While You Obsessed Over Trump’s Scandals, He’s Fundamentally Changed The Country By Sam Stein, The Christian Left and HuffPost Politics, 05/31/2017 The president has immense power and, despite the Russia saga, he is using it. This is a defining feature of the Trump administration: While scandal and squabble, palace intrigue and provocative tweets suck much of the oxygen out of the room ― and leave the impression of mass government dysfunction ― a wide array of fundamentally Trump-minded reform is taking place. “All of this smoke is missing the steady progress that the modern Republican Party is achieving,” said Grover Norquist, the longtime anti-tax advocate. “The idea that Trump isn’t getting anywhere is wrong. Those free market guys are picking up maybe not all the marbles in the world, but a large quantity of them. And we haven’t thrown away any marbles.”…Take reports that Trump will leave the Paris Agreement on climate change, the milestone global accord to lower carbon emissions in the face of overwhelming evidence of human-caused global warming…The president’s retrenchment will have immense, generations-long geopolitical ripple effects…On regulatory policy, Trump’s impact has far outpaced the coverage it’s often received… Elsewhere, Trump has made moves that will fundamentally alter the way our economy operates and individuals live their lives… Federal Communications Commission … dismantle net neutrality rules, moving away from treating online content as a public utility and toward a system that allows cable and telecom industry interests to control content and traffic… immigration policy…women’s health…These are just the domestic consequences of Trump’s presidency. On foreign affairs, his reach is far greater and restraint more limited. Trump’s ability to do all this is not, as his administration would argue, evidence of an unappreciated wizardry at governance. He has simply utilized the powers afforded to the executive branch…Democratic operatives are waking up to the idea that the party should stop acting as if Trump is a rudderless president, desperately trying to pass an agenda as it’s anchored down by continuous scandal ― but rather, prosecute a case against Trump’s actual policy achievements.“Democrats aren’t making a mistake by focusing on Russia, because it is potentially the biggest political scandal in U.S. history,” said Pfeiffer. “And the pressure they are putting forward has led to new revelations. But there will be a time when voters are interested in stuff beyond this. We aren’t there yet, but it would be incumbent upon the party to point this out.”
Inside the international effort to fund government programs that actually work by Julia Belluz and Steven Hoffman, VOX.com, January 28, 2015 …the notion that we should run high-quality experiments to figure out whether policies work hasn’t taken root in government…Internationally, there’s a movement to change this state of affairs. Both the United States and United Kingdom have made substantial progress in recent years in backing up their public programs with actual research evidence. The Canadian government, meanwhile, has lagged behind. The tale of these three countries can prove instructive in how to get evidence into policy — and the obstacles that governments face in their attempts…A quiet, evidence-based revolution…
America doesn’t just have one deficit, and Bernie Sanders wants to address seven of them by Laura Clawson Daily Kos Labor, Jan 26, 2015 Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to talk about the deficits. Yes, plural. The ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee says the next budget should address a series of deficits in investment in the American economy. Income inequality, lack of jobs and especially good jobs, poor infrastructure, bad trade deals, retirement insecurity, and a failure to invest in education—these are deficits that affect the entire American economy, dragging it down and slowing growth. That’s what Sanders wants to address:At a time when this country has an obscene level of income and wealth inequality, we need a budget that ends the outrageous loopholes that exist and asks the wealthiest people and largest corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes.
4 Ways the Next Fight Over Spending in Washington Could Seriously Affect Your Life Why this year’s budget debate matters — and why you need to be actively engaged. By Isaiah J. Poole / Campaign for America’s Future, March 16, 2015
Trillion Dollar Fraudsters by Paul Krugman, New York Times, MARCH 20, 2015
Robert Reich priorities of the new Republican congressional
The Rigged Economic System: Why No One Can End Reagan’s “Dead Wrong” Voodoo Economics By Paul Rosenberg, Salon, March 20, 2015
Robert Reich 1/10/15 Facebook — Look at the priorities of the new Republican congressional – the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement, tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy, rollbacks of Dodd-Frank regulations on Wall Street, cutbacks on Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, and decimating the Affordable Care Act – and connect the dots. Republicans want the public to think the central issue of our time is the size of government. Wrong. The central issue of our time is who government is for. Every one of their initiatives advances big corporations and Wall Street, and worsens or weakens everyone else. Elizabeth Warren is correct: The game is rigged. And the only way to unrig it is through a new progressive movement that includes not only the Democratic base but also any and all Independents and Republicans equally determined to take the economy and democracy back from the axis of Wall Street, K Street, and big corporations. Can we rely on the Democratic Party to lead the way, or will a new third party be necessary?
