Sunday, April 2, 2017


Weekend Roundup

Let's start with a tweet from Dak Zak, in response to someone asking "Why couldn't they have done this before the election!?!":

Newspapers everywhere did this before the election. Editorial after editorial said "stop this man." People didn't hear, listen or care.

As best I can tell (the twitter links are circuitous) the original question refers to the Los Angeles Times' editorial Our Dishonest President (the first of a promised four-part series running through Wednesday, not that I wouldn't be surprised if they find enough new material for a fifth installment by Thursday. Zak's response is pretty much true, but he underestimates the media's failure by an order or magnitude or more. Sure, they warned us to "stop this man," but they were also so thoroughly bemused by him, and enticed by the ratings his campaign offered, that they repeatedly let him slip the hook. But more important, they didn't say "stop this party" -- because ultimately what makes Trump so disastrous is not that he's "a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters" (to quote the LA Times), but that he was swept into power with complete control of Congress ceded to the Republican Party and its agenda to rig politics and the economic and social systems to perpetuate oligarchy. Trump may be especially flagrant (or perhaps just embarrassingly transparent) but the Republican Party has embraced demagoguery and dishonesty as essential political tactics for well over a generation. Trump is more a reflection of the party's propaganda machine than he is a leader. For proof, look how often he gets caught up in obvious contradictions and incoherencies, yet always resolves them by moving in the direction of party orthodoxy.

On the other hand, there is ample evidence that the media is still being bamboozled by the aura of Republican legitimacy, even while individual cases like Trump and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback turn into public embarrassments. For instance, south-central Kansans will go to the polls a week from Tuesday to elect a replacement for Trump's CIA director Mike Pompeo. The Wichita Eagle, which we often think of as a voice for moderation in Kansas, endorsed Republican Ron Estes, a Brownback flunky lacking a single original thought (they like to describe him as "affable"). The Eagle even singled out Estes' vow to repeal Obamacare as one of their reasons -- even without the usual nostrum "and replace," even with the editorial facing a Richard Crowson cartoon slamming Brownback for vetoing a bill passed by Kansas' Republican legislature to expand Medicaid under the ACA. You'd think a public-interested media would easily see through a partisan hack like Estes, especially given that the Democrats have nominated their strongest candidate in decades ( James Thompson -- saw one of his ads tonight and I can't say I was pumped by the gun bits or even the concern for veterans and jobs, but those things have their constituencies; also thought he should have hit Trump harder, but if he wins that'll be the takeaway).


More fallout from the GOP's health care fiasco:

  • Angela Bonavoglia: The Fight to Save the Affordable Care Act Is Really a Class Battle

  • EJ Dionne: The lessons Trump and Ryan failed to learn from history: Also some lessons they never learned:

    But the bill's collapse was, finally, testimony to the emptiness of conservative ideology. . . . To win the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney could not afford to be seen as the progenitor of Obamacare because conservatism now has to oppose even the affirmative uses of government it once endorsed.

  • Lee Fang: GOP Lawmakers Now Admit Years of Obamacare Repeal Votes Were a Sham

  • Richard Kim: The Tea Party Helped Build the Bridge to Single-Payer: Picture shows a young guy holding a sign that reads "Health care is a human right." That, of course, has nothing to do with the Tea Party, and the argument here is forced:

    Since the first year of Obama's presidency, the Republican establishment has allowed its extreme right-wingers to run off the leash. It has amplified their every outburst, fed every conspiracy theory, nurtured every grievance, and enabled every act of hostage-taking. Now, it -- and the vandal in chief that the Tea Party helped elect president -- is their hostage. In the battles ahead on infrastructure spending, taxation, and the debt ceiling, there's no reason to believe that the GOP will behave in any less dysfunctional a manner.

    A better way to look at it is this: during the Obama years, the Tea Party acted as the "shock troops" of Republican obstruction, and somehow their role there has come to be viewed as a success. So why shouldn't the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus continue to obstruct, even with Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, if they still do things that the insurgents find objectionable? That's what's happening, and mainline Republicans don't have the margins they need to rule without the Caucus, and sometimes realize that catering to them will cause even worse things to happen. Given that the mainliners are pretty awful on their own, we might as well enjoy the Caucus's obstruction, but that doesn't get us to anywhere we need to go.

