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Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes
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Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

Author: Chris Hayes, MSNBC & NBCNews THINK

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Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening?

This podcast starts to answer these questions. Writers, experts, and thinkers who are also trying to get to the bottom of them join Chris to break it all down and help him get a better night’s rest. “Why is this Happening?” is presented by MSNBC and NBCNews Think.
66 Episodes
After two years of a Donald Trump presidency, voters turned out in the 2018 midterms to deliver Democrats the House by a historic margin. That freshman class has its fair share of rabble-rousers who are using their platforms to shake up Congress from the left of the party.  But those members of Congress aren’t the ones who won Democrats the majority – for that, you have to look at the candidates who flipped district after district on election night. That includes Rep. Max Rose (D-NY 11th), an exceptionally fascinating guy who won a historically conservative district. Frontline members like Rep. Rose are the cornerstone upon which this Democratic majority is built, and will therefore be crucial to maintaining that majority in 2020. So how is his approach different – and how is it being received by his constituents?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Got impeachment on the mind? If you do, odds are there are two recent examples of the impeachment process you might be drawing from – Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. But what do you know about the first ever presidential impeachment? There is no better time to revisit the case of Andrew Johnson, the white supremacist President whose impeachment reveals a wild truth about the history of this country. Brenda Wineapple spent the last six years uncovering the details of an erratic and power hungry President thrust into power after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Hear her tell the story of how Johnson's dangerous actions during Reconstruction presented an extraordinary moral dilemma for the nation and its leaders.RELATED READING: The Impeachers by Brenda Wineapple “The First Presidential Impeachment” by Chris HayesLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
Liberalism is the ordering principal of American government, and yet liberalism is embattled.  After the end of the Cold War, it was widely believed that liberal democracy would spread inexorably, but instead new challenges to liberalism have emerged. Across the world, authoritarian governments flourish and some countries have begun to backslide away from liberalism. Even here at home, liberalism’s critics on the left and right have found renewed strength. This week Adam Gopnik, author of the new book A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism, sits down to discuss the roots and tenets of liberalism and the serious challenges our liberal democracy now faces.Email us at WITHpod@gmail.comTweet using #WITHpodRead more at LINKS:A Thousand Small Sanities by Adam GopnikOn Liberty by John Stuart MillOn the Subjection of Women by John Stuart MillHow the South Won the Civil War by Adam GopnikPostwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony JudtLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” In July of 2013, Alicia Garza wrote these words in reaction to a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. That post turned into a hashtag which became the rallying cry for one of the most recognizable social movements of this generation. While it can feel like the nation’s current racial discourse is trending downward, the last four or five years has seen an ostensible rapid expansion of social justice consciousness with public opinion polling showing racial attitudes moving in the right direction. Black Lives Matter was an enormous part of catalyzing these public opinion changes and reform movements. Alicia Garza is at the center of it all and joins us to shed light on the origins of #BlackLivesMatter and how it’s evolved in the years since.RELATED LINKS:Black Census Results Colony in a Nation Candidates: Here Is What Black People Want Trump Scheme to Rig the Census with Dale HoEnding Mass Incarceration with Larry Krasner Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We just celebrated our one year #WITHpod anniversary! What!? To mark the occasion, we put together a second mailbag episode with producer Tiffany Champion to answer your questions and reflect on the year. Find out who Chris said was his favorite guest, why he loves #WITHpod listeners so much, and what he hopes to do in our second year.Thanks for listening!EPISODES MENTIONED:School Segregation in 2018 with Nikole Hannah-Jones (July 31, 2018)The Rule of Law in the Era of Trump with Kate Shaw (May 22, 2018)The Uninhabitable Earth with David Wallace-Wells (March 5, 2019)Dying of Whiteness with Jonathan Metzl (March 26, 2019)Amazon's Wish List with Stacy Mitchell (January 22, 2019)Abolishing Prisons with Mariame Kaba (April 10, 2019)Our Real Estate Obsession with Giorgio Angelini (July 24, 2019)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
An era of paranoia, the pull of radical politics, the way in which an entire society can fall under the sway of a fever, and how that fever eventually breaks. These themes made up one of the darkest periods of modern American History: The era of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. This week historian and journalist David Maraniss discusses his new book “A Good American Family”, that excavates the story of his own leftist parents as they lived and raised a family during the Red Scare. Maraniss reconstructs his parents’ story by using memoir, archived materials, and corroborating accounts to piece together his family’s own experience. It is a story that gives insight into the experience of those targeted during the Red Scare and themes that we are still seeing and grappling with now. RELATED:A Good American Family by David Maraniss Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On the final day of Passover this year, a gunman walked into a synagogue outside of San Diego, killing one and injuring three more. Exactly six months earlier, a man entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, shouted anti-Semitic slurs and opened fire, killing 11 of those gathered. These acts of violence are part of a marked rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes unfolding across the nation in recent years. Historian Deborah Lipstadt examines these most recent manifestations of anti-Semitism and connects them to their earliest iterations centuries ago.RELATED:Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah LipstadtMan’s Search for Meaning by Viktor FranklLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
Should you be worried about the federal deficit? While campaigning, President Trump followed in the footsteps of his conservative predecessors by fear-mongering about the ballooning deficit but when he got to the White House that concern seemed to disappear when it came to his tax cuts for the rich and increased government spending. In fact, there’s a pattern to the Republicans’ selective concern about increasing the deficit, and it all depends on who holds the power. When you look at the behavior of people in politics, they don’t really care about the national debt as much as they like to talk about it. So what does their bad faith use of the deficit tell us about how important that number actually is? Stephanie Kelton is here to break it all down - the national deficit, the nature of money itself, federal spending, and why it’s time to stop comparing it to a household budget.Email us at WITHpod@gmail.comTweet using #WITHpodRead more at more about your ad choices. Visit
What is the most devastating impact Donald Trump has had on the highest office? His lies and rhetoric and bigotry have all had a poisonous effect on our national discourse. But when it comes to his destruction of norms, those are only the ones most visible to the public. What about the destruction of norms going on behind the scenes, disrupting the most critical work necessary for running the federal government? Michael Lewis, the prolific author of "The Big Short", "Moneyball", and many more, turned his attention to the engine rooms of government in the aftermath of President Trump's election. His latest book, "The Fifth Risk", chronicles not only the crippling of federal agencies under the Trump administration, but also the dedicated and tireless work of civil servants who show up every day, no matter whatHear more from Michael Lewis on his new podcast, Against the Rules with Michael LewisRELATED: The Fifth RiskMedicare for All with Abdul El-SayedBack to the Future of Transportation with Aaron GordonSocial Infrastructure Week with Eric KlinenbergLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
Did you know there are roughly one million people currently held in internment camps in China? One million people detained against their will, facing no criminal charges, cut off from the outside world. This is the story of the Uyghurs, a small insulated ethnic minority in Western China. The predominantly Muslim group has faced growing levels of Islamophobia and paranoia from the Chinese government. Right now, roughly ten percent of the Uyghur population has been ‘disappeared’, held indefinitely in re-education camps where they are subjected to totalitarian indoctrination in an attempt to erase their identity, their language, their religion and their culture. Rian Thum, who has spent his career studying the Uyghurs, joins us to explain everything we know about the camps and how they came to be – including the prison-like surveillance state that Uyghurs outside of the camps are forced to live in.LINKSThe Sacred Routes of Uyghur History by Rian Thum How China Turned a City Into a Prison “Eradicating Ideological Viruses”: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s MuslimsLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (7)

