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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

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

Ryan's Budget Should Be a Major Opportunity for Democrats

Congressional Republicans have pushed themselves into a corner with their support of Paul Ryan’s budget propoal that would dismantle Medicare. They are now begging for a lifeline—in the form of assistance from Democrats in their quest to cut Medicare.

It would be crazy for Democrats to support cutting the wildly succesful healthcare program, The Nation’s Ari Berman tells MSNBC’s Cenk Uygurt, especially since the unpopularity of Ryan's budget gives them leverage they haven't enjoyed for months. Berman also argues that the GOP’s attack on the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to direct the newly-founded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is rooted in the Republican's misplaced loyalties. The large bankers, payday lenders and mortgage brokers who have paid their dues in hefty GOP campaign contributions all want to avoid regulation, and the Republicans are helping them keep Warren out of their way.

—Sara Jerving

New Lethal Injection Drug Could Amount to Torturing Prisoners to Death

In response to a national shortage of sodium thiopental, a drug used in lethal injection, some death penalty states have decided to find new sources of the drug overseas. Other states have replaced it with a new drug that has not been properly vetted. These changes to the lethal injection process leave prisoners at risk of being tortured to death. Joining RT America yesterday, The Nation’s Liliana Segura explained that the experimental way these states have been putting inmates to death has had very grim consequences.

For more on the legal and ethical implications of the new lethal injection drug cocktail, read Segura's piece, "The Executioners Dilemma."

—Sara Jerving

Dave Zirin: Lance Armstrong's Supporters Will Stand With Him Through Drug Scandal

Three former teammates of Lance Armstrong have testified that they saw the seven-time Tour de France winner take performance-enhancing drugs. But The Nation’s Dave Zirin says on ESPN that this won’t tarnish the cyclist’s reputation with his core fanbase: the loyal following he’s built through his support for cancer research.

The intensity of the sport, Zirin says, drives many cyclists to use drugs to push their bodies to the limits. It’s a sport that desperately needs organization and labor protections, he says in his latest piece.

—Sara Jerving

John Nichols: Force Republicans to Vote for Their Medicare-Destroying Budget

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has a plan to make sure Republicans give up on the Paul Ryan budget. The budget is likely to lead to a "radical deconstruction of Medicare and Medicaid," The Nation's John Nichols said on The Ed Show last night, so forcing Republicans to vote on it is a smart move. The GOP has gotten itself "stuck between a Tea Party and a hard place" with Ryan's plan, so now is the time for Democrats to take the lead on the budget debate. 

—Kevin Gosztola

Jeremy Scahill: Why Is Robert Gates Downplaying Pakistan's Link to Osama bin Laden?

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that the Obama administration has no evidence that the Pakistani government knew Osama bin Laden was living within its borders.

But on MSNBC, The Nation's Jeremy Scahill asks why the administration is going to such lengths to downplay Pakistan’s involvement with the Al Qaeda leader? 

—Sara Jerving

Obama's Speech: Democracy in the Middle East Makes America Safe

President Barack Obama went into his Middle East speech today with unusually high domestic approval ratings. On MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts this morning, The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry argues that the speech was not only for Americans but also for people in the Middle East, where his poll numbers aren't so high. Prior to his speech, Harris-Perry says that Obama needs to "explain why the policies of his administration during the course of the Arab Spring did not cohere with the kind of hopeful discourse that he offered to the region earlier."

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

—Kevin Gosztola

Cornel West and Melissa Harris-Perry at Odds on Obama's Performance

In a recent interview by Chris Hedges at Truthdig, Princeton Professor Cornel West provided a blunt critique of Barack Obama, saying the president “lacks backbone.” Last night on The Ed Show, West further explains this statement saying that the president lacks backbone for “poor children, abused workers, those unfairly incarcerated, those middle class folks experiencing downward mobility and confronting the Wall Street Oligarchy and the corporate plutocrats.”

The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry responded, both on The Ed Show and in a piece called “Cornel West v. Barack Obama,” calling West’s assertions disingenuous and vague. She points to actions the president has taken to speak for America’s underrepresented such as his Supreme Court nominations and signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

—Sara Jerving

Jeremy Scahill: Inside Erik Prince's United Arab Emirates Mercenary Army

 Why is Blackwater founder Erik Prince building a mercenary army for the United Arab Emirates? The Nation's Jeremy Scahill thinks the contracted guns will be much less involved in maintaining the peace than they will in suppressing any dissent within the country.

Joining Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! this morning, Scahill explains that the main purpose of Prince's secret deal with the monarchy will be to crack down on any unrest from the country's massive guest worker population. Prince has also discussed covertly sending private military contractors into other countries in the region to confront any influence from Iran—a move that would only fan the flames of tension in the Middle East. 

 Check out Scahill’s full response to Prince's mercenary army and the implications it will have in the region.

 

Paul Ryan Aims to Rebrand His Medicare Plan, But Nobody's Buying It

After realizing his Medicare voucher plan was not sitting well with American voters, Representative Paul Ryan tried to re-brand his plan during a speech in Chicago earlier this week. By using phrases like “empowering Americans” and “guaranteed coverage options,” Ryan tried to conceal what’s at heart of his plan: increasing the power of private insurance companies to take advantage of seniors, a demographic not seen as profitable by the industry. The Nation’s John Nichols debunks this rhetoric and explains on The Ed Show that the American people are rejecting Ryan’s plan because Medicare is a widely popular and functional federal program.

—Sara Jerving

Mitch Daniels Targets Women's Health to Push Forward His Campaign

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, who is seen as one of the most likely GOP presidential candidates, made Indiana the first state to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood.

Only months ago, Daniels called on Republicans to lay aside social issues in order to focus on budget and spending issues. But he has attacked the nation's leading provider of women's reproductive health care to show conservatives driven by issues like abortion and gay marriage that he is on their side, The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry says on The Rachel Maddow Show. All that even though the state's funding never went to abortions to begin with. “The thing is, its not symbolic if you are the woman that can’t get the pap smear,” she says.

—Sara Jerving

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