TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.
What nearly 2,000 recently-leaked Haiti-related diplomatic cables reveal are efforts by the US government to micromanage the Caribbean nation in a way that benefits US—not Haitian—interests. The Nation is partnering with the Haitian newspaper Haïti Liberté for a series of reports on the influence the US Embassy wielded over the nation over a period of nearly seven years—from ten months before the 2004 coup d’etat to just after the 2010 earthquake.
The Nation’s Dan Coughlin joined Democracy Now! along with Haïti Liberté reporter Kim Ives this morning to discuss the first exposé in the series, which outlines US attempts—in concert with Exxon Mobile and Chevron—to halt an oil agreement between Haiti and Venezuela that would save the Haitian government $100 million per year—ten percent of the government’s budget.
Check back on Wednesday for the next story in the series on TheNation.com.
In the National Football League lockout hearings, the deadlock continues as players are now betting they can win in the courts while owners threaten to shut everything down so they can get what they want.
On MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show, Nation contributor Dave Zirin finds the biggest problem to be the absence of trust between the players and owners. He highlights a couple of quotes from players like the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu, who says the players' fight is really one against Big Business, and the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees, who says, "We don't trust the owners because they lie to us."
As drug-related violence steadily increases in Mexico, it has reached parts of the country it hadn’t before—affluent, formerly stable cities like Monterrey. In the past, local politicians would broker deals with drug cartels in order to keep a lid on the violence. This system has since ruptured, and in response the government has sent in the military to clamp down on the violence. The Nation’s Nik Steinberg joined WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show to talk about his latest piece on the monster that has manifested from this decision and the military abuses that have followed in its wake.
The US’s role is multifaceted. Seven years ago the US ban on assault weapons expired, fostering a steady cross-border weapons trade. The Mexican government says that in the past four years it has recovered some 60,000 guns traceable to dealers in the US.
“Both the supply of heavy weapons coming from the US and the demand for the drugs going to the US is a key element in the drug war in Mexico,” Steinberg says. “Without either of those elements, it's hard to imagine Mexico as violent as it is now.”
Pop singer Rihanna has released a new music video called "Man Down" that depicts the singer shooting and killing a young man that had sexually assaulted her. The Parents' Television Council is outraged.
The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry, in her Thursday MSNBC "Soundoff" segment, addresses the question of whether female pop stars have a cultural responsibility to empower young women in this complicated world. Harris-Perry says she can see how the video shows women they shouldn't stand for domestic violence, but we live in a world where violence against young men is also a significant problem. The video is an opportunity, Harris-Perry explains, to think hard about how and when we should protect our kids from violent, sexual and graphic imagery.
Three more Wisconsin Republican state senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker's anti-labor bill have been approved by the Government Accountability Board to face recall elections. At this point, recall efforts against Democratic and Republican state senators are under way, but The Nation's John Nichols on The Ed Show makes a key distinction. The petitions to recall Republican state senators were gathered through grassroots campaigning. Petitions gathered to recall Democratic state senators, on the other hand, were collected by out-of-state people who may have used fraudulent methods.
As a new round of college students graduate this spring, the job market remains bleak and student loan burdens have risen to overwhelming levels. Against this backdrop, The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry says in her MSNBC "Soundoff" segment that young people face a choice: they can either accept menial yet steady jobs that will hardly make a dent in their student loans, or they can use the bad economy as an opportunity for unusual career paths, such as doing charitable work or engaging in entrepreneurship.
“Maybe its time now for them to start thinking about new job creation,” she says. “Remember 20 years ago when we started the internet boom? Twenty-somethings said, 'There’s nothing out there for me, so I’m going to make it myself.’”
This week, a Wisconsin judge ruled down Governor Scott Walker’s law that eliminates most collective bargaining rights of state employees. The ruling is now expected to be taken up by the state's Supreme Court.
But Walker hasn't been deterred. Beyond union-busting, Walker has continued with his quest to push through unpopular legislation, such as the state's new voter ID law, which The Nation’s John Nichols says on Democracy Now! is the most draconian law of its kind in the nation. It will be costly to implement and will discourage low-income Wisconsinites and senior citizens, who are less likely to have an ID, from going to the polls, he says.
But Walker isn't the only unpopular politician from Wisconsin. Representative Paul Ryan, now infamous for his disastrous bill that would dismantle Medicare, also hails from the Badger State. Nichols says Ryan is a symbol of a new kind of Republican extremism that Americans don’t buy into and will likely face a significant challenge in the next election.
New statistics on US crime released by the FBI reveal that crime has dropped significantly over the past few years while prison populations have exploded, putting huge strains on state budgets. On MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts this morning, The Nation's Melissa Harris-Perry says the statistics show a "precipitous drop" in the violent crime rate, but that does not mean that increased incarceration led to this drop. "Prisons don't create a lower crime rate," concludes Harris-Perry.
You can catch Melissa on MSNBC Live every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and noon.
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.
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."