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Sunday, January 22, 2017
Politics
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
Obama, Malia

Obama Gave His Daughter A Kindle And Filled It With Books

Our president gave his teenage daughter a Kindle, and he filled it with books. That small yet enormous detail brings it home. There is no replacing this president, and what comes next is sinking in. The distance between what was and what will be seems so vast.

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
Cabinet

Trump’s Agriculture Nominee Perdue Rounds Out Mostly White Male Cabinet

Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture, selecting a former Georgia governor over candidates from the Midwest, which dominates U.S. agricultural exports. Trump’s cabinet (if nominated) will have just three women, one African American man — and no Latino.

January 19, 2017
Fortress Washington, Anti-Trump Protests

Fortress Washington Girds For Days Of Anti-Trump Protests

Washington will turn into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Friday as the U.S. capital braces for more than a quarter-million protesters expected during the Republican’s swearing-in. By far the biggest protest will be the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, which organizers expect to draw 250,000 people.

January 19, 2017
Boycott, Trump

Yes, Political Boycotts Are A Form Of Free Speech

Obviously, there are effective boycotts and ineffective ones, stupid boycotts and well-directed ones, boycotts by the right, left and middle. The point here is that for whatever reason, a person has a right to withhold his or her custom. A consumer boycott does not muzzle anyone. Freedom of speech doesn’t end at the cash register.

January 19, 2017
Trump, FBI

Intelligence Agencies Probe Possible Covert Kremlin Aid To Trump

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

January 18, 2017
Trump, Press

Trump Wants To Flood White House Press Briefings With Sycophants

Something is happening here that is more insidious than Trump and his administration lashing out at perceived enemies. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, the administration is interested in potentially “stacking press conferences with conservative columnists and staffers from pro-Trump outlets.”

January 18, 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
Women's Movement

How Trump May Have Accidentally Created A New Women’s Movement

Not only did the first female presidential nominee of a major political party lose after her victory was taken for granted, but she lost to a man caught on tape boasting about groping women. Now the alarm and ensuing determination that many young American women felt after the door-slam of the 2016 election have become catalysts for a new women’s movement.

January 18, 2017
Trump, Electoral College, Illegitiimate

5 Ways To Measure Trump’s Illegitimacy

The Great and Powerful Trump is the weakest and most vulnerable president in at least 140 years. Behind the scowl and the curtain there is a diminished man who cannot shake off the circumstances surrounding his election. Emerging from the 2016 election, Donald Trump carries a quintuple burden of illegitimacy.

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
Sessions, Department Of Justice

Will Your Life Matter To The Trump Department Of Justice?

The law is the law, but Trump and his far-right cohorts want to change the law to render protections for vulnerable communities worthless. Trump and Sessions are part of a right-wing wave dedicated to rolling back civil rights protections. The idea of what can happen without the protections of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act does not keep them up at night.

January 18, 2017
Supreme Court

Nasty Fight Looms Over Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Democrats are still seething over the Republican-led Senate’s decision last year to refuse to consider outgoing President Barack Obama’s nomination of appeals court judge Merrick Garland for a lifetime post on the court. The action had little precedent in U.S. history and prompted some Democrats to accuse Republicans of stealing a Supreme Court seat.

January 18, 2017
Business, Trump

Business Euphoria Over Trump Gives Way To Caution And Confusion

Early optimism among business lobbyists and executives that Donald Trump’s election heralded better days has slowly given way to uncertainty as the president-elect fires off mixed and sometimes confusing messages on healthcare, taxes, and trade.

January 18, 2017
Outrage and Resistance: How to make Trump a loser

The Great Trumpkin Rises From The Trumpkin Patch

Shock upon shock, insult upon insult, falsehood upon falsehood, Trump has been a daily deluge of the unbelievable and the unthinkable until you don’t even know what to respond to first. The danger is that it comes to seem normal, that you stop seeing how truly bizarre it is.

January 18, 2017
Reign of Trump

Together We Can Beat Back The Reign Of Trump

It’s time for us to double down on what can be seen as the progressive community’s shared campaign for populist justice. We can beat back the brutishness the Reign of Trump promises — if we seriously unite. So, yes, buckle up. But more importantly, buck up!

January 18, 2017
Americans, Voter

Conservative Or Liberal? Here’s What Americans Really Believe

Data from Pew Research studies and Gallup polls conclusively demonstrate that Americans, in their deepest political/social beliefs, are thoroughly liberal in most of their views and moderately liberal in the balance. They are not the “conservatives” described by the relentless propagandists of the right.

January 18, 2017
Kompromat, Putin, Trump

Putin Defends Trump’s Virtue — And Trump Serves Putin’s Interests

Putin got his big break in politics when, as a young intelligence officer, he affirmed that a murky videotape of a man cavorting with hookers was indeed a foe of Boris Yeltsin’s. Today, sleazy videos of public figures are a regular feature on Russian TV.

January 18, 2017
Inauguration, Trump

Despite Showman Reputation, Trump Fails To Book A-Listers For Inauguration

Like those who came before him, Trump will take his oath on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building and lead a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, but there will be fewer official balls and less glitz and celebrity talent to welcome in the new president.

January 17, 2017
Chelsea Manning

Before Leaving Office, Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence

Manning has been a focus of a worldwide debate on government secrecy since she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables, and battlefield accounts to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks – a leak for which she was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison. Her sentence will now expire on May 17, the White House said.

January 17, 2017
Obamacare, ACA

Reuters/Ipsos Poll: Majority Of Americans Do Not Want To Repeal Obamacare

“There is some recognition, even from Republican supporters, that the underlying goals of the law are worthwhile,” said Jack Hoadley, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “They still want something done, they don’t want it to disappear.”

January 17, 2017
Zinke, Interior Department, Oil

Interior Nominee Zinke Would Review Obama’s Limits On Oil Drilling

As a first-term congressman, Zinke pushed to end the coal-lease moratorium, saying it had resulted in closed mines and job cuts, and he introduced a bill expanding tax credits for coal-burning power plants that bury carbon dioxide emissions underground.

January 17, 2017
Trump, Authoritarian

Trump’s New Press Tactics Follow The Old-School Authoritarian Model

Donald Trump is fulfilling the role of an authoritarian demagogue so thoroughly that if this whole disaster were a movie, it would be criticized for being formulaic and cliched. His frequently expressed hostility toward the media comes right out of a well-worn copy of the Dictator’s Playbook, and he has repeatedly revealed himself to be an enemy of a free press.

January 17, 2017
Trump, Racism, Racial Backlash

Donald Trump Serves Up The Latest Chapter Of Racial Backlash

If there is any consolation on the King holiday of 2017, it is the assurance that the American backlash is sure to generate new forms of multiracial resistance in the spirit of America itself. The union of free Americans who ejected slavery, embraced voting rights, shook off Jim Crow, and elected a mixed-race president is nothing if not resilient.

January 17, 2017