• AIPAC vs The Squad, Plus State Constitutions Protecting Rights

    The Israel lobby AIPAC is spending millions to defeat Representative Jamaal Bowman in the New York state Democratic primary. That’s because he called for a permanent ceasefire back in October, and describes what’s happening in Gaza now as “an ongoing genocide.” Alan Minsky has our analysis fo the campaign--he’s Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America.

    Also: at a time when Republicans have a lock on the Supreme Court, state constitutions can provide a basis not only for protecting abortion rights, but for criminal justice reform,voting rights protection, the right to public education and even, in some states, the right to breathe clean air. Eyal Press reports.

    37m - Jun 12, 2024
  • The Trump Verdict and the Pundits, plus Trump and Women Now

    The punditocracy has been arguing that the guilty verdicts in the Trump trial won’t matter much in the election – Marc Cooper disagrees, and explains what’s wrong about the conventional wisdom. 

    Also: The Trump verdict and women voters: Exit polls have consistently shown women voting Democratic, and men voting Republican – especially with Trump. How much wider will the Gender Gap get, now that Trump has been found guilty-of lying about having had sex with a porn star? Katha Pollitt will comment.

    31m - Jun 5, 2024
  • Gaza Protest and Free Speech, plus Biden’s Haiti Gala

    As campus protests continue against American support for Israel’s war in Gaza, universities and colleges have legal obligations to combat discrimination and a responsibility to maintain order. But they must not sacrifice the principles of free speech that are core to their educational mission. Ben Wizner of the ACLU will explain.

    Also: Kenya finally is sending 1000 police officers to Haiti on what is called a “UN security mission,” and Joe Biden held a gala state dinner honoring the president of Kenya for doing it. Amy Wilentz will comment on what she calls “the Devils’ Ball.”

    40m - May 29, 2024
  • The Abortion Pill Underground, plus Can Dems Hold the Senate?

    Since Roe was overturned, pregnant people seeking abortions in Red states have found help from providers operating at the edge of the law. Amy Littlefield reports.

    Also: Democrats in the Senate are going to lose the seat vacated by Joe Manchin in West Virginia -- can they hold all the others in November? John Nichols has our analysis, starting with Maryland, where Democrat Angela Alsobrooks will face Republican ‘moderate’ Larry Hogan, the popular anti-Trump former governor.

    38m - May 22, 2024
  • American Origins of the Israel - Palestine Conflict, plus Climate Hope

    The most important event in the history of Israel and Palestine was not the 1948 founding of Israel and the Nakba, or Israel’s 1967 occupation of Palestinian territories. It was the outlawing of immigration of Jews (and others) to the US from Russia, Poland, and Eastern and Southern Europe. That was the purpose of the immigration restriction act passed by Congress in May, 1924, 100 years ago this month. Without that, the Jews of Europe would never have moved to Palestine, Harold Meyerson argues.

    Also: The New Yorker’s award-winning climate writer Elizabeth Kolbert talks about her fascinating new book, “H is for Hope: Climate Change from A to Z.’”

    32m - May 15, 2024
  • The Mob Attack on UCLA’s Gaza Encampment, plus Israel, Hamas, and Rape

    Lots of pro-Palestine encampments on college campuses have been attacked by local police, but UCLA was different: a pro-Israel mob attacked the encampment on April 30. The attack continued for three hours before police stepped in, and they didn’t arrest any of the attackers. The next night, the police themselves attacked and shut down the encampment. David Myers has our report.

    Also: There’s no doubt that Israeli women and girls were raped during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7; but there is little evidence to support Israel’s charge that rape was a “premediated, systematic” strategy by Hamas—offererd as a justification for their destruction of Gaza and killing 35,000 civilians. At the same time, evidence is growing of sexual abuse of Palestinian women held in detention by Israel. Azadeh Moaveni reports on the findings of her reporting for the LRB.

    40m - May 8, 2024
  • How Dems Can Win Rural Voters, plus “Who’s Afraid of Gender?”

