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Start Making Sense Podcast by Jon Wiener

Start Making Sense Podcast

by Jon Wiener

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Progressive news 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.


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Jane Mayer on the Reclusive Billionaire Who Made Trump President

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 22, 2017


You may not have heard of the hedge-fund magnate Robert Mercer, but he was probably the most important backer of Trump for president. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker has the first in-depth report on this little-known figure and former Breitbart News funder. Also: Is Trump like Nixon? Both won by exploiting the resentments of the white working class; both covered up crimes committed by their campaigns against the Democrats. But Rick Perlstein, author of the classic book Nixonland, says the answer is no: Trump is not like Nixon. Plus: Tom Hayden finished a book on the antiwar movement of the sixties before he died in October: Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement. It’s out now from Yale University Press. Steve Wasserman, Tom’s editor and publisher, comments.

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Democrats Need to Understand Why the Rust Belt’s White Workers Still Support Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 15, 2017


Why do many white workers who voted for Trump still support him? The Nation sent D.D. Guttenplan to Ohio to find out—he’s returned now with his report. Also: should the feminist movement welcome people who are anti-abortion? Wouldn’t that make the resistance to Trump stronger? Katha Pollitt doesn't think so. And: Ari Berman reports on a big victory for voting rights in Texas, where a federal court ruled that the state intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters with its redistricting maps.

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This Is the Resistance: More Than 5,000 Grassroots Groups Have Sprung Up Since Trump Was Elected

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 08, 2017


Joshua Holland surveys the new grassroots resistance groups that have sprung up since the election—he found more than 75, and that number is likely be growing. Indivisible is the biggest of these groups, with more than 5,000 local groups, at least two in every Congressional district. Jeremy Haile explains—he’s one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide. March 8 was International Women’s Day, and Rebecca Solnit was on strike during it. She talks about about the exciting shape feminist activism has taken over the last few year—she calls it “fearless,” “unapologetic” and “gorgeously transformative.” Rebecca’s new book is The Mother of all Questions.

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How the Democrats Can Beat Trump on Tax Reform

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 01, 2017


Harold Meyerson says it’s time for the Democrats to move beyond simply saying “no” to Trump and challenge him with alternative tax proposals that would really help working class people. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect. Plus: The New York Times has published two articles suggesting that Ivanka will save us from her father. Needless to say, Amy Wilentz doesn’t agree. Also: This week we are celebrating the 90th birthday of Harry Belafonte—he’s been a central figure behind the scenes of the civil rights movement since the 1950s, and he did some amazing things on TV in the crucial year of 1968. Joan Walsh explains.

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Jane Mayer: Dark Money and Donald Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 22, 2017


The Koch brothers, the GOP’s biggest donors, didn’t support Trump for president—but he’s supporting their pro-business and anti-environmental agenda now. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker explains; her book Dark Money is out now in paperback. Plus: What Trump has actually done that matters, not just what he’s tweeted, during his first month: George Zornick reports. Also: Who’s the political figure in our history most different from Donald Trump? The answer is easy: Eleanor Roosevelt. Blanche Wiesen Cook comments—the third and final volume of her biography of Eleanor is out now.

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The West Coast Is Leading the Resistance Against Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 15, 2017


California, Oregon and Washington are leading what could become the largest resistance movement to federal policy in more than a century. Sasha Abramsky reports. Also: Are Evangelical Christians hypocrites for supporting Trump? Katha Pollitt says they understand how politics works: now it’s payback time for the president. Plus: Almost two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Trump’s Muslim travel ban—is that too many? David Cole, National Legal Director of the ACLU, says that lots of judges ruling against the president is a good thing.

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Keith Ellison: How the Democrats Can Win

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 08, 2017


The Democrats need to “champion working families and give voters a reason to show up at the polls in 2018 and beyond”—that’s what Representative Keith Ellison says. The Nation has endorsed him for chair of the Democratic National Committee. Also: What can Ivanka possibly do for women who work? Amy Wilentz examines the website of our de facto first lady to find some answers. And historian Eric Foner talks about another time in our past when the federal government was as vicious as Trump wants it to be: the 1850s, when the Fugitive Slave Act was the law of the land.

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How Far Outside the Legal Mainstream Is Neil Gorsuch?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


David Cole, the national legal director of the ACLU, discusses Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and its implications for constitutional rights and liberties in the Trump era and beyond. Cole also says that last weekend’s demonstrations against Trump’s Muslim ban were crucial to the court victories the ACLU has won so far against the executive order. ? Also, Zo? Carpenter reports on what Trump has actually done in his first days in office, as opposed to what he has tweeted. Plus, John Nichols takes the long view, explaining the significance of recent victories against gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

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Our ‘Insane Clown President’—and the Women Who Marched Against Him

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 25, 2017


Matt Taibbi says “Trump made idiots of us all.” He covered the campaign for Rolling Stone—and his new book is Insane Clown President. Also: The Women’s March last Saturday was glorious—what’s the next step? Joan Walsh comments—and responds to David Brooks’s argument that the marchers focused on the “wrong issues”: reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change—which, he said, are only “for upper-middle-class voters in university towns and coastal cities.” And Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School at UC Irvine, is suing Donald Trump—for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits officials from taking money or gifts from foreign governments. To determine whether and how much he has received from foreign governments, the plaintiffs are seeking Trump’s tax returns.

