It’s hard to believe that a year ago this week we were watching President Obama’s stunning victory. At The Nation, we were jubilant about a new era of possibility opened up by the election. New York City was filled with crowds cheering in the street. Since then it’s been a bracing year – filled with promise and disappointment.
This coming Thursday in The Nation, we’ll be taking a look at one critical element of Obama’s success: Young people. While pundits and strategists have raised ill-informed criticisms of "Generation Obama" in the past months – "where were they at the healthcare town hall meetings!?" asked many – no media outlet has actually tried to answer the question. We tracked a group of 30 young Obama volunteers and staff and delved into where they are now one year later. On Thursday our special issue, "Youth Power," looks at just that – what "Generation Obama" has been doing since we woke up last November 5th with a new President. The answers are surprising.
A few other items of note this week. The Nation had a reporting team in Chicago last week for the American Bankers Association conference, which returned with some gripping images. Here is David Barreda’s slideshow from the gathering, which drew mass protests from progressives and workers. And here is some of reporter Esther Kaplan’s best analysis – done in spite of having her press credentials yanked by the conference organizers and being called a "mole for the protesters" by the ABA.
Last Monday I was a speaker at J-Street’s annual conference. Here’s video of my panel, "Israel and the American Left," with Ezra Klein, Michelle Goldberg and J.J. Goldberg. It was a lively discussion, and raised a lot of solid ideas about the relationship between Israel, the Israel-Palestine issue and progressives.
Last Tuesday I was part of the "Intelligence Squared" debate series, squaring off with NPR’s John Hockenberry, Politico‘s Jim VandeHei, and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff about the future of media. My side of the debate – with my debate partners, David Carr of the New York Times and Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Chronicle, was arguing against the "resolution" (this was a classic, Oxford-style debate) of "good riddance to the mainstream media." We won the faceoff – 68% of the audience took our side afterwards – and it was a lively and at times contentious face-off. I’ll have a longer Editor’s cut about it this week with video highlights and my introductory remarks; the whole thing will run on NPR affiliates around the country this week. (Please check local listings)
Lastly, take a minute to read Sharon Lerner’s latest report on women and healthcare reform. Sharon has exposed a glaring hole in both the House and Senate bills currently taking shape: they fail to require insurers to cover basic preventive services for women, including contraception. Politico and Jezebel so far have noted the issue but not many others – this piece could use your tweets, facebook posts and forwards to make an impact.
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