Politics, Moderate



Republicans' relentless attempts to undermine Obamacare escalate American anxiety

"How many times do we have to go through this?"

That's what Kathy Tomasic wants to know. Painstakingly, she has planned her life -- and that of her teenage son, who has a rare genetic disorder -- around access to health care. She did so based on a specific set of assumptions about what kinds of insurance would be available to her family, under ...Read more

One of America's most successful exports is in trouble

WASHINGTON -- One of America's most successful exports is in trouble.

For decades, the U.S. higher-education system has been the envy of the world. We "sell" much more education to other countries than we "buy" from them; nearly three times as many foreign students are currently studying here as we have abroad.

In trade terms, this means we ...Read more

Is the GOP the law and order party? Not so much.

WASHINGTON -- For a party that claims to be "tough on crime," Republicans have seemed pretty confused by what it means to hold criminals to account.

Particularly when it comes to white-collar crimes, or really any crimes committed by rich people.

On Friday, for instance, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., argued that President Trump should pardon his ...Read more

Millennials aren't breaking traditions. They're just broke.

Millennials are a murderous bunch, a generation of homicidal maniacs.

At least that's the impression you get from reading news stories about my generation.

According to the headlines, we've wreaked carnage across the economy with our fickle, selfish tastes. So far we have "killed" or are "killing" dinner dates, hotels, credit cards, grocery ...Read more

George H.W. Bush was the last of his kind -- a Republican who didn't believe in 'voodoo economics'

WASHINGTON -- Many have mourned former president George H.W. Bush as the last of his kind. Mostly they eulogize his decency (racist Willie Horton ad notwithstanding), his physical courage, his commitment to public service.

But Bush was end-of-an-era in another crucial way. He may well be the last Republican leader to acknowledge the fundamental...Read more

Trump loves big deals. But let's not hold our breath for one with China at the G-20.

WASHINGTON -- President Trump loves making big deals. At least he loves saying he's making big deals, regardless of whether there is any meaningful deal there at all.

In June, he announced a "deal" with North Korea for complete denuclearization; it was actually just a vaguely worded declaration, and there has been no sign of progress ...Read more

Republicans say they want free-market innovation. Then they should want a carbon tax.

WASHINGTON -- Republicans' latest excuse for ignoring climate change -- like all their other excuses -- gets the problem exactly backward.

Last week, on Black Friday, the Trump administration tried to bury a congressionally mandated report on the consequences of climate change. This nonpartisan assessment, produced by scientists across 13 ...Read more

Are work requirements inherently, irredeemably flawed?

WASHINGTON -- As noted in an earlier column, Arkansas's first-in-the-country, first-in-history Medicaid work requirements have been backfiring.

The state has already purged 12,000 from the Medicaid rolls over the past three months. These Arkansans are not necessarily being booted because they're failing to work, however. Some have lost their ...Read more

Arkansas' Medicaid experiment has proved disastrous

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- This summer, Arkansas became the first state to require poor people to prove they're employed to receive Medicaid.

Critics say the state is trying to save money on the backs of the poor. That's nonsense, Arkansas officials reply. They want to help the poor. Backed by the Trump administration, they are inspiring ...Read more

Electric scooters are like Q-Tips

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Electric scooters are a little like Q-Tips .

In both cases, the products are marketed with explicit warnings about how not to use them, even though everyone knows that's precisely the way pretty much every customer will use them.

For scooter riders here in Santa Monica, it means: Don't you dare ride on the...Read more

The Evergreen State just rejected the Green Wave. Will it ever wash ashore?

The Evergreen State rejected the Green Wave last week. But there may yet be hope for it to one day wash ashore.

This past summer, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) pitched his state to me as a model for the country, one that illustrated how Democrats could push through a popular, progressive and ecofriendly agenda that was good for the economy. ...Read more

Matthew Whitaker has experience advising con artists. Will he help more under Trump?

WASHINGTON -- Many assume Matthew G. Whitaker was chosen as acting attorney general because he criticized the Russia probe, said he would have indicted Hillary Clinton and otherwise looks like a die-hard Trump loyalist.

But maybe Whitaker really was picked because he has experience advising con artists.

Whitaker, after all, was involved with a...Read more

Four big-picture principles for making our democracy work better

Candidates should compete on ideas, not on how effectively they block their opponents' voters from casting ballots.

Normally, in a democracy, this goes without saying. Yet it's not so obvious in the United States anymore.

From Florida to North Dakota, elected officials seem to increasingly view elections not as a way to tabulate public ...Read more

Republicans' closing argument: Be afraid, be very afraid

Immigrants are coming for your children and lake houses. Socialists are coming for your Medicare (huh?). Black football players are coming for your flag. And now the Democrats are coming for your 401(k).

Republicans' closing argument: Be afraid, be very afraid.

The GOP has had unified control of government for nearly two years now. Yet, ...Read more

Republicans are mischaracterizing nearly all their major policies. Why?

Republicans have mischaracterized just about every major policy on their agenda. The question is why. If they genuinely believe their policies are correct, why not defend them on the merits?

Consider the GOP tax cuts. Last year, Republicans said their bill would primarily benefit the middle class, pay for itself and raise President Trump's ...Read more

The Republican tax cut is a big, fat failure

The Republican tax cut is a big, fat failure.

It has achieved none of the things that Republicans promised it would. It didn't reduce deficits. It didn't target the middle class. And it didn't win goodwill with voters.

Yet, for some reason, President Trump wants to do it all over again … in the next nine days, no less.

Last week the ...Read more

The Trump administration is also punishing legal immigrants. Here's how.

Many people assume that the Trump administration's immigration agenda is about punishing the undocumented. But for a taste of how it is punishing legal immigrants -- and their U.S.-citizen families -- consider the case of Maria, a doctor who came to California legally from Mexico.

The first thing you need to know is that when her first ...Read more

States are taking action on #MeToo. Why isn't Congress?

SACRAMENTO -- A year ago, the #MeToo movement went viral.

First came the naming, shaming and ousting of powerful men accused of sexual misconduct. Then came awareness of the prevalence of such misconduct, and of the intricate methods -- the threats, the legally enforced silence -- used to keep victims from speaking out.

Then came the righteous...Read more

Trump's arm-twisting of the Fed is what's truly 'loco'

WASHINGTON -- President Trump keeps saying that Democrats want to model the United States on Venezuela. But the only one actually trying to turn us into Venezuela is Trump.

As stock markets plummeted Wednesday and Thursday, Trump lashed out at the Federal Reserve. He blamed the central bank, and not his trade wars, for the bloodbath.

"The Fed ...Read more

The one conspiracy theory that Republicans won't believe

The Party of Trump has proved itself keen to propagate any conspiracy theory, no matter how ridiculous or racist.

Well, almost any conspiracy theory.

There were the microwave ovens that surveil your every move. There were those fake jobs numbers, crafted to make President Barack Obama look good (though today, oddly, those same jobs ...Read more


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