    Rural America is Trump country. In 2016, Hillary got barely 30 percent of the rural vote. Biden did only a little better in 2020. But he can do a lot better than that this year—and he needs to, if he’s going to carry some of the swing states. Anthony Flaccavento will explain – he’s co-founder and executive director of the Rural Urban Bridge Initiative.

    Also: Judith Butler may be the most famous feminist theorist in the world today. Now Butler has a new book out, with the provocative title, “Who’s Afraid of Gender?” Katha Pollitt provides a critique.

    NOTE: The views expressed in this podcast do not reflect the editorial views of The Nation.

    41m - May 1, 2024
  • Palestine and Israel: A Plan for Two States, One Homeland; plus the UAW and VW

    Transforming the two-state solution for Palestine and Israel to meet today’s realities: a federation, something like the European Union. That’s the project of the visionary group A Land for All. May Pundak, co-executive director, explains.

    Also: History was made last Friday in Chattanooga, when workers at Volkswagen’s factory there voted to join the United Auto Workers -- by an overwhelming margin, 73 to 27 percent. This was the first major union victory in the South in many decades, and it may mark the rebirth of a powerful union movement. Harold Meyerson comments; he’s editor-at-large of The American Prospect.

    41m - Apr 24, 2024
  • Trump's Very Bad Week, plus Prestige TV, from The Sympathizer to Shogun

    Donald Trump on Monday became the first president in history to face trial on criminal charges; his polls are down, and the stock price of Trump Media fallen has 60 percent. John Nichols comments – he’s National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation.

    Also: TV right now is featuring several prestige historical dramas. John Powers compares and contrasts “The Sympathizer,” centering on a spy for the Communists in Vietnam and then California in the seventies; “Manhunt,” following the search for Lincoln’s assassin; “A Gentleman in Moscow,” portraying a Russian aristocrat after the Bolshevik Revolution, and “Shogun,” about feuding 17th century Japanese warlords. John is critic at large for Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

    41m - Apr 17, 2024
  • Democrats vs. Billionaires, plus Hamas vs. Fatah

    The issues and the language that win for Democrats: research shows it’s not just “jobs,” but attacking the rich. Bhaskar Sunkara, President of The Nation and author of The Socialist Manifesto, explains.

    Also: why did Hamas decide to provoke massive Israeli retaliation now? Hussein Ibish, who writes for The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Daily Beast, says Hamas had a clear political goal on October 7: to defeat the Palestinian secular nationalists of Fatah and the PLO.

    32m - Apr 10, 2024
  • Israeli Jews and Palestinians Standing Together; plus Blue Cities in Red States

    Standing Together, Israel’s biggest Jewish-Palestinian grassroots movement, is organizing against the war and for a Palestinian state. Sally Abed, one of the group’s founders, explains their vision, their strategy, and their recent actions.

    Also: Cities everywhere in America are Democratic, and often raising minimum wages and strengthening rent control. But in states where Republicans hold unchecked power, state governments are blocking cities from acting. Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospects. Reports on preemption—and on “pre-preemption.”

    38m - Apr 3, 2024
  • Wages on The Ballot in Battleground States; Plus Cites With Ceasefire Resolutions

    Minimum wage initiatives on the ballot in battleground states could mobilize potential Democratic voters who are unenthusiastic about Biden. Saru Jayaraman of One Fair Wage explains the strategy for Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio.

    Also: 100 American cities and towns have formally called for a ceasefire in Gaza. John Nichols has our report.

    36m - Mar 27, 2024
  • Jews Against AIPAC, plus Free Speech on Campus

    In the campaign to end American funding for Israel’s war in Gaza, a key front is the fight against AIPAC. This week, more than a hundred prominent American Jews have joined in a statement opposing AIPAC and its efforts to defeat Democratic candidates who have criticized Israeli government policy toward Palestinians. The signers include author Ariel Dorfman, actors Elliott Gould and Wallace Shawn, and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s. Alan Minsky, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America, is on the podcast to explain.

