Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Crony Cabinet
Trump

New ‘Sheriff’ Has A Badge — But Doesn’t Have A Clue

Never mind that Trump is really just that guy at the end of the bar who, with beer-lubricated certainty and megaphone volume, tells you how to solve humanity’s most intractable problems. And maybe as he’s speaking, as you’re under the spell of it, it sounds like wisdom. But the next morning, you sober up and see it for the hogwash it is.

January 21, 2017
John Ashcroft, Constitutional Rights

When Fear Rules, Constitutional Rights Get Trampled

Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.

January 21, 2017
Rep. John Lewis

Top 10 Reasons Congress Members Are Boycotting Trump’s Inauguration

Now 58 (and counting) Democrats have proclaimed their intention to boycott Trump’s inauguration. Such action is not unprecedented in American history, but the size of the boycott is. Nearly a quarter of all Democrats have joined Gutierrez and Lewis.

January 20, 2017
Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin

Treasury Nominee Mnuchin Hammered Over Offshore Tax Havens

In a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury was attacked for failing to promptly disclose he was a director of an offshore business vehicle domiciled in the Cayman Islands and owned more than $100 million in real estate.

January 20, 2017
DeVos

Betsy DeVos Flunks Her First Test

Washington confirmation hearings are both theater and ritual. Behind the ostentatious displays of deference that senators and would-be cabinet secretaries must display toward each other is a useful democratic exercise. During Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing, senators learned that Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary is clueless, rich, and deceptive.

January 19, 2017
Rick Perry, Energy Department, Oops

Oops! Rick Perry Regrets Calling For Energy Department’s Elimination

“After being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination,” the former Texas governor said in his opening remarks during his confirmation hearing. Perry’s proposal to get rid of the Energy Department caused what has become known as his “oops” moment during a 2011 Republican presidential candidate debate.

January 19, 2017
Scott Pruitt, EPA

Senate Panel Grills Trump’s EPA Pick Over Energy Ties

Democratic Senators quizzed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, over his energy industry ties during a contentious confirmation hearing on Wednesday that was briefly interrupted by protesters.

January 18, 2017
DeVos

DeVos Confirmation Hearing: Guns, Charters, And ‘Potential Grizzlies’

While Republicans for the most part used their allotted five-minute questioning periods to praise DeVos or ask questions that didn’t challenge the nominee, Democrats tried to portray her as both inexperienced and inflexibly ideological. In one devastating exchange, Murphy forced DeVos to admit that she would, in theory, support guns in schools.

January 18, 2017
White revolt of 2016

New Poll Shows Only White Americans Think Favorably Of Trump

Trump responded to the polls this morning in the most Trumpian way possible: by re-whining the story of how the system is rigged against the racist, misogynist white male trust fund kid-turned-adult billionaire who, despite no previous experience in government or the military, and a lack of coherent policy proposals, was elected president.

January 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, EPA

Will Pruitt Bring Earthquakes To Washington Like He Did In Oklahoma?

Trump’s EPA pick, Scott Pruitt, has repeatedly put his ties with this industry above human health and safety during his time in office. He did not protect the rights of Oklahoma’s citizens, and his inaction regarding the state’s earthquake damages reflected his allegiance to fossil fuel companies. It would be a travesty to confirm Scott Pruitt solely to benefit a fossil fuel industry that is already booming.

January 17, 2017
Ross, Trump, Billionaire Cabinet

Billionaire Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Commerce Pick, Has Offshored 2,700 Jobs Since 2004

While supporters say Ross saved thousands of U.S. jobs by rescuing firms from failure, data attained by Reuters shows that rescue effort came at a price: textile, finance and auto-parts companies controlled by the private-equity titan eliminated about 2,700 U.S. positions since 2004 because they shipped production to other countries.

January 17, 2017
Trump Price Medicare Health

Draining The Swamp? Trump’s Health Pick Accused Of Insider Trading

CNN reported on Sunday that Price bought between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc, a medical device manufacturer. Days later, he introduced legislation to the House of Representatives that would have delayed a regulation that could have ultimately damaged the company.

January 17, 2017
Trump

6 Of Donald Trump’s Most Appalling Moments This Week

Never has there been a leader more deserving of stories full of innuendo and giggle-inducing allegations about him. You reap what you sow, to quote Donald Trump’s second-favorite book, right after his own ghostwritten tome.

