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Friday, April 28, 2017
Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

robots

Can We Think Our Way Past Robots?

Bubbling beneath today’s comic-book politics are threats to American workers that have nothing to do with people or things coming over the border. Robots and artificial intelligence are nipping at the heels of not only blue-collar workers but also white-collar professionals who assumed that a degree would keep them several steps ahead of the machines.

April 26, 2017

What It Means To Be Truly Liberal On Abortion

Donald Trump has mastered the authoritarian act, and that’s how he attracted his brigade of humble followers. Some on the left seem to envy this ability to force obedience through threats and attacks. But that approach doesn’t work on issue-oriented voters, doubly so on matters requiring nuance. Abortion is one such issue. Thus, one cannot fathom the ongoing crusade by abortion rights activists to crush Heath Mello, a moderate Democrat running for mayor of Omaha.

April 24, 2017

Will Trump’s Order Help US Tech Workers Or Not?

“It’s weaker than it could have been,” Ron Hira, a political scientist at Howard University and longtime H-1B critic, told me. “Some things can be done through policy guidance, policy memos and regulation writing.” On the other hand, Hira was pleased that Trump at least acknowledged the problem, something his predecessors had not done.

April 20, 2017
Bannon

The Strange And Thankfully Short Ascendancy Of Steve Bannon

But the political aide was allowed to keep his desk. It made sense for Trump to keep the noisy peddler of lunatic conspiracies on the inside — as insurance against Bannon’s directing the feral talents of Breitbart News against his presidency. And from the Bannon perspective, eviction from the White House power center would have turned him into just another right-winger with an inflammatory website. Some defenders of Republican unity, however, were taken aback by the brutality of the demotion.

April 18, 2017

What US Airlines Need Now Is Middle-Class Class

The problem isn’t that people paying more are getting more. That’s the way of the world. He who pays more gets a choicer cut of steak. She who pays more gets more gigabytes in the smartphone. We are consumers, and if we don’t like the deal, we don’t have to buy. Speaking for myself, I’d rather spend the extra hundreds that I’d have to shell out for a fancier seat at a four-fork restaurant in the destination city. Not that I would.

April 14, 2017
clean energy

Mired In The Present, They Won’t Seize The Clean Energy Future

While Donald Trump is hectoring China over subsidies to steel and other smokestack industries, China is shoving government money into production of solar panels. China is also hot to dominate the manufacture of electric cars and the batteries that go in them. Our conservatives, meanwhile, are sniping at Tesla.

April 11, 2017
liberals protest against trump

Liberals Find Community — And That Could Be Big

Like the Tea Party right, liberals are flocking to their own media campfires for warmth, talking points, and calls to action. The Tea Party’s membership was never huge in numbers, but the movement knew how to turn communal passions into political clout. Members jeered politicians and joined enthusiastic protests. But their real power came from marching as a group to party primaries and other elections that less engaged voters ignored.

April 6, 2017
Fake news is on the rise on Facebook

Phone Addiction Has Unleashed A Deadly Toll

Many Americans are so hooked on the flashing pleasures of smartphone use that they barely register the risks their distraction poses to themselves and others. Between 2010 and 2015, pedestrian deaths jumped an astounding 25 percent, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Cellphone use took much of the blame.

April 4, 2017
Environmental, EPA, Environment

There’s Little Dignity Left In Coal

This event, held tragically at the Environmental Protection Agency, was almost as celebratory as the one in which Trump called for ditching a rule that would have stopped coal companies from dumping waste in streams. Some waters in coal country are so polluted they run orange. One forgets that there are only about 80,000 coal mining jobs left in America, and nearly 40 percent of them don’t involve the dangerous work of going underground. The solar power industry employs twice as many people.

March 31, 2017

Carmakers, Don’t Pick A Fight With California

News flash: The Obama-era fuel-economy standards would add $875 to the average price of a new vehicle. But proposed border taxes or other tariffs on Mexican imports would add $2,000. President Donald Trump wants a weaker mandate on mileage, and he also wants the tariffs.

March 29, 2017
Trump on the attack against news media

The Trump ‘Faithful’ Get the Budget Cuts They Voted For

As for blue-collar whites who voted for Trump and are now having second thoughts, it’s not quite correct that they were “scammed,” as many Trump foes argue. Those who bought into his assurances — “I’m taking care of my people” — willingly ignored the piled-high evidence. This is a man who makes a sport of lying.