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We Can’t Just Protest Trump. We Must Defy Him.

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 18, 2017


Frances Fox Piven argues that social movements need to “make trouble” to effectively challenge Trump—starting with sanctuary movements that will enlist large numbers of people in resisting his deportation efforts. Plus, David Cole says defending First Amendment freedoms to criticize the president will be a major task in the coming year. And Katha Pollitt talks about the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, and about the danger of underestimating Trump.

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Trump: Vicious, But Vulnerable

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 11, 2017


Gary Younge says Trump’s victory shows the weakness of the Republican Party, not its strength—and argues that progressives must avoid despair and channel their anger into an effective resistance. Plus: Obamacare has changed America, and that makes it hard for the Republicans to simply repeal it. David Dayen explains. And Joy Reid of MSNBC talks about Obama’s rhetoric on race and what it suggests for the coming fight against Trump and white nationalism. Her new book is 'We Are The Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama.'

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Obama Didn’t Talk Much About Race. Did that Open the Door to Trump?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 04, 2017


Obamacare saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of black people, but Obama never mentioned that fact—his rhetoric throughout his presidency was always more “race-neutral” than not. And the Obama years also saw the resurgence of white supremacy. Kai Wright asks whether there’s a connection. Plus: Amy Wilentz comments on Michelle Obama’s White House years—her passion and eloquence in the face of Donald Trump, and also how big food and agribusiness defeated her campaign against childhood obesity. And Harold Meyerson examines what Democratic control of California has achieved this year, and explains the forces that have made Republicans powerless in state politics.

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Best of the Left in 2016

Author: The Nation Magazine
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


John Nichols says 2016 wasn’t all bad. With this year’s Progressive Honor Roll, we remember some of the people who fought the good fight, and sometimes even won; activists who pointed the way in the resistance to come. Also: David Cole looks back on Obama’s achievements in civil rights, and his mixed record in civil liberties, over the last eight years.

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Robert Reich: Why Republicans Are Wrong about Taxes

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 21, 2016


Could Republicans be right when they say taxes on business hurt the economy, and low wages help? Robert Reich says there’s an easy way to find out: compare economic growth in high-tax, high-wage California, with Texas. Also: Legendary attorney Marty Garbus argues that Obama should grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist who’s been in prison for 41 years. And, as the horrible year of 2016 comes to an end, Amy Wilentz talks about some of the year’s worst moments—and some of the best.

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Chris Hayes: How We Got from Obama to Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 14, 2016


How did Obama’s presidency end with the election of Donald Trump? Chris Hayes comments—and talks about his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin this week with Bernie Sanders to meet with Trump voters. Plus, Joan Walsh says Democrats shouldn’t focus exclusively on the worst of Trump’s cabinet nominees, starting with his Attorney General-designee Jeff Sessions; instead, they should fight ever last one of them. And Andrew Bacevich talks about how Trump’s appointments violate the principle of civilian control of the military—especially his choice for National Security advisor, retired General Michael Flynn, who is “something of a nutcase.”

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Naomi Klein, Rebecca Solnit, and Zack Exley: How Organizing Can Still Win

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 07, 2016


Naomi Klein reports from Standing Rock on the victory there over the Dakota Pipeline—the lesson, she says, is that resistance and organizing can win. Plus, Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope in the Dark, says “when big dangers arise, you have to think big.” She finds grounds for hope in the Standing Rock story. And Zack Exley, who organized grassroots supporters in the Bernie campaign, talks about the campaign for a Brand New Congress in 2018.

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Is the Recount Assuring Electoral Integrity, or Wasting Money on a Distraction?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 30, 2016


Jill Stein has raised almost $7 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. John Nichols says it won’t make Hillary president, but it is a worthwhile electoral practice. Critics on the left say the real problem is vote suppression, voter disfranchisement, and the electoral college. Also: We’re still thinking about Fidel Castro, who died Saturday—Katrin Hansing, who has studied and written about Cuba for two decades, and served as a leader on The Nation’s Cuba trips, comments. And Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, proposes a “shotgun marriage” between capitalism and socialism.

