy and budget priorities. Are Republicans getting served? Or vice versa? President Obama has “harkened back to an older kind of politics,” The Nation’s John Nichols says, “and that is where strong presidents, who have a mandate—and this president does have an electoral mandate—reach around the leadership of the opposition party into its ranks.” Nichols joins The Ed Show to debate the nuts and bolts of the partisan squabble.
Is it possible to change a broken system from within? Katrina vanden Heuvel analyzes the Democrats’ new mobilization plan.
“Too much of the media has been focused on the Washington blame game,” Nation editor-in-chief Katrina vanden Heuvel says, “and women and children’s voices have been absent from so many of the conversations.” Speaking on To The Contrary, vanden Heuvel sheds light on the panoply of programs integral to women’s lives that are getting the axe.
The Republican Party is trying its hardest to attract women voters, quips Tom Tomorrow.
Dennis Rodman, the tattooed NBA Hall of Famer, just paid a visit to North Korea—and no, that’s not an Onion headline. What does this mean for US–North Korean relations? “It’s a dangerous moment,” The Nation’s Dave Zirin says, “so if Dennis Rodman, with his clownish antics, or what have you, can even provide the slightest speck of daylight where we’re talking about this country in terms other than demonizing them, he has actually done more than a lot of diplomats have.” Zirin joins ESPN’s Outside the Lines to discuss the meaning and precedent of Rodman’s visit.
Another basketballer, Royce White, is becoming an ambassador for mental health, in sports and the world over. Read Dave Zirin’s interview.
After Mitt Romney blamed his election loss on poor messaging and a failure to connect with minority voters, Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on MSNBC’s The Ed Show to note that it was “Mr. 47 Percent’s” bad policies that failed to resonate.
“If you talk about ‘self-deportation’ as the answer to our immigration policy, I don’t think you’re going to connect well with Latinos in this country,” she said.
Vanden Heuvel added that in the wake of the presidential loss, the GOP should instead be revising the content of its policies so the country can have the “real Republican party” it needs.
The newly proposed financial transactions tax is a good idea whose time has come, Katrina vanden Heuvel writes.
Congress’s budgetary mess is “stoked by a group of players who operate within the Republican Party,” The Nation’s John Nichols says. “What we desperately need right now is, frankly, a Ronald Reagan or a Barry Goldwater or a William F. Buckley—somebody who will stand up to the irrational section of that party.” Nichols joins Hardball with Chris Matthews to forecast the showdown between the Obama administration and the Party of Boehner.
Who’s liable to be hit the hardest by so-called sequestration? Check out Greg Kaufmann’s “This Week in Poverty.”
When Boeing workers struck in 2011, The Nation’s Josh Eidelson says, he went to Washington state to bring forward “the part of the story that was about people’s work and people’s resistance. That, whether you agree with the workers or not, really should be part of the conversation. We shouldn’t only be hearing from Newt Gingrich about this.” In an interview with The Billfold’s Logan Sachon, Eidelson discusses his transition from labor organizer to labor journalist, the media’s treatment of labor and the range of worker struggles happening now.
Read Dave Zirin’s take on the NFL’s questionable labor relations—which, most recently, involve unfairly interrogating players about their sexuality.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires districts with a history of disenfranchising people of color to get federal approval before changing their voting procedures, is currently under review by the Supreme Court. As Nation writer Ari Berman argues, the petition against Section 5 is part of a growing movement to suppress the minority vote. “You’ve had a concerted effort to pour a lot of money into groups whose express goal and purpose is to challenge laws like the Voting Rights Act,” he says. Appearing on Washington Journal, Berman goes head-to-head with the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky to debate how far the United States has come since 1965.
Read Ari Berman's report on the Supreme Court's review of Section 5.
On Friday, $85 billion in Congressional spending cuts, aka “the sequestration,” are set to take effect. As Nation writer John Nichols says, the austerity-mongers “are advocating for zombie ideas—ideas that have been slain by the voters, and frankly even by Congress, and yet they walk among us.” Nichols joins Democracy Now! to discuss the impending crisis and the billionaires driving it.
Where’s President Obama to beat back the billionaires? Read John Nichols’s take.
Bahrain feels like a “nation under occupation” following the second anniversary of the start of the uprising there, as mercenary police hassle drivers at checkpoints and fill the air with tear gas, reports Sharif Abdel Kouddous, a fellow at the Nation Institute.
After a policeman shot and killed a teenager at close range last week, thousands of people attended his funeral, chanting “Down with Hamad,” the country’s US-backed ruler, and “I’m the next martyr,” he told Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!
Sharif Abdel Kouddous discusses the recent unrest in Bahrain in his upcoming article for The Nation, “Scenes from a Bahraini Burial.”
Sports Illustrated, the half-century-old magazine of record for long-form sports readers, rarely writes book reviews. Nation sports editor Dave Zirin’s new book, Game Over, recently caught SI’s attention. Here’s the review, written by Ben Reiter:
Dave Zirin is passionate about sports—he really is. As a boy he spent hours outside Shea Stadium, begging Mets such as Ron Darling, Kevin Mitchell and Mookie Wilson for autographs until, as he writes, “my baseball glove had more names on it than the cast on a third grader’s broken arm.” So it is out of love that Zirin, sports editor for The Nation and the host of the weekly Sirius XM show Edge of Sports Radio, sets out to diagnose the sicknesses in modern sports. In the nine wide-ranging essays comprising his lively new collection, Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, Zirin argues that sports have become politics by other means, at once reflecting such societal ills as racism, sexism and vastly unbalanced power dynamics and contributing to those ills.
Zirin focuses his arguments on a variety of culprits: rapacious team owners who squeeze corporate welfare out of municipalities, then price taxpayers out of the billion-dollar palaces they have paid to build; international sporting events that rarely deliver the long-term benefits they promise to the cities and countries that host them; and, of course, the NCAA. Some of this might sound eye-glazing, but Zirin’s witty prose and righteous indignation captivates and entertains throughout.
In Zirin’s view, there is reason for hope in the new generation of athletes who have rejected their predecessors’ cynical apoliticism to become engaged in a way that is reminiscent of their outspoken forebears of nearly half a century ago. Zirin sees some John Carlos—who famously raised a gloved fist alongside teammate Tommie Smith on the podium at the 1968 Olympics and to whom the book is dedicated—in such current stars as LeBron James, who demanded justice for Trayvon Martin. (James posted to his Twitter account a photo of himself and his teammates wearing hooded sweatshirts in solidarity with the murdered Florida teenager.) Some of the connections the author draws, such as between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the NFL and NBA lockouts, might seem a stretch. But it’s all provocative, and it will make you think about what we’re really seeing when we watch the games we love.
Check out Dave Zirin’s spot on Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell.