TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.
Three of The Nation's leading writers are also making an impact on Twitter. A feature today from AOL/Politics Daily's Matt Lewis, The Top 25 Progressive Twitterers, featured DC Editor Christopher Hayes, Net Movement Correspondent Ari Melber and Editor & Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel. "If you're a political junkie," Lewis writes, "keep reading."
The list had vanden Heuvel (@KatrinaNation) at #25, Melber (@AriMelber) at #14 and Hayes (@chrislhayes) at #5. Former Nation DC Editor David Corn was #2, just behind Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos. While "top twenty-five" type lists may be part vanity, the piece speaks to the increasing role of Twitter in the political debate, and to the efforts that established print media like The Nation are taking to embrace new platforms.
Last Fall, Melber wrote about the democratizing impact that Twitters "lists" feature could have on the platform. He recommends several lists that, like the top 25 at AOL/Politics Daily, are good tip sheets if you're looking for essential progressive voices to follow on Twitter. If you just want to start with one, you could always follow the mothership: The Nation's own Twitter feed, @thenation, now has almost 50,000 followers, and provides breaking news and analysis 24-7.
In a November cover story, Nation writer Aram Roston detailed how US taxpayer dollars are being channeled into Afghan warlords' coffers; Congress took note of the story and launched a six-month investigation. The subsequent report, which The Nation was able to obtain in advance, confirms that Afghan warlords are receiving payoffs through a $2.16 billion contract between the US Army and eight civilian trucking firms in Afghanistan.
Is this kind of corruption just part of doing business in Afghanistan? "The whole point is that you have to know where the money is going," Roston tells Laura Flanders on GritTV, and he goes on to talk about the investigation, the implications of the findings, and the controversy General McChrystal now finds himself in.
There's a well-known political axiom and historical truth, says Rachel Maddow, which states that "the sitting president's political party rarely gains seats during the mid-term elections," and that the party not in power is "counting on buyer's remorse during the mid-term elections." This means good things for the Republican party in November, right? Well, not if they continue to show only what they are against rather than what they actual stand for.
Maddow calls on Nation Washington Editor Christopher Hayes to analyze the Republican Party's rift over whether BP has been treated unfairly. Hayes says, "The power of the conservative movement is in the media infrastructure, I think, as much as it is in the elected leadership.” Republicans are actually going against the Rush Limbaughs of the conservative side, the ones they once were scared to cross. According to Hayes, the GOP is at "a breaking point."
Republicans say they're defending small government and private property, but the real winner is corporate America. Where is their party-loyal consideration for the private property of shrimpers in the Gulf coast? Restaurant owners? The property and livelihoods of so many other people affected by the Gulf spill?
Texas Congressman Joe Barton went so far last week as to apologize to BP for their deal with the Obama administration, which will set aside $20 billion to deal with the repercussions of BP's spill, a deal Barton called a "shakedown." Nation senior editor Richard Kim joins Laura Flanders to discuss the corrupt politics that dictate these ironies and hypocrisies.
"Beck rejects soccer because his idealized 'real America'—in all its monochromatic glory—rejects it as well." Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, says that and a whole lot more in his commentary on why Glenn Beck—and the rest of the Right—hates World Cup soccer.
On Morning Joe, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel defends President Obama's White House speech Tuesday night by saying that “he laid out a sense of the recovery and restoration, not only of the gulf coast but of an economy that is battered." Vanden Heuvel says that the President not only talked about holding BP accountable, but also about the recklessness of the corporation. She says that people have been attacking the president for not giving the exact amount of money he was going to make BP responsible for. "Why should he?" she says. "He was going into negotiations the next day."
In reference to a clip from The Daily Show, vanden Heuvel emphasizes how America needs to break away from its energy and oil addictions. "This is a moment where we need to take stock of what kind of country we are, are we going to control our own destiny?" She suggests modest investment in alternative energy and redirection of tax subsidies and tax breaks. “All of these people attacking Obama should remember that we, Americans, have a responsibility,” she says. “Let’s get more efficient! Let’s take some responsibility of our own!”
On The Ed Show, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel lays out exactly what President Obama needs to do both for the future of the nation and for his political legacy. According to vanden Heuvel, the president needs to level with the American people, hold BP accountable and formulate "a new plan to wean us off our addiction to oil." She emphasizes that this is not a left or right wing concept, but what most industrialized nations are doing: investing in new technologies.
As for BP, vanden Heuvel tells host Ed Schultz that the administration should not bargain with the corporation but rather should push for a strong and effective Gulf recovery program and for much-needed reimbursements for lost wages. When Schultz says that BP was operating in a free market, vanden Heuvel responds, "This is not a free market that we’ve seen. What we’ve seen is greed and corruption."
In the wake of a rumor that Wikileaks may soon publish a number of secret State Department cables, some are saying that the Pentagon is on the hunt for the whistleblowing organization's founder Julian Assange. On GRITtv with Laura Flanders, Nation writer and blogger Jeremy Scahill says that while Assange may not exactly be on the run to the extent that is being portrayed, diplomats have reason to be concerned about what Wikileaks may have in its possession. “I think a lot of diplomats around the world are very, very nervous. At a minimum, they’re going to want to talk to Julian Assange,” Scahill says. “He denies that he has them [the cables], by the way.”
In addition to discussions of a potential secret prison and interrogation facility within the Bagram Air Base and the New York Times’s coverage of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, Scahill and Flanders talk about Erik Prince and rumors that Blackwater, his controversial private military company, is for sale. “There are rumors that he [Prince] may be the target of an investigation,” Scahill says. “If you’re on the market for a private army, you could probably buy cheap and buy fast if you’re interested."
The transformation of the Republican Party since Obama’s election has been a series of confusing spectacles, the most recent of which is Sharron Angle’s nomination to run against Harry Reid in Nevada for a spot in the Senate. The Nation’s Washington editor Christopher Hayes appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the GOP’s zany campaign tactics and attempts to mask Angle’s absurdly far-right stances, something Maddow dubs a “political science work of art.” Whereas Angle formerly supported the privatization of Social Security, for example, she now claims she’s hoping for personalization.
How does wonky backpedaling like this fly in a Senate race? “The conservative media machine is so massive,” Hayes says, “it’s almost possible to run a whole campaign in which you more or less just operate in that bubble and relegate the rest of the press to sort of second-order reporting of what you said.” And because the Republican establishment isn’t going to back off, it’s the job of the voters and the rest of the press to second guess Angle. “She should be asked, in debates, to explain why she thinks fluoride is international conspiracy. She should be able to explain her views on the US withdrawing from the UN," Hayes says. "She should have to defend all of these sort of black helicopter views in front of the populous and to skeptical reporters."
The victories of Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman in California, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Nikki Haley in South Carolina in last week's primaries are being hailed as a victory for women. Yet do conservative, anti-government women's candidacies spell gains for women nationwide? Or will the cuts they threaten to make to government programs hurt more women than their candidacies help?
To kick off our new Monday collaboration with The Nation magazine, host Laura Flanders is joined in studio by editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and columnist Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who break down the election results, the real history of these faux populists, and also report back on a Nation investigation in New Orleans that has led to indictments.