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Politics

How Republicans can get everyone to stop blaming them

Obamacare repeal? Dead.

Tax reform? Dead and demoted to tax cuts, now also on life support.

Republicans may have unified control of government, but they seem curiously incapable of getting major agenda items through.

Maybe it's because Republicans have insisted on cutting out Democrats and doing things unilaterally. Or at least they had been ...Read more

Trump's tax proposal won't actually help the middle class. Here's what would.

President Trump campaigned on helping the little guy. His latest tax proposal, he says, is about helping the middle guy.

"It's a middle-class bill," Trump promised an audience of truckers last week.

Other administration officials and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have also claimed that their primary objective in reconfiguring the tax code ...Read more

Trump's Obamacare order could destroy the health-care system

WASHINGTON -- President Trump has made a lot of promises on health care.

Somehow, though, I don't remember him promising stadiums of cheering fans that he'd take away protections for pre-existing conditions, increase deductibles, spike premiums, eliminate basic coverage requirements and, more generally, destabilize the individual health-...Read more

How Roman emperors dealt with government officials abusing travel budgets

WASHINGTON -- At least seven Cabinet-level officials, and a smattering of aides, appear to have abused their access to publicly funded travel. Collectively, these bureaucrats billed taxpayers for millions of dollars worth of private jets, military flights, spousal travel and other questionable expenses.

Yet so far just one of them, former ...Read more

Trump takes his opponents' evils to staggering new heights

Based on media coverage, government email security seemed to be the No. 1 issue preoccupying the American public last year. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking the entire 2016 election was a referendum on whether it's OK for public servants to use private email, stored on a private server, to conduct official government business.

The ...Read more

The report Trump officials don't want you to see

WASHINGTON -- Psst. Hey, you. Wanna read something dangerous?

It's a government document so incendiary that the feds have tried to suppress it. They've purged it from their websites and disavowed its claims.

But it's not about Roswell, or who killed JFK. It's not even about climate change.

It's something far juicier: a 34-page ...Read more

The GOP tax plan is ridiculous. Here's why.

WASHINGTON -- Last year, I proposed a handy rule of thumb for evaluating the economic proposals of politicians: The more growth they promise, the worse their plan probably is.

Why? Because the promise of bonkers growth usually means the politicians need that bonkers growth to paper over the ginormous deficits sure to follow -- in the ...Read more

'Reasonable' Republicans are betraying us, too

President Trump clearly has no clue what's happening on health care, taxes or really any other major policy front. He has also made abundantly clear that he has no interest in getting up to speed.

Unfortunately, Trump's unseriousness has become so grotesque, so all-consuming, that it has distracted us from dozens of other dilettantes and ...Read more

Republicans' brave new strategy for fixing the U.S. health-care system

Republicans have unveiled their brave new strategy for fixing the U.S. health care system: Make someone else deal with it.

Of all the god-awful Obamacare-repeal-and-replace plans that Republicans have proposed, Cassidy-Graham might be the god-awfulest. It's definitely the most cowardly. Republicans spent nine months fighting over how to repeal ...Read more

A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech

Here's the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants "safe spaces," or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech.

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it's acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes "...Read more

Sanderscare is all cheap politics and magic math

WASHINGTON -- For years Democrats have (rightfully) hammered Republicans for spouting empty slogans and magic math.

Tax cuts will pay for themselves? Uh-huh, if you say so. Maybe have a chat with Kansas.

Build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it? Hmm, that's not what Mexico says.

Repeal and replace Obamacare? Right-o, show us a replacement ...Read more

This nifty GOP trick will punish the poor and increase the deficit -- at the same time!

WASHINGTON -- Never accuse Republicans of being uncreative. Once again, they've found an innovative way to punish the poor and simultaneously increase budget deficits -- all with one nifty trick!

To pull off this impressive twofer, they would put every American applying for the earned-income tax credit (EITC) through a sort of mini-audit...Read more

Trump knocks out an awful Fed chair contender -- for an awful reason

WASHINGTON -- Among the growing list of reasons that a president might reject a candidate for Federal Reserve chair:

-- Too hawkish on inflation.

-- Too dovish on inflation.

-- Too anti-regulation.

-- Too pro-regulation.

-- Too anti-Nazi.

Wait. What, pray tell, does Nazism have to do with U.S. monetary policy?

Normally the answer is: not ...Read more

Ivanka Trump has learned well from her father's cons

WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump is for working women the way her father is for the working class: In both cases, the Trumps really just want their money.

President Trump's daughter built her brand around women's "empowerment," by which I mean monetizing the anxieties and insecurities of stressed-out moms.

From the beginning, her stated goal was to ...Read more

Republicans have only one idea. And Trump's pitch for it is a doozy.

WASHINGTON -- Republicans have one idea and one idea only: That we should cut taxes for the rich. The only thing that changes is the sales pitch.

And the latest pitch, offered by President Trump on Wednesday, is a bit of a doozy.

Back around 2012, when Mitt Romney was running for president, the pitch was that we wanted to encourage "job ...Read more

Trump may see himself in Joe Arpaio

WASHINGTON -- There are lots of compelling reasons not to pardon the country's most famous racist in the middle of a hurricane.

So why exactly did President Trump decide to pardon Joe Arpaio?

Maybe, some speculated, Trump wanted to toss some red meat to his base. Trump's recent Phoenix campaign-rally crowd practically frothed at the ...Read more

Punish public officials who disenfranchise voters

WASHINGTON -- In the federal government and in most states, there are consequences when governments deprive Americans of their constitutional right to liberty -- through, say, wrongful imprisonment.

So why aren't there more meaningful consequences when states deprive Americans of their constitutional right to vote?

Again and again, "voter ...Read more

The imaginary immigrant hordes

WASHINGTON -- Hide your wife, hide your husband, hide your child! The immigrant hordes are already here!

Or so lots of Americans believe -- making it easier for politicians and fringe "alt-right" white-supremacist groups to seize on these fears and exploit them for political gain.

The share of people in the United States who were born abroad ...Read more

Legalizing vehicular violence

WASHINGTON -- Last weekend in Charlottesville, a driver mowed down peaceful protesters and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer. The act was reminiscent of recent terrorist attacks across Europe committed in the name of the Islamic State, which has urged followers to use vehicles to kill enemies.

As far as we know, the alleged killer in ...Read more

Racism isn't dying out

WASHINGTON -- If there was one silver lining to President Trump's election, it was supposed to be this: Those who voted for Trump because of, rather than despite, his demonization of Muslims and Hispanics; who fear a "majority minority" America; and who wax nostalgic for the Jim Crow era were mostly old white people.

Which meant they and their ...Read more

 

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