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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

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

As Floodwaters Rage, Rural Areas Are Sacrificed to Spare Louisiana's Cities

What are the ethical implications of flooding communities in largely rural areas in order to save New Orleans and Baton Rouge from the rising waters? On MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts this morning, The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry says that just as soldiers are making sacrifices in wars abroad, rural residents are being asked to bear the brunt of the floods here at home. People in New Orleans need to acknowledge this great sacrifice and work to provide these communities with the health care, housing and education they will need to recover from the flooding.

You can catch Melissa on MSNBC Live every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and noon.

—Kevin Gosztola

Jeremy Scahill: Is Blackwater's Erik Prince Starting a Proxy War Against Iran?

The New York Times recently broke the story that Erik Prince, founder of the private military contractor Blackwater, is building a mercenary army in the United Arab Emirates. The army could be used by the oil-rich nation to quell future pro-democracy or labor protests, and balance Iran’s power in the region. Prince has ordered that none of the mercenaries hired be Muslim.

The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill, who has reported extensively on Blackwater, spoke on The Rachel Maddow Show last night about how this army could potentially set the scene for a proxy war against Iran. What's more, Reflex Responses, the new company Prince is forming in UAE, likely needs a license to undergo the training of these mercenary forces, and Prince's companies have been fined in the past for not obtaining one, he says.

Check out Scahill’s full response to the report on Prince.

—Sara Jerving

The Political Elites Have Strayed From the Will of the Majority

The current political system doesn’t allow for a full range of views, leaving us with a downsized politics that excludes many options that would help the majority of Americans. This is what The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel argues on CNN's In the Arena with Reason magazine's Nick Gillespie. The political polarization holding our nation hostage is less a result of the separation between Democrats and Republicans and more of a disconnect between the beltway and the rest of the country, she says.

Vanden Heuvel points to the unpopularity of Paul Ryan’s budget and the war in Afghanistan as two strong examples that clearly reveal that most Americans are not being represented by our government.

—Sara Jerving

Where are Newt Gingrich's Presidential Credentials?

In the wake of Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he will be running for president, The Nation’s Ari Melber calls him the most serious joke in the presidential race. Gingrich is not positioned to be a presidential candidate based on historical precedent; he resigned from the House of Representatives and has never won statewide office, held a cabinet position or served in the military. Every president elected in the 20th Century has had these credentials, Melber says on MSNBC’s The Last Word.

—Sara Jerving

Will Obama's High Approval Ratings Change the GOP Debate on the Debt?

With an approval rating as high as 60% in some polls, President Barack Obama is meeting with Republicans to discuss how to deal with the country's debt. The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry explains on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts this morning that, as a political science professor, this is an exciting moment for her. During her "Soundoff" segment, Harris-Perry says that the killing of Osama bin Laden means distress for the "out party," and that they may now want to go along with Obama and use the president's approval rating to "shield" them from criticism.

You can catch Melissa on MSNBC Live every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 12noon.

—Kevin Gosztola

Should the Public Be Able to See Osama bin Laden's Death Photos?

The decision to not release death photos of Osama bin Laden continues to spark debate. NPR and the Associated Press are pursuing a Freedom of Information Act request to get the photos released, and now the CIA might show the photos to “select lawmakers.” On The Ed Show on MSNBC on Tuesday night, The Nation’s John Nichols argues that “we don’t need our intelligence committee to be a priestly class," and that whatever lawmakers see, all Americans should be able to see. Nichols also finds it disrespectful to the Arab Muslim world to suggest that a release of the bin Laden death photos could spark anger in the Middle East.

—Kevin Gosztola

How Mississippi's Floods Highlight America's Inequality

National emergencies, such as the flooding in Mississippi, can reveal political inequalities, The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry argued on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts this morning. In her new "Soundoff" segment on the show, Harris-Perry explains that a community's ability to ride out a disaster depends on whether there are homes for people to go to, whether people earn living wages and have access to health care.

"Nobody asks if you're a Republican or a Democrat when they come to bring you the sandbags," Harris-Perry says, and disasters show how we as a people "need to work together in communities and as a government frankly." 

You can catch Melissa on MSNBC Live every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and 12noon.

—Kevin Gosztola

The GOP's Attack on Medicare Could Be Their Last Battle

A miscalculation, an overreach and a massively foolhardy and hubristic move is how The Nation's Chris Hayes described the GOP's attack on Medicare. On The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC last night, Hayes wondered what the GOP was thinking when they tried to take down one of this country's most popular public programs. "Killing" Medicare was not going to be passed by the Senate and was largely going to be a symbolic vote. But as Hayes says, "Now that vote is there just rotting on their lawn. And, they can't run away from the stench of it." 

—Kevin Gosztola

Torture Is Not a Partisan Issue

Using torture to extract intelligence is not only immoral but also extremely unreliable, and makes our troops vulnerable to reprisals. The bottom line is that torture violates international and domestic law, and by not holding masterminds such as Dick Cheney accountable, we have opened the door for torture to seem like a viable option in intelligence gathering. The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel joined MSNBC last night to debunk the myth that torture was what allowed to the US to find and kill Osama bin Laden.

—Sara Jerving

From Birth Certificates to bin Laden, Obama Rises Above the Partisan Noise

Last week was a good one for President Obama. As our national conversation quickly pivoted from Donald Trump’s fixation on the president's birth certificate to the death of Osama bin Laden, Obama was able to rise above the partisan noise and make his opponents look petty. On MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, The Nation’s Ari Berman talks about the president’s performance in the latest cluster of events, as well as the critical need now to discuss end games for Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

—Sara Jerving

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