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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

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

Jeremy Scahill: Al-Shabab's Deadly Bomb Blast in Somalia

Over 70 soldiers and students were killed yesterday in a bomb blast in Mogadishu. The militant group al-Shabab took responsibility for the attack, refuting previous claims by the Somali government and African Union that the terrorist organization had been eradicated from the nation's capital. The bombing marks al-Shabab's most lethal attack since the launch of their insurgency in 2007, and the group may soon cause even more destruction; the international community additionally blames the group for fomenting Somalia's devastating famine by refusing Western aid, jeopardizing up to a million Somali lives.

In a conversation this morning with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, The Nation's Jeremy Scahill explains how yesterday's bombing fits into the history of terrorism in Somalia. Scahill argues that al-Shabab is the direct product of America's short-sighted and invasive foreign policy—and that American involvement in Somalia tends to benefit the very radical groups it attempts to defeat. You can read more of Jeremy's coverage on Somalia here and here.

—Teresa Cotsirilos

Ari Berman on the GOP's War on Voting

Since the 2010 election, thirty-four states have introduced and twelve have passed legislation that sets out to impede voters’ rights at nearly every step of the electoral process. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, an independent public policy research center, the legislation in these different states could affect the voting rights of more than 5 million people. That number is higher than the margin of victory in two of the past three presidential elections. The restrictions in the legislation—requirement for proof of citizenship and government-issued photo ID, repealing election day registration, suspension of voter registration drives, shrinkage of early voting period, disfranchising former convicts who have served their time—will have an impact “most heavily on young, minority and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice. 

The Nation’s Ari Berman sat down with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! today to explain the steps and consequences of these moves and the GOP’s systemic disfranchising effort to prevent voters from voting across the country. Berman points out that Republican officials and the pro-corporation conservative organization ALEC are behind these voter-repression drives.

 —Jin Zhao

John Nichols: Don't Shut Down the Human Face of Government

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The US Postal Service (USPS) is nearing default, and many of its workers are taking to the streets. Two days ago, postal workers staged nearly 500 rallies throughout the nation to protest newly-proposed Republican legislation—which, if passed, would gut services and cut up to 120,000 jobs.

This week on The Ed Show, the Nation's John Nichols took on the controversial bill, arguing that it could eventually lead to the privatization of mail service. This would have a significant detrimental effect on everything from local journalism to voting rights—and Obama is doing little to stop it.

Teresa Cotsirilos

Katrina vanden Huevel on NPR's Talk of the Nation: What happened to the political left?

Americans are suffering the worst economic crisis and the most serious disparity between rich and poor since the 1930s. Different from the 1930s when the liberals triumphed, today we see a strong conservative movement that has mobilized many frustrated citizens to act against their own interest. We are compelled to stop and ask: What happened that has led to the conservatives' dominance in the political debate in the country at a time of crisis? What happened to the political left?

These are the questions asked yesterday on NPR's Talk of the Nation. The Nation's editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel joined host Neal Conan and Michael Kazin on the show to explore the organizing strategies on both sides and what leftist activists need to do to gain a stronger voice and organize for substantial changes to our system. Vanden Heuvel argues that the leftist movement must gain strength and insights from its populist tradition and be serious about the problem of media's lack of coverage of activism on the left.

Jin Zhao

Liliana Segura On Troy Davis: Death Penalty "Condemns Innocent People To Die"

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It has been five days since Troy Davis's harrowing execution, and the American conversation surrounding the death penalty has subtly—but noticeably—been revived. Yesterday, the Nation's Liliana Segura paid a visit to Up With Chris Hayes to discuss the specifics of Davis's case, and whether or not the controversy surrounding it could spur a permanent paradigm shift in American culture.

-Teresa Cotsirilos

Dave Zirin: Tim Tebow and the NFL's Political Hypocrisy

Does it matter what political position an athlete takes for the action to be accepted by the media and public? What's wrong with an athlete like Tim Tebow speaking his mind and just "trying to be a role model"? The problem is not that sports and politics don't mix, The Nation's Dave Zirin argues, but that league owners only allow certain types of politics to mix with sports.

On yesterday's Outside the Lines on ESPN, Zirin points out the hypocrisy in sports when it comes to athletes' political expression. Tim Tebow was allowed to run a right-wing commercial during the Super Bowl precisely because his politics complied with the conservative positions of the NFL, Zirin argues. This hypocrisy in sports is apparent when athletes who voice liberal opinions get silenced or lose endorsement deals. "That's what troubles me," says Zirin. 

 — Jin Zhao

No Justice for Troy Davis

The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia on the night of September 21 made him the 1,269th person executed in the US since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on the death penalty in 1976. Though Davis's case may be unique, it forces us to reexamine the cruelty and injustice that haunts our legal system.

The Nation's associate editor Liliana Segura joined Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Current TV last night to explain why Davis's execution should change the way we conceptualize the death penalty, law and justice. Davis put a human face on the cruelty of the death penalty, reminding us that we are not far removed from the times of lynching, Segura argues. In addition, she points out the racial bias and financial injustice that can affect death penalty sentencing. "Capital punishment... the person who doesn't have the capital gets the punishment," as Segura paraphrases some of her activist friends. "That pretty much sums it up."

Jin Zhao

Katrina vanden Heuvel: With Combative Deficit Plan, Obama Is 'Picking The Right Fights'

Looks like Warren Buffet isn't the only billionaire with a social conscience. Yesterday, entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called on America's richest citizens to pay their taxes, stating on his blog that contributing to the social fund is "the most patriotic thing you can do." Cuban's post comes on the heels of Obama's "combative" deficit reduction speech, which includes a "Buffett Rule" tax on American millionaires and billionaires.

The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel praised Obama's shift in strategy on The Ed Show last night, adding that "the majority of Americans are on his side." 

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—Teresa Cotsirilos

Melissa Harris-Perry on Troy Davis: 'There's Simply Too Much Doubt'

Troy Davis was denied clemency this morning by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and is set to be executed by lethal injection at 7pm ET tomorrow night. The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry says on her Sound Off  segment on MSNBC today that "although closure is important, it is insufficient as a basis for taking the life of someone when there's simply too much doubt."

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 —Jin Zhao

Nancy Pelosi: GOP's 'Let Him Die' Moment Was 'Heartbreaking'

Representative and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Nation Editor at Large Chris Hayes's debut of his new political commentary show, Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC this Saturday, September 17. During one part in last week's GOP Tea Party debate, the crowd went wild when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked whether an uninsured man in dire need of medical care should be left to die. For Pelosi, "That demonstration was heart-breaking." 

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Jin Zhao

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