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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Politics

Andrew Napolitano’s International Embarrassment Could Put Murdoch’s Sky Bid In Jeopardy

Wild fantasies are Napolitano’s bread and butter. He regularly appears on Fox to fulminate over the alleged crimes of progressives. He has used his Fox platform to champion 9/11 trutherism, suggest that Osama bin Laden wasn’t really dead, and blame President Abraham Lincoln for having “set about on the most murderous war in American history” over slavery.

March 22, 2017
Obamacare, House GOP plan

We Fact-Checked Lawmakers’ Letters To Constituents On Health Care

As the debate to repeal the law heats up in Congress, constituents are flooding their representatives with notes of support or concern, and the lawmakers are responding, sometimes with form letters that are misleading. A review of more than 200 such letters by ProPublica and its partners at Kaiser Health News, Stat and Vox, found dozens of errors and mischaracterizations about the ACA and its proposed replacement. The legislators have cited wrong statistics, conflated health care terms and made statements that don’t stand up to verification.

March 22, 2017
DAPL, Dakota Access Pipeline

Is Purple America Vanishing As Americans Take More Fervent Partisan Stands?

If purple America has all but disappeared, as FiveThirtyEight.com posits, it means there’s less of a chance that opposition to draconian policies by Trump and the GOP will result in their eventual ouster from office. But if purple America is concentrated in the more populated stretches surrounding cities and regional hubs, it suggests that swaths of more independent voters could join a growing wave of opposition to Trump and this Congress.

March 22, 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
Wisconsin recount

Elections Matter: How To Bring Blue State Energy To Winnable Red State Elections

In the meantime, Sister District encourages groups to use non-election time to follow groups like Indivisible for advice on meeting with their members of Congress, or focus on fighting for or against specific legislation or specific issues when there is not a campaign toward which they can direct their energy. The best part, she said, is that “I haven’t seen people let up with the growth and establishment of resistance groups… it’s not coming from the Democratic Party, but it is coming from groups like mine.”

March 21, 2017

The Rich Pay Fewer Taxes Than The Poor, And Get More Services

The analysis starts with state and local taxes, which are often ignored by apologists for big-income tax cuts. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the state and local tax rate for the poorest 20 percent of individuals is double that of the top 1 percent (10.9 percent vs. 5.4 percent). New data from Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman allows us to go further: When unrealized capital gains are included in the wealth-building of the richest 1%, the overall tax rates plunge for the super-rich, causing the poorest Americans to pay the highest rates.

March 21, 2017
Trump, Cabinet, Sessions

Most Young Adults Say Trump Presidency Is Illegitimate

Two months into his presidential term, Donald Trump has failed to convince younger adults that he’s a real leader. That’s according to a new poll that shows the majority of young adults—57 percent of those aged 18 to 30—say they don’t view Trump’s presidency as legitimate. Young adults of color are especially skeptical of Trump as commander-in-chief, with the majority of blacks, Asians and Latino/as reporting that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate.

March 21, 2017
Gorsuch and Trump

Neil Gorsuch’s Alarming Relationship With A Serial Voting Rights Misinformer

According to emails released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, first reported on by The Nation’s Ari Berman, Gorsuch’s communications with or about von Spakovsky paint a picture of their friendly relationship. In 2005, Gorsuch wrote “Good for Hans” after then-President George W. Bush nominated von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission.

March 20, 2017
Gorsuch, Gun Lobby

Gorsuch Blistered In The Senate: Democrat Offers 4 Reasons Why He Should Worry All of Us, Even Trump Voters

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) began the confirmation hearing of Judge Neil Gorsuch by emphasizing her disappointment that President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, was denied a hearing. She went on to explain that Gorsuch is no “reasonable mainstream conservative,” but rather a deeply disconcerting “originalist.” But that isn’t the only worry Democrats should have about him.

March 20, 2017
FBI email leaks

FBI Director Confirms Investigation Of Possible Collusion Between Trump Campaign And Russia

Director James B. Comey confirmed for the first time Monday that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities during the 2016 election campaign. Comey said the investigation was examining whether “there was any coordination” between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

March 20, 2017
Trump, Democracy

Trump Is Waging War On Diplomacy Itself

The goal is to replace the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and other multinational organizations with a more transactional diplomacy. Trump and Bannon prefer bilateral deals with partners that are willing to take on the “civilizational struggle” against “radical Islamic terrorism.” The template is gendered: abandon the soft, feminized European Union and embrace the hard, manly Putin.