March 27, 2017
Obamacare, GOP

Dump The Myth That Obamacare Froze Out Republicans

It’s true. The Affordable Care Act was passed without a single Republican vote. Republicans repeatedly cite this fact as Obamacare’s original sin, a fatal flaw that justifies their efforts to dismantle the ACA. But let’s set that record straight. Obamacare was a bipartisan plan. It just didn’t get a bipartisan vote.

March 21, 2017
Bannon, Breitbart, Trump

Steve Bannon Failed His Father, Not AT&T

But where was Steve Bannon — Marty Bannon’s big shot son, a former Goldman Sachs banker and now political adviser to Donald Trump — when he unloaded his life savings at the bottom of the market? Apparently not calling home and saying, “Dad, don’t sell your stock now.” Instead, the younger Bannon exploited his father’s financial trauma to sell his doctrine of economic nationalism — a mishmash of emotions that blames everyone but oneself.

March 16, 2017

Blue America Gets Richer

It’s old news that Republican plans to basically kill Obamacare would hit Trump country the hardest. In Kentucky, for example, Obamacare brought coverage to a half-million people (out of a population of 4.4 million) — with 4 in 5 joining the expanded Medicaid program because their incomes were so low.

March 15, 2017
Obamacare, House Bill

A Devious Plot To Poison Obamacare

The proposed Republican House health care plan would act like a slow-working toxin. In this case, many of the millions enrolled in Obamacare would not realize what’s happening to their health care until it’s too late.

March 9, 2017
Trump lies

President Trump Has Turned His Last Corner

Patriots must unite and start winding down this bizarre presidency. This is no longer about Republicans and Democrats; it’s about forestalling a national emergency.

March 7, 2017
Trump, Wall, Border

What Has Trump Done For The American People?

The Trump administration is now in its second month, and it’s done almost nothing. It hasn’t even put forth coherent plans to do what the president says he wants to do. Complicating matters further, it remains unclear what the president wants, and he may not even know.

March 2, 2017
Immigration

Democrats Need Straight Talk On Immigration

Donald Trump’s roundup of undocumented immigrants is cruel and racist in its execution. His plan to build a wall along the Mexican border would be a massive waste of at least 14 billion taxpayer dollars. But that doesn’t give Democrats a free pass to fudge on the issue of illegal immigration.

February 28, 2017
L.A. Confidential

The LA Movie That Should Have Won Best Picture

My candidate lost, and yes, I still can’t get over it. I speak of the 1997 movie “L.A. Confidential.” A riff on the creepy film-noir movies of the 1950s, its dark brilliance lay clouded in the bloated shadow of “Titanic.” Love can be a twisted thing. And so can be the criteria by which the Hollywood establishment judges films.

February 25, 2017
Trump, Media

Trump Has The Media Crying All The Way To The Bank

Trump may bash the traditional media to please his base of die-hards, but the anti-Trump base is a lot bigger — and it’s growing. It’s also affluent. And one way to resist is to buy what Trump condemns. Legacy media are biting back, and that, it turns out, is good both for the news and for business.

February 21, 2017
Trump border tax

What Is Donald Trump’s Biggest Fear?

Trump doesn’t seem to fear failure — after all, he’s filed for bankruptcy four times — so much as he fears not being seen as successful. Appearances are paramount in the Trump universe, and frankly, things are not looking so good these days.

February 17, 2017
Carbon Tax

Why A Carbon Tax Is A Truly Good Idea

A carbon tax plan would curb emission of greenhouse gases by taxing them at the refinery, at the mine, or wherever they enter the economy. The proceeds would be sent to Americans in the form of dividends. A family of four could expect to receive about $2,000 in the first year.

February 14, 2017
Trump, White House

Is Trump Really Running The White House?

Last weekend, Trump attended the Red Cross Ball at his Mar-a-Lago resort and watched the Super Bowl at his West Palm Beach golf course. As he left Florida on Monday, news emerged that he will probably return this weekend for golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Does Trump think being president is a part-time job? And is Trump the one doing the job? There’s no clear answer to either one.

February 9, 2017
Muslim Ban

The Right Way To Oppose The Muslim Ban

Americans concerned with national security can’t help but see dangers in the amateurish nature of this policy rollout, now frozen by the courts. Some may have found comic relief in Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s reference to the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre.” But such dumb statements from top administration officials have turned America into an international laughingstock.

February 6, 2017
Trump

Can A Coalition Of The Principled Center Fight Trumpism?

The far left has become politically inert, preferring fiery speeches over voting for less-than-perfect Democrats. The far right is bonkers. A centrist coalition is the greatest hope for saving the country from Trump. And to maintain it, the members must keep their politics neat and tidy.

February 2, 2017