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How to Stop Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 23, 2016


In 2002, we had Bush and Cheney in the White House with Republican control of the House and the Senate and a Republican majority on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless virtually all of Bush’s most outrageous “national security” initiatives were reversed – because of citizen action and groups like the ACLU. David Cole says the lessons for us as Trump comes to power are clear. Also: We’re still trying to understand exactly how Trump won. Gary Younge spent a month in Muncie, a rust-belt city in the Indiana heartland; he reports that Trump won there not because of Republican enthusiasm for Trump—there wasn’t much of that—but because Democrats lacked enthusiasm for Clinton. And Michelle Chen talks about resettlement programs for Muslim refugees in Minneapolis and elsewhere—how they succeed, and what Trump might do to stop new refugees from entering.

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Mike Davis: The Real Revolution of 2016 Was Not Trump’s

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 16, 2016


Trumpism is inherently chaotic, Mike Davis argues, and won’t last long, while the emergence of the Bernie Sanders movement has the potential to transform American politics. Plus Joan Walsh looks at how Hillary lost women voters she needed, and what comes next for feminist politics. Also, Kai Wright revisits Trump supporters on Long Island, and reconsiders the place of race in America since Obama’s 2008 Philadelphia speech on race. And Adam Shatz argues the vote in the Rust Belt shows Hillary never should have been the Democratic candidate; but Bernie Sanders couldn’t have beaten Trump either.

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Mourn, Resist, Organize: Our Tasks Now

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 09, 2016


Katrina vanden Heuvel says there’s no denying the magnitude of our defeats. We need to mourn our losses—but then we have to resist, and organize. Plus John Nichols analyzes the changes we need in the Democratic Party. And Laila Lalami talks about the most vulnerable group in the Trump era: Muslims in America.

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Donald Trump: The View From the Rustbelt

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 02, 2016


Gary Younge has spent the last several weeks in Muncie, Indiana, reporting on politics in the rust belt. Trump voters there, he says, know his faults, but want “something big” to change their world. Plus, Katha Pollitt asks whether Trump’s misogyny will spark a wave of women’s political action. Also, Tom Frank talks about email: he says the John Podesta emails—released by Wikileaks—tell us much more about how America is run than Hillary’s do. And Adam Shatz argues that Obama’s presidency provoked a white backlash—and rekindled a spirit of black resistance—both of which are prominent features of this year’s campaign.

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The Progressive Candidates Who Are Shaking Up This Election

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Oct 26, 2016


John Nichols talks about some of our favorite progressive candidates—for the Senate, the House, and state legislatures—who show what good politics look like these days—and who have been endorsed by “Our Revolution,” the Bernie Sanders political group. Also: Tom Hayden, who died on Sunday at 74, meant a lot to a lot of us, including Katrina vanden Heuvel—she comments on his amazing life as an activist and writer. Tom was a long-time member of the Editorial Board of The Nation and a frequent contributor to the magazine’s pages. Plus: The documentary filmmaker, Deia Schlosberg, who was arrested while reporting on a climate-change protest in North Dakota. She is now charged with three counts of felony conspiracy and faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years.

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Donald Trump’s ‘Horrifying’ Refusal to Accept the Election Results

Author: The Nation Magazine
Thu, Oct 20, 2016


Maybe you heard the news: in the third debate, Donald Trump wouldn’t say he would accept the results of the election if he lost. Clinton called that “horrifying.” Joan Walsh comments—she’s The Nation’s National Affairs Correspondent. Plus: Kai Wright comments on the media that have shaped the world-view of Trump supporters—it explains a lot about their thinking. Kai is host and producer of the podcast “The United States of Anxiety.” And we’re still feeling good about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last week—we’ll talk about it, and listen to some Bob Dylan songs, with Greil Marcus—he’s the author of the book “Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus, Writings 1968-2010”

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Greil Marcus: Maybe Bob Dylan Isn’t a Poet, but He Is One of America’s Greatest Artists

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Oct 19, 2016


In this special edition of our podcast, Greil Marcus talks about “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Masters of War,” and “Like a Rolling Stone”—and the way Dylan has changed those songs in live performances over the decades. Greil’s 30 years of writings about Dylan have been collected in the book Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus, 1968-2010.

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Donald Trump’s 'Great Respect for Women'

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Oct 12, 2016


Katha Pollitt has some words for Trump and his defenders after the groping tape and the second debate, where he argued that ISIS “chopping off heads” was worse than his statements about women who will “let you do it” if you are “a star.” Plus D.D. Guttenplan reports on the campaigns in Ohio—he found a distinct lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among Democrats there. And Nation columnist Gary Younge talks about children killed by gun violence in America—in his new book, Another Day in the Death of America, he profiles ten kids killed by guns on one typical day.

