311 episodes

Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the week in news. Hosted by Jon Wiener and presented by The Nation Magazine.

Start Making Sense The Nation Magazine

    • News
    • 4.5 • 278 Ratings

Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the week in news. Hosted by Jon Wiener and presented by The Nation Magazine.

    How Dems Can Turn Texas Blue John Nichols on politics, plus Adam Shatz on Richard Wright

    How Dems Can Turn Texas Blue John Nichols on politics, plus Adam Shatz on Richard Wright

    A recent poll found that only 42 per cent of registered voters in Texas say Republican Governor Gregg Abbott deserves to be re-elected in 2022. Biden lost Texas by only 630,000 votes, and millions of young people and people of color didn’t vote. John Nichols reports on how the biggest Republican state could elect a Democratic governor next year.
    Also: Richard Wright was America’s most famous Black writer in the 1940s and 50s – with his novel ‘Native Son’ and his character Bigger Thomas. But his place on the throne was shakier than he imagined. Adam Shatz talks Black American writing, and Black America, at mid-century.


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    • 43 min
    Winning in 2022: John Nichols, plus Melina Abdullah on the LAPD and Ray Suarez on “Going for Broke”

    Winning in 2022: John Nichols, plus Melina Abdullah on the LAPD and Ray Suarez on “Going for Broke”

    Some pundits say the only way Democrats can hold the House and Senate in 2022 is by appealing to swing voters in Republican states by talking about economic issues—and NOT talking about climate change, immigration reform, or policing. John Nichols challenges that argument.
    Also: The co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA, Melina Abdullah, talks about the LAPD, and how they showed up, in force, at her house twice in the week since she filed a lawsuit over a similar incident last year. We call it "SWATting," and we also call it retaliation.
    And The Nation and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project are launching a new podcast: “Going for Broke,” personal stories about how the pandemic made it a lot harder for working class people to pay the rent, stay in their homes, or find a new job. Host Ray Suarez provides a preview—he’s best known for his work on NPR and PBS.  The podcast launches on October 18 and you can subscribe now here.
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    • 44 min
    America’s Lunatics: Katha Pollitt; plus John Powers on Percival Everett’s Emmett Till novel

    America’s Lunatics: Katha Pollitt; plus John Powers on Percival Everett’s Emmett Till novel

    Are we a nation of lunatics? Katha Pollitt has been thinking about that—about the millions of people who say that Satan-worshipping pedophiles control American politics and media, or that, if you’ve come down with Covid-19, you should pick up some Ivermectin at the local feed store.
    Plus: The murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955 is probably the most famous lynching in American history. Now, there’s a novel about it that’s wild and funny. The author is Percival Everett—it’s called The Trees. And it’s really good. How is it possible to write a comic novel about a lynching? John Powers explains—he’s critic at large on NPR’s Fresh Air.
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    • 33 min
    Controlling the Police: What is to be Done? Erwin Chemerinsky, plus Eyal Press on Dirty Work

    Controlling the Police: What is to be Done? Erwin Chemerinsky, plus Eyal Press on Dirty Work

    Many proposals to reform the police were made after the Black Lives Matter protests of last summer the largest protest movement in American history. But the problem, Erwin Chemerinsky argues, is not just the police; the Supreme Court has empowered the police and subverted civil rights. Erwin is Dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, and author of many books—most recently Presumed Guilty.




    Also: dirty work—and the people who do it: the low-income workers who do our most ethically troubled jobs. Eyal Press will explain—his new book is Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America.





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    • 39 min
    Biden’s Disastrous Deportation of Haitians: Amy Wilentz; plus Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce on Occupy Wall Street

    Biden’s Disastrous Deportation of Haitians: Amy Wilentz; plus Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce on Occupy Wall Street

    Joe Biden is deporting 15,000 Haitian refugees who crossed the border at Del Rio, Texas, to a country ravaged by assassination, earthquake, poverty, and gang violence—it’s a disastrous move. Amy Wilentz comments; she’s been reporting on Haiti and Haitians for more than two decades.




    Also: Ten years ago this week, a small group of young radicals declared “We are the 99 percent” and set up camp in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan’s financial district. Instead of a few people protesting for a few days, the movement exploded; hundreds of thousands of people joined Occupy camps in more than 600 US towns and cities. CUNY professors Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce comment—they’ve written for The Nation’s special issue on the 10th anniversary of Occupy.

    This episode of Start Making Sense was developed as part of a collective of podcasts brought together to explore the legacy of Occupy, in light of the 10-year anniversary. Through this project you can also hear analysis on the impact of Occupy from Belabored, The Dig, Upstream, and more. The producing partners for this project are the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s New York office and The New School’s Milano program. We encourage you to learn more and listen to some of the other episodes by visiting RosaLux.NYC/Occupy.





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    • 35 min
    How Mosques Became FBI Targets after 9-11: Ahilan Arulanantham on State Secrets, plus Amy Wilentz on ‘The Chair”

    How Mosques Became FBI Targets after 9-11: Ahilan Arulanantham on State Secrets, plus Amy Wilentz on ‘The Chair”

    We’re still thinking about the 20th anniversary of 9/11. After the attacks that day, Muslim Americans endured years of racism and discrimination, oftentimes at the hands of the state itself.The fight against government surveillance of Muslim Americans continues today, as the Supreme Court takes up a challenge to government efforts to conceal FBI abuse of power—in a case dating from 2006, when the FBI in LA hired an informer to infiltrate several mosques in Orange County, California. Ahilan Arulanantham explains—he will be arguing the case at the Supreme Court. He’s a Professor at UCLA Law School and Co-Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy there.




    Also: there’s a new comedy on TV about college teachers and campus politics—The Chair, on Netflix, starring Sandra Oh as the first Asian American woman chair of an English department. Amy Wilentz comments—she’s a professor in the English Department at UC Irvine, which has some surprising connections to the show.





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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
278 Ratings

278 Ratings

jstookey ,

Political Talk Without The Boring Part

The tag line for this podcast couldn’t be more apt. One of the political podcasts that I turn to first each week.

😉💙🙃 ,

Taliban

Regardless whom is POTUS we need out of Afghanistan, 20 years is too long.
The Taliban will soon be in control of everything but they have chosen Nationalism and will not fight their countrymen.

3rReviewer ,

Love the new entertainment reviews

I enjoy this podcast (for me, still a long time Nation subscriber, it’s easier to listen than to read the magazine) but it got even better (especially for these sheltering at home times) when the movie/TV/book reviews were added. I had no idea the The Good Fight was still in production, and ended up (in my 60’s) binge watching for the first time!

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