Science-Denying Troglodyte Ted Cruz to Chair Senate Science Subcommittee Posted by: Bob Cull in Election 2014, Environment, Science November 7, 2014
The right’s wrong idea of governance By E.J. Dionne Jr. Opinion writer, Washington Post, January 7, 2015 …the Republicans’ own measure of success will be out of line not only with President Obama’s priorities but also with what most middle-of-the-road Americans would take as a reasonable test of what it means for government to work…new House rules he [Boehner] and the Republican leadership have concocted. They’re designed to rig the legislative playing field in favor of right-leaning policy…
For the Planet and Future Generations, New Congress May Be Most Dangerous Yet By Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Blog posted on Common Dreams, January 06, 2015
Do You Trust the Government? 87% of Americans Don’t August 16, 2014 14:07 By Kevin Mathews, Care2 | News Analysis
The Day After Tomorrow by David Brooks, New York Times, September 13, 2010 Every political movement has a story. The surging Republican Party has a story, too. It is a story of virtue betrayed and innocence threatened…the story Republicans are telling each other…is an oversimplified version of American history, with dangerous implications. The fact is, the American story is not just the story of limited governments; it is the story of limited but energetic governments that used aggressive federal power to promote growth and social mobility… If the current Republican Party regards every new bit of government action as a step on the road to serfdom, then the party will be taking this long, mainstream American tradition and exiling it from the G.O.P. That will be a political tragedy…America faces a series of problems that can’t be addressed simply by getting government out of the way. The social fabric is fraying. Human capital is being squandered. Society is segmenting. The labor markets are ill. Wages are lagging. Inequality is increasing. The nation is overconsuming and underinnovating. China and India are surging. Not all of these challenges can be addressed by the spontaneous healing powers of the market. Most important, it would be an intellectual tragedy. Conservatism is supposed to be nonideological and context-driven. If all government action is automatically dismissed as quasi socialist, then there is no need to think. A pall of dogmatism will settle over the right. Republicans are riding a wave of revulsion about what is happening in Washington. But it is also time to…think about the limited-but-energetic government tradition…at the heart of the American experience.
House Republicans Changed The Rules So A Majority Vote Couldn’t Stop The Government Shutdown by Ashley Alman, Huffington Post, October 13, 2013 — In its effort to extract concessions from Democrats in exchange for opening the government, the GOP has faced a fundamental strategic obstacle: They don’t have the votes. A majority of the members of the House have gone on record saying that if they were given the opportunity to vote, they would support what’s known as a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government. So House Republican leaders made sure no such vote could happen…Republican members of the House Rules Committee were developing a strategy to keep a clean CR off the floor, guaranteeing the government would remain shut down. Though at least 28 House Republicans have publicly said they would support a clean CR if it were brought to the floor — enough votes for the government to reopen when combined with Democratic support — a House rule passed just before the shutdown essentially prevents that vote from taking place. During a floor speech on Saturday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) drew attention to the quietly passed rule when he attempted to present a motion to accept the Senate’s clean continuing resolution and reopen the government. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), presiding over the chamber, told Van Hollen that the rule he was asking to use had been “altered” and he did not have the privilege of bringing that vote to the floor…the recently passed House Resolution 368 trumped the standing rules…“Mr. Speaker, why were the rules rigged to keep the government shut down?” Van Hollen asked. “The gentleman will suspend,” Chaffetz interjected. “Democracy has been suspended, Mr. Speaker.” (Van Hollen)
Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Washington Post, April 27, 2012
….We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party….The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong By Sean McElwee, Rolling Stone, April 23, 2014 …as the evidence has piled up against them, they continue spreading the same myths…
1. The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Kill Jobs.
2. The Stimulus Created Millions of Jobs.
3. Taxing The Rich Doesn’t Hurt Economic Growth.
4. Global Warming is Caused by Humans.
5. The Affordable Care Act is Working
6. Rich people are no better than the rest of us.