  • Sam Knight: Bannon-Style "Administrative Deconstruction" of Obamacare Is Coming: Aside from the Bannon-speak, the point here is that the guy in charge of the Obamacare system is its arch-enemy, Tom Price, and there is still a lot of harm bad administration can do, even if it's nominally pledged to support the law. Reminds me that the OEO (Office of Economic Opportunity, one of LBJ's main "War on Poverty" programs) had done quite a bit of good until Nixon appointed Donald Rumsfeld to run it.

  • Mike Konczal: Four Lessons from the Health Care Repeal Collapse: I mentioned this piece in Monday's post, but it's worth mentioning again. I also just noticed Konczal's December 2, 2016 piece: Learning From Trump in Retrospect. Probably could only be written between the election and the inauguration, a period when one could balance off the sensations of surprise and disgust. Two months into his reign and we're back to wondering how anyone could have been taken in by this shallow fraud.

  • Charles Krauthammer: The road to single-payer health care: Rest assured he's against it, and wants to see something far worse than Obamacare even, but he understands the logic that universal coverage, even in its corrupt Obamacare form, makes more efficient solutions like "single payer" ("Medicare for All") more attractive.

  • Paul Krugman: How to Build on Obamacare: Krugman has long been the most persuasive propagandist for the ACA, so no surprise that he sticks within its limits: urging that we spend more money to lower deductibles and make policies more attractive, and revive the "public option" to provide more marketplace competition. His point is that "building on Obamacare wouldn't be hard," but Trump would rather see it "explode," and just for the satisfaction of blaming Democrats -- a tactic which proved viable when Democrats were in power, but looks pretty puerile at the moment.

    Krugman also wrote Coal Country Is a State of Mind, picking on West Virginia, where:

    Why does an industry that is no longer a major employer even in West Virginia retain such a hold on the region's imagination, and lead its residents to vote overwhelmingly against their own interests?

    Coal powered the Industrial Revolution, and once upon a time it did indeed employ a lot of people. But the number of miners began a steep decline after World War II, and especially after 1980, even though coal production continued to rise. This was mainly because modern extraction techniques -- like blowing the tops off mountains -- require far less labor than old-fashioned pick-and-shovel mining. The decline accelerated about a decade ago as the rise of fracking led to competition from cheap natural gas.

    So coal-mining jobs have been disappearing for a long time. Even in West Virginia, the most coal-oriented state, it has been a quarter century since they accounted for as much as 5 percent of total employment.

    What, then, do West Virginians actually do for a living these days? Well, many of them work in health care: Almost one in six workers is employed in the category "health care and social assistance."

    Oh, and where does the money for those health care jobs come from? Actually, a lot of it comes from Washington.

    West Virginia has a relatively old population, so 22 percent of its residents are on Medicare, versus 16.7 percent for the nation as a whole. It's also a state that has benefited hugely from Obamacare, with the percentage of the population lacking health insurance falling from 14 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2015; these gains came mainly from a big expansion of Medicaid.

    It's true that the nation as a whole pays for these health care programs with taxes. But an older, poorer state like West Virginia receives much more than it pays in -- and it would have received virtually none of the tax cuts Trumpcare would have lavished on the wealthy.

    Now think about what Trumpism means for a state like this. Killing environmental rules might bring back a few mining jobs, but not many, and mining isn't really central to the economy in any case. Meanwhile, the Trump administration and its allies just tried to replace the Affordable Care Act. If they had succeeded, the effect would have been catastrophic for West Virginia, slashing Medicaid and sending insurance premiums for lower-income, older residents soaring.

    A couple quick points here. First is that we live in a time when business is gaining increasing influence on politics, so while coal companies represent a vanishingly small number of jobs, they dominate the political discourse in states like West Virginia. (If, indeed, jobs mattered you wouldn't find politicians backing company schemes like mountain-top removal, which is profitable primarily because it reduces jobs -- well, as long as the companies don't have to pay the costs of their pollution.) Second, while Democrats are more dependable supporters of effective transfers to poorer states like West Virginia (and Mississippi and much of the South), they almost never campaign on the fact, as they have very little presence in states that have swung against them primarily on race. Rather, Democrats focus on states where they have more upscale supporters, and cater to the businesses of those states (like high-tech in California and Massachusetts, and banking in New York).