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A Journey into the Heart of Trump Country

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


For her new book, sociologist Arlie Hochschild listened to Trump supporters explain their world in their own words. She spent five years in southwestern Louisiana searching for their “deep story,” which she recounts in Strangers in Their Own Land—it’s been longlisted for the National Book Award. Plus: The battle inside Trump’s campaign about whether to take the low road, or the high one. Amy Wilentz analyzes the role of the Trump children—who, we are told, are trying to get their father to campaign on actual political issues. And we’ll also hear a chilling disaster at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980, where the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal was almost detonated. That’s the subject of the new documentary Command and Control—director Robert Kenner and writer Eric Schlosser explain. The film rolls out this week across the nation.

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Katha Pollitt: It’s Time to Get Active for Hillary

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Sep 28, 2016


Feeling unenthusiastic about Hillary Clinton? Katha Pollitt says “If she loses, it’s your fault”—so it’s time to go to work on phone banks and canvassing. Also: Why does Trump appeal to so many voters? Kai Wright went deep into to Trump territory on Long Island to find out – he’s host and producer of The Nation’s new podcast, “The United States of Anxiety.” Plus: The Labour Left won a big victory in Britain with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. D.D. Guttenplan explains.

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Bernie Sanders Speaks: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Building a Revolution

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Sep 21, 2016


The Nation interview with Bernie: John Nichols, who with Katrina vanden Heuvel sat down with the senator, sets the scene and introduces our excerpts. Plus: Edward Snowden explains his motivation for revealing the extent of NSA surveillance, and says he’d be willing to go to jail if he could come home. Amy Wilentz explains Snowden’s appearance via live video from Moscow at a UC Irvine conference and introduces our excerpts. Also: Henry Kissinger, war criminal and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has announced he will not endorse either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Greg Grandin talks about Kissinger’s life and crimes—his book Kissinger’s Shadow is out now in paperback.

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Oliver Stone: Edward Snowden Has Done Something ‘Quite Amazing’

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Sep 14, 2016


The film 'Snowden,' which opens this weekend, was turned down by all of the big Hollywood studios. Director Oliver Stone explains what it took to make his film about the NSA whistleblower—and why Snowden deserves a presidential pardon. Plus: Nation Sports Editor Dave Zirin says Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police violence is changing the NFL, which has been a bastion of support for our permanent state of war. And Margo Jefferson talks about what she calls 'Negroland'—the world of the black elite in the fifties, the world in which she grew up. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism; her book Negroland: A Memoir won the National Book Critics Circle award –it’s out now in paperback.

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White Workers, Trump, and Clinton

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Sep 07, 2016


It’s the year of the white working class, and Joan Walsh reports on the Democrats’ efforts to win back the voters they have been losing since the sixties. Plus, the fight over the Clinton Foundation: Amy Wilentz says it’s time for Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea to step aside—immediately, and forever. Also: What is it like to be an abortion provider in an anti-choice state? Dr. Leah Torres describes her work as one of the only doctors providing abortions in Utah.

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The Green Party’s Jill Stein Wants a Green New Deal

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Aug 31, 2016


In this exclusive interview with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president responds to the most common criticisms she hears: Won’t a Green vote make Trump’s victory more likely? Didn’t Bernie show it was better for progressives to work inside the Democratic Party? She also lays out her plan for a “Green New Deal.” Plus: French officials banned the burkini from beaches on the grounds that it was “a symbol of the enslavement of women.” Katha Pollitt has a different view. And as Labor Day weekend approaches, Harold Meyerson analyzes some political victories for the working class, especially in California, where Democrats have complete control of state politics.

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Why Won’t Obama Grant Edward Snowden Amnesty?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Aug 24, 2016


The power of independent journalism was demonstrated last week when the Obama Justice Department announced the end of incarceration of federal prisoners in private prisons. Seth Freed Wessler explains what it took to uncover dozens of questionable deaths in his yearlong investigation for The Nation. Also: Who is Jared Kushner, and why does Trump listen to his advice? Amy Wilentz tells the story of Ivanka’s husband—how his father was sent to prison by Chris Christie, how the 2007 crash nearly destroyed his family’s fortune, and how he’s advising the Republican candidate. Plus: Amnesty for Edward Snowden. ACLU Attorney Ben Wizener argues that Obama should do the right thing in view of Snowden’s contributions to freedom and democracy.

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The Woman Behind Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Aug 17, 2016


The most powerful person in Donald Trump’s campaign is not a political professional but rather his own daughter, Ivanka. Amy Wilentz explains how Ivanka got there, and comments on her personal, and political, history. Also: Rosa Brooks talks about “how everything became war and the military became everything”—the title of her new book. She worked at the Pentagon; now she’s a law professor at Georgetown University. Plus: We’re still thinking about the sixties—and so is Calvin Trillin. He went to Mississippi in 1964 as a young journalist, and in the decades since, he’s written a lot about race in America. His new book is Jackson 1964.

