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Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders raises a fist as he speaks at his caucus night rally Des Moines

How Bernie Sanders Can Squander – Or Expand – His Victory

A Democratic victory could make Bernie Sanders chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, with power over the fiscal priorities of the next White House.

April 29, 2016
Paul Manafort

How Trump’s Paul Manafort Became Expert On “Crooked” Washington

How did Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort become the lobbyist-of-choice for Mobutu Sese Seko? The kleptocratic Congo dictator was impressed when a major influence-peddling scandal exposed Manafort’s machinations.

April 25, 2016
A combination photo of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

The People Who Really Know Trump Best? His Neighbors Voted For Kasich

In the vote totals reported from the precincts closest to Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s actual homes, an amusing wrinkle appeared.

April 19, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders delivers a foreign policy speech before a campaign rally in Salt Lake City, Utah March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

On Israel, Bernie Sanders Is Right (And Hillary Clinton Knows It)

Unfortunately, Clinton’s current approach is the dismal standard in American politics, which made Bernie Sanders’ honesty about Israel and Palestine even more refreshing.

April 15, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders holds a town hall event at the Navajo Nation casino in Flagstaff

Tax Transparency: Sanders Again Promises Full Disclosure

It is also puzzling that the media generally and the top newspaper editorial pages in particular remain so tolerant of stonewalling on taxes by all the candidates. That wasn’t their attitude toward disclosure four years ago, when Mitt Romney tried that strategy.

April 11, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sanders reacts to the primary election results during a campaign rally in Phoenix

Sanders Was Wrong: Panama Trade Deal Shut Down Tax Shelters

Ever since the ‪#‎PanamaPapers‬ exploded into public consciousness, many observers have waited with excitement (or trepidation) for the names of Bill and Hillary Clinton to appear somewhere in those millions of pages.

April 9, 2016
TrumpandCruz

How To Become Terror-Torn Europe — And How Not To

The would-be presidents vying for the Republican nomination consistently serve as useful idiots, their declarations of hostility to Islam only alienating that faith’s billion followers here and abroad, while in no way advancing our security.

March 25, 2016
A supporter of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders holds a sign and wears a mask of Sanders' rival candidate Hillary Clinton outside of the venue before the start of the Univision News and Washington Post Democratic U.S. presidential candidates debate in Kendall, Florida, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

What Sanders — And His Supporters — Must Remember Before November

It is no accident, as they say, that those who “feel the Bern” today include prominent supporters of Ralph Nader’s independent presidential campaign in 2000. Their urge to reject grubby compromise, and assert moral purity is as powerful today as four cycles ago.

March 11, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the South Carolina primary to supporters at a primary night party in Columbia

Hillary Clinton: “I’ve Gotten More Votes Than Anybody Running On Either Side”

Is she right? My back-of-the-envelope calculations show that Clinton has received more than 4.1 million votes in primaries and caucuses.

March 6, 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a campaign event in Radford

Against Fascism: For Honest Conservatives, The Only Answer Is #NeverTrump

For too long, right-wing pundits and politicians seemed much more disturbed by Donald Trump’s past positions on healthcare, abortion, and guns than his current appeals to racism, xenophobia, and violence.

February 29, 2016
bernie iraq war

Vetting Bernie: He Never Voted For Intervention In Iraq — Except Twice

The socialist Vermont senator is under fresh scrutiny today on the (further) left, where his support for intervention in Bosnia and Afghanistan has raised sharp questions. In the online magazine Counter-Punch, Jeffrey St. Clair complains that even on Iraq, Sanders is a “hypocrite.”

February 17, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrive on stage ahead of the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidates debate in Milwaukee

His Respected Friend: But What Does Bernie Really Think Of Hillary?

It is wrong to accuse Clinton of “pay for play” when the available evidence doesn’t support that accusation. And if Sanders wants to hold her to a standard of absolute purity, he should apply that same measure to himself.

February 13, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to questions at Rochester Opera House campaign town hall meeting in Rochester

Most Of The “Most Valuable Progressives” Named By ‘The Nation’ Have Endorsed…Hillary?

As voting approaches and primary rhetoric gets super-hot, it is worth remembering that progressives can differ honestly over whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will represent the nation’s real interests most effectively.

