The most read piece at TheNation.com this week was Eric Alterman’s Kabuki Democracy, which sparked a spirited debate about the success of the Obama Presidency so far, and if Obama could be pushed in a more progressive direction. On Monday, Politico cited me and Alterman in their assessment of the President’s political standing. On Tuesday I was on The Today Show arguing that the President needs to remobilize his base heading into midterm elections. And in a lively debate on MSNBC’s Hardball, Alterman defended his essay and argued that the substance of the financial reform package as passed is proof that a progressive Presidency is out of reach. Alterman has more at his blog.
It was a good week, then, to take a broad view of what the President has accomplished. On Tuesday I was on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show (live from their new Greene Space) with Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter discussing Obama’s Presidency so far, and the simmering anger on both the left and the right. For what its worth, I believe that the President can be held to a more progressive agenda – you can listen to my points and my discussion with Alter here.
Also this week …
Report: Mama Grizzly actually a dud?
From the breathless mainstream coverage of Sarah Palin’s campaign-style "Mama Grizzly" commercial, you’d have thought the ex-Governor was already the 2012 Republican nominee. But as our Net Movement correspondent Ari Melber found when he crunched the numbers, Palin’s video was actually a miss with her base. "Paper Grizzly" was the talk of the blogosphere today, with debate and discussion from Andrew Sullivan, Tech President and KCRW’s To the Point. Not only did Palin’s own supporters tune out, writes Melber, but many of the spots viewers were registering their "dislike" for ad on a range of social networks.
Video: Staring Down Amazon
As part of The Nation on GRIT TV this week, Colin Robinson of OR Books gave a two-minute primer on what he believes Amazon.com is doing to the book industry. Speaking out against Amazon is rare in the publishing industry; it will be interesting to track reactions to Robinson’s video commentary (watch it here) and to his article in this week’s magazine.
Podcast: The Breakdown with Chris Hayes
What does gas really cost? In this week’s edition of The Breakdown, Washington D.C. Editor tallies up the pricetag on gasoline … if you factored in its impact on our environment and national security. It’s way higher than $3/gallon. Listen here.
Special Issue: New Energy on energy?
What if we told you that the President could spark a clean-energy revolution right now, and he wouldn’t need Congress or an energy bill to do it? The conventional wisdom holds that solving energy and climate change is impossible in this political climate, and complicated by the BP spill. But our special issue, Freedom from Oil, explains how it could be done. This is an important and forward looking issue; we’ve built a special section for it here. The section includes articles as well as videos and a slide show about green energy. Please take a look, and remember to tweet, facebook post or email whatever stands out the most for you.
Next week on The Nation on GRIT TV …
On Monday Greg Mitchell will sit down with Laura to talk about the controversial PBS special on George Shultz, and about the state of reporting today on Afghanistan and Iraq. We’ll have Greg’s briefing up Monday night; a commentary posted Wednesday; and a discussion with school reform advocate Diane Ravitch next Friday. Watch for videos at TheNation.com or see full episodes at www.grittv.org.
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Finally this week, we were proud to learn today that The Nation has won a 2010 "Maggie" award from Planned Parenthood for our coverage of reproductive rights issues. Kathryn Joyce was also recognized for her writing on the subject, and our friends at RHRealityCheck.org won for their ongoing web coverage. I was a Maggie winner in 1994 so the award has added meaning for me; we’re honored to be in such good company, and proud that we continue to offer incisive and comprehensive coverage of reproductive rights issues.
Enjoy your weekend. If you’re on Twitter, I’m @KatrinaNation. Please leave comments and questions below.