December 30, 2016

Getting to know people who know what we do now: Trevor Timm, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Elizabeth Warren


What-We-Do-Now-white-235x300As you might have heard, in time for Inauguration Day we’re putting out What We Do Now, a collection of short, powerful essays on what we can do now to cope with Trump’s election, and how, moving forward, we can protect our values, our politics, and our country. The book’s twenty-seven contributors are prominent progressives, writers, and activists.

For the rest of the year, we’ll be sharing info on a few of our contributors every day — just a way to help you get acquainted with who’s on that list, and to help all of us remember that now’s the time to be preparing ourselves for the difficult and vitally important struggle ahead.

Trevor Timm

url-1Trevor Timm is the cofounder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Background intel:
Watch Trevor’s recent TED Talk on the question of just how free our free press really is:

“There’s no doubt that adversarial investigative reporting will be crucial to hold the Trump administration accountable. As our board member Glenn Greenwald has written, leaks and whistleblowing have never been more important or more noble. This is why at Freedom of the Press Foundation, we are stepping up our efforts in 2017 to build encryption tools and train journalists how to use digital security techniques to protect their sources in the Trump era.

“But unfortunately, in part due to moves made by the Obama administration, reporters covering national security issues—and the whistleblowers who are critical to the process—have never been under more threat. And under Trump, it looks like it will only get worse.”

What to look at:
Get on his Twitter. Then check out his recent series of fire columns at the Guardian, including one on the massive surveillance apparatus Obama has been building for Trump, one on Trump’s inane and potentially catastrophic attempts at building a cabinet, one on the expanded war powers Obama is handing Trump, and one on the phenomenal bloat of the defense budget.


Katrina vanden Heuvel

XjMNiMjkKatrina vanden Heuvel is the publisher of The Nation magazine.

Background intel:
The listing of Katrina’s past articles in The Nation—just the list—takes up 184 pages, and there’s some crucial reading in there. Also check out this interview from just before the election with Alexandra Steigrad of Women’s Wear Daily:

“The mainstream media wallowed in horse-race reporting and ‘gotcha’ journalism while devoting little attention to the platforms and promises of the two candidates. It was the media, not Putin, who decided that catastrophic climate change didn’t merit even one question during the course of the presidential debates, or decided that the troubling foreign-policy views of both the hawkish Clinton and the blustery Trump needed less probing than Clinton’s emails or Trump’s potty mouth.”

What to look at:
Be sure you’re following her on Twitter! There’s any number of columns and articles you might read after that — a good place to start might be her piece from earlier this month on the faux populism and actual cronyism of Trump’s appointments. This piece that ran two weeks later in the Washington Post makes an excellent follow-up.

Elizabeth Warren

606px-Elizabeth_Warren--Official_113th_Congressional_Portrait--Elizabeth Warren is the senior US senator from Massachussetts.

Background intel:
Um, yeah — she’s kind of a big deal. There are any number of places you might start, like her post-election open letter to Trump, which we were proud to republish. One really great way to get a handle on her past is to read Suzanna Andrews’s Vanity Fair profile of her from her first senate run. You can also watch this testimony she gave before congress in 2008 — back when her job description was “Harvard Law professor”:

“Enforcement isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about whether government works and who it works for. Last year, five of the world’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they rigged the price of billions of dollars worth of foreign currencies. No corporation can break the law unless people in that corporation also broke the law, but no one from any of those banks has been charged. While thousands of Americans were rotting in prison for nonviolent drug convictions, JPMorgan Chase was so chastened by pleading guilty to a crime that it awarded Jamie Dimon, its C.E.O., a 35 percent raise.”

What to look at:
Follow her on Twitter! And then check out her recent post-election interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (“Well, it happened…. we pick ourselves up, and we fight back.”):