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What Donald Trump Got Very Wrong About Sexual Harassment

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Aug 10, 2016


Katha Pollitt explains how women employees’ complaints of sexual harassment forced out Roger Ailes—and examines Donald Trump’s comments about it. Plus: Ari Berman analyses the effect of voting rights victories in court on Trump’s chances in North Carolina and other swing states. And David Zirin reports from the Olympics in Rio—the protests, the displaced people, and the real problem: not the Brazilian government, but the International Olympic Committee.

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An Hour Without Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Aug 03, 2016


Trump is everywhere in the news this week, so we decided to do something different: 60 minutes of political talk that is Trump-free. Guaranteed. Instead: The fight to limit government surveillance tactics: Ben Wizner talks about what we have won—and what we need to do next. He’s director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and the lawyer for Edward Snowden. Plus: Susan Faludi tells the story of transgender woman—her father, who transitioned when she was 75. Susan of course is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Now she has a new book out: it’s called "In the Darkroom." And Tom Lutz has been traveling a lot – he went to Lhasa to talk about Tibetan resistance to China; he went to Jordan to talk about Iran and America; and he went to Teheran to talk about the Kurds. His new book is "Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World."

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Will Hillary’s Outreach to Bernie’s Supporters Work?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Fri, Jul 29, 2016


John Nichols analyzes Hillary Clinton’s big speech and the place of Bernie Sanders supporters in Democrats’ plans to fight Donald Trump. Plus D.D. Guttenplan reports on Bernie and the Bernie people at the convention—the battles, the booing, and the work to keep the movement alive after November. And Amy Wilentz looks at gender in politics today: Donald Trump’s brand of masculinity, Ivanka Trump’s brand of femininity, and all those criticisms of Hillary Clinton’s voice, smile, and more.

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Can Trump Win? The Republicans After Cleveland

Author: The Nation Magazine
Fri, Jul 22, 2016


Amy Wilentz and Jon Wiener debate Trump’s chances for victory in November: Jon says he won’t win; Amy says ‘don’t be so sure.’ Plus: John Nichols and D.D. Guttenplan analyze the candidate's speech and the aura of violence inside the convention hall, and George Zornick reports on the action in the streets and the conduct of the Cleveland police.

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Don’t Forget: Someone Loved Philando Castile, Someone Loved Alton Sterling

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jul 13, 2016


The shooting of police officers in Dallas does not change anything about the shootings of black men in Baton Rouge or St. Paul, Kai Wright argues—he’s Features Editor of The Nation. Also: Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party in fundamental ways, says Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect, and it may never recover. And Clara Bingham talks about how the sixties changed America, starting with young Hillary and young Bernie. She interviewed 100 people for her new book Witness to the Revolution.

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Clinton's Email, the FBI, and the Voters

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jul 06, 2016


Joan Walsh says the FBI director’s blunt criticism of Clinton’s handling of her email provides the presidential hopeful with an opportunity to acknowledge mistakes and make amends. Walsh is The Nation’s National Affairs correspondent. Plus: we found something else to worry about: Cyber attacks on the US paralyzing our electric grid and our water supply. The award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney has a new documentary about that, called Zero Days—it opens this Friday. Also: Ben Ehrenreich and Amy Wilentz talk about life for Palestinians on the West Bank. Wilentz is a contributing editor at The Nation, and Ehrenreich’s new book is “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine.” And “A Prairie Home Companion” is ending its long run on public radio—Garrison Keillor explains that the secret of the show’s success was “no competition.”

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Brexit’s Unlikely Lessons for Hillary Clinton

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jun 29, 2016


The victorious campaign in Britain to leave the European Union has many striking parallels to Donald Trump’s campaign to win the White House. D.D. Guttenplan says “that ought to keep Hillary supporters awake at night.” Also: the Supreme Court issued a sharp rebuke to Texas’s anti-choice laws on Monday in the most sweeping victory for abortion rights in 25 years. Zo? Carpenter comments. Plus: A test case of Republican vs. Democratic rule in two states. Minnesota and Wisconsin have taken opposite approaches to voting rights, and some other things too—and the results are now clear. Ari Berman explains.

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? Donald Trump Really Could Ban Muslims From Entering the Country

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jun 22, 2016


The People’s Summit brought organizers and activists to Chicago last weekend for three days of planning about where to go next with the Bernie movement—at the Democratic National Convention, and after. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, weighs in. Also, lessons for the left from the NRA in the wake of the Orlando shootings: David Cole, The Nation’s legal affairs correspondent, argues that gun control advocates can win if they focus on state laws rather than Supreme Court challenges. His new book is Engines of Liberty. Plus: Could Donald Trump really ban Muslims from entering the country if he were president? Sasha Abramsky says the answer is simple: yes.

