Sunday, April 2, 2017
Let's start with a tweet from Dak Zak, in response to someone asking
"Why couldn't they have done this before the election!?!":
Newspapers everywhere did this before the election. Editorial after
editorial said "stop this man." People didn't hear, listen or care.
As best I can tell (the twitter links are circuitous) the original
question refers to the Los Angeles Times' editorial
Our Dishonest President (the first of a promised four-part series
running through Wednesday, not that I wouldn't be surprised if they find
enough new material for a fifth installment by Thursday. Zak's response
is pretty much true, but he underestimates the media's failure by an order
or magnitude or more. Sure, they warned us to "stop this man," but they
were also so thoroughly bemused by him, and enticed by the ratings his
campaign offered, that they repeatedly let him slip the hook. But more
important, they didn't say "stop this party" -- because ultimately what
makes Trump so disastrous is not that he's "a narcissist and a demagogue
who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters"
(to quote the LA Times), but that he was swept into power with complete
control of Congress ceded to the Republican Party and its agenda to rig
politics and the economic and social systems to perpetuate oligarchy.
Trump may be especially flagrant (or perhaps just embarrassingly
transparent) but the Republican Party has embraced demagoguery and
dishonesty as essential political tactics for well over a generation.
Trump is more a reflection of the party's propaganda machine than he
is a leader. For proof, look how often he gets caught up in obvious
contradictions and incoherencies, yet always resolves them by moving
in the direction of party orthodoxy.
On the other hand, there is ample evidence that the media is still
being bamboozled by the aura of Republican legitimacy, even while
individual cases like Trump and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback turn into
public embarrassments. For instance, south-central Kansans will go
to the polls a week from Tuesday to elect a replacement for Trump's
CIA director Mike Pompeo. The Wichita Eagle, which we often think of
as a voice for moderation in Kansas, endorsed Republican Ron Estes,
a Brownback flunky lacking a single original thought (they like to
describe him as "affable"). The Eagle even singled out Estes' vow
to repeal Obamacare as one of their reasons -- even without the
usual nostrum "and replace," even with the editorial facing a
Richard Crowson cartoon slamming Brownback for vetoing a bill
passed by Kansas' Republican legislature to expand Medicaid under
the ACA. You'd think a public-interested media would easily see
through a partisan hack like Estes, especially given that the
Democrats have nominated their strongest candidate in decades
James Thompson -- saw one of his ads tonight and I can't say
I was pumped by the gun bits or even the concern for veterans and
jobs, but those things have their constituencies; also thought
he should have hit Trump harder, but if he wins that'll be the
More fallout from the GOP's health care fiasco:
Angela Bonavoglia: The Fight to Save the Affordable Care Act Is Really
a Class Battle
EJ Dionne: The lessons Trump and Ryan failed to learn from history:
Also some lessons they never learned:
But the bill's collapse was, finally, testimony to the emptiness of
conservative ideology. . . . To win the 2012 presidential nomination,
Romney could not afford to be seen as the progenitor of Obamacare
because conservatism now has to oppose even the affirmative uses of
government it once endorsed.
Lee Fang: GOP Lawmakers Now Admit Years of Obamacare Repeal Votes Were a
Richard Kim: The Tea Party Helped Build the Bridge to Single-Payer:
Picture shows a young guy holding a sign that reads "Health care is a
human right." That, of course, has nothing to do with the Tea Party,
and the argument here is forced:
Since the first year of Obama's presidency, the Republican establishment
has allowed its extreme right-wingers to run off the leash. It has amplified
their every outburst, fed every conspiracy theory, nurtured every grievance,
and enabled every act of hostage-taking. Now, it -- and the vandal in chief
that the Tea Party helped elect president -- is their hostage. In the
battles ahead on infrastructure spending, taxation, and the debt ceiling,
there's no reason to believe that the GOP will behave in any less
dysfunctional a manner.
A better way to look at it is this: during the Obama years, the Tea
Party acted as the "shock troops" of Republican obstruction, and somehow
their role there has come to be viewed as a success. So why shouldn't
the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus continue to obstruct, even with Republicans
controlling Congress and the White House, if they still do things that
the insurgents find objectionable? That's what's happening, and mainline
Republicans don't have the margins they need to rule without the Caucus,
and sometimes realize that catering to them will cause even worse things
to happen. Given that the mainliners are pretty awful on their own, we
might as well enjoy the Caucus's obstruction, but that doesn't get us
to anywhere we need to go.
