Politics, Moderate



Perhaps Sanders and Warren are the ones being politically expedient

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by Catherine Rampell will be available for print publication only.

Another Democratic debate, another argument about how anyone who questions the merits of various lefty ideas just doesn't have "the guts" (to use Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' preferred term) to "dream big and fight hard" (quoth Massachusetts ...Read more

Is this Barr's cry for help?

On Friday, in a closed-door speech at the University of Notre Dame, Attorney General William Barr talked at length about a "campaign to destroy the traditional moral order."

The alleged perpetrator of this campaign?

"Militant secularists," who insist upon keeping government institutions free from the influence of any faith or creed.

To be ...Read more

The deficit has gotten worse. This shouldn't be a surprise.

The GOP's fiscal hawks have finally flown the coop.

This week, the Congressional Budget Office released its latest estimate for the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year that just ended. Lo and behold, the deficit likely reached nearly $1 trillion -- $984 billion, to be precise. Final numbers are due from the Treasury Department any day ...Read more

Trump found a way to simultaneously sabotage our health care and immigration systems

President Trump sabotaged the health care system. Separately, he's sabotaged the immigration system.

And now, in a presidential twofer, on Friday night the administration found a way to sabotage both simultaneously.

Unable to repeal Obamacare, the Trump administration has worked to make it less functional and more expensive. It has done this ...Read more

Trump thinks the economy makes him impeachment-proof. It might be the opposite.

President Trump has an impressive defense for why he shouldn't be impeached: The economy is just too darn good!

"How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country?" he tweeted this past weekend before listing other accomplishments that supposedly render him impeachment-proof. It's one of several ...Read more

There's another whistleblower complaint. It's about Trump's tax returns.

Hey, have you heard about this whistleblower complaint?

An unnamed civil servant is alleging serious interference in government business. If the allegations are true, they could be a game-changer. They might set in motion the release of lots of other secret documents showing that President Trump has abused his authority for his personal benefit...Read more

What drives Donald Trump? Greed, and greed alone.

There's a common thread that stretches forward from Donald Trump's financial scandals of the 1980s to his damning phone call with the president of Ukraine.

It's the self-dealing.

Wherever he was, whatever his title, the president has used the powers at his disposal to enrich or otherwise benefit himself, regardless of what law, fiduciary duty ...Read more

Trump isn't the only person responsible for the demise of American democracy

R.I.P. American democracy. You still had so much left to give! Whom should we blame for your untimely demise?

Understandably, many believe the coldhearted killer was President Trump. He has after all solicited foreign help to aid him in taking out a political rival -- twice. He continues to accept payments from other foreign leaders and well-...Read more

The far left is taking a page from its opponents' playbook

The leftward drift of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates seems to reflect a common frustration within the party's base: Democrats have simply never dreamed big enough.

Perhaps, lefties suspect, Democratic politicians have been cowed by bad-faith accusations of socialism. Or -- worse -- they've been captured by big-money special ...Read more

Trump's plan for the economy: Make Drinking Water Dirty Again

The Trump administration recently revealed its grand plan for turbocharging economic growth: Make Drinking Water Dirty Again.

The talking heads who get trotted out to defend President Trump frequently tout his supposedly stellar economic record. He's unleashing gangbusters growth, they claim. You might not like the tweets, but you can't deny ...Read more

The Trump administration's war on statistics is now threatening lives

First, they came for the unemployment rate, and we brushed it off as tinfoil-hat nonsense.

Then they came for crowd sizes, and we laughed at the absurdity.

The next victim was the deficit, which they said was shrinking even as we saw it rising; also climate data, which they denigrated, doctored or disappeared without a trace. But we said, eh, ...Read more

We're in the midst of Trump's War on Children

You've heard of the Wars on Drugs, Terror, Poverty, even Women. Well, welcome to the War on Children.

It's being waged by the Trump administration and other right-wing public officials, regardless of any claimed "family values."

For evidence, look no further than the report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services' own...Read more

Trump's comments about 'bad management' are right, but not in the way he thinks

Excuses, excuses.

That's what President Trump says companies offer when they complain about the economic pain caused by his trade wars.

"Badly run and weak companies are smartly blaming these small Tariffs instead of themselves for bad management … and who can really blame them for doing that? Excuses!" Trump tweeted Friday.

He elaborated ...Read more

The major problems with Larry Kudlow's capital gains proposal

WASHINGTON -- Leave it to the Trump administration to push the worst possible way to either stimulate the economy or help the middle class.

Depending on the day (or hour), President Trump either is or isn't worried about the risk of recession. He either is or isn't contemplating ways to stave off such a risk through tax cuts. He either is or ...Read more

Trump's tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn't bode well for the economy

WASHINGTON -- There are lots of reasons to worry about how President Trump would handle a recession, should we tip into one. There's his incompetent economic team. Or the limited fiscal policy tools at his disposal, given that Republicans already spent nearly $2 trillion on tax cuts. Or his efforts to discredit the Federal Reserve just when we'...Read more

Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump's economy is massive.

When Barack Obama was president and the economic statistics were good, then-candidate Donald Trump said they were fake. When Trump became president and inherited the exact same stats, they suddenly became real.

Now that they're turning south, they're apparently fake once more.

Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, ...Read more

The Scaramucci story ends like all the others: With a Trump tweetstorm

On Friday evening, during our joint appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that he stood by President Trump despite his flaws -- because Scaramucci loves his country. He also warned Democrats that his bosom buddy could win reelection in a 40-state landslide.

By Sunday ...Read more

For Trump and his cronies, draining the swamp means ousting experts

Once upon a time, President Trump pledged to "drain the swamp."

This resonated with lots of Americans, who resented the ecosystem of interest groups rigging government in their favor: corrupt officials, revolving-door lobbyists, palm-greasing executives and the network of pseudo-think tanks and analysts funded by industries trying to pass off ...Read more

What are Republicans afraid of?

It's almost funny, in a twisted sort of way. Election after election, Republicans have based their core political appeal on fear.

And yet -- as dual gun massacres this weekend starkly illustrate -- they refuse to offer solutions to any of the mortal threats Americans actually face.

President Trump's closing (losing) message in the midterms was...Read more

A question missing from the health-care debate: Will doctors make less money?

Won't single-payer health care require higher taxes? (Yes, obviously.) And won't abolishing employer-sponsored insurance face opposition from some of the 160 million people happily on those plans now? (Almost certainly.)

At the debates, in post-debate spin rooms and on Sunday TV show interviews, the Democratic presidential candidates are asked ...Read more


Social Connections


Gary Markstein Steve Breen Al Goodwyn John Branch Brian Duffy Ken Catalino