Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Crony Cabinet
Ross, Commerce, Trump

Trump’s Choice For Commerce Secretary Leaves Russia Questions Unanswered

Wilbur Ross is likely to be confirmed as President Donald Trump’s secretary of commerce Monday despite unanswered questions about his ownership of a Cyprus bank that caters to wealthy Russians.

February 26, 2017
Trump

President Trump’s Chaotic And Bizarre First Month Is Unprecedented

Presidential historians and veteran Washington correspondents say President Donald Trump’s first month in office — which has been marred by numerous scandals and vicious attacks on the press — is more “chaotic” and “bizarre” than any administration’s first month in history.

February 23, 2017
EPA, Pruitt

In A Nod To The Energy Industry, Pruitt Says EPA Can Also Be Pro-Jobs

The new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that America need not choose between jobs and the environment, in a nod to the energy industry, as the White House prepares executive orders that could come as soon as this week to roll back Obama-era regulation.

February 21, 2017
Rick Perry, DOE

A Political Hustler To Run The Department Of Energy

There are valid reasons that should disqualify Perry from running a federal agency with 13,000 employees — plus 93,000 contract workers — and an annual budget of $30 million. Perry is, to put it kindly, not that bright. He lacks the experience to lead a large bureaucracy, despite the fact that he served as governor of Texas for 14 years. And he’s corrupt.

February 20, 2017
Pruitt

Senate Confirms Trump’s EPA Pick As White House Targets Regulation

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency. Democrats spoke through Thursday night and Friday morning on the Senate floor, trying to extend debate on Pruitt until later in February when 3,000 emails between him and energy companies will likely be revealed by a judge.

February 17, 2017
Working-class

Heaven Help The Little Guy In This Administration

Andrew Puzder’s replacement, Alexander Acosta, hails from an immigrant background (his parents came from Cuba), and he is a former U.S. attorney. But there is no reason to expect him to have any great compassion or concern for the little guy. Trump’s white working-class supporters are in for nothing but disappointment.

February 17, 2017
Income Inequality

How Runaway Inequality Helped To Elect Trump — And How It Can Defeat Him

Declining income brings with it a host of related social problems. As localities are starved for revenues, public safety and the sense of community deteriorate. The social fabric of decent living is imperiled. Extreme inequality fueled both the Sanders and the Trump revolts. While Sanders offered concrete plans to reverse it, Trump and the Republicans are sure to make it worse.

February 15, 2017
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) shows company documents to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during his testimony before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the firm's sales practices on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Elizabeth Warren Forcefully Challenges Trump’s Labor Nominee

Elizabeth Warren has set the table for Andrew Puzder, the burger chain executive and Secretary of Labor nominee, with a blistering 28-page letter outlining the likely line of Democratic questioning in this Thursday’s confirmation hearings.

February 14, 2017
Andrew Puzder

Labor Nominee Puzder Faces Uncertainty As Confirmation Hearing Looms

Four Republican senators have not yet said whether they will support labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, raising suspense about whether he will survive an initial confirmation hearing this week. Puzder has faced staunch opposition from Democrats and protests from union-backed groups about policies at CKE’s food chains.

February 14, 2017

Puzder Owes Millions To Bank Seeking Labor Department Waiver

Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Labor personally owes millions of dollars to a convicted bank that is relying on the same department to waive sanctions for its crimes. The ties between embattled appointee Andrew Puzder and the multinational bank UBS were listed in federal documents, but they were not explicitly acknowledged in Puzder’s ethics agreement with federal regulators.

February 13, 2017
Trump

Hallelujah, President Trump Rushes To Aid The Needy!

Public opinion surveys consistently reveal that the great majority of us say that people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder — the poor and the failing middle class— are the ones Congress should focus on. But, then, regular people don’t run Congress — or Donald Trump’s White House.

February 10, 2017
Trump taps immigration hard-liner Jeff Sessons for attorney general

Sessions Confirmed As Attorney General After Fierce Battle With Democrats

Jeff Sessions who has served two decades in the Senate from Alabama, was confirmed by a 52-47 vote after strong pushback from Democrats concerned about his record on civil rights. In a rare move for a senator recently confirmed to a Cabinet position, Sessions took to the floor of the chamber and called for members of Congress to have some “latitude” in their relationships with members of the other party.

February 9, 2017
Puzder, Trump, Labor Secretary

Senate Panel Finally Receives Ethics Filings For Labor Nominee Puzder

Tentative plans for Puzder’s hearing have been repeatedly postponed amid delays with a review by the Office of Government Ethics. Those stem from the complexities surrounding how Puzder will divest himself from CKE Restaurants, which is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group.