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Life and Death in Gay Orlando

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jun 15, 2016


Orlando was one of the most gay-friendly cities in the South—and still is, says Nadine Smith of Equality Florida. Also: Bernie won the war of ideas in the Democratic party—what does that mean for Hillary now? Harold Meyerson comments. And historian Adam Hochschild talks about the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, American leftists who fought the fascists in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

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What Happened in California?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Thu, Jun 09, 2016


Everything you need to know about the California primary—John Nichols explains it all to producer Alan Minsky. Also: Andrew Cockburn of Harper’s magazine explains how Obama’s drone “kill list” is approved—and what happens after. Because politics isn’t everything, we talked about the great Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai with John Powers—he’s critic at large on “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”

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Does Bernie’s Movement Have a Future?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jun 01, 2016


Bernie Sanders’s campaign rallies in California have brought out more than 100,000 people—many of whom think he can win the state’s primary next week. Nicky Woolf of Guardian US has been following the campaign; he thinks they may be right. Also: Elizabeth Warren seems to be Donald Trump’s most effective critic—and she seems to enjoy the work. Margaret Talbot of The New Yorker comments. Plus: Can the millions of Bernie supporters become a long-lasting force in American politics? D. D. Guttenplan examines four efforts to organize progressives for the years after November 2016.

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Can the Democratic Party Be United?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, May 25, 2016


Bernie Sanders has stopped his direct attacks on Hillary, and he’s been able to make some strong appointments to the platform committee for the Democratic National Convention. Is the unification of the party underway? Harold Meyerson explains. Plus: Most “independent” voters in fact have long-standing ties to one party or the other—very few swing from one party to the other between elections. Joshua Holland has the facts. And Tom Frank examines the “Hillary Doctrine,” her long-standing commitment to microfinance as the best way to help poor women around the world. It doesn’t work, he argues. Tom’s new book is Listen, Liberal!

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Donald Trump Knows the Age of Reagan Is Over. Does Hillary?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, May 18, 2016


Hillary will have to do something different to beat Donald Trump, Bruce Shapiro argues—because appealing to moderates, like the Clintons did in the nineties, is not going to work this year. Also: The #BreakFree climate protests have mobilized tens of thousands in direct actions against coal, oil, and gas companies around the world. Zo? Carpenter reports. Plus: Patrick Cockburn, who Seymour Hersh has called “the best Western journalist at work in Iraq today,” gives us an update on Iraq, Syria, Libya, and ISIS.

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? Hillary Clinton Is Donald Trump’s Dream Opponent

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, May 11, 2016


Donald Trump’s ideal opponent is a member of the establishment, Steve Fraser argues—the kind that used to be called a “limousine liberal.” Hillary Clinton, he argues, fits the bill perfectly. Also: The only way Trump could win, says Ari Berman, is through suppressing the vote of Democrats in half a dozen swing states. A state-by-state survey suggests he’s unlikely to succeed. And historian Eric Foner takes up the question that has troubled Bernie Sanders’s supporters for months: How did he lose the African-American vote to Clinton?

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If Donald Trump Loses, Will There Be Violence?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, May 04, 2016


When Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump in November, his millions of supporters will be told that their American birthright has once again been stolen from them. Rick Perlstein talks about the potential for violence in the streets after election day. Plus: What really happened to Sandra Bland? To understand that, you have to begin way before she died in a Texas jail. Debbie Nathan reports.

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Could Donald Trump Actually Win Some of Bernie’s Supporters?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Apr 27, 2016


Trump says he’ll fight for jobs against NAFTA-type trade deals, and he doesn’t take money from Wall Street. Is that enough to win some of Bernie Sanders’s supporters to his side? John Nichols weighs in on this week’s primary results. Plus: The Prince of Sex: Richard Kim explains why Prince is a gay icon today—despite the artist’s lack of support for the gay movement. Also: Challenging “Political Correctness” is a favorite theme of Donald Trump—but what exactly does that mean? Laila Lalami explains.

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Frank Rich: How Hillary Could Lose to Trump

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Apr 20, 2016


A Clinton vs. Trump campaign in the fall would be a battle of the negatives, Frank Rich says--and Hillary’s are dangerously high. Plus: Hillary and Haiti—a long relationship, and a revealing one. Amy Wilentz comments. And we speak with Viet Nguyen—his novel "The Sympathizer" just won the Pulitzer Prize. It begins in Saigon on the last day of the Vietnam war, and features a Viet Cong spy inside the Saigon army.

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Naomi Klein Says Climate Justice Requires Bernie’s Boldness

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Apr 13, 2016


Naomi Klein argues that the problem with Hillary Clinton’s climate policy is not her corporate contributions; it’s her corporate ideology. The climate justice movement, she says, "requires the kind of boldness Bernie Sanders represents." Also: Military historian Andrew Bacevich says America can never win its twenty-year war for the Middle East. Plus: Amy Goodman talks about how she got arrested at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008—and other highlights from the 20-year history of the show Democracy Now!

