The opportunity to sit down and talk with the remarkable American writers (and Nation Editorial Board members) Toni Morrison, Tony Kushner, and Walter Mosley is rare enough one on one. The chance to talk with all three of them together, about the future of our culture, is extraordinary. If you’re in New York on Wednesday night, you have that opportunity to do just that–at the second of two Nation "Salons." In these intimate discussions (with a cocktail party to follow) we’re bringing together some of the best thinkers in the World to debate critical topics of our time. The first Salon last month asked "what will become of our media." Wednesday’s Salon asks an equally provocative question: What will become of our culture, as technology, cultural shifts and political changes reshape the world. The event is a fundraiser for The Nation and helps support our investigative reporting. If you’ve ever wanted to meet Toni Morrison, Tony Kushner or Walter Mosley (or all three) there are still a few tickets remaining. Click here to register. Tickets are discounted for Editor’s Cut readers–enter code RAC102 for half off.
(If you’re not in New York, we’ll have video up later this month.)
That investigative reporting was on full display here in the last week, as Reporter Aram Roston (supported by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute) revealed that money is flowing from the Pentagon to insurgents in Afghanistan, including the Taliban. We’re literally paying insurgents to let our supply lines pass, so that our soldiers have supplies to fight insurgents. It’s an outrage, and it demonstrates once again the folly of escalation in the region as President Obama nears his fateful decision. Here’s MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and Brave New Film’s Robert Greenwald discussing the story:
Robert has been outspoken in his effort to encourage America–and the Obama Administration–to "Rethink Afghanistan." We appreciate his work, and the efforts of Schultz, The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, and leading newspapers around the world (including The Guardian) who have helped move Aram Roston’s story into the mainstream in the Afghanistan strategy debate.
Two other big stories this week: The Nation‘s Chris Hayes penned an under-the-radar, but very strong essay on the filibuster, and the undemocratic and perilous path that legislation takes through the Senate. With healthcare reform now held hostage to Joe Lieberman and the conserva-Dems in the Senate, Hayes argues that its time to end or amend the filibuster, which he calls "a cancer growing inside the world’s greatest deliberative body." Steve Pearlstein picked up on the debate in the Washington Post this week, while others like Salon are also focusing increasing attention on this complex legislative impediment to change. Hayes (and Tom Geogeghan, writing earlier this year) got there first, but the movement to bust the filibuster is picking up steam.
Finally, "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare" is out on Tuesday and available (exclusively–no Amazon and no stores until December) at ORBooks.com. The book’s editors, The Nation‘s Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, argue persuasively in their introduction that Sarah Palin is a problem ignored at all our peril. Her outsized role in the healthcare debate (and, we fear, in cap and trade) means that Palin-mania needs to be addressed not just as an issue of curiosity and celebrity, but more important as a matter of policy. That’s why "Going Rouge" is such a critical book–it is fact-checking Governor Palin at every turn, and amplifying voices who might otherwise be smothered in Palin’s softball media tour, where recording devices are banned and really vital questions about issues like global warming and healthcare might not otherwise be raised.
I’ll be on CNN’s Larry King Live on Monday night discussing the book, at 9PM ET. (And on MSNBC’s The Ed Show talking healthcare at 6PM ET.) Naomi Klein will also be talking Palin–and her 10th Anniversary No Logo reissue–on Wednesday night’s Joy Behar Show, and Betsy Reed and Richard Kim will be doing a host of online chats, radio and television throughout the week, including a "TPM Cafe" Book discussion over at Talking Points Memo. You’ll want to check back here at TheNation.com as we fact-check Governor Palin throughout the week, highlighting instances where–as the AP put it–she "goes rogue with the facts."
Comments are welcome below. You can follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/KatrinaNation.