GreenMonkey Podcasts

really interesting episode

Jun 23rd

Tom Williams

need to talk about slack in a micro sense and not just the macro sense. we can have slack in the macro sense but have some areas where the are bottle necks.

May 18th

Andi-Roo Libecap

Excellent episode! Thank you for addressing this very important issue.

May 14th

Stephen Dillard

You should have gotten Warren Mosley himself to explain MMT. Everything your guest said was correct, but it was a confusing introduction to the topic. He has talks where he explains it much more clearly on You Tube. The only thing I haven't heard him explain is how to measure the "slack" we have in labor and resources, and your guest merely referenced someone else's study without explaining the method. But if you think of it just as an issue of how many dollars we need in the private sector before we risk inflation, just look at the trillions of dollars poured in since 2009 and the lack of inflationary pressure. I hope you revisit this issue again because it's important. It's not that it's just a new way dreamed up to look at Federal spending. It's the proper adjustment to the way things have worked since we left the gold standard in the 1970s. It's just that the old ways of thinking have persisted too long.

May 13th

Ben Rangel

funded by the sackler family

May 3rd

Matthew MacMartin

that's right... that's right... that's right... that's right. Enjoyed the episode but she kept speaking over Chris with the same damn line.

Apr 9th

howard mhc

This is a wonderfully insightful explanation of how alt right philosophy takes root among those it harms most. All round the west it underpins the cult of the 'other' that is leading the disadvantaged to sacrifice themselves for such an evil philosophy.

Mar 31st
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