Sam Knight: Bannon-Style "Administrative Deconstruction" of Obamacare Is
Coming: Aside from the Bannon-speak, the point here is that the guy
in charge of the Obamacare system is its arch-enemy, Tom Price, and there
is still a lot of harm bad administration can do, even if it's nominally
pledged to support the law. Reminds me that the OEO (Office of Economic
Opportunity, one of LBJ's main "War on Poverty" programs) had done quite
a bit of good until Nixon appointed Donald Rumsfeld to run it.
Mike Konczal: Four Lessons from the Health Care Repeal Collapse: I
mentioned this piece in Monday's post, but it's worth mentioning again.
I also just noticed Konczal's December 2, 2016 piece:
Learning From Trump in Retrospect. Probably could only be written
between the election and the inauguration, a period when one could
balance off the sensations of surprise and disgust. Two months into
his reign and we're back to wondering how anyone could have been
taken in by this shallow fraud.
Charles Krauthammer: The road to single-payer health care:
Rest assured he's against it, and wants to see something far worse
than Obamacare even, but he understands the logic that universal
coverage, even in its corrupt Obamacare form, makes more efficient
solutions like "single payer" ("Medicare for All") more attractive.
Paul Krugman: How to Build on Obamacare: Krugman has long been
the most persuasive propagandist for the ACA, so no surprise that
he sticks within its limits: urging that we spend more money to lower
deductibles and make policies more attractive, and revive the "public
option" to provide more marketplace competition. His point is that
"building on Obamacare wouldn't be hard," but Trump would rather see
it "explode," and just for the satisfaction of blaming Democrats --
a tactic which proved viable when Democrats were in power, but looks
pretty puerile at the moment.
Krugman also wrote
Coal Country Is a State of Mind, picking on West Virginia, where:
Why does an industry that is no longer a major employer even in West
Virginia retain such a hold on the region's imagination, and lead its
residents to vote overwhelmingly against their own interests?
Coal powered the Industrial Revolution, and once upon a time it did
indeed employ a lot of people. But the number of miners began a steep
decline after World War II, and especially after 1980, even though coal
production continued to rise. This was mainly because modern extraction
techniques -- like blowing the tops off mountains -- require far less
labor than old-fashioned pick-and-shovel mining. The decline accelerated
about a decade ago as the rise of fracking led to competition from cheap
So coal-mining jobs have been disappearing for a long time. Even in
West Virginia, the most coal-oriented state, it has been a quarter century
since they accounted for as much as 5 percent of total employment.
What, then, do West Virginians actually do for a living these days?
Well, many of them work in health care: Almost one in six workers is
employed in the category "health care and social assistance."
Oh, and where does the money for those health care jobs come from?
Actually, a lot of it comes from Washington.
West Virginia has a relatively old population, so 22 percent of its
residents are on Medicare, versus 16.7 percent for the nation as a whole.
It's also a state that has benefited hugely from Obamacare, with the
percentage of the population lacking health insurance falling from 14
percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2015; these gains came mainly from a
big expansion of Medicaid.
It's true that the nation as a whole pays for these health care
programs with taxes. But an older, poorer state like West Virginia
receives much more than it pays in -- and it would have received
virtually none of the tax cuts Trumpcare would have lavished on the
Now think about what Trumpism means for a state like this. Killing
environmental rules might bring back a few mining jobs, but not many,
and mining isn't really central to the economy in any case. Meanwhile,
the Trump administration and its allies just tried to replace the
Affordable Care Act. If they had succeeded, the effect would have been
catastrophic for West Virginia, slashing Medicaid and sending insurance
premiums for lower-income, older residents soaring.
A couple quick points here. First is that we live in a time when
business is gaining increasing influence on politics, so while coal
companies represent a vanishingly small number of jobs, they dominate
the political discourse in states like West Virginia. (If, indeed,
jobs mattered you wouldn't find politicians backing company schemes
like mountain-top removal, which is profitable primarily because it
reduces jobs -- well, as long as the companies don't have to pay the
costs of their pollution.) Second, while Democrats are more dependable
supporters of effective transfers to poorer states like West Virginia
(and Mississippi and much of the South), they almost never campaign on
the fact, as they have very little presence in states that have swung
against them primarily on race. Rather, Democrats focus on states where
they have more upscale supporters, and cater to the businesses of those
states (like high-tech in California and Massachusetts, and banking in
Bill Moyers: Trump and the GOP in Sickness and Health
Charles Ornstein/Derek Willis: On Health Reform, Democrats and Republicans
Don't Speak the Same Language
Jon Queally: Sen. Bernie Sanders Will Introduce "Medicare for All" Bill;
Zaid Jilani: Bernie Sanders Wants to Expand Medicare to Everybody -- Exactly
What Its Architects Wanted.
