Republican members of Congress — at least, those who deigned to show up — faced angry constituents in district town hall meetings across the country this week. Many of the meetings drew overflow crowds filled with local residents who turned out specifically to voice anger over GOP threats to Obamacare.
Here is the GOP scam in a nutshell: Tax cuts for truly wealthy people increase their income and wealth; tax cuts for working people actually decrease their income and wealth over time. Get ready for voters who have no idea how this all works to get totally behind the GOP “we’ll cut your taxes” rhetoric, not realizing that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump/Mike Pence view us all as merely useful idiots.
If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before—hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. They could outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.
It is possible—and necessary—to loudly condemn the racism essential to Trump’s rise, the racism his voters articulated and countenanced, while simultaneously building a broad political movement that targets if not those very voters, then ones very much like them who stayed home on election day. However, doing so requires abandoning the most comforting liberal narratives about the right and its supporters.
From the preening “mavericks” to the proud white supremacists, the GOP is entirely complicit in the horrors of the Trump administration. Every unconstitutional executive order, every denigration of the country’s citizenry and press comes with the party’s seal of approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not like what the president is saying, but he likes what he’s doing.
For an industry premised on dealmaking, the return of one-party rule in Washington offers the welcome end to political gridlock. That means major policy changes are in the works, which promise to fundamentally alter billion-dollar industries. Far from draining the swamp, the Trump administration is poised to make it rain.
The continued fight over the potential replacement has inadvertently highlighted the tangible gains achieved by the ACA and made the public acutely aware of the negative impacts of repeal. New polling finds the ACA is increasingly popular, especially as news outlets highlight stories of individuals who would be impacted by repeal.
It’s crucial to recognize the all-too-human tendency to put our fingers in our ears when we hear something we don’t like. Only then can we move away from a media and cultural environment in which everyone is entitled to not just their own opinions but also their own facts.
The problem with torture is that people will say anything to make it stop. There is abundant evidence of this behavior in Washington, where the fear of political death also makes people say anything. Only electoral torture — the threat of losing power — can account for the readiness of the White House and the Republican Congress to say anything.
With several insurers pulling out over rising costs and Republican congressional efforts to scuttle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the enrollment period was seen as a test of the program’s popularity. Of the 9.2 million, about 3 million were new consumers while 6.2 million were returning consumers.
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.
The greatest weapon the American public has to fight Trump and his minions is the central institution of our representative democracy: the legislative branch. Progressives must threaten their representatives with removal if they don’t heed the majority that finds Trump repugnant, and they must organize that majority to speak unambiguously in November 2018.
“I don’t think anybody had expected the backlash that has happened as a result of these bills. People are upset out here in the west and it is one of the hottest political issues in western states,” said Brad Brooks, Idaho Deputy Regional Director for the Wilderness Society.
Democrats, liberals, and other “coastal elites” have begun taking back the mantle of God and country that has been denied them since 1980. With Ronald Reagan’s ascent, no one could be more patriotic than a Republican, according to Republicans. But with an authoritarian’s ascent, the Republicans are forfeiting, eagerly, the exclusive claim they once had to “restoring” the Constitution.
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Donald Trump told The Washington Post a few days before he was sworn in.
You can bet no one has any idea what that actually means. That includes Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, who dodged details at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday. It also includes Trump, who has yet to demonstrate that he actually knows what’s in the Affordable Care Act, let alone how he would replace it.
The Senate should have seated Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, and then turned to Trump’s nominees as vacancies occurred. Never forget that Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have stolen an open seat that would have tilted the court’s balance away from a right-wing majority.
Judge Gorsuch, despite a reportedly mild-mannered temperament, is known for his anti-choice and anti-LGBT stances, pro-employer rulings in labor disputes, anti-regulatory attitudes, dismissal of scientific expertise, and pro-police bias in brutality cases, according to statements from public interest groups issued after the announcement.
A source involved in the selection process said Trump has made his choice between two conservative U.S. appeals court judges — Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman. Adding an element of drama to what is normally a sober announcement, CNN said both finalists, Gorsuch and Hardiman, had been brought to Washington ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can use simple majority votes to stop recent regulations in their tracks. Timing in the law means any rules enacted after May 31 are eligible for axing. The law has been used effectively only once, ending a rule on ergonomics in 2001. Both sides consider this week a test of its powers.
In the commentary published Jan. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine, one week after the inauguration of Donald Trump, Obama makes good on the pledge in his farewell news conference to speak out “where I think our core values may be at stake.”
The U.S. and Mexico are partners in a variety of cross-border cooperative agreements, but President Trump’s continued criticism of Mexico threatens to return U.S.-Mexico relations to the frosty state they were in the last century, when the relationship was so delicate that Nazi Germany made a play for an alliance with Mexico.
Tightening border enforcement measures, attacking pro-immigrant cities, and pushing local law enforcement to act as immigration police are all ideas that have been promoted by the anti-immigrant, nativist, and white supremacist right for decades, but now they’ve finally found an ally in the Oval Office.
The cost of the so-called “bathroom bill,” which bars transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity, could run as high as $8.5 billion and result in a loss of 185,000 jobs in the first year alone, according to the Texas Association of Business, a conservative group that is the state’s leading employer organization.
The pattern of Trump’s relationship with the GOP-controlled Congress can be summed up in two words: rubber stamp. Congress proposes and Trump disposes, even if the actual details of how these different areas of government, law, and regulation—and eventually the real-life impacts—have yet to be defined, articulated, worked out, or implemented.