This week in The Nation and at TheNation.com we provided a range of reactions and thoughtful analysis on President Obama’s State of the Union address. Before the speech, Nation contributing writer Ari Berman identified four key issues that Democratic strategists believe Obama should focus on during the third year of his presidency: jobs, reclaiming economic populism, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and helping homeowners. In his blog, "Obama Reassures Democrats (Mostly) in SOTU Address," Berman takes a look at the president’s address and what it says about his intentions in the coming year. As a nod to Berman’s good work on this, he was invited to attend a roundtable discussion with progressive journalists and bloggers at the White House with David Axelrod. You can read about that discussion here. Also, be sure to read Leslie Savan’s blog, "Mingling but No Tingling at State of the Union," in which Savan addresses the dynamics of bipartisan mingling and seating—and how that gave an impression that Obama had unanimous support. Read her analysis here.
I wrote a piece for the WashingtonPost.com discussing Rep. Paul Ryan, the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, who delivered the Republican response on Tuesday. I argued, "When he speaks of ‘fiscal responsibility,’ what he really means is that middle-class and working Americans will shoulder the responsibility of tackling debts and deficits, while multinational corporations and financial institutions will reap the benefits of favorable government policies and taxpayer-funded bailouts." We posted a video of John Nichols on The Ed Show who argues, "Ryan will come off very smooth, very appealing, but you got to go beyond the style and listen to what he says. He wants to take Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and essentially squeeze any of the life out of them." Read my article here and go here to watch Nichols on The Ed Show.
MAGAZINE: New Design
With this week’s issue, readers will note that thanks to Milton Glaser and his team, The Nation has a new cover design, now in its third week. Glaser and his late partner, Walter Bernard, redesigned the magazine in 1978, and we were happy to bring him back with similar goals in mind. What we wrote in 1978 applies to our thinking today: "Many magazines give themselves a full-lift in an effort to achieve a new image, to win the packaging race, to outslick the competition…. Maybe because we have been around so long our own redesign goals are less ambitious: to capitalize on our most cherished asset, our identity; to underline our commitment to content." Take a look at this week’s cover and beneath the image you can browse through other covers in recent years.
GUEST BLOGGER: Nancy Goldstein
For the past few weeks, we were pleased to have Nancy Goldstein, winner of the blogging round in The Washington Post’s "Next Great Pundit" contest, guest blog at TheNation.com. Today is her last day, and we want to thank Goldstein for her strong contributions and analysis. Yesterday, she wrote an important blog about the tragic murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato, found beaten to death in his home in Mukono, Kampala. Read that piece here. Also be sure to check out her coverage on health care legislation and what that means for the LGBT community: "The Big Picture on Healthcare Reform for LGBT People" and "Healthcare Reform’s Unintended Queer Upside." Goldstein writes, "Even in downscaled form, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may transform the Big Picture for LGBT people more radically than any other federal legislation in this last decade." Read all of Goldstein’s Nation blog posts here, and you can follow her on Twitter—she’s @NancyGoldstein.
CONVERSATION: Carne Ross
Carne Ross, former British diplomat who blew the whistle on his on government’s foreign policy procedures, stopped by The Nation last week to discuss his own experience as well as offer commentary on the recent WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables. Ross reveals that the great majority of foreign policy diplomacy can and should be openly discussed rather than done in secret—a fact that WikiLeaks has helped expose. "Foreign policy is what we think it is; there isn’t any great secret to it," Ross says. "The diplomatic elite have tried to pretend that there is something fundamentally complex and difficult about it as a way to keep everybody else out." Listen to that conversation here. For continued coverage on WikiLeaks, read Greg Mitchell’s Media Fix blog. Mitchell is now on his 62nd day of live-blogging the WikiLeaks.
NEW VIDEO: Peak Oil and a Changing Climate
Just a reminder that several weeks ago, The Nation—thanks to filmmaker Karen Rybold Chin and On the Earth Productions—began running a multi-part video series on our website, "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate." We’re excited to present a video a week between now and the end of March, featuring an extraordinary line-up of environmental activists, thinkers and writers, including Bill McKibben, Noam Chomsky, Nicole Foss, and Richard Feinberg. Take a look at at this week’s video featuring blogger and social critic James Howard Kuntsler who discusses peak oil and our financial decline. Watch that video here, and check back each week for a new installment.
Thanks for reading, and you can follow me on Twitter—I’m @KatrinaNation.