February 8, 2017
DeVos, Pence, Christian Right

If Republicans Won’t Take A Stand On Incompetent DeVos, What Will They Take A Stand On?

Surely there are more than two Republican senators who are smart enough to realize that Betsy DeVos is underqualified and incompetent to lead the Department of Education. A few heads should be hanging with shame in the Senate. If they were unable to show basic guts in such a clear-cut matter, Americans can expect no courage from them in the worrisome years to come.

February 8, 2017
Betsy DeVos

In Rural America, DeVos’ Confirmation Could Spell Doom For Public Schools

DeVos’s free-market principles are on full display in Detroit, where for-profit charter school operators have sowed chaos without creating any educational gains. Detroit’s miserable educational outcomes are some of the worst in the nation, and liberals have pointed to them frequently in their objections to DeVos.

February 7, 2017
Trump

While We Are Distracted By Tweets, Trump Is Building A Corporate State

The destructive toll of Donald Trump’s presidency is beginning to emerge, foreshadowing what’s likely to come as the White House and congressional Republicans begin to reverse, repeal, and replace federal laws and regulations. While Trump’s red-state supporters may be cheering now, they’ll soon feel the consequences.

February 7, 2017
DeVos

Confirmed: Pence’s Unprecedented Tie-Breaking Vote Gives DeVos The Edge

President Trump’s choice of billionaire Betsy DeVos to be education secretary was confirmed by the Senate, but only after Vice President Pence was called in to break a tie that threatened to defeat her. The tie-breaking vote, which Senate officials said was unprecedented to confirm a president’s Cabinet nominee, came after two Republicans joined with 46 Democrats and two independents in opposition to DeVos.

February 7, 2017
Wealthy businessman Viola tapped for Army Secretary

Trump’s Pick For Army Secretary Drops Out

Vincent Viola, an Army veteran and founder of a high-speed trading firm nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to be secretary of the Army, withdrew his name from consideration on Friday, a U.S. official said. According to reports, Viola’s inability to get around Defense Department rules concerning his family businesses as the reason for withdrawing his name.

February 4, 2017
Billionaire class

It’s Time To Take America’s Billionaire Class Head On

Private splendor and public squalor has never been more evident. While the recent election gave federal power to those who would widen the gap, state and local governments, the governments closest to the people, are where increasing needs, the perilous state of public services, and the growing disparity between the super-wealthy and the rest of us may offer fertile ground for progressive strategies that largely benefit those who voted for Trump.

February 3, 2017
White Trump Supporters, America

Is Trump’s America Really Our America?

The Donald and his thuggish regime of demagogic nativists from the far-right fringe are hoping we’re the timorous America. They shout that the people voted for the fair-haired strongman, and now they expect him to save them from bloodthirsty terrorists sneaking into America from Muslim nations. But wait — first of all, the majority of us did not vote for him. So spare us the lie that you have a “mandate” to discriminate.

February 3, 2017
DeVos

Billionaire Betsy DeVos Can’t Buy Her Way Into The Education Department

The defection of two Republican senators has imperiled President Trump’s nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. DeVos has contributed $5,000 to Susan Collins’ campaigns, but Lisa Murkowski’s no-vote was perhaps an even bigger surprise. DeVos’ family businesses have contributed $33,400 to Murkowski’s political campaigns since 1989, according to OpenSecrets.

February 2, 2017

Watch: Al Franken Dismantles Sessions’ Dubious Civil Rights Record

The Minnesota senator slammed Republicans for attempting to recast their colleague as a voting rights champion. “I know Senator Sessions. We served together since I joined this body… and I know his record on voting rights,” Franken bellowed. “He’s no champion of voting rights.”

February 2, 2017
Rex Tillerson, Russia

Senate Confirms Tillerson As Secretary Of State In Contentious Vote

In the vote, 56 senators backed Tillerson, and 43 voted no. Senate Democrats had tried, but failed, to delay the vote because of Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries and temporarily halting the entry of refugees. They said they wanted to ask Tillerson more questions about the issue after Trump signed the order.

February 1, 2017
Nannygate

Budget Chief Nominee Has A Serious ‘Nannygate’ Problem

Rep. Mulvaney surely knew better. As a state lawmaker and in Congress, he has supported measures that would bar governments from hiring applicants with outstanding tax debts or penalties. It’s hard to imagine he really believed the person he paid to take care of his children didn’t have a real job (or a real employer).

February 1, 2017
Labor Department, Trickle down economics

Delayed Again: Senate Postpones Hearing For Labor Nominee Puzder

The U.S. Senate panel tasked with vetting Andrew Puzder to head the Labor Department has postponed its tentative plans to hold his confirmation hearing yet again, a move that some political strategists say could signal trouble for the fast-food executive.

January 31, 2017