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News • Society-and-culture

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.

Popular episodes

Omicron and Inequality: Gregg Gonsalves; plus Gary Younge on Josephine Baker

Dec 1 • 29:27

The new Omicron variant of Covid-19: Gregg Gonsalves argues that it serves as a reminder of how little we're doing on pandemic prevention. We need government action to address the inequalities in power, resources, and information that leave some people at far greater risk. Meanwhile, Republicans are describing Omicron as a Democratic plot to bring back mail-in voting....

White Vigilantes and Black Protest: John Nichols on Kyle Rittenhouse; Eric Foner on Housing

Nov 23 • 32:53

We’re still thinking about the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in Kenosha, where Republicans have been celebrating the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of a 17-year-old who shot three people, killing two, during the street protests over the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake. John Nichols comments on the threat from white vigilantes to Black protest, and on the broader ...

Why Republicans Want to Ban the 1619 Project: Martha Jones, plus Gregory Boyle on gangs

Nov 17 • 36:01

Republicans continue to work to ban teaching about Black Americans’ place in our history – their legislation, proposed in 27 states, would prohibit teaching the 1619 Project, which has just published a book offering what the authors call “a new origin story” about the United States. Martha Jones, a historian at Johns Hopkins University, and one of the contributors, talks a...

Trump Will be a Lousy Candidate in 2024: John Nichols, plus Rebecca Solnit on George Orwell

Nov 10 • 44:31

The Democrats need to do big things fast if they want to have a chance of winning in 2022 and 2024. John Nichols says that Trump will be a “lousy candidate” then—but he will still pose an even greater threat to American democracy than he did in 2020....

Cancel Bail Debt, Abolish Student Debt: Astra Taylor; plus Adam Shatz on John Coltrane

Nov 3 • 35:47

The Debt Collective has a new project: Cancelling probation debt of formerly incarcerated people. They’re actually doing it, for tens of thousands of people—and setting out to abolish bail debt completely in California. Astra Taylor explains how they're going about it, and reports on the continuing campaign to get Joe Biden to use executive action to cancel student debt....

The Politics of Kidnapping in Haiti: Amy Wilentz; plus Dave Zirin on ‘The Kaepernick Effect”

Oct 27 • 45:34

Who really runs Haiti—the government, or the gangs? The kidnappings suggest it’s the gangs – and the leader of the gang that kidnapped 16 Americans has openly expressed political ambitions. Amy Wilentz explains....

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

Oct 20 • 43:19

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....

To Win in 2022, should Dems stop talking about climate, immigration, and policing? John Nichols on politics, plus Melina Abdullah on the LAPD and Ray Suarez on “Going for Broke”

Oct 13 • 44:19

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....

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

Oct 6 • 33:15

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....

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

Sep 29 • 39:27
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 P...

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