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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

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

How Archaic Is US Education?

On the radio program Sound Off With Sasha, Nation writer and Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond diagnoses the ills of the US education system and its possible solutions. Darling-Hammond discusses her founding role in the School Redesign Network, a nationwide program that works to teach schools twenty-first-century skills and supports students through curriculum redesign and assessment. Channeling her article, "Restoring Our Schools," which appeared in the June 14, 2010, edition of The Nation, Darling-Hammond describes how the United States ranks fairly low in international assessments, due to its unequal structure and outdated philosophies. She says that the US needs to take a lesson from other countries and adopt more open-ended ways of testing students. "We are very stuck in this country on the 1950s multiple choice test. It’s not a multiple choice world out there."

Later in the program, Philissa Cramer, assistant editor of GothamSchools, a new independent news source for New York City public schools, talks about what skills are important for students in this new technological world. Drawing from her Nation article "Bright Ideas," Cramer says, "students know how to learn facts," and that educators should teach students how to use new technologies to learn what they don't know.

Go here to listen to the show.

—Melanie Breault

What Progressives Can Learn from Arkansas

Senator Blanche Lincoln’s narrow victory over Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in the Arkansas primaries has raised questions about the political fallout facing Democrats come November—most notably, a growing tension between labor unions and the White House. On The Ed Show, host Ed Schultz remarks there is “an appearance the White House doesn’t even respect labor." As Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, says, “no question the White House is divided.” But the Arkansas primary revealed a growing progressive movement and the need for progressives to continue building power.

“I think whoever said something about how labor lost—flushed money down the toilet in Arkansas drew all the wrong lessons,” says vanden Heuvel. “I think we saw in a very tight race a pro-corporate incumbent nearly got beat. And she became a kind of born-again populist as part of a movement of labor, of net roots activists, of community groups, of faith groups, of environmental groups.  And that is what we need to focus on.”

—Clarissa León

Memo to President: Do Not Trust BP

Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel appears on Real Time with Bill Maher with Andrew Sullivan, Van Jones, Judd Apatow and Paul Begala to discuss BP's latest talking points.

When Andrew Sullivan points out BP’s 760 OSHA violations (about 38 times that of other oil companies combined) vanden Heuvel agrees BP’s numerous violations puts the corporation in a class of its own. It’s clear that the government must be the ones to regulate the oil corporations and not vice versa.

“I hope the president understands you cannot trust an oil operation to run this operation,” she says.  “It’s like putting Dick Cheney in charge of human rights.”

—Clarissa León

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Real Time with Bill Maher

The Nation's Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel will be on the media roundtable on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night. The program airs on HBO live on Friday at 10PM ET, and re-runs on HBO throughout the next week. Katrina will be joined on the panel by filmmaker Judd Apatow, Green Jobs advocate Van Jones and The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan. This week's topics: the spill in the Gulf, the Flotilla to Gaza, John McCain's primary, Sarah Palin's neighbor and the Gores. This is vanden Heuvel's first appearance on the program - we'll have video highlights next week. 

BP's Last Days?

As the BP oil spill marks its 44th day, the likelihood that BP could rebound from the disaster lessens with every passing day.  When BP admitted that their “Top Kill” solution failed, BP’s stock price in Britain plummeted, taking the biggest one-day drop in 18 years. In the U.S., BP stock fell 15 percent. Along with BP’s abysmal stock prices, the company could be fined for gross negligence from the EPA, and at $4,300 a barrel, that could cost the company nearly $10.7 billion.

Nation Washington Editor Christopher Hayes appears on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss BP’s future. Hayes argues that the total fine BP faces could be even larger, as “everyone who has an injury that can plausibly be connected to what [BP] did” could file tort common law claims against the company.

But much like in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill, ongoing litigation—and the nature of the EPA and the government—may delay payments for years. “[The next] administration might choose not to pursue the maximum amount of fines,” says Hayes. “So, nothing is guaranteed about what they‘ll end up having to pay.”

—Clarissa León

Ayn Rand: I Am the Greatest

Corey Robin, author of the recent Nation article “Garbage and Gravitas,” discusses Ayn Rand’s philosophy and compares her writing to “kitsch”—a second rate product that tries to pass itself off as high culture. Unlike other noted philosophers, Rand was “ultimately interested in selling herself” and often touted herself as the most brilliant thinker since Aristotle.

—Clarissa León

BP Oil Spill: A Big Bummer

On May 21, Rand Paul said that the White House was putting unnecessary blame on BP for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. “It’s part of this sort of blame game society,” Paul says. “It’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen.” On GritTV, Washington Editor of The Nation Christopher Hayes explains why he loves this quote.

“He’s defending BP, which is the worst kind of crony-capitalist enterprise,” Hayes says. “He articulates incredibly succinctly what has been the dominant ethos of the elite’s lack of accountability of the whole past decade.” Hayes gives the examples of Iraq, the inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis and now the BP oil spill and the Massey mining tragedy. “The elites keep telling us that it’s just kind of a big bummer, it’s just an accident,” Hayes says.

—Morgan Ashenfelter

GOP at a Crossroads

On his show today, Ed Schultz says the Republican Party is at an ideological crossroads, and he asks Nation Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel whether the Republican Party will embrace or run away from Rand Paul. Vanden Heuvel says there are people in the Republican Party and the Tea Party who share Paul’s views, and though it isn’t clear yet which direction the party will go, it has a tricky decision to make. “When Mr. Rove sticks his head into it you know they are anxious about a candidate like Rand Paul imploding,” Vanden Heuvel says.

Vanden Heuvel also agrees with Schultz when he admits that he doesn’t see Republicans scoring big pick-ups in the mid-term elections. However, Vanden Heuvel believes both organizing on the ground and enthusiasm from the White House will be critical for Democrats going forward. “I think this White House needs to show that maybe they can’t produce the jobs by November, but they are on the road showing the political will that they understand they need to put millions of people back to work.”

—Morgan Ashenfelter

Big Oil's Free Market Friends

Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul put in his two cents about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last week, saying that in trying to hold BP accountable for the spill, President Obama has been "un-American in his criticism of business." After all, Paul says, "sometimes accidents happen."

As guest host of The Rachel Maddow Show, Nation DC Editor Christopher Hayes invites Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight to discuss why the libertarian Paul is coming to the defense of "one of the most corrupt examples of crony capitalism we have in this country." If the "very idea of government subsidies runs counter to the libertarian governing philosophy," is "the oil and gas industry—this enormous recipient of government largesse" really the most worthy recipient of Paul's free market defense?

—Francis Reynolds

Arizona's Agenda of Hate

Emails obtained by a Phoenix news station reveal that Republican Arizona Senator Russell Pearce—architect of the controversial SB-1070 immigration enforcement law—intends to introduce new legislation that would "refuse to accept or issue a birth certificate that recognizes citizenship to those born to illegal aliens, unless one parent is a citizen." Such a move would essentially repeal the 14th amendment in Arizona.

As guest host of The Rachel Maddow Show, Nation DC Editor Chris Hayes speaks with Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva about the ongoing assault on civil liberties in his state and the firmer stand Democrats should be taking against such legislation. Grijalva says that Pearce's agenda is one of "hatred" and that "if people don't want to believe the fact that what he's doing is racially motivated and racially based, they're missing the whole point."

—Francis Reynolds

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