  • Bill Moyers: Trump and the GOP in Sickness and Health

  • Charles Ornstein/Derek Willis: On Health Reform, Democrats and Republicans Don't Speak the Same Language

  • Jon Queally: Sen. Bernie Sanders Will Introduce "Medicare for All" Bill; also see Zaid Jilani: Bernie Sanders Wants to Expand Medicare to Everybody -- Exactly What Its Architects Wanted.

  • Kate Zernike et al.: In Health Bill's Defeat, Medicaid Comes of Age

Some scattered links this week in the world of Trump:

  • Stephen Braun/Chad Day: Flynn Earned Millions From Russian Companies: OK, that's the jump headline. The article itself is "Document Dump Reveals Flynn's Russian and Turkish Income Sources." And the "millions" shrink to "$1.3 million for work for political groups and government contractors, as well as for speeches to Russian companies and lobbying for a firm owned by a Turkish businessman." Doesn't seem like much, but then what else can a former general do? You don't expect him to live on his exorbitant pension, do you? Lachlan Markay has more: Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Payments From Russian Propaganda Network. Also: Zack Beauchamp: Michael Flynn's immunity request, explained:

    More fundamentally, it's hard to see Democrats granting one to a widely disliked former Trump official when there's still a chance the FBI might prosecute him for allegedly lying to the bureau about his contacts with the Russian envoy to the US. The Trump administration's call for Flynn to appear before Congress, in Sean Spicer's Friday press briefing, could very well harden their resolve against immunity.

    This is all very bad news for Flynn, who ironically said that asking for immunity was proof that you had done something wrong when discussing Hillary Clinton's email scandal during the campaign. "When you are given immunity, that means that you have probably committed a crime," he told NBC's Chuck Todd in an interview.

  • Esme Cribb: Trump Will Sign Repeal of Obama-Era Internet Privacy Rules: The bill, which passed Congress on straight party votes, allows Internet service companies to track your on-line activity and sell that information to other companies without your permission or awareness.

  • Amy Davidson: Trump v. the Earth: About Trump's executive order to pretend that burning coal doesn't have any impact on the environment. Or, as Trump put it, "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth":

    President Trump said that his order puts "an end to the war on coal." In reality, it is a declaration of war on the basic knowledge of the harm that burning coal, and other fossil fuels, can do. Indeed, it tells the government to ignore information. The Obama Administration assembled a working group to determine the "social cost" of each ton of greenhouse-gas emissions. Trump's executive order disbands that group and tosses out its findings. Scott Pruitt, the new E.P.A. administrator -- who, as attorney general of Oklahoma, had joined a lawsuit attempting to undo the endangerment finding -- announced that the agency was no longer interested in even collecting data on the quantities of methane that oil and gas companies release.

  • Robert Faturechi: Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Profits, the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock: Actually $90k in stocks of six drug companies, so his payback would more closely model the industry-wide average. "Price was among lawmakers from both parties who signed onto a bill that would have blocked a rule proposed by the Obama administration, which was intended to remove the incentive for doctors to prescribe expensive drugs that don't necessarily improve patient outcomes." This was back when Price was in Congress, before joining Trump's cabinet. Related: Fired US Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price; also When a Study Cast Doubt on a Heart Pill, the Drug Company Turned to Tom Price.

  • Ane Gearan: US leads major powers in protesting UN effort to ban nuclear weapons: Nikki Haley asks, "Is it any surprise that Iran is supportive of this?" Nearly every nation signed the NPT renouncing nuclear weapons on the understanding that the grandfathered nuclear powers would disarm as well -- something which hasn't happened, largely because the US feels it's important that someone like Donald Trump should have the option of blowing the world up.

