Tag: The Soapbox

How the Sprawling Fight Over Permitting Reform Could Capsize Congress

“Chuck cut the deal without talking to me,” Kaine said. “I was hoping that, before the bill was final, that if I told them the concerns I had, then the final product would address my concerns. It doesn’t.” Kaine told me that he believed there could be some kind of separate bipartisan bill on permitting […]

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The Republican Plot to Weaponize the Government Against Political Enemies

What would the United States be like if the civil service were to become a mere handmaiden to an unscrupulous chief executive? The past offers some clues: For much of the nineteenth century, the federal bureaucracy operated in what was known as the “spoils system,” in which every new presidential administration would purge the civil […]

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Democrats Are Dropping the Ball on Iran

Cotton has also never been an advocate for police reform, or even for peaceful protest. The current protests in Iran have been compared by many to the 2020 racial justice protests in America following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In both instances, protesters were shocked by police brutality and were calling for […]

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What Joe Biden Could Learn From Harry Truman

Like many Democrats these days, Biden feels beholden to the wealthy. At a Manhattan fundraiser Tuesday night, Biden made a brief jab at Republican economics as he said, “I’m not a big trickle-down guy.” But then looking out at the wealthy crowd in a midtown apartment during an event that raised about $2 million for […]

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Why the Biden Economy Is Better Than You Think (With Brian Deese)

Fresh off a legislative winning streak and after a tough summer, the Biden administration is having a moment. Unprecedented investments in driving clean energy innovation and rebuilding supply chains are poised to reshape the American economy for the next decade and beyond.  Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, had a lot to […]

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Phil Gramm Goes There: Ebenezer Scrooge Has Been Misunderstood!

Gramm also ignores something else. The 91 percent top marginal rate (and, to a lesser extent, the 70 percent top marginal rate), by design, discouraged companies from paying salaries in excess of the dollar threshold (since most of that extra would go directly to the government). President Franklin Roosevelt, during World War II, wanted to […]

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It’s Fraud All the Way Down at the Trump Organization

In the 222-page lawsuit, James lays out how the Trump Organization created billions of dollars of value for its various properties out of thin air. The company and its top lieutenants are described as defying basic accounting practices, avoiding independent valuations, and pressuring appraisers to highball or lowball their estimates, depending on whether or not […]

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Congress Is Racing to Coup-Proof the Next Presidential Election

The House and Senate bills are substantially similar, but there are a few critical differences. Both measures would clarify that the vice president has only a ministerial role on January 6, rather than unilateral power to accept or reject state-certified electoral votes. It was Trump attorney John Eastman who suggested that the vice president has […]

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Ron DeSantis Did His Democratic Challenger a Huge Favor by Trafficking Migrants

For example, prominent Spanish-language talk radio host Roberto Rodríguez Tejera recently compared DeSantis to Fidel Castro. “Truly, this is criminal. They are using human beings to advance political points of view. This is what Fidel Castro did when he wanted to clean the Escambray. During the cleaning of the Escambray, they took peasants from one […]

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Meet the Ex–Football Player and the Tattooed LGBTQ Physician Leading the White House’s Monkeypox Fight

Daskalakis was the first person in the city to start testing in those venues. “I started this project in a couple of venues, and I showed really good data,” he recounted. “Twelve percent of people that I had tested had never been tested or had never tested positive before, and they were positive, so that’s […]

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Phil Gramm Thinks Poor People Have It Too Easy

Emphasize broad-based inequality. As I explained in my 2012 book, The Great Divergence, there is not one income-inequality trend, but two coinciding trends. The starker trend, mapped by Saez and Thomas Piketty, shows huge gains in the pre-tax share of national income by the top 10 percent, the top 1 percent, and the top 0.1 […]

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What If Ron DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard Stunt Wasn’t Actually Good Politics

In this line of thinking, mistreating migrants is good if it moves the electoral needle—maybe doing the right kind of crimes or scandals will help you become president. Cruelty to migrants, in this analysis, is understandable—maybe even defensible—because in the cutthroat world of GOP politics, it’s simply what it takes to succeed. DeSantis wants attention. […]

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Trump’s Legal Defense in the Mar-a-Lago Case Is Crumbling

It would be a scandal in and of itself if national secrets lost their legal protections simply because the president wanted to read them in bed. Overclassification is a perennial problem with the federal government. But it is safe to say that at least some of what reaches the president is classified for a very […]

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Why Lindsey Graham Must Testify in Georgia

When the Framers of our Constitution drafted our nation’s charter roughly 100 years later, they included a clause that is almost identical to its British counterpart. The few shreds of published debate about the clause suggest that the Framers hoped it would preserve open and honest debate in Congress. As James Wilson, a delegate to […]

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The Left Has a Language Problem

“Choice” was a no-no, as one Democratic political consultant explained to Slate: “If you look at the way that choice occurs in common speech… It tends to co-occur with consumer things. So vanilla or chocolate, decaf or caf. We tend to use the word choice in situations in which we’re making inconsequential decisions without much […]

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Donald Trump Is More Deranged Than Ever