Kate Zernike et al.: In Health Bill's Defeat, Medicaid Comes of Age
Some scattered links this week in the world of Trump:
Stephen Braun/Chad Day: Flynn Earned Millions From Russian Companies:
OK, that's the jump headline. The article itself is "Document Dump Reveals
Flynn's Russian and Turkish Income Sources." And the "millions" shrink to
"$1.3 million for work for political groups and government contractors, as
well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by
a Turkish businessman." Doesn't seem like much, but then what else can a
former general do? You don't expect him to live on his exorbitant pension,
do you? Lachlan Markay has more:
Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Payments From Russian Propaganda
Zack Beauchamp: Michael Flynn's immunity request, explained:
More fundamentally, it's hard to see Democrats granting one to a widely
disliked former Trump official when there's still a chance the FBI might
prosecute him for allegedly lying to the bureau about his contacts with
the Russian envoy to the US. The Trump administration's call for Flynn
to appear before Congress, in Sean Spicer's Friday press briefing, could
very well harden their resolve against immunity.
This is all very bad news for Flynn, who ironically said that asking
for immunity was proof that you had done something wrong when discussing
Hillary Clinton's email scandal during the campaign. "When you are given
immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime," he told
NBC's Chuck Todd in an interview.
Esme Cribb: Trump Will Sign Repeal of Obama-Era Internet Privacy Rules:
The bill, which passed Congress on straight party votes, allows Internet
service companies to track your on-line activity and sell that information
to other companies without your permission or awareness.
Amy Davidson: Trump v. the Earth: About Trump's executive order to
pretend that burning coal doesn't have any impact on the environment.
Or, as Trump put it, "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth":
President Trump said that his order puts "an end to the war on coal."
In reality, it is a declaration of war on the basic knowledge of the
harm that burning coal, and other fossil fuels, can do. Indeed, it
tells the government to ignore information. The Obama
Administration assembled a working group to determine the "social cost"
of each ton of greenhouse-gas emissions. Trump's executive order disbands
that group and tosses out its findings. Scott Pruitt, the new E.P.A.
administrator -- who, as attorney general of Oklahoma, had joined a
lawsuit attempting to undo the endangerment finding -- announced that
the agency was no longer interested in even collecting data on the
quantities of methane that oil and gas companies release.
Robert Faturechi: Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Profits,
the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock: Actually $90k in stocks of six
drug companies, so his payback would more closely model the industry-wide
average. "Price was among lawmakers from both parties who signed onto a
bill that would have blocked a rule proposed by the Obama administration,
which was intended to remove the incentive for doctors to prescribe
expensive drugs that don't necessarily improve patient outcomes." This
was back when Price was in Congress, before joining Trump's cabinet.
Fired US Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS
Secretary Tom Price; also
When a Study Cast Doubt on a Heart Pill, the Drug Company Turned to
Ane Gearan: US leads major powers in protesting UN effort to ban nuclear
weapons: Nikki Haley asks, "Is it any surprise that Iran is supportive
of this?" Nearly every nation signed the NPT renouncing nuclear weapons on
the understanding that the grandfathered nuclear powers would disarm as
well -- something which hasn't happened, largely because the US feels it's
important that someone like Donald Trump should have the option of blowing
the world up.
Michelle Goldberg: Why Won't Republicans Resist Trump? That's the link
headline. The article title is even funnier: "Where Are the Good Republicans?"