    Also on this episode: David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, makes the case for freedom of speech on campus and against cancel culture, starting from the confrontation between Elise Stefanik and the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and Penn

    41m - Mar 20, 2024
  • What the Polls Get Wrong about Biden, plus Haiti in Turmoil

    After gangs took over most of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s acting prime minister, Ariel Henry, agreed to step aside. Long-time Haiti observer Amy Wilentz analyzes the forces at work shaping the country’s next steps.

    Also: the polls and the pollsters are missing the political potential in 9 million people who have turned 18 since the last election. Steve Phillips explains – his book, ‘How We Win the Civil War,’ is out now in a new edition, updated for the 2024 election.

    33m - Mar 13, 2024
  • Biden After Super Tuesday—and the Case for a Voting Rights Amendment

    The Nation's national affairs correspondent John Nichols reports on the evidence of weaknesses of both Biden and Trump—as well as some signs of strength—after the primary elections in 16 states

    .Also on this episode: It’s time to add the real right to vote to the constitution. That’s what Richard Hasen says. Hasen is professor of law and political science at UCLA and author of the new book, A Real Right to Vote. He argues that there are good reasons why Republicans could support a voting rights amendment. (Maybe not this year, but sometime soon.)

    47m - Mar 7, 2024
  • Abortion could make Florida a swing state in 2024; plus ‘Ukrainians in Exile’

    An abortion rights amendment to Florida’s constitution has gotten enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Now it’s up to the state’s supreme court to decide whether people will get to vote on it, potentially transforming the electorate there in November. The Nation’s abortion access correspondent, Amy Littlefield, is on the podcast to report.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: This week is the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To commemorate the anniversary, The Nation has released a new documentary short film, Ukrainians in Exile. We’ll speak with the filmmaker, Janek Ambros.

    31m - Feb 28, 2024
  • “Renters are the sleeping giants of LA politics,” plus the Hidden History of AIDS

    A political battle is underway in Los Angeles, where landlords, multi-millionaires, and the police are trying to defeat the leading progressive on the city council. Their key issues are protection for renters and new taxes on mansions.

    Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: A new podcast brings us stories from the early days of HIV & AIDS. It's about how the epidemic decimated poor communities of color and the people who refused to stay out of sight. WNYC's Kai Wright and The Nation's Lizzy Ratner are behind the new show, Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows.

    37m - Feb 21, 2024
  • The Families that Made Fortunes Selling Opium, plus the News from Haiti

    The blue-blood families that made fortunes in the opium trade: Amitav Ghosh recounts the origins of much of the wealth for the 19th century New England elite on this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast. He wrote the cover story for The Nation's latest print issue. His new book is called Smoke and Ashes.

    Also on this episode: The latest US moves in Haiti are framed in democratic rhetoric but are deeply anti-democratic in their effect. Amy Wilentz is on the podcast to explain. She’s written two books about Haiti, most recently the award-winning Farewell Fred Voodoo.

    38m - Feb 14, 2024
  • Jeff Merkley on a Ceasefire in Gaza, Sean Wilentz on Disqualifying Trump

    Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is one of our leading progressives, and one of 5 Senators to call for a cease-fire in Gaza. He explains why; and he discusses his new book, “Filibustered! How to Fix the Broken Senate and Save America.”

    Also: the case for disqualifying Trump as a candidate, based on the 14th Amendment banning those who have engaged in insurrection from holding public office. That case goes before the Supreme Court this week. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz has our analysis.

    45m - Feb 7, 2024
  • Heroes of the Left, Plus Healthcare for the Undocumented

    The Nation’s annual Progressive Honor Roll features movement leaders who provide hope for 2024. John Nichols tells their stories.

    Also: California moved one step closer to universal healthcare on January 1, when it expanded coverage to all low-income residents, regardless of immigration status. Sasha Abramsky reports.

    33m - Jan 31, 2024
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Start Making Sense with Jon Wiener