I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Idebated the editor of The National Review, Rich Lowry, about PresidentObama’s policy agenda. It was a spirited conversation and I’m thankfulto the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies for the opportunity.We’ll have audio and video of the event up later this month; in themeantime here is one (very generous) recap from a local blogger in GrandRapids.

Before we head into another busy week I wanted to briefly note threethings in our orbit you may have missed:

(1) In December, we published journalist A.C. Thompson’s exposé aboutvigilante violence in New Orleans, which also raised serious questionsabout New Orleans Police Department conduct in the death ofresident Henry Glover in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Last weekthe F.B.I. announced a full inquiry into the death of Glover. This newsoffers some hope that justice may prevail in the incidents exposed byThompson; you can read an update here.

(2) Last week I noted The Nation‘s two National Magazine Awardnominations. I neglected to congratulate journalist Nick Turse, who wonthe James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for “A My Lai aMonth,” his expose about atrocities in Vietnam, published in The Nation last November. Jeremy Scahill won the Aronson last year for his reporting on Blackwater. Both the Turse investigation and the A.C. Thompson piece came to us through the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute, which supportshard-hitting investigative reporting. As daily newspapers struggle tostay afloat, and public-interest, pro-democracy journalism andinvestigative reporting become ever more vital, institutions like theI-Fund are becoming more and more critical.

(3) Finally, if you couldn’t join us in New York last month for”Meltdown: The Economic Collapse and a People’s Plan for Recovery,” aforum on the crisis with Joe Stiglitz, Barbara Ehenreich, Jeff Madrick,Bill Fletcher Jr. and Chris Hayes, we have created a pagewith audio & video of the full event, as well as some select articlesfrom The Nation about the crisis. The overwhelming turnout for the eventshowed a hunger for clarity and understanding about the crisis; we’ll beadding new videos and resources to the newpage “Meltdown 101” as a resource moving forward. We hope it offers readers some clarity andanswers as the economic crisis unfolds. You can also catch the event onC-Span’s BookTV Sunday at 3PM and Monday morning at 6:15AM.