January 15, 2017
Cabinet Picks

Failed Cabinet Picks Offer Guide To Trump’s Prospects

According to the Senate Historical Office, there were four cases since 1970 in which a Senate controlled by the president’s party did not confirm the president’s nominees. In each case, the failed nominee had either ethical, financial, or legal lapses in their records.

January 15, 2017
Trump Cabinet

The Limits Of Government Ethics Enforcement

One realization that has emerged during a chaotic week in our nation’s capital is that America’s system for preventing ethical conflicts in government is supremely overmatched by President-elect Donald Trump and his cadre of billionaire advisers.

January 13, 2017
President-elect Trump

‘Unpresidented’: A Sign Of The Times

Are we living history backward? A swaggering new president who lost the people’s vote may mimic Julius Caesar’s Rome, changing from a republic to an empire. Caesar conquered Gaul. Trump conquered Rockefeller Center, where NBC made the mogul’s reality show, “The Apprentice.” It feels “unpresidented.”

January 13, 2017
Rex Tillerson

Tillerson Ducks Queries On Exxon’s Climate Record, Lobbying In Senate Hearing

During the hearings, Tillerson repeatedly said that he and Exxon did not lobby Congress about sanctions against Russia implemented in 2014. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Bob Menendez then confronted Tillerson with lobbying documents that showed Exxon opposed the sanctions and paid Washington-based lobbyists to oppose the legislation.

January 12, 2017
Cory Booker, Sessions

Cory Booker Chooses His Moment

Booker was free to speak out against Sessions in any other forum, including on the Senate floor when the nomination comes for a vote. But he made the unprecedented choice to do so during the Sessions nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

January 12, 2017
Seth Meyers takes a closer look at Trump cabinet confirmation process

#EndorseThis: A Closer Look At Trump Cabinet Vetting

Trump cabinet vetting seems particularly weak, as Late Night host Seth Meyers notes, in a case like Rick Perry, who will take over the Energy Department and its responsibility for our nuclear arsenal — despite his “C” grades in high school physics and chemistry.

January 11, 2017
Trump, Senate Hearings

Senate Hearings Delayed For Three Wealthy Trump Nominees

The Senate Commerce Committee said on Tuesday it was moving Ross’s hearing to Jan. 18 from Jan. 12 because Ross has not completed all of the necessary government paperwork. The Ross delay came shortly after postponements of hearings for Trump’s choices to head the Education and Labor departments.

January 10, 2017
John Kerry, Trump Tweets

Kerry Warns Of ‘Authoritarian Populism,’ Takes Jab At Trump Tweets

In his most pointed public comments about Trump since the Nov. 8 presidential election, Kerry also suggested that the president-elect’s Cabinet nominees were getting a free pass from Congress for failing to submit tax returns and other documentation before their Senate confirmation hearings.

January 10, 2017
Betsy DeVos

The Radical Education Of Betsy DeVos

The choice of Betsy DeVos to head the Education Department mystified all those who’d figured Trump was looking for a capable, forward-looking technocrat focused on student testing and teacher accountability. The choice horrified teachers unions, as DeVos is a billionaire Republican who has worked assiduously to weaken the public schools in Michigan.

January 10, 2017
Mitch McConnell

McConnell Does The GOP’s Dirty Work While All Eyes Follow Trump

McConnell is the perfect partner and lying propagandist for Trump. He maintains a straight face, which never upstages the coverage of Trump’s latest antics. As Americans will soon see, many shades of darkness inhabit Trump’s Washington.

January 10, 2017
Trump, Tweeting, Ethics

Ethics Groups Alarmed By Trump Team’s Secrecy

The first casualty of the new government taking over Washington may be information about the government itself, ethics watchdogs say. The new GOP Congress is moving toward confirming several of Trump’s choices to run executive-branch departments even though they have not had their financial disclosures vetted and cleared by ethics officials.

January 10, 2017
Sessions can shape immigration policy as AG

Democrats Wrestle With Sessions Nomination

Democrats face a tricky balancing act as the Senate kicks off its confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions, this morning. In tension is the party base’s desire to hammer Sessions for his controversial past—particularly on issues of race— with senators’ lengthy professional and personal relationships with the Alabama Republican.

January 10, 2017