All Summaries for Why Is This Happening? The Chris Hayes Podcast

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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.

Hot Labor Summer with Alex Press
It’s been a hot summer in more ways than one. From strikes in Hollywood to United Auto Workers voting in favor of strikes, the push for better working conditions isn’t showing signs of cooling down. It's been years since we've seen this kind of burst of workplace organizing, and it recalls some of the most famous moments of labor history. We couldn’t think of a better voice than our guest this week to help us unpack everything that’s been going on. Alex Press is a staff writer for Jacobin Magazine where she covers labor. Her work has appeared in outlets including the New York Times and the Washington Post, just to name a few. She was a union organizer before becoming a reporter. Press joins WITHpod to discuss what has contributed to this current wave, pandemic induced changes to how people think about labor, shifts in power during this moment and the outlook ahead.
Tue, September 12, 2023
The Care Economy with Ai-jen Poo (2023)
Given the Labor Day holiday, we're republishing one of our favorite episodes. From the original description: Every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65, according to the UN Population Division. We are about to have the largest older population ever. At the same time, nearly 4 million babies are born every year, leaving many Americans juggling caring for young children and aging parents. Caregiving is often cast as nonproductive labor, despite the incredible mental, emotional and physical toll it can take. It’s increasingly clear that more resources are urgently needed to support caregivers. How can we rethink our social and economic policies to ensure that more people can age with dignity? Ai-jen Poo is president of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and executive director of Caring Across Generations. She is also author of the 2015 book “The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.” She joins WITHpod to discuss her personal experiences that led her to be an activist, the need for more infrastructure to support caring for aging populations, the care economy and more.**WITHpod Live Tour Special Announcement**We're taking #WITHpod back on the road for a live three-city tour. Join Chris in Chicago on 10/9, Philadelphia on 10/16, and NYC on 11/12. Buy your tickets now with special code WITHPOD:
Tue, September 5, 2023
Answering Your Questions in Our #WITHpod Mailbag
We're thrilled to share our summer #WITHpod mailbag, which was originally hosted on Instagram Live. Join as Chris and producer Doni Holloway talk about the upcoming #WITHpod tour, go through your questions, discuss feedback you’ve sent and share pod updates. **WITHpod Live Tour Special Announcement**We're taking #WITHpod back on the road. Join us in Chicago on 10/9, Philadelphia on 10/16, and NYC on 11/12. Buy your tickets now at to some episodes mentioned:Being “Irrepressible” with Little Rock Nine Member Minnijean Brown-TrickeyThe Dire Threat of Global Authoritarianism with Rula JebrealAI: “An Exponential Disruption” with Kate CrawfordThe Care Economy with Ai-jen PooWhy Americans Are Dying So Young with Anne Case and Angus Deaton“A Moral Moment in America” with Sen. Raphael Warnock#WITHpod & Strict Scrutiny Crossover (2023) 
Tue, August 29, 2023
Special Preview: “Velshi Banned Book Club”
Ali Velshi gives a special preview of his new podcast, “Velshi Banned Book Club,” an act of resistance against the epidemic of book banning. In each episode, a different author of a banned book joins Ali—including Margaret Atwood, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Laurie Halse Anderson and more—to talk about why their work is being targeted and about the literature itself. “Velshi Banned Book Club” is a series rooted in literary and cultural analysis and in the notion of reading as resistance. Listen to the first two episodes now and follow the series:
Thu, August 24, 2023
“The Heat Will Kill You First” with Jeff Goodell
This past July, Earth reached the hottest temperature since record-keeping began, according to the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. And the record-breaking temperatures are impacting everything from our bodies, to our food supplies to the habitability of the planet. Meanwhile, Texas Governor Abbot recently signed legislation prohibiting localities from passing any laws that require shade or water breaks for outdoor construction workers. As we continue to see the devastating effects of rising temps, it’s clear we need to rethink how we conceptualize and deal with heat. Our guest this week points out that simply cranking up our A.C. units isn’t the way out of this and that we instead need to urgently reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Jeff Goodell is author of “The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet” and a contributing writer at Rolling Stone. Goodell joins WITHpod to discuss the deleterious ways extreme heat impacts every living thing, what rising temps reveal about fault lines in governments and more. **WITHpod Live Tour Special Announcement** We're taking #WITHpod back on the road for a live three-city tour. Join Chris in Chicago on 10/9, Philadelphia on 10/16, and NYC on 11/12. Buy your tickets now with special code WITHPOD:
Tue, August 22, 2023
The “Existential” Climate Crisis with Bill McKibben
Much of Maui has been decimated following one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history, wildfires are still ravaging Canada, ice in the arctic is melting rapidly, sea levels are rising and we’ve had the hottest day measured on our planet this year. There’s a lot happening as it relates to climate change. “It’s not the summer from hell, it’s the summer that sort of is hell,” says our guest this week. Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, educator, author and founder of Third Act, which has a mission to organize people over the age of 60 for action on climate and justice. He’s also a founder of, the first global grassroots climate campaign. His 1989 book, “The End of Nature” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. McKibben recently wrote a piece for the New Yorker titled, “To Save the Planet, Should We Really Be Moving Slower?,” which talks about the degrowth movement, which calls on countries to embrace zero or negative G.D.P. growth, making a comeback. He joins WITHpod to discuss the growth debates of the 70s vs. contemporary ones, parallels between protecting the planet and our democracy, why this moment is such an inflection point and more.
Tue, August 15, 2023
“A Moral Moment in America” with Sen. Raphael Warnock
“We are naive if we think that we don't have to fight for [our democracy] every single day,” says Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), in this week’s WITHpod. Given how imperiled our democracy is, we thought it would be good to talk about the nation’s democratic health with someone who has navigated some of the most difficult terrain in American politics. Sen. Warnock, who defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker, is the author of numerous books, including his latest titled, “A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story.” He’s also the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He joins WITHpod to discuss his concerns about the state of our democracy, his efforts to renew the fight for voting rights, the most surprising part of being a U.S. senator, what he thinks the worst part of his job is and more.
Tue, August 8, 2023
BONUS: Prosecuting Donald Trump: The 2020 Election Indictment Read by Ali Velshi
For the third time in 4 months Donald Trump has been indicted, twice at the federal level, but legal experts say this is the most serious one yet. MSNBC host Ali Velshi reads every word of the DOJ’s latest allegations against the former president, charging him with 4 counts in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Wed, August 2, 2023
AI: “An Exponential Disruption” with Kate Crawford (2023)
Since Chris is just getting back from vacation this week, we're re-sharing one of our favorite episodes. You might be feeling that artificial intelligence is starting to seem a bit like magic. Our guest points out that AI, once the subject of science fiction, has seen the biggest rise of any consumer technology in history and has outpaced the uptake of TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. As we see AI becoming more of an everyday tool, students are even using chatbots like ChatGPT to write papers. While automating certain tasks can help with productivity, we’re starting to see more examples of the dark side of the technology. How close are we to genuine external intelligence? Kate Crawford is an AI expert, research professor at USC Annenberg, honorary professor at the University of Sydney and senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research Lab in New York City. She’s also author of “Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence.” Crawford joins WITHpod to discuss the social and political implications of AI, exploited labor behind its growth, why she says it’s “neither artificial nor intelligent,” climate change concerns, the need for regulation and more.
Tue, August 1, 2023
Being “Irrepressible” with Little Rock Nine Member Minnijean Brown-Trickey (2023)
Since Chris is on vacation this week, we're re-sharing one of our favorite episodes. “I went because they didn’t want me there,” says Minnijean Brown-Trickey. It’s been more than 60 years since she made history. At 16-years-old, she and eight other black students found an angry mob and the national guard blocking their entry to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Backed by 1,200 soldiers, they eventually made it inside for their first full day of class. White students threw hot food at them, called them names and even sprayed some of them with acid. One day, a white kid hit Minnijean with a purse. She responded by calling the student “white trash.” For that, she was expelled, which profoundly affected her trajectory. She ended up finishing her education in New York City and went on to become a civil rights activist and speaker. Minnijean joins WITHpod for a moving conversation about how she channeled the trauma she experienced into a life of activism, the continued fight for racial equality and more.