  • Michelle Goldberg: Why Won't Republicans Resist Trump? That's the link headline. The article title is even funnier: "Where Are the Good Republicans?" We're talking about people in Congress whose singular mission over the past eight years (and this really dates back to the arrival of Newt Gingrich as House Speaker in 1995) has been to make Democrats look bad. They've refused to even consider Obama appointees. They passed bills to repeal the ACA fifty times but couldn't agree on anything to replace it with this year. They've tried to extort favors by holding the federal debt limit hostage. And when you ask them for anything they'd consider working with Obama on, the only things they can come up are points that would make Obama look bad to the Democratic Party base (like TPP, or more war). If any Republican member of Congress has felt the slightest twinge of shame over this behavior, he or she has done a good job of hiding it. And their bottom line is that Trump's, well, not their leader but their winner, the guy whose surprise win has allowed them to advance their agenda, which may have some more hopeful aims but for all practical purposes is to wreck, ruin and despoil America, to the detriment of nearly everyone who lives here. And really, the only examples we've seen so far of dissent within Republican ranks have come from the fringe right, who feel Trump and Ryan and McConnell aren't moving fast or hard enough toward the end times. Even there the media is struggling to salvage Republican reputations; see. e.g., Ross Barkan: Give Donald Trump credit: the Freedom Caucus really is terrible.

  • Malak Habbak: War Correspondents Describe Recent US Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

  • Ben Hubbard/Michael R Gordon: US War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight: Anyone who thought that Trump might tone down the War on Terror -- and I gave that non-zero but not very good odds -- has by now been thoroughly disabused of such wishful thinking:

    The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul, where airstrikes killed scores of people on March 17.

    Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.

    Rather than representing any formal new Trump doctrine on military action, however, American officials say that what is happening is a shift in military decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. On display are some of the first indications of how complicated military operations are continuing under a president who has vowed to make the military "fight to win."

    The suggestion is that the only thing that has happened is that the military has been freed of whatever limiting or inhibitory role Obama played: Trump's basically given them carte blanche to keep doing what they've been doing so badly for years. On the other hand, Trump hasn't gotten involved enough to really screw things up with his "fight to win" slogan. The fact is the US hasn't "fought to win" since WWII for the simple reason that there's never been anything you could actually win by fighting. Rather, US military policy has been to make any challenge to US power and hegemony as painful as possible, to deter challengers from even raising the issue. Arguably, that has yielded diminishing returns as it's become increasingly obvious that US forces are vulnerable to asymmetric strategies (ranging from guerrilla war to "terrorism") and because the US has become increasingly inept at occupying hostile areas. Still, the solution to that problem isn't resolving to "fight to win" -- it's reducing the need to fight at all.

  • Charles Pierce: The Trump Administration Has Pushed the Limits of American Absurdity: If one were to teach a writing class, that title might be a good little assignment. I can imagine dozens of ways to approach it, all equally valid, and I'd still be surprised when Pierce handed in a piece with a piece starting with an Ignatius Donnelly quote. (And I'm one of the few people around who knows who Donnelly was, having read him as a teenager back before Paul Ryan, for instance, lost his mind in Ayn Rand.) Of course, Pierce soon moves on to more disturbing, although curiously mundane, realms of fantasy: namely Sean Spicer's press conferences.

  • Daniel Politi: Judge: Lawsuit Against Trump Can Proceed, Inciting Violence Isn't Protected Speech

  • David E Sanger/Eric Schmitt: Rex Tillerson to Lift Human Rights Conditions on Arms Sale to Bahrain

  • Jon Schwarz: Russia Investigation Heading Toward a Train Wreck Because Republicans Don't Care What Happened: Not a subject I'm at all partial to, mostly because it seems to cast a Cold War gloss on what strikes me as ordinary corruption, and partly because it skips over decades of stories about US interference in other peoples' politics, as well as the much more common (and I think damaging) Israeli efforts to steer American politics (anyone remember Netanyahu's campaigning for Romney, or his collusion with Boehner?). Still, if Republicans (and Democrats) learned anything from the Clinton years it's that unbridled investigations take on a life of their own, where being investigated is never a good omen.

    Unfortunately, on this planet we're on a trajectory to the worst possible outcome. It's now easy to imagine a future in which Trump and Russia become the millennials' equivalent of the John F. Kennedy assassination: A subject where no one can honestly be sure whether there was no conspiracy or a huge conspiracy, the underlying reality concealed by the thick murk of government secrecy, and progressives exhausting themselves for decades afterwards trying to prove what really happened.