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? Bernie Sanders Has Momentum on His Side

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Apr 06, 2016


John Nichols says that, after the Wisconsin primary, Bernie has momentum on his side. Also: David Cole argues that citizen activists are the real force behind changes in constitutional law—look at how the NRA changed the meaning of the Second Amendment; look at how the gay rights movement changed the meaning of “marriage.” His new book is Engines of Liberty. Plus, Obama’s legacy: Gary Younge contrasts the symbolic victory with the real defeats for the left, especially in the use of US military power in the Mideast.

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What Kind of President Would Donald Trump Be?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 30, 2016


Sasha Abramsky asks, if Donald Trump were president, would he be a familiar kind of New York deal-maker—or a deluded demagogue? Campaign contributions go mostly to TV ads that don’t work, and consultants who are even more useless, Andrew Cockburn reports—what counts is face-to-face canvassing to build voter turnout. Obama is a “folk hero” in black America, says Erin Aubrey Kaplan—her new book is "I Heart Obama.” And, for opening day of major league baseball, our Dave Zirin talks about the game with Noam Chomsky—who recalls growing up with the hapless Philadelphia Athletics, and going to Little League games with his grandson today.

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Bernie Is Bringing the Reagan Era to an End

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 23, 2016


Bernie Sanders is the leading edge of the historical forces bringing the 40-year Reagan era to an end, says Richard Parker of Harvard’s Kennedy School. Plus: Obama’s legacy for black America is mostly symbolic, Gary Younge argues—the wealth gap between black and white Americans has grown over the last eight years, along with black poverty. Gary writes for The Guardian and The Nation. Also: the real politics of hope—Rebecca Solnit talks about untold histories and wild possibilities—her new book is Hope in the Dark.

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Bernie Isn't Finished

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


John Nichols answers the question, what’s left for Bernie Sanders after Tuesday’s primaries? Quite a bit, he says—he’s The Nation’s National Affairs correspondent. Plus: North Carolina’s new voter ID requirements, the most restrictive in the country, went into effect on Tuesday—Ari Berman explains the problem. He's the author of 'Give Us the Ballot.' And Thomas Frank asks the question, whatever happened to the party of the people? His new book is 'Listen, Liberal.'

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Bernie on the Move

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 09, 2016


Harold Meyerson says Bernie’s victory in Michigan shows he'd be a stronger candidate than Hillary in big industrial states with diverse populations and big problems. Harold is executive editor of The American Prospect. Plus: Donald Trump: fascist, or clown? John Powers says there are clownish aspects to Trump’s performance at his rallies, but also an aura of violence against those who would challenge him. John is critic at large on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he has a listening audience of around four million. Also: A different kind of politics: the gay revolution. Lillian Faderman talks about the 50-year fight—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers. Her new book is The Gay Revolution.

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Donald Trump, Master of Hate

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Mar 02, 2016


Joan Walsh on panic in the GOP establishment over Trump's triumphs on Super Tuesday; Joan is The Nation’s national affairs correspondent. Plus: What Trump supporters really think. Sasha Abramsky interviewed a bunch of them; he reports regularly on politics for The Nation. Also: Trump says he reviles Muslims and reveres veterans—but some vets have been speaking out in defense of the Muslims they know and work with. Laila Lalami has that story—she’s The Nation’s newest columnist.

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Can Anything Stop Donald Trump?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


John Nichols says it’s hard to see how the Republican Party can stop Trump from winning the nomination—for starters, nobody is trying—and it’s not hard see how his appeal to working class white voters could make him president. Julianne Hing reports from Nevada on what it's like to go to a Trump rally and a Cruz rally—on the same day—and what voters who are not white are saying about the campaigns. And, for something completely different, A.O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times, talks about art, pleasure, beauty, and truth—topics in his new book, Better Living Through Criticism.

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Who Is Hillary Clinton?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 17, 2016


Katha Pollitt asks, “Is it wrong for women Democrats to want to vote for a woman Democrat?” In 2008 she voted for Obama rather than Hillary; today she’s a Clinton supporter. Gary Younge looks back on Hillary’s 30-plus years in American politics and argues that “It is easy to forget what a mould-breaking, bad-ass figure Hillary cut when she first appeared on the national stage in 1992.” Award-winning filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talks about The Look of Silence, his Oscar-nominated documentary on genocide in Indonesia in 1965-66 and its aftermath today—in Indonesia, and in American politics.

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The Secret to Bernie’s Startling Success

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 10, 2016


Republican disarray deepens after New Hampshire: Rick Perlstein explains the dilemma of the GOP establishment, as their chosen candidates continue to slide. Also: The startling success of Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. It’s not just that he’s from the state next door, says D. D. Guttenplan. And Hillary’s problem is bigger than “the messaging.” And Jane Mayer of The New Yorker examines the secret efforts of the Koch Brothers and their billionaire friends to move the Republican Party to the right—the far, far right.

