Tag: The Soapbox

Can John Yarmuth Save the Biden Agenda?

Yarmuth was first elected to the House in 2006, and ascended to the position of Budget Committee chair when Democrats regained the majority in the House in 2018. Although his first race was tight, he has repeatedly won reelection by a comfortable margin in a relatively solid blue district that encompasses most of metropolitan Louisville. […]

Read More

Kyrsten Sinema Is Corporate Lobbies’ Million-Dollar Woman

 “I don’t think she has one,” a Democratic lobbyist who often deals with the Senate said, when asked about what her position might be on taxes that could hit these interest groups. “I would say she’s in the mid-20s, maybe as high as 28 [percent]. Depends on other issues.” The groups highlighted by Accountable.US are […]

Read More

Nevada’s Blue Wave

The law’s passage followed intense lobbying pressure by the Culinary Union, the influential labor group that represents more than 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno. Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the group’s secretary-treasurer, told me that the law reflected a moral responsibility toward the community by the hospitality industry. While some major business groups withdrew their […]

Read More

The First Plaintiffs to Sue Under the Texas Abortion Ban Are as Ridiculous as the Ban Itself

The lawsuit is also unusual in other ways. Stilley spent almost an entire page making unrelated assertions about Braid and his beliefs. The complaint claims that Braid “is kind and patient and helpful toward bastards, but ideologically opposed to forcing any woman to produce another bastard against her own free will,” that he “has some […]

Read More

Climate Change Is Killing American Workers, and Biden Needs to Act Quickly

OSHA’s most recent ruling on heat exposure, during the Trump administration, was not encouraging. In February 2019, OSHA vacated an administrative law judge’s ruling against a roofing company that employed a 60-year-old man who died of heat stroke. That case was complicated by the man’s preexisting medical conditions (hepatitis C and congestive heart failure) and an outdoor […]

Read More

The Biden Doctrine Is Not the Trump Doctrine. But What Is It, Exactly?

On Tuesday, Biden delivered his first address to the United Nations; its unstated aim was to reassure increasingly dubious allies and continue to make the argument he made early in his presidency: “America is back.” For the president, his maiden address before the international body was framed by a pair of foreign policy crises—the chaotic, […]

Read More

The Democrats’ High-Stakes Sprint Through a Legislative Minefield

However, this will be a hassle, to put it mildly. If Democrats decide to do a new reconciliation bill—that is, separate from the reconciliation bill they are currently writing, which includes a flock of Democratic agenda items (more on that later)—that will involve several time-consuming procedural steps, including two vote-a-ramas: marathon amendment voting sessions that […]

Read More

“You Don’t Do That to an Ally”: Longtime French Ambassador to U.S. Scorches Biden

Araud: Well, you know, now there is no assistant secretary for European affairs. There is no ambassador to Paris. There is no ambassador to NATO. So I think that’s been playing a role. As usual, the State Department is implying that the thing was committed by a small group at the White House. But obviously […]

Read More

Moderate Democrats Are Sabotaging the Biden Agenda

It may be hard to remember but six months ago, Democrats had a kind of super momentum. The euphoria of the early days of a new president, plus a fierce urgency to do what was necessary to slow the pandemic brought Congressional Democrats together to pass a sweeping, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, covering everything […]

Read More

Vaccine Mandates and the God-Given Right to Spread Covid

It’s unclear exactly how these religious exemptions—and all the complexities that come with them—will unfold in the courts. Laws vary from state to state, and even the federal government is playing catch-up. “An agency may be required to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees who communicate to the agency that they are not vaccinated against […]

Read More

Can Michelle Wu Unite Boston and Spark a Municipal Revolution?

Furthermore, as a longtime at-large member of the city council, Wu crucially doesn’t represent a specific district, but the whole city. The election returns indicate that this appears to have been important to her victory: Wu cleared 10 percent of the vote in all but two precincts, whereas George, her moderate opponent, failed to hit […]

Read More

“Build Back Better” Is an Awful Catchphrase

But try selling a plan to voters as the “Only Way Around Mitch McConnell for Years to Come Act.” Only on Capitol Hill does it makes logical sense to combine in the same legislation a climate change plan and a massive expansion of health care coverage.  In his speech on the economy, Biden also made […]

Read More

Mitch McConnell’s Gang of Nihilists Can’t Be Trusted With the Debt Ceiling

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane came about as close to calling them hypocrites and liars as I’ve ever seen a straight news reporter come. Savor these two sentences, which follow the rules of objective news writing but still manage to lay bare a naked truth in a way most news writing does not: “Because Democrats […]

Read More

The Risk of a Terror Attack From Afghanistan Is Quite Low, Actually

The Taliban also need significant economic assistance from the West. Upsetting the U.S. by allowing Al Qaeda to stand itself up again is not the way to further those goals. The cynic will argue that the Taliban are more wedded to their ideology and hatred of the West than they are to pragmatic goals like […]

Read More

The Right’s New Argument Against Redistribution Is Stuck in the 1970s

The relative distribution of family income has changed very little in the past generation. The nation took one big step toward equality during World War II; throughout the postwar period, the top income groups have received a substantially smaller share of total income than they had in the prosperous years of the twenties. This was […]