January 28, 2016
Anthony Kennedy

Unhappy Anniversary: How Anthony Kennedy Flooded Democracy With ‘Sewer Money’

On today’s anniversary of the ‘Citizens United’ decision, which exposed American democracy to increasing domination by the country’s very richest and most reactionary figures, it is worth recalling the false promise made by the Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion in that case.

January 21, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidates Trump and Cruz speak simultaneously during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston

New York Values: What Tiny Ted Cruz Will Never Understand About The Big City

Disparaging New York has long been a favorite trope for reactionary loudmouths, always with an ugly undertone of bigotry against racial, ethnic, religious and, more recently, sexual minorities. Ted Cruz is no exception.

January 15, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to her introduction at a campaign event in Sioux City

Did Hillary Clinton Try To Silence Juanita Broaddrick? She Told NBC News That ‘Nobody’ Ever Did

Juanita Broaddrick recently posted on Twitter her claim that “Hillary tried to silence me” about her alleged rape by Bill Clinton in 1978. But as with all of her sensational charges, it is hard to know what to believe about that accusation because she has also said — and perhaps sworn — precisely the opposite.

January 12, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is joined onstage by her family at a campaign kick off rally in New York

Below Par: Donald Trump’s Ardent Courtship Of Bill And Hillary Clinton

Like so much of Trump’s loud talk, his disparaging remarks about Bill and Hillary Clinton have scant credibility. Whatever he claims to think of them now, he has spent years sucking up to the Clintons in the most abject way.

January 1, 2016
christmas tree, christmas lights

The Simple, Clear, And Still Radical Meaning Of The Christmas Story

It is the story of a child born to a carpenter and his wife, the working class of ancient Judea, who lived under the rule of a distant dictatorial regime and its local enforcers. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were refugees.

December 24, 2015
Senate Majority Leader McConnell talks to reporters after the Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington

When Will Corporate America Confront Republican Climate Denial?

What would forward-looking American corporations do if they really, truly, seriously wanted to stop climate change? They would do what they do whenever they want to influence any important policy change, of course.

December 4, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey during the 68th annual presentation of the turkey in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington

Thanksgiving: In A Time Of Malevolence, Renewed Appreciation For Barack Obama

Donald Trump promises to make Americans proud of our country again, but the spectacle of furious thousands cheering him at a rally evokes revulsion and shame. So when President Obama speaks out to defend immigrants and refugees from his brand of scurrilous abuse, I feel a deep sense of gratitude

November 26, 2015
An undated photograph of a man described as Abdelhamid Abaaoud that was published in the Islamic State's online magazine Dabiq and posted on a social media website

ISIS Assumes We’re Stupid — And Our Useful Idiots Keep Proving It

The enemy has showed us quite clearly what not to do, expecting that we will continue to do it anyway because we’re bigoted and stupid. So far, they’ve been proved right.

November 19, 2015
Owner Jim Fadden escorts U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich through Fadden's General Store in North Woodstock

Today’s Useful Idiot: John Kasich

Too bad: John Kasich, the Republican presidential aspirant who seemed comparatively sane, turns out to be as loony as any of his companions on the GOP debate stage – perhaps even loonier.

November 18, 2015
The Eiffel Tower is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris, France, November 16, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of a series of deadly attacks on Friday in the French capital.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Paris Terror: Why ISIS Needs The ‘Useful Idiots’ Who Demonize Muslims

Every imbecile who threatens Muslims is an unwitting agent of ISIS; in fact, it would be unsurprising to learn that ISIS itself is covertly promoting such messages in order to intensify enmity between the peoples of the Quran and the rest of the world.

November 16, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with rival candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and thanks him for saying that he and the American people are sick of hearing about her State Department email controversy and want to hear about issues that effect their lives as they participate in the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Carbon Tax, ExIm Bank, Glass Steagall: Hard Questions For Democratic Debaters, Please

The Democratic candidates ought to be asked about their differences in dealing with the most challenging issue of our time: global climate change. So far Clinton has failed to endorse a tax on carbon emissions, which Sanders supports and many experts believe is essential if the world is to avoid a climate calamity.

November 13, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) takes part in a rally to preserve union pensions in Washington

What “Socialism” Means To Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton — And You

Bernie Sanders assures voters that he is running to win and there is no reason to doubt him. But win or lose, his campaign nevertheless is proving highly educational for Americans perpetually perplexed by the meaning of “socialism.” Or as Sanders sometimes specifies, “democratic socialism,” or the even milder “social democracy.”

November 6, 2015
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