We're talking about people in Congress whose singular mission over the past
eight years (and this really dates back to the arrival of Newt Gingrich as
House Speaker in 1995) has been to make Democrats look bad. They've refused
to even consider Obama appointees. They passed bills to repeal the ACA fifty
times but couldn't agree on anything to replace it with this year. They've
tried to extort favors by holding the federal debt limit hostage. And when
you ask them for anything they'd consider working with Obama on, the only
things they can come up are points that would make Obama look bad to the
Democratic Party base (like TPP, or more war). If any Republican member of
Congress has felt the slightest twinge of shame over this behavior, he or
she has done a good job of hiding it. And their bottom line is that Trump's,
well, not their leader but their winner, the guy whose surprise win has
allowed them to advance their agenda, which may have some more
hopeful aims but for all practical purposes is to wreck, ruin and despoil
America, to the detriment of nearly everyone who lives here. And really,
the only examples we've seen so far of dissent within Republican ranks
have come from the fringe right, who feel Trump and Ryan and McConnell
aren't moving fast or hard enough toward the end times. Even there the
media is struggling to salvage Republican reputations; see. e.g.,
Ross Barkan: Give Donald Trump credit: the Freedom Caucus really is
Malak Habbak: War Correspondents Describe Recent US Airstrikes in Iraq,
Syria, and Yemen.
Ben Hubbard/Michael R Gordon: US War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With
No Endgame in Sight: Anyone who thought that Trump might tone down the
War on Terror -- and I gave that non-zero but not very good odds -- has by
now been thoroughly disabused of such wishful thinking:
The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during
all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line
positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq,
American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive
in Mosul, where airstrikes killed scores of people on March 17.
Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are
mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in
a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.
Rather than representing any formal new Trump doctrine on military action,
however, American officials say that what is happening is a shift in military
decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. On display are some
of the first indications of how complicated military operations are continuing
under a president who has vowed to make the military "fight to win."
The suggestion is that the only thing that has happened is that the
military has been freed of whatever limiting or inhibitory role Obama
played: Trump's basically given them carte blanche to keep doing what
they've been doing so badly for years. On the other hand, Trump hasn't
gotten involved enough to really screw things up with his "fight to win"
slogan. The fact is the US hasn't "fought to win" since WWII for the
simple reason that there's never been anything you could actually win
by fighting. Rather, US military policy has been to make any challenge
to US power and hegemony as painful as possible, to deter challengers
from even raising the issue. Arguably, that has yielded diminishing
returns as it's become increasingly obvious that US forces are vulnerable
to asymmetric strategies (ranging from guerrilla war to "terrorism") and
because the US has become increasingly inept at occupying hostile areas.
Still, the solution to that problem isn't resolving to "fight to win" --
it's reducing the need to fight at all.
Charles Pierce: The Trump Administration Has Pushed the Limits of American
Absurdity: If one were to teach a writing class, that title might be
a good little assignment. I can imagine dozens of ways to approach it, all
equally valid, and I'd still be surprised when Pierce handed in a piece
with a piece starting with an Ignatius Donnelly quote. (And I'm one of
the few people around who knows who Donnelly was, having read him as a
teenager back before Paul Ryan, for instance, lost his mind in Ayn Rand.)
Of course, Pierce soon moves on to more disturbing, although curiously
mundane, realms of fantasy: namely Sean Spicer's press conferences.
Daniel Politi: Judge: Lawsuit Against Trump Can Proceed, Inciting
Violence Isn't Protected Speech
David E Sanger/Eric Schmitt: Rex Tillerson to Lift Human Rights Conditions
on Arms Sale to Bahrain
Jon Schwarz: Russia Investigation Heading Toward a Train Wreck Because
Republicans Don't Care What Happened: Not a subject I'm at all
partial to, mostly because it seems to cast a Cold War gloss on what
strikes me as ordinary corruption, and partly because it skips over
decades of stories about US interference in other peoples' politics,
as well as the much more common (and I think damaging) Israeli efforts
to steer American politics (anyone remember Netanyahu's campaigning
for Romney, or his collusion with Boehner?). Still, if Republicans
(and Democrats) learned anything from the Clinton years it's that
unbridled investigations take on a life of their own, where being
investigated is never a good omen.
Unfortunately, on this planet we're on a trajectory to the worst possible
outcome. It's now easy to imagine a future in which Trump and Russia become
the millennials' equivalent of the John F. Kennedy assassination: A subject
where no one can honestly be sure whether there was no conspiracy or a huge
conspiracy, the underlying reality concealed by the thick murk of government
secrecy, and progressives exhausting themselves for decades afterwards
trying to prove what really happened.