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How Bernie Sanders Went From Trailing by Double Digits to Tying in Iowa

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Gary Younge says Donald Trump is not a uniquely American phenomenon, but part of a broader Western European phenomenon of white, nativist responses to globalization, immigration and terrorism. Joan Walsh analyzes the Republicans after Trump’s second-place finish—as the party establishment has a chance to reassert itself, John Nichols explains how Bernie went from 50 points behind to tie Hillary in Iowa—and what she is doing to change course. And, as the Superbowl approaches, David Zirin has some unkind words about the NFL’s claims that its “Head Health Initiative” has reduced concussions.

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Frank Rich on Donald Trump; plus Bill McKibben and Anna Deavere Smith

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 27, 2016


The GOP establishment is moving toward accepting Donald Trump as their candidate, says Frank Rich—they think he will make deals with them, while Ted Cruz won’t. Also: Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the global climate movement: he says the fight to end the fossil fuel era is happening almost in secret, as local activists battle on thousands of fronts around the world. Plus: Anna Deavere Smith, the actor and playwright, talks about her new work on the school-to-prison pipeline, and performing in her home town of Baltimore after the police killed Freddie Gray.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel: Why We've Endorsed Bernie Sanders

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 20, 2016


The Nation magazine has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president; editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel explains why. Also: Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation, talks with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about black politics, Ferguson, John Lewis, Donald Trump, and also Gil Scott-Heron. Plus: The Big Short is probably the best movie Hollywood has ever made about an economic crisis—it’s fun, but it’s also serious. Kenneth Turan explains—he’s film critic for the LA Times.

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Should Feminists Vote for Clinton?

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 13, 2016


Katha Pollitt says feminists should vote for Hillary Clinton, who will be good for women, and who is the only Democratic candidate who can win. But Liza Featherstone says feminists should not vote for Clinton—her record is full of attacks on poor women, starting with “welfare reform.” Also, Tavis Smiley talks about Martin Luther King’s last year—the year that began with his speech condemning the war in Vietnam, where he called the US “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

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Rick Perlstein: Rahm Emanuel Must Go

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Jan 06, 2016


Rick Perlstein on Chicago’s mayor; Adam Gopnik and Amy Wilentz on the Charlie Hebdo shooting, one year later; and Rebecca Solnit on climate change in the Himalayas.

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The Best of the Left in 2015

Author: The Nation Magazine
Tue, Dec 22, 2015


The most valuable activist, the biggest ideological comeback, the best newspaper front page, and more: John Nichols presents The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll for 2015. Also: guns in America. What is to be done? Amy Wilentz weighs in. Plus: The great Gore Vidal: Jay Parini wrote a great biography.

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Barbara Ehrenreich Explains Why the White Working Class Is Dying—Literally

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 16, 2015


On this week’s podcast, Barbara Ehrenreich talks about the alarming rise in the death rate of middle-aged white working class men, who are committing suicide and dying of drug overdoses and alcoholism. Also: Rebecca Solnit explains the achievements and limitations of the Paris climate agreement, and the tasks facing the environmental movement now. And John Powers reports on Canada’s popular new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has already welcomed Syrian refugees—and defended the Alberta tar sands.

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ISIS and American Muslims; Republicans and American Guns

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 09, 2015


Laila Lalami talks about what ISIS wants from American Muslims; Joan Walsh explains the real reason we don’t have gun control; and we remember Chernobyl—Amy Wilentz and Tom Lutz talk about writer Svetlana Alexievich, the new winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Naomi Klein: The Paris Climate Conference Protests Will Not Be Stopped

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Dec 02, 2015


Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine and the Paris climate protests, Katha Pollitt on Europe’s refugee crisis, Eric Foner on Woodrow Wilson’s racism, and Joan Walsh on the Republicans and the Planned Parenthood killings.

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Bernie Sanders’s Socialism; the Future of Football

Author: The Nation Magazine
Tue, Nov 24, 2015


Eric Foner on how Bernie should talk about socialism, Dave Zirin on parents and football, Ari Berman on the battle for the vote, and Julianne Hing on Republicans and refugees.

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The Arab World and ISIS; The New York Times and Bernie Sanders

Author: The Nation Magazine
Wed, Nov 18, 2015


Laila Lalami talks about the origins of ISIS, and what to do about it now. Laila grew up in Morocco; her novel 'The Moor's Account' was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Also: The New York Times coverage of Bernie Sanders has been condescending, and terrible: journalist Amy Wilentz comments on the recent page one story 'Bernie Sanders Won’t Kiss Your Baby.' Plus: Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, talks about growing up poor and black in rural Louisiana; his book 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones' is out now in paperback; And Terry Gross explains the difference between interviewing Hillary and interviewing Bill. It’s her 40th anniversary hosting 'Fresh Air.'

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