What do the Republican tax proposals really mean?

Congressional Republicans, egged on by Donald Trump, are debating changes in the tax code. Any number of pundits on both sides have weighed in, as have tax wizards at think tanks and, strangely, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with a bizarre argument based on reporters buying beer. The analysis tends to focus on who wins … Continued

The Truman Show candidacy: a radically transparent suggestion

What really goes on behind the scenes with candidates for president or other public offices? You know shady things are going on — things that may never come out unless there’s an investigation. It’s time for radical transparency. It’s time for the first full-time livestreaming Truman Show candidate. Recent elections have proven the power of … Continued

The right way to defend (or attack) the Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office is in the crosshairs for its prediction that the republican health care bills will cause 22 million people to lose health insurance. Eight of the organization’s former leaders wrote a letter to defend it. Who’s right, the CBO’s critics or its defenders? Congress created the CBO in 1974 as an independent, … Continued

The game theory and political logic of repealing Obamacare

Donald Trump tweeted “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Is it good politics to repeal Obamacare now and replace it later? Let’s analyze using game theory. Here are the facts: Bills in the Senate are subject to … Continued

Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) shows how a candidate can tweet like a person

Brianna Wu is running for Congress. She’s using Twitter like a real person. The result is an authenticity and humanity that’s unique in the political sphere