Tue, July 25, 2023
Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism with Jeffrey Toobin
It’s been 28 years since the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. At 9:02 a.m. on April 19th, 1995, a bomb built by Timothy McVeigh, an American domestic terrorist, exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building. It remains one of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. The motivations for the attack, its deleterious effects, and the longstanding impact on right-wing movements, including the January 6th insurrection, is the subject of “Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism.” The book, written by journalist and lawyer Jeffrey Toobin, is based on nearly a million previously unreleased materials. Toobin joins WITHpod to discuss what often drives extremists, ominous parallels between McVeigh and more recent insurrectionists, the role of social media in the incitement of anti-government violence, and why the book is a “warning for the future.”
Tue, June 27, 2023
Why Americans Are Dying So Young with Anne Case and Angus Deaton
Life expectancy in the U.S. has been on the decline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the COVID-19 pandemic killed more than 1 million people in America, 2014-2015 was actually an inflection point for mortality rates. What went wrong and what’s behind the downward trend? Our guests this week point out that drug overdoses, suicides and alcoholism have fueled an increase in what they term ‘deaths of despair.’ Anne Case is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Emeritus at the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs. Angus Deaton is a Nobel Prize Winner and Senior Scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department. Together, they published their groundbreaking findings in 2015 and later co-authored “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism” in March of 2020. Case and Deaton join WITHpod to discuss what their findings reveal about capitalism and the U.S. healthcare system, education-related disparities in mortality, what might be done to reverse the surge in deaths and more.
Tue, June 20, 2023
Leading Chicago with Mayor Brandon Johnson
Not too long ago, Brandon Johnson was virtually unknown to many Chicagoans. Now, he’s the 57th mayor of America’s third-largest city. His path to power, fueled by a markedly progressive campaign, was pretty unusual. Before taking the helm of Chicago, he was a school teacher, union organizer and county commissioner. Johnson, who lives on the West Side, has experienced his share of some of the city’s biggest issues. But perhaps one of his biggest challenges still lies ahead: leading the city amidst the numerous inherited issues including growing public safety concerns, persistent disinvestment and a downtown that’s emptier than before the pandemic. Johnson joins WITHpod to discuss his trajectory, what he envisions for Chicago, how he plans to turn his proposals into results and more.
Tue, June 13, 2023
BONUS: Prosecuting Donald Trump: The Full Indictment Read by Ali Velshi
What exactly is inside that historic 37-count federal indictment against Donald Trump? MSNBC host Ali Velshi reads every word of the DOJ’s allegations against the former president, including a transcript of a conversation Trump allegedly had about a classified military document and texts between his employees.If you have questions, you can leave us a voicemail at 917-342-2934 and maybe we’ll play it on the pod! You can also email us at 
Sun, June 11, 2023
“The Phoenix Economy” with Felix Salmon
We’ve experienced so much personal, social and economic disruption over the past few years. The pandemic reworked how we view some of the most fundamental and predictable aspects of our lives. How will we emerge from all of the trauma and upheaval? Our guest this week points out that part of our recovery will require us embracing the unexpected and a more high-risk world. Felix Salmon is the chief financial correspondent at Axios and hosts the Slate Money podcast. Salmon is also author of “The Phoenix Economy: Work, Life, and Money in the New Not Normal.” He joins WITHpod to discuss the potential of “phoenixes emerging from the ashes” of this moment, the interconnectedness and impact of global climate change on volatility, why he says we should acclimate to increased unpredictability and more.
Tue, June 6, 2023
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