Start Making Sense-logo

Start Making Sense

News >

More Information


United States






Houston vs Climate Change: Roane Carey; Erwin Chemerinsky: Trump & Arpaio; Bob Dreyfuss: Seth Rich

Roane Carey, The Nation’s managing editor, reports from Houston on the political battles there: developers have defeated local anti-growth groups, but they can’t stop the climate changes that have brought unprecedented rainfall and flooding. Plus: Erwin Chemerinsky, the new dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, says Trump’s Pardon of Sherriff Joe Arpaio is “outrageous”—because it violates the separation of powers, and encourages the police to ignore Latinos’ constitutional right to...


Bannon’s Exit: All Power to Jared? Amy Wilentz & John Nichols; Joshua Holland: Russia & Democracy

Steve Bannon says his departure as Chief Strategist at the Trump White House leaves the “globalists” led by Jared Kushner in charge there. Is he right? Amy Wilentz outlines the differences between Jared and Bannon on key issues. Also: John Nichols says the Bannon forces, funded by right-wing hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, will continue to fight with an “inside-outside” strategy—since their allies Sebastian Gorka and Kellyanne Conway remain part of Trump’s...


White Nationalists in Charlottesville & DC: Foner; Dreyfuss: Manafort; Lipsyte: Trump & Golf

The White Nationalists who marched in Charlottesville use the Confederacy as a symbol of white supremacy, says award-winning historian Eric Foner. Is Donald Trump a neo-confederate? To call him that suggests he has coherent ideas—which clearly he does not. He does know that these kinds of people are part of his political base—as he made clear on Tuesday in his defense of the white nationalist demonstrators in Charlottesville. Also: if you understand golf, you understand Trump. Golf is a...


Surviving the Trump Years: Katha Pollitt’s Guide for the Anxious and the Depressed

We’re six months into the Trump era—and how are you feeling about the world today? Katha Pollitt conducted an unscientific survey. She found anxiety and depression, but also wisdom about working together over the long haul: we will defeat Trump (if he doesn’t defeat himself first). Also: one good result of the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is the growing support for a single payer, Medicare-for-all system – not just among the public, where it’s always been popular,...


Is Trump Desperate Enough to Pardon Himself? Plus Healthcare in the Senate and Happiness in Denmark

David Cole, legal director of the ACLU and The Nation’s legal affairs correspondent, argues that Trump would only be talking about pardoning himself if he was desperate—because he knows what the Special Counsel is likely to find—and thus willing to pay a tremendous political price to avoid impeachment. Plus: The Senate GOP healthcare bill is confusing—that’s the way they want it, says George Zornick: it’s their only chance of repealing Obamacare. And Joshua Holland explains why Danes are...


Trump's Attorney & Russian Bankers: Bob Dreyfuss—Amy Wilentz on Don Jr. and Suzanne Gordon on the VA

Bob Dreyfuss reports on the lawyers on both sides of the Russia investigations, starting with Mark Kasowicz, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, who is also working for Russian bankers connected to the meeting with Don Jr. at Trump Tower. Also: the deep challenges facing Trump's legal team. Plus: Amy Wilentz with The Children's Hour: news about Don Jr., Jared, Ivanka, and Eric—boy, are those kids in trouble this week! One big question: Why were Jared and Ivanka partying with Chuck Schumer...


Naomi Klein: We’re All in Trump’s Reality Show Now—Plus Amy Wilentz on Jared; and Al Franken

Trump’s presidential reality show is non-stop, Naomi Klein says in Part 2 of our interview—and, as a result, people really die. Naomi’s new book, No Is Not Enough, debuted at number two on the New York Times bestseller list. Also: The Jared Report: Amy Wilentz talks about the most trusted man in the Trump White House—his real estate holdings, his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East, and his first speech as a public official—sad! And we revisit our 2003 interview with Al Franken about...


Naomi Klein: Kill the Trump Within—Plus, Health-Care in the Senate and Trump's Travel Ban

It's not enough to say 'no' to Trump, Naomi Klein argues; we need to transform ourselves and our movement to bring about the change we need. Also: Senate Republicans postponed voting on their "health-care" bill, after the CBO revealed its terrible consequences; Zoë Carpenter comments. And, David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, explains the Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments in October about Trump's travel ban.


Trumpcare Is the Most Unpopular Legislation in History—Plus, Socialism and Thoreau

Only 17 percent of Americans approve of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare; George Zornick says maybe that explains the secrecy of Senate Republicans in drafting their bill. Also: Why are young people voting for old socialists? Sarah Leonard comments on the support for Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and similar candidates across Europe. And Jedediah Purdy responds to critics of Henry David Thoreau and Walden, outlining the radicalism of his politics and his writing.


The Case for Impeaching Trump—Plus, Trump’s Tweets and Corbyn’s Triumph

John Nichols argues that Trump should be charged by the House with obstruction of justice and abuse of power and put on trial in the Senate. Plus: Amy Wilentz talks about the trouble with Trump's tweets, which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited Monday in their ruling rejecting his travel ban. And: Paul Mason analyzes last week’s elections in Britain, and finds lessons for the American left in the historic campaign led by Labour's Jeremy Corbyn. This episode of Start Making Sense is...