Read More

The Case for Partisanship

Conceived as an inducement to moderation, bipartisanship sits on the cusp of delivering a final victory to the ideologues of the right. Why? The question answers itself. Donald Trump was a demagogue, an idiot, and a boor who spent most of his time launching wild attacks on political opponents inside and outside his party and […]

Read More

How Congress Created the Peril of Trump’s Harrowing Final Days

High-flying journalist and author Bob Woodward once again has the Beltway buzzing over a Donald Trump book. Peril, co-authored by Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, is Woodward’s third book on the former president in as many years and focuses on the president’s final, desperate days in office. Its biggest revelation thus far is that General […]

Read More

Anthony Gonzalez’s Retirement Tightens Trump’s Stranglehold on the GOP

Gonzalez’s decision isn’t necessarily a warning sign for the nine other Republicans who voted to impeach; they knew at the time that they would be making politically difficult votes, and did so anyway. Along with potential primary opponents, redistricting will also be a factor in their elections, meaning that observers—and incumbents themselves—won’t really know the […]

Read More

Why Did Senate Democrats Strip Ethics Reform From Their Voting Rights Bill?

The scope and ambition of any Democratic voting rights bill are, at this point, academic: As long as the filibuster is in place, almost any effort to protect the right to vote from authoritarian-minded Republicans is doomed to die in the Senate. Both measures that have already passed the House of Representatives have met that […]

Read More

There May Be No Realistic Way to Fix Gerrymandering

Roberts concluded that they were asking the court to impose proportional representation on American elections, which the Constitution neither denies nor demands. “The Founders certainly did not think proportional representation was required,” he wrote. “For more than 50 years after ratification of the Constitution, many states elected their congressional representatives through at-large or ‘general ticket’ […]

Read More

How Does Don Jr. Roll?

The company’s own sales pitch to win the lease described a well-maintained building that needed little more than a paint job for the agencies to move in. But Chicora embarked on a renovation that unleashed asbestos, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and environmental assessments done by the county, and demolished multiple floors […]

Read More

Direct Democracy Is Breaking California

Almost immediately, the collection of signatures to qualify an initiative or referendum for the ballot became a lucrative business. California’s greatest chronicler, Carey McWilliams, reported in his 1949 book California: The Great Exception that the San Francisco firm Robinson & Company qualified 98 percent of all California initiative proposals during the three decades following World War I. […]

Read More

How Tucker Carlson Lost It

Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson was born in San Francisco in 1969. He was the older of two sons. (Carlson’s brother is named Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson, which suggests the family’s conservative bona fides.) His father, Dick, was a newsman turned banker turned politician, with a penchant for the kinds of red meat culture war stories […]

Read More

Gymnasts Rip the FBI for Its Failure to Stop Larry Nassar’s Serial Sexual Abuses

“It was like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter,” said Raisman. FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was not leading the agency when the investigation began, said that he was “deeply and profoundly sorry” to all the women and girls whose allegations had not been thoroughly investigated. He said that he […]

Read More

A Modest New Voting Rights Bill Gives Proponents One Last Shot at the Senate

Senate Democrats signaled that they would be willing to have a larger conversation about the filibuster if Manchin’s efforts are unsuccessful. Senator Jeff Merkley, the Oregon Democrat who crafted the For the People Act and helped negotiate the Freedom to Vote Act, told reporters on Tuesday morning that there will be a “conversation” among Democrats […]

Read More

The Fatal Elitism of the Time’s Up Charity

None of this means that the well-heeled Time’s Uppers are uninterested in ending gendered harassment in the workplace—but they do seem consistently and conspicuously to draw the line at sacrificing their own power or connections to serve those just ends. In fact, getting more professional-class women into powerful positions is central to Time’s Up’s theory […]

Read More

The Fatal Elitism of the Time’s Up Foundation

None of this means that the well-heeled Time’s Uppers are uninterested in ending gendered harassment in the workplace—but they do seem consistently and conspicuously to draw the line at sacrificing their own power or connections to serve those just ends. In fact, getting more professional-class women into powerful positions is central to Time’s Up’s theory […]

Read More

Taxing Wealth Is a Fool’s Errand

That’s a calamity. But fixing it with wealth taxes would be a fool’s errand. For starters, the United States doesn’t have any wealth taxes at the national level, so you’d have to create an entirely new tax. Doing so, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted in a February New York Times interview, would pose “very difficult implementation problems.”   […]

Read More

How Kyrsten Sinema Convinced the Beltway Media That She’s the Sensible, Pragmatic One

It’s a familiar, frustrating dynamic for those who have followed conflict between the Democrats’ right and left flank. Progressives are never given credit for showing their work, they are at best starry-eyed romantics and at worst dangerously foolish. They have rejected the risks associated with deficit spending out of hand and want to use the […]

Read More

“Amazon, I’m Lookin’ at You”: Elizabeth Warren on Paying for the Budget Bill

As crunch time approaches for the Democrats on Capitol Hill on the budget and infrastructure bills, TNR Editor Michael Tomasky spoke via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren about where things stand right now; her priorities for the budget bill, including taxing wealth and creating a nationwide network of childcare centers; the […]

Read More