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Welcome to the new gilded age

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Corporations are people, my friend. And this is where they feed.

Room 1100 of the Longworth Building, with its ionic columns, gilt-fringed curtains and eagle-topped frieze, has for 80 years been the home of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. But perhaps never before have corporations wielded their power as openly as ...Read more

The blood of innocents is on our hands

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- "Thoughts and prayers" are fine. Locking arms "through the tears and the sadness," as President Trump prescribed, is all well and good. But none of this does a damn thing to stop, or even slow, the carnage.

On Sunday, in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a disturbed and angry man with a military-style semiautomatic assault rifle opened ...Read more

Trump's most damning legacy

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

In a radio interview last week, Donald Trump said that "the saddest thing is, because I am the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I'm not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing ..."

Trump then asked, referring to ...Read more

A year after Trump's election, both parties are morally and intellectually exhausted

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Political commentators are supposed to be somewhat objective and analytical when it comes to tracking trends. In that spirit, I find the polling snapshot of President Trump at one year since his election to be interesting -- if "interesting" is defined as a downward spiral of polarization, pettiness and prejudice that threatens the...Read more

Putin and Trump: The art of the backfire

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

NEW YORK - When my son was little, I used to read to him from a book called "The Stupids." This decidedly un-P.C. series was about a family of incompetents who managed to screw up the simplest of tasks. I no longer remember what they look like, so pardon me if I envision Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. They fit the bill.

The measure of Trump ...Read more

Virginia will be speaking for the nation

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

ARLINGTON, Va. -- On Tuesday, Virginia's voters confront what will almost certainly be the most consequential election for governor of their lifetimes.

The contest between Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie matters for the state, of course, but its implications will be even larger for the nation.

A Northam victory ...Read more

Cashin' the Checks

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm a saver, a working guy who puts money in the bank. If you do that, and you stay continuously employed for 46 years, and you work way up to a middle-class wage, you end up with a solid rock of money in the bank.

And it's not that I'm a financial genius, either. I just lived on 85 percent of my salary for nearly half a century. At first, ...Read more

Where's Trump the negotiator when immigration reform needs him?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

To my great surprise, President Donald Trump's reaction to the Halloween night terrorist attack in New York made me miss the thoughtful eloquence of President George W. Bush.

Ol' Dubya wasn't known to be a master of oratory, most of the time, but when the world needed some words of comfort, hope and resolve after the shock of <...Read more

What's in the tax reform bill for Johnny Lunchbucket?

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Poor Johnny Lunchbucket. He's been had.

President Trump promised to look out for the forgotten man and to fix a "rigged" tax system. Now he and congressional Republicans have proposed a tax cut that makes the rich richer and shifts the burden onto the working class.

The numbers don't lie, but if you need more evidence? Consider ...Read more

Mr. President, America's criminal justice system is no joke

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's attitude toward the criminal justice system has long blended ignorance with contempt for constitutional values. That ugly mixture was on full display after New York suffered its worst terrorist attack since 9/11 and special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled his first indictments.

The president's instinctive ...Read more

John Kelly -- and a whole lot of other Americans -- can't handle the truth about slavery

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Slavery caused the Civil War. A failure to compromise had nothing to do with it.

Yes, I know a thousand people have made that point in the days since White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's nonsensical assertion on Fox "News" that "the lack of an ability to compromise" is what tore America apart. Allow me to be the 1,001st. There are things ...Read more

To be a great president, you first have to like politics

From the Left / Mark Shields /

On the consensus list of the most significant American presidents following George Washington, there is a common trait. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman -- each of these great leaders was first a very good politician who actually enjoyed politics.

Lincoln, who served four terms in the ...Read more

Treatment? For What?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Kevin Spacey is the latest in a long list of men who, in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse, announce that they are seeking treatment.

In politics, we used to call such announcements "Betty Ford statements." That was back in the days when most of these incidents involved such things as drunken plunges with prostitutes, for which a ...Read more

Political pandering nurtures cancer of Islamic extremism

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

SINGAPORE -- This week's tragic terror attack in New York was the kind of isolated incident by one troubled man that should not lead to generalizations. In the 16 years since 9/11, the city has proved astonishingly safe from jihadi groups and individuals. And yet, speaking about it to officials in this major global hub 10,000 miles away, the ...Read more

Trump's racism makes him corrosive to national fabric

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- By now it should be clear that racism is a feature of the Trump administration, not a bug.

White House chief of staff John Kelly's hideous rewriting of Civil War history is merely the latest evidence. Can anyone really believe "the lack of an ability to compromise" caused that bloody war? Is it possible to become a four-star ...Read more

America must recapture its democratic spirit

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Let's assume, just for a moment, that the great political leaders of the past were not cynical, deluded or deceptive when they talked about morality and religion. Let's posit that, at least in some instances, they were not just striking poses but making arguments.

Early in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his State of ...Read more

The other huge scandal Mueller brought to light this week

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Robert Mueller brought to light a huge scandal this week, and it has nothing to do with Russia.

He has introduced the world to Sam Clovis.

Clovis, we now know, was the Trump campaign official who oversaw George Papadopoulos and encouraged his efforts to meet with Russian officials. But what's more interesting than what Clovis is ...Read more

Trump, the GOP, and the autocrat's playbook

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Democracies sometimes collapse suddenly. More typically, they waste away.

One major cause of institutional decline involves politicians putting their own immediate interests ahead of their obligations to democratic norms. We wake up one day and discover that a long series of individual choices has rotted out the constraints on ...Read more

Democrats are setting themselves up to lose

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's job approval rating fell to just 33 percent in a Gallup poll this week. One of his campaign aides pleaded guilty in the Russia probe and two more were indicted. Republicans are fighting over their tax plan, increasing the odds of yet another legislative debacle.

It would seem that the midterm election is the ...Read more

Happy Indictment Day ... now let's get to work fixing our democracy

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In the last episode of the first season of "Daredevil," there's this great montage of arrests as the Kingpin's empire falls. The FBI swoops down, and you see all the crooked cops, corrupt politicians, and henchmen belonging to the New York City crime lord collected like garbage. It is, in the context of that Netflix superhero drama, a very ...Read more