  • Lisa Song: As Seas Around Mar-a-Lago Rise, Trump's Cuts Could Damage Local Climate Work: This is an amusing little piece. I've long thought that the people who should be most worried about global warming are the rich -- the people who own nearly all of the property endangered by climate change, especially from rising sea levels. Yet Republicans have been oblivious to the threats. They've convinced themselves of the importance of protecting the rights of individuals to practice predatory capitalism, and they pretty much completely deny that there can be any public interest separate from private profit-seeking (although they somehow believe that no those private interests are harmful to others, and that the sum of them must be good for everyone). I can't think of any idea more misguided and dangerous, but they've built not just an ideology but a political movement around it. I just wonder: when Mar-a-Lago is underwater, is Trump still going to be thrilled that those coal and oil magnates were able to make all that money?

  • Jessica Valenti: Mike Pence doesn't eat alone with women. That speaks volumes: Evidently, the VP can't pull his mind out of the gutter long enough to consider sharing a meal with a woman other than his wife. But then these are strange times, especially in the company Pence does keep:

    The same week the first lady gave a speech at the state department's International Women of Courage Awards, insisting: "We must continue to fight injustice in all its forms, in whatever scale or shape it takes in our lives," the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, chastised the veteran reporter April Ryan for "shaking her head" at him. (Just last month, Trump asked Ryan if the those in the Congressional Black Caucus were "friends" of hers.)

    While the president was asking a room full of women if they had ever heard of Susan B Anthony, the conservative Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was under fire for making a racist and sexist comment about the California congresswoman Maxine Waters' hair and an Iowa legislator said that if a pregnant woman found out her fetus has died, she should carry the pregnancy to term anyway.

    And while Pence trended on Twitter for his old-school sexism, what went largely unremarked on was that the vice-president cast the tie-breaking vote to push forward legislation that allows states to discriminate against Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that provide abortion when giving out federal Title X funds.

  • Matthew Yglesias: So far, Donald Trump as delivered almost nothing on his trade agenda:

    On trade, exactly nothing has happened. The long-dead TPP is still dead, but NAFTA is very much still with us. No new protective measures have been put in place, and American companies have been subject to no punitive retaliations. No legislation appears to be in the works.

    This status quo acknowledges rising anti-trade sentiment on the left and right by halting forward progress on any new trade and investment deals, while refusing to take the risk of altering any existing arrangements.

    Part of the reason is that those "existing arrangements" all have big business supporters, especially among the Goldman-Sachs wing of the Trump administration, whereas Trump has yet to pick an unemployed auto-worker or coal miner for any post of influence (they shot their wad on Nov. 9 and won't get another chance for four years). Yglesias doesn't mention the "border adjustment tax" here, but it does show up in The 7 big questions Republicans have to answer on tax reform. Taxes look to be the next big Congressional battle for Trump and Ryan, and their proposals are likely to be every bit as unpopular as what they came up with for health care. Again, their problem won't be Republicans coming to their senses, but ones who want to seize the opportunity to make things even worse. At least you can't say you weren't warned.


Also a few links less directly tied to Trump, though sometimes still to America's bout of political insanity:

  • Eric Alterman: The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality: Unlike, say, the conservative bias in the board rooms. But even that oversimplifies the story. Conservative scapegoating both presses and seduces the media, with its completely normal self-image as fair and objective, into legitimizing outrageous claims from the right and gives viewers/listeners/readers a readymade excuse to doubt everything they see/hear/read. Moreover, it's not entirely wrong. The fact is no one can be free from biases any more than one can escape experience or language. Critical self-reflection helps, as does a willingness to question one's own precepts. A friend recently asked me how these days one can figure out who to trust. My reaction is that I never trust anyone beyond what I can make sense of and verify. If, for instance, you told me that cutting marginal tax rates on the rich would make the economy grow in ways that helped people beyond those who saved on their tax bills, I could look for test cases and see how they turned out. Same if you told me that spending more money on the military would make it less likely that a country would be attacked by others. It so happens that there is a lot of evidence on both of these questions, and the evidence strongly disputes the assertions. If you look at many such questions, you may start to think that some sources are more trustworthy than others, but you should never cease to question them, especially when they don't make sense.