Norman Lear: Donald Trump Is the Middle Finger of the American Right Hand

Norman Lear, who created "All in the Family," reflects on why it succeeded in the Age of Nixon—and on what is different about political satire in the Age of Trump. Plus: The Nation's Zoë Carpenter reports on Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who has taken the lead in fighting for an alternative to the GOP's repeal and replacement of Obamacare. And: Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post discusses what happened when Paul Ryan's hometown lost its GM plant. Her new book is Janesville.


Sasha Abramsky: Trump Is Like a Cornered Animal. Plus: David Cole and Paul Mason

The "new normal" of daily disasters for the White House make Trump more dangerous and irrational, Sasha Abramsky says, and more likely to adopt fascistic tactics. Plus: conservatives argue that the courts have gone too far in rejecting Trump's travel ban as an unconstitutional attack on Muslims—David Cole of the ACLU responds. And Paul Mason analyzes the British elections in the wake of Trump's troubled trip to Europe.


Donald Trump's Cruel and Unusual Budget—Plus the Supreme Court on Voting and Trump in Saudi Arabia

All budgets are political statements—Trump’s, submitted to the House on Tuesday, represents a cruel attack on the weakest and most vulnerable, in order to slash taxes for the wealthiest. And the assumptions behind the claim that it is “balanced” could generously be called “unusual.” George Zornick comments. Plus: The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that two of North Carolina’s congressional districts had been gerrymandered to weaken the black vote in the state. Ari Berman explains. Also:...


Will Trump Even Make It Through One Term?

Could the Democrats remove Trump from office? Harold Meyerson comments on the politics of impeachment, and the lessons of the Democrats’ successful effort to remove Nixon, and the Republicans’ failed effort to remove Clinton. Also: D.D. Guttenplan reports on the Democrats’ efforts to flip a Republican House seat in the special election in Montana on May 25, where Democrat Rob Quist, a musician, is running against a multi-millionaire. And Amy Wilentz comments on Ivanka’s new book 'Women Who...


Rick Perlstein: What We Didn’t Understand about Trump

The leading histories of the conservative movement don’t account for the Klan enthusiasts and the “tribunes of white rage” that Trump mobilized and that he represents—that’s what Rick Perlstein argues in a mea culpa on behalf of historians of American politics. Also: The rock-star appeal of Modern Monetary Theory for the Sanders generation. Atossa Araxia Abrahamian says that, if money is understood correctly, “debt is not the end.” And Heather Ann Thompson talks about the Attica prison...


Laura Poitras: The Many Contradictions of Julian Assange

Risk is the new film by Laura Poitras, about Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. Poitras, who won the Oscar for best documentary for her film about Edward Snowden, Citizenfour, calls Assange “admirable, brilliant, and flawed.” Also: Stephen Cohen says a new cold war is threatening world peace, and a new McCarthyism is undermining American politics. And Eric Foner says it might be possible to impeach Donald Trump—but having Mike Pence as president would probably be worse.


Margaret Atwood: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in the Age of Trump

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about the US after a right-wing coup has installed a theocratic regime, is now a ten-part series on Hulu. The TV version is shocking, scary, and surprisingly relevant in Trump’s America. In this interview, she recalls how and why she wrote the book—in 1984—and what in the TV version seems most resonant today. Also: Katha Pollit says “It’s not ‘McCarthyism’ to demand answers on Trump, Russia, and the election.” And, for our Ivanka Watch...


Bill McKibben: This Is Our Last Chance to Save the Planet

“We’ll either save, or doom, the planet, during the Trump administration.” That’s what Bill McKibben says—he’s an organizer of the Climate March in Washington on Sunday, April 29. Also: 81 percent of white Evangelicals voted for Trump, despite his obvious failings as a Christian. Frances Fitzgerald examines Evangelicals’ earlier history in politics, including their support for a Democrat—the “born-again” Jimmy Carter. Her new book is The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America. Plus:...


Tom Frank: Would Bernie Have Been Able to Beat Trump? Hell Yes!

In the rust belt, "they hated Hillary" -- that's what Tom Frank found on his recent book tour for the paperback of "Listen, Liberal: Or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?" Also: Is Ivanka Trump responsible for her father's attack on Syria? Amy Wilentz comments on the president's reliance on his daughter and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Plus: Now that Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Ari Berman reviews the big picture of the battle for voting rights.


Chris Hayes: Donald Trump Is a Law-and-Order President In the Worst Possible Way

How we got from the events in Ferguson to the election of you-know-who: Chris Hayes talks about race, incarceration, and politics in his new book A Colony In a Nation—Salon called it “a dark book for a dark time.” Plus: Although Trump was the least Christian of all the Republican candidates, white Evangelicals voted for him overwhelmingly, despite the work of some prominent Evangelical leaders. Sarah Posner of The Nation Institute analyzes the political deal that Evangelicals made—she...


See More