Lisa Song: As Seas Around Mar-a-Lago Rise, Trump's Cuts Could Damage
Local Climate Work: This is an amusing little piece. I've long
thought that the people who should be most worried about global warming
are the rich -- the people who own nearly all of the property endangered
by climate change, especially from rising sea levels. Yet Republicans
have been oblivious to the threats. They've convinced themselves of the
importance of protecting the rights of individuals to practice predatory
capitalism, and they pretty much completely deny that there can be any
public interest separate from private profit-seeking (although they
somehow believe that no those private interests are harmful to others,
and that the sum of them must be good for everyone). I can't think of
any idea more misguided and dangerous, but they've built not just an
ideology but a political movement around it. I just wonder: when
Mar-a-Lago is underwater, is Trump still going to be thrilled that
those coal and oil magnates were able to make all that money?
Jessica Valenti: Mike Pence doesn't eat alone with women. That speaks
volumes: Evidently, the VP can't pull his mind out of the gutter
long enough to consider sharing a meal with a woman other than his
wife. But then these are strange times, especially in the company
Pence does keep:
The same week the first lady gave a speech at the state department's
International Women of Courage Awards, insisting: "We must continue
to fight injustice in all its forms, in whatever scale or shape it
takes in our lives," the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer,
chastised the veteran reporter April Ryan for "shaking her head" at
him. (Just last month, Trump asked Ryan if the those in the
Congressional Black Caucus were "friends" of hers.)
While the president was asking a room full of women if they had
ever heard of Susan B Anthony, the conservative Fox News host Bill
O'Reilly was under fire for making a racist and sexist comment about
the California congresswoman Maxine Waters' hair and an Iowa legislator
said that if a pregnant woman found out her fetus has died, she should
carry the pregnancy to term anyway.
And while Pence trended on Twitter for his old-school sexism, what
went largely unremarked on was that the vice-president cast the
tie-breaking vote to push forward legislation that allows states to
discriminate against Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers
that provide abortion when giving out federal Title X funds.
Matthew Yglesias: So far, Donald Trump as delivered almost nothing on
his trade agenda:
On trade, exactly nothing has happened. The long-dead TPP is still dead,
but NAFTA is very much still with us. No new protective measures have
been put in place, and American companies have been subject to no punitive
retaliations. No legislation appears to be in the works.
This status quo acknowledges rising anti-trade sentiment on the left
and right by halting forward progress on any new trade and investment
deals, while refusing to take the risk of altering any existing arrangements.
Part of the reason is that those "existing arrangements" all have
big business supporters, especially among the Goldman-Sachs wing of
the Trump administration, whereas Trump has yet to pick an unemployed
auto-worker or coal miner for any post of influence (they shot their
wad on Nov. 9 and won't get another chance for four years). Yglesias
doesn't mention the "border adjustment tax" here, but it does show up in
The 7 big questions Republicans have to answer on tax reform.
Taxes look to be the next big Congressional battle for Trump and
Ryan, and their proposals are likely to be every bit as unpopular
as what they came up with for health care. Again, their problem
won't be Republicans coming to their senses, but ones who want to
seize the opportunity to make things even worse. At least you
can't say you weren't warned.
Also a few links less directly tied to Trump, though sometimes still
to America's bout of political insanity:
Eric Alterman: The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing
Whatsoever to Do With Reality: Unlike, say, the conservative bias in
the board rooms. But even that oversimplifies the story. Conservative
scapegoating both presses and seduces the media, with its completely normal
self-image as fair and objective, into legitimizing outrageous claims from
the right and gives viewers/listeners/readers a readymade excuse to doubt
everything they see/hear/read. Moreover, it's not entirely wrong. The fact
is no one can be free from biases any more than one can escape experience
or language. Critical self-reflection helps, as does a willingness to
question one's own precepts. A friend recently asked me how these days
one can figure out who to trust. My reaction is that I never trust anyone
beyond what I can make sense of and verify. If, for instance, you told me
that cutting marginal tax rates on the rich would make the economy grow
in ways that helped people beyond those who saved on their tax bills, I
could look for test cases and see how they turned out. Same if you told
me that spending more money on the military would make it less likely
that a country would be attacked by others. It so happens that there is
a lot of evidence on both of these questions, and the evidence strongly
disputes the assertions. If you look at many such questions, you may
start to think that some sources are more trustworthy than others, but
you should never cease to question them, especially when they don't
To take a slightly different perspective, and I find it often helps
to try to refocus from different angles, I've been worrying about (and
distrusting) "liberal bias" since the mid-1960s, when liberals tended
to take political positions I disagreed with (like supporting the US
war in Vietnam). Liberals back then had an active fantasy life, as they
in some cases still have today (e.g., their obsession with Russia).