    To take a slightly different perspective, and I find it often helps to try to refocus from different angles, I've been worrying about (and distrusting) "liberal bias" since the mid-1960s, when liberals tended to take political positions I disagreed with (like supporting the US war in Vietnam). Liberals back then had an active fantasy life, as they in some cases still have today (e.g., their obsession with Russia). Both then and now it's fairly easy to pick apart issues where they are wrong and where their errors are self-serving (the Russia thing seems to be a way Clinton-supporters can avoid the shortcomings of their candidate). It shouldn't be surprising that conservatives are pretty adept at spotting and exploiting cases where liberals spin things to their own advantage. Nor vice versa -- perspective often gets clearer from a distance. Still, in reality, bias and interest isn't symmetrical between right and left, and it is a grave error to think otherwise. The right, by definition, serves private interests, often at the expense of the public. The left takes the opposite tack, favoring the broadest class interest over the most elite. We should at least be able to agree on that much, but the right has struggled mightily to confuse the issue, not least with their charges that the media is rife with "liberal bias."

    To understand this, you need to recognize that America was founded on liberal (Enlightenment) principles, notably on the notion that "all men are born equal" and share "equal rights under the law," a law meant to advance "the common welfare" and which is vouchsafed through a system of democracy. And those principles have been so internalized that even the right, which at all times has defended the claims of "virtuous elites" to rule over everyone else, has had to pay lip-service to democracy and to argue that their self-serving policies benefit some greater good. To do so they've dressed up their rhetoric with all sorts of market-tested claims, often disguising themselves as "populists" while practicing their art of divide-and-conquer -- flattering one part of the demos as the only true Americans while derogating others as deservedly inferior. And the more their claims fail, the harder they work as obfuscating their failures. One way they've done this has been to convince their followers that any unseemly facts are the product of "liberal bias." Of course, such charges ring hollow to anyone who's bothered to examine the right's own agenda, but thus far they've gotten quite a bit of mileage out of this ruse. To get an idea of how much, consider the Occupy Wall Street formulation that divides us between a 1% (which is clearly the orientation of the Republican platform) and the remaining 99%. If politics were understood this way, the Republicans should never win an election, yet somehow they manage to keep their share around 30% (vs. a more/less equal 30% for the Democrats and 40% for those who don't vote). Of course, relatively even results aren't solely due to the skill of Republican machinations -- many Democrats, including Obama and the Clintons, seem to be very cozy with the 1% and have a mediocre record of serving the 99%, both making them vulnerable to the "populist" ploys of a Trump.

  • Dean Baker: Trade Denialism Continues: Trade Really Did Kill Manufacturing Jobs: Rebuts and debunks "a flood of opinion pieces and news stories in recent weeks wrongly telling people that it was not trade that led to the loss of manufacturing jobs in recent years, but rather automation." Baker also wrote The Fed's Interest Rate Hike Will Prevent People From Getting Jobs.

  • Pepe Escobar: North Korea: The really serious options on the table

  • Chris Hayes: Policing the Colony: From the American Revolution to Ferguson: Adapted from Hayes' new book, A Colony in a Nation, on the persistence of racism in America, explained by the tendency to even now treat black people as something different from equal citizens under the law. One sample paragraph:

    In Ferguson, people were enraged at Michael Brown's death and grieving at his passing, but more than anything else they were sick and tired of being humiliated. At random, I could take my microphone and offer it to a black Ferguson resident, young or old, who had a story of being harassed and humiliated. A young honors student and aspiring future politician told me about watching his mother be pulled over and barked at by police. The local state senator told me that when she was a teenager, a police officer drew a gun on her because she was sitting in a fire truck -- at a fireman's invitation. At any given moment, a black citizen of Ferguson might find himself shown up, dressed down, made to stoop and cower by the men with badges.

  • John Judis: Can Donald Trump Revive American Manufacturing? An Interview With High-Tech Expert Rob Atkinson: Short answer: well, someone could, but clearly not Donald Trump.

  • Greg Kaufmann: A Cruel New Bill Is About to Become Law in Mississippi: "Legislation passed this week would enrich a private contractor while throwing people off public assistance." Not Trump's fault, per se, but another example of the Republicans at work, preying on the poor.

  • Richard D Wolff: Capitalism Produced Trump: Another Reason to Move Beyond It

  • Democratic Mega-donor Saban Doesn't Rule Out Hillary Clinton 2020 Run: More proof that cluelessness is endemic among billionaires.