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The Nation

The Nation November 16-23, 2020

The Nation is America's oldest weekly magazine and is independently published. The Nation speaks to an engaged audience as a champion of civil liberties, human rights, and economic justice. The Nation breaks down critical issues with lively editorials, in-depth investigative reporting and analysis, as well as award-winning arts coverage. Publisher and Editor: Katrina vanden Heuvel.

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United States
The Nation, LP
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36 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
unpack the court

THE SENATE’S OBSCENE RUSH TO CONFIRM AMY CONEY BARRETT—IN TIME TO allow her, as Donald Trump has made clear, to assist his efforts to steal the election—​should force even the most blinkered observer to acknowledge the deeply political nature of our judiciary. Coming after the Senate’s refusal to even grant Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing and its subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for that stolen seat, the latest Republican power play has done much to strip away the mystique that previously cloaked the deliberations of the Supreme Court’s nine justices. Despite their black robes, ritual use of Latin, and lifetime appointments, they’re simply fallible mortals with the same prejudices and predilections as the rest of us. Unlike the blindfolded figure of Justice, the Supreme Court has a long history…

9 min.
a history of abuse

“THIS PLACE IS HELL…. MY EXPERIENCE WAS DARKNESS, dirtiness, muddiness. The floors—dirty. The walls—dirty. Everything was dirty.” In 2019, Jaromy Floriano Navarro was sent to the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, where she was held for nearly a year before being deported to Mexico in September. While at Irwin, she had a distressing experience with a medical provider who treated detainees at the facility. “I met [gynecologist] Dr. [Mahendra] Amin in March. He said I had a cyst…. He told me about the process to get my cyst removed. I was going to have three little dots on my belly, and it would take 20 minutes. One hole by my belly, one by my womb, one by my vagina,” she said. “The nurse who was taking me to the hospital…

5 min.
the trauma presidency

THERE WAS NEVER A WAY TO UNDERSTAND THE forcible separation of migrant parents and their children as anything other than a program to intentionally inflict widespread punitive psychological harm. Even as Trump administration officials publicly claimed ripping apart families was an unforeseen consequence of begrudging compliance with existing immigration law, they privately promoted the policy as one that would create mental anguish to deter migrant arrivals. In May 2018, one month before falsely claiming the administration had “never really intended to” separate families, then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly gave border prosecutors their marching orders, declaring, “We need to take away children.” Rod Rosenstein, the deputy AG at the time, ordered US attorneys who had declined to pursue cases involving toddlers to make “no categorical exemption” in prosecutions merely “because of…

5 min.
the plot against america

A MAJOR REASON DONALD TRUMP HAS GOTTEN AWAY WITH all his lies and crimes as president has been the contextless coverage he receives. Some excellent investigative reporting aside, the avalanche of Trump’s outrages against law, decency, and common sense has had the paradoxical effect of burying the big picture. One reporter who manages to avoid this syndrome is CNN’s Daniel Dale, who, on the presidential lying beat, has somehow kept his cool, his sense of humor, and most crucially, his focus on what really matters. After Trump’s and Joe Biden’s dueling town hall meetings, Dale tweeted something that should underlie all election coverage: “One of the differences between Trump and Biden from a fact check perspective is that Trump regularly says or amplifies claims that are like completely bananas, entirely…

2 min.
empty threats

1 “TTPs” (tactics, techniques, and procedures) This term is common in counter-terrorism and refers to patterns of behavior characteristic of certain terrorist groups. Use of a term associated with terrorism so prominently in this document is noteworthy, since many suspects, as it points out, may not even hold violent extremist beliefs. 2 “VOs” (violent opportunists) This document later states that the DHS defines VOs as “illicit actors who may or may not hold violent extremist ideological beliefs, but seek to exploit opportunities in non-violent protests to engage in unlawful violence.” 3 “protestors in Hong Kong” Since 2019, Hong Kong residents have demonstrated against mainland China’s attempts to impose its extradition laws on them. US law enforcement often looks for foreign ties in domestic protest movements, which allows them to take greater liberties in surveillance. 4 “JRIC”…

4 min.
the argument

PHILIP GUSTON DIDN’T WANT HIS WORK TO go down easy—with others or, above all, with himself. He felt himself to be one of those who, as his friend Willem de Kooning put it, was “too nervous to find out where they ought to sit. They do not want to ‘sit in style.’” Having once, like many of his generation, tossed aside figurative art and found success in abstraction, he was still unhappy. Toward the end of the 1960s, “sick and tired of all that Purity,” he betrayed abstraction (so most of his colleagues thought) and forged a new approach to painting: funky, demotic, blunt. A critic in The New York Times dismissed him as a mandarin masquerading as a stumblebum. Among the paintings he made in this later phase were…