March 20, 2017
Bernie Sanders

Why Bernie Is The Most Popular Politician In America

Bernie Sanders has the highest approval rating of any politician in the country with 61 percent approving, with only 32 percent disapproving, according to a March 15 Fox News poll. The Sanders 29-plus percent favorable/unfavorable gap is far superior to Trump’s negative 8 percent.

March 20, 2017
Clinton holds 4-point lead over Trump

Clinton Hints At Comeback To ‘Shine a Light’ On Issues

The former senator and secretary of state has kept a low profile since her presidential loss in November to Donald Trump, staying largely silent on current politics. But she has been observing. Clinton told the crowd that, “Our country seems so divided right now. I do not believe that we can let political divides harden into personal divides.”

March 19, 2017
NY Times, Trump, Russian Intelligence

Oops, He Did It Again: Donald Trump Just Can’t Stop Himself From Blurting Out State Secrets

Then, on Friday, Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and did it again. The public side of the summit included Trump famously refusing to shake Merkel’s hand during an Oval Office photo-op, as if he’s not satisfied with the magnitude of our national mortification. Earlier, during a joint press conference, Trump turned to Merkel and blurted, “As far as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps.”

March 18, 2017

5 Brutally Awkward Moments From Trump’s First Meeting With Angela Merkel

If we learned anything from Trump’s joint press conference with Theresa May earlier this year, it’s that Trump is incapable of meeting with a foreign head of state without embarrassing himself and his country. Friday’s summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel proved a grim reminder.

March 18, 2017
Immigration, Deported

Are Immigrants Destroying Our Way Of Life?

The fear that foreigners will poison our culture or destroy our government has no basis in experience. “Basic indicators of assimilation, from naturalization to English ability, are if anything stronger now than they were a century ago,” University of Washington scholar Jacob Vigdor has written about Hispanics.

March 17, 2017
Former U.S. President George W. Bush visits Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Don’t Paint President Bush In Rose Colors

You see, he was rough-hewn, but Bush belonged to the political establishment as a genial governor when he ran. Trump is such an angry outsider that you can sense Washington wishing for the good ol’ days. Back then, presidents didn’t accuse others in the elite club of wiretapping.

March 17, 2017
GOP, Right-Wing, Trump 2016

Trump And GOP Have It In For Their Own Voters

Trump’s appeal is much broader. Cognitive scientist George Lakoff has spent decades studying how conservatives have won by nurturing a worldview of a powerful authority enforcing discipline through strength. Last summer, he tried to warn Democrats that Trump — despite a near total ignorance of conservative policy — was appealing to Republicans across the spectrum as well as to union workers who believe in “traditional family values” in their private lives.

March 17, 2017
NATO, James Mattis

Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

Our story on March 13 concerning Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ views on the relationship between climate change and national security was based on excerpts from unpublished written exchanges between Mattis and several Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee following his Jan. 12 confirmation hearing.

March 17, 2017
Sessions, Department Of Justice

Jeff Sessions Claims Marijuana Only ‘Slightly Less Awful’ Than Heroin

Sessions’ uninformed claim is likely to increase jitters in the country’s nascent legal marijuana industry as it confronts an attorney general whose rhetoric so far has strongly suggested he would like to crack down on legal weed—although he has yet to take any concrete steps to do so.

March 16, 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
Pit bull

The Cult Of The Pitbull

This is only partly a dog column. It’s also about several things that have gone wrong in American political dialogue: dogmatism, disdain for facts, black-and-white thinking, name-calling, and generalized hatred of rival tribes. Also, the bad effects of social media. People just don’t abuse each other in person the way they do on social media. It’s a coward’s idea of tough.

March 16, 2017

Dutch PM Rutte Sees Off Anti-Islam Wilders Challenge

Dutch far-right candidate Geert Wilders had pledged to close the Netherlands’ borders to Muslim immigrants, shut mosques, ban sales of the Quran, and leave the European Union if he won the election.

March 16, 2017
Trump is ripping us off

Donald And The Ayatollahs

Earlier in the campaign, Trump had been more nuanced about the Obama administration’s diplomatic coup, which in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions puts Iran’s nuclear weapons program on ice for a decade. In 2015 he told NBC, “It’s very hard to say ‘We’re ripping it up.’” And on MSNBC, also in 2015, he said, “We have a horrible contract, but we have a contract.”

March 15, 2017
Trump, Putin

Bannon And Trump Have Quietly Installed An Alt-National Security Council Operating Inside The White House

Less than a month after much-admired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster took over from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Trump’s alter-ego Steve Bannon appears to be more in control of U.S. foreign policy than ever. There is little sign McMaster will be able to restore traditional U.S. foreign policy commitments to NATO and […]

March 15, 2017