News & Politics
The Nation

The Nation February 3, 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.

United States
The Nation, LP
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36 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Hog Hell I read “Raising a Stink” by Barry Yeoman in the January 13/20 issue with intense interest. Yogi Berra could have told me it was “déjà vu all over again.” Or perhaps “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” In 1998 the American Planning Association published my monograph research report on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. In Planning and Zoning for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, I detailed the challenges for local governments in using land-use ordinances to manage the impacts of huge hog-, poultry-, and beef-raising operations. Odors were clearly an issue, along with manure runoff producing water pollution and other factors. Among the obstacles were state laws exempting farms from zoning rules—still a major impediment to better environmental management in Iowa. But I was also struck…

5 min.
the way out

“You, the American people, should be extremely grateful and happy,” Donald Trump announced the morning after Iran launched missiles at two US bases in Iraq after the assassination of Iran’s top general. “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack.” In Trump’s madcap presidency, even his efforts at deescalation threaten to give peace a bad name, as previously exemplified by his betrayal of the Kurds in an aborted attempt to remove US troops from Syria. Now his capricious use of the military exposes once more the folly of our misadventures in the Middle East. Progressives—and a reinvigorated peace movement—must take the lead in demanding an end to this decades-long debacle. Trump is like the spoiled, delinquent teenager you would never trust with the keys to your car. Sadly, a minority of Americans…

1 min.
by the numbers

1.2B Metric tons of greenhouse gases emitted by the US military since 2001—roughly equivalent to the annual output of 257 million passenger cars, according to Brown University’s Costs of War Project 77–80% Percentage of US government energy consumption for which the military is responsible 47th The US military’s ranking, if it were a country, among greenhouse gas emitters, based on its fuel usage alone—ahead of Sweden, Portugal, and Denmark 4–8 Miles per gallon of diesel fuel for the Army’s 55,000 Humvees 80 Number of countries across six continents in which the US is engaged in counterterrorism operations…

4 min.
love and rockets

In the weeks leading up to the Iraq War, I was a columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer who opposed it. An Ohio congressman I’d never met, Sherrod Brown, had cast his vote against it. Every marriage has a story about its beginnings. This is ours. One of our early dating habits was to share our hate mail on Fridays. Most of it was about our opposition to the war. We were regularly called traitors. Some people were willing to sign their names to letters demanding our deaths. Being hated by the same kind of people can help a couple bond. We married in April 2004. Sherrod was hardly alone in his opposition to the war; 156 members of Congress voted against it. But as Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan recently noted, few…

3 min.
q&a gabriel zucman

For the past few decades, the Democratic Party has ceded the tax debate to the GOP by failing to put forward a truly progressive vision for taxation. According to economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in their new book, The Triumph of Injustice, the result is a country with a plutocratic tax system. class a bit more but without much variation, except at the very, very top. When you look at billionaires, or at the top The authors find that the top 1 percent earn nearly twice as much of the share of the national income as the bottom 50 percent. This reality is why one of the main battles emerging in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has focused on the best way to tax the rich. Saez and…

1 min.
good intentions

California’s poorly worded Assembly Bill 5, a law intended to rein in huge companies like Uber and Lyft, went into effect on January 1. The statute has a good intent: to protect gig workers by reclassifying them as employees entitled to benefits rather than as independent contractors. But AB 5 will affect self-employed people across the economic spectrum. For example, it limits freelance writers to 35 contributions per year to any one publication, thus putting at risk weekly columnists, bloggers, and cartoonists. Many groups with powerful lobbies behind them, such as doctors, managed to carve out exemptions to the law, and Uber is largely refusing to cooperate with it, banking on the company’s ability to overturn it via a ballot initiative later this year. But many other less-represented groups did not…