Both then and now it's fairly easy to pick apart issues where they
are wrong and where their errors are self-serving (the Russia thing
seems to be a way Clinton-supporters can avoid the shortcomings of
their candidate). It shouldn't be surprising that conservatives are
pretty adept at spotting and exploiting cases where liberals spin
things to their own advantage. Nor vice versa -- perspective often
gets clearer from a distance. Still, in reality, bias and interest
isn't symmetrical between right and left, and it is a grave error to
think otherwise. The right, by definition, serves private interests,
often at the expense of the public. The left takes the opposite tack,
favoring the broadest class interest over the most elite. We should
at least be able to agree on that much, but the right has struggled
mightily to confuse the issue, not least with their charges that the
media is rife with "liberal bias."
To understand this, you need to recognize that America was founded
on liberal (Enlightenment) principles, notably on the notion that "all
men are born equal" and share "equal rights under the law," a law meant
to advance "the common welfare" and which is vouchsafed through a system
of democracy. And those principles have been so internalized that even
the right, which at all times has defended the claims of "virtuous elites"
to rule over everyone else, has had to pay lip-service to democracy and
to argue that their self-serving policies benefit some greater good. To
do so they've dressed up their rhetoric with all sorts of market-tested
claims, often disguising themselves as "populists" while practicing their
art of divide-and-conquer -- flattering one part of the demos as the only
true Americans while derogating others as deservedly inferior. And the
more their claims fail, the harder they work as obfuscating their failures.
One way they've done this has been to convince their followers that any
unseemly facts are the product of "liberal bias." Of course, such charges
ring hollow to anyone who's bothered to examine the right's own agenda,
but thus far they've gotten quite a bit of mileage out of this ruse. To
get an idea of how much, consider the Occupy Wall Street formulation
that divides us between a 1% (which is clearly the orientation of the
Republican platform) and the remaining 99%. If politics were understood
this way, the Republicans should never win an election, yet somehow they
manage to keep their share around 30% (vs. a more/less equal 30% for the
Democrats and 40% for those who don't vote). Of course, relatively even
results aren't solely due to the skill of Republican machinations --
many Democrats, including Obama and the Clintons, seem to be very cozy
with the 1% and have a mediocre record of serving the 99%, both making
them vulnerable to the "populist" ploys of a Trump.
Dean Baker: Trade Denialism Continues: Trade Really Did Kill Manufacturing
Jobs: Rebuts and debunks "a flood of opinion pieces and news stories
in recent weeks wrongly telling people that it was not trade that led to
the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years, but rather automation."
Baker also wrote
The Fed's Interest Rate Hike Will Prevent People From Getting Jobs.
Pepe Escobar: North Korea: The really serious options on the table
Chris Hayes: Policing the Colony: From the American Revolution to
Ferguson: Adapted from Hayes' new book, A Colony in a Nation,
on the persistence of racism in America, explained by the tendency to
even now treat black people as something different from equal citizens
under the law. One sample paragraph:
In Ferguson, people were enraged at Michael Brown's death and grieving
at his passing, but more than anything else they were sick and tired of
being humiliated. At random, I could take my microphone and offer it to
a black Ferguson resident, young or old, who had a story of being harassed
and humiliated. A young honors student and aspiring future politician told
me about watching his mother be pulled over and barked at by police. The
local state senator told me that when she was a teenager, a police officer
drew a gun on her because she was sitting in a fire truck -- at a fireman's
invitation. At any given moment, a black citizen of Ferguson might find
himself shown up, dressed down, made to stoop and cower by the men with
John Judis: Can Donald Trump Revive American Manufacturing? An Interview
With High-Tech Expert Rob Atkinson: Short answer: well, someone could,
but clearly not Donald Trump.
Greg Kaufmann: A Cruel New Bill Is About to Become Law in Mississippi:
"Legislation passed this week would enrich a private contractor while
throwing people off public assistance." Not Trump's fault, per se, but
another example of the Republicans at work, preying on the poor.
Richard D Wolff: Capitalism Produced Trump: Another Reason to Move Beyond
Democratic Mega-donor Saban Doesn't Rule Out Hillary Clinton 2020
Run: More proof that cluelessness is endemic among billionaires.