But even this was just part of the build-up to what ended up being a full QAnon passion play, as the rally culminated with Trump fulminating—reciting a series of grievances over swelling strings. His followers, commanded to raise their fingers in salute, did so—resulting in a scene that looked like it was freshly plucked from […]

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Judge Aileen Cannon Thinks Poor Donald Trump May Be Stigmatized

Here’s the kicker. Cannon says, “Plaintiff has claimed injury from the threat of future prosecution and the serious, often indelible stigma associated therewith.” Well, yes, Trump may be harmed—because there is probable cause to believe crimes have been committed and the FBI may have evidence of it. Trump is in a world of legal trouble […]

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The Supreme Court Gets a Chance to Revisit America’s Imperialist Past

There is no way to know in advance whether the justices will take up a specific case. If they decline to do so here, they may be influenced by the arguments raised by the government of American Samoa itself, which opposed the plaintiffs’ effort to get the courts to extend birthright citizenship to the territories. […]

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Stephen Miller Spent the Trump Years Testing the Bounds of Executive Authority. Now He’s Testing the Legal System.

In addition to America First Legal, CPI last year spawned the Center for Renewing America, another culture-war group, headed by Russ Vought, former director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, and the Election Integrity Network, chaired by Cleta Mitchell, who was on the famous phone call where Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad […]

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The Time Is Ripe for Commonwealth Countries to Ditch the British Monarchy

The change in monarch comes at an auspicious time for the Commonwealth, as a number of countries—including Jamaica and Australia—had already been making moves toward removing the queen as head of state, and these calls are likely only to grow now she is being succeeded by her less popular son. Barbados already transitioned into a […]

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Democrats: Steal This Move From Lindsey Graham

[The media is] reacting the way they think they’re supposed to react to maintain [their] “neutral” bona fides—by policing norms and obsessing over how it’ll affect the horserace; by neither validating [nor] invalidating the critique. That’s not to say their reaction is unimportant, if it persists unanswered or successfully drives Democrats into retreat, the idea […]

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“We Did Know”: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on The U.S. and the Holocaust

The U.S. and the Holocaust is also, in part, a positive story. There are heroes like John Pehle, the lawyer whom FDR named in 1944 to head the War Refugee Board, which Burns described as “the single most important entity in saving human lives as the Holocaust is unfolding.” The documentary uncovers the less-known history […]

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Strike Settled. Now Let’s Nationalize the Railroads.

The culprit is something called Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR). PSR is a system dreamed up in 1993 by the late E. Hunter Harrison, who at the time was chief executive of CSX Corp., the legacy company of the old Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. PSR isn’t about predictable schedules. It’s about moving freight cars on a […]

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Attacking MAGA Is as “Meat and Potatoes” as It Gets

That our democracy held provides no guarantee that it will hold again. And across the country, Trump and his allies are nominating election deniers—democracy rejecters—up and down the ballot. This week alone, election denier Don Bolduc was nominated by Republicans to run for Senate in New Hampshire to face off against incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan. […]

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The West May Get a Second Chance to Nurture a New Russia

This is just a taste of the nation’s long imperial history. Over and over, Russia followed the identical patterns of its imperial European peers, dressing up its designs in innocent claims that it was spreading “civilization” to populations in great need of correction. As scholar Mikhail Khodorkovsky wrote, Russia was “fundamentally no different from … […]

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Ron DeSantis’s Cruel Treatment of Migrants Is the Future of GOP Policymaking

And it was a classic Trump move: pointless, cruel, designed only to provoke. Trump’s border wall—still his signature policy—remains the quintessential policy position of the contemporary Republican Party. It is, first and foremost, a troll. It does little, if nothing, to reduce undocumented immigration. It is a metaphor more than a policy, flaunting what purports […]

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Delaying a Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t a Death Knell

But wait! Why not just hold the vote before the election, and then bring it up for a second vote afterwards? Well, there are several problems with that strategy. Number one: The bipartisan group asked Schumer for more time, so if he overruled them and brought it up for a vote anyway, that would seriously […]

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The Republican Party Agrees With Lindsey Graham’s National Abortion Ban Even if They Won’t Admit It

There are a few problems with this theory, however, beginning with the fact that the Republican Party has already roundly rejected it. Texas Republican Senator Jon Cornyn suggested that Graham was acting alone—and recklessly. “That wasn’t a conference decision. It was an individual senator’s decision,” he said. Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, reacted, by basically telling Graham […]

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Is This When Democrats Finally Learn How to Message?

Add to that the concurring opinion of Clarence Thomas, who wrote that the court “should reconsider” other decisions—including the decriminalization of same-sex relationships; the right to gay marriage; and 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut, which held that married couples have a right to contraception. The two major parties “do not operate as simple mirror images,” the […]

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The Republican Party Agrees With Lindsey Graham’s National Abortion Ban Even if It Won’t Admit It

There are a few problems with this theory, however, beginning with the fact that the Republican Party has already roundly rejected it. Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn suggested that Graham was acting alone—and recklessly. “That wasn’t a conference decision. It was an individual senator’s decision,” he said. Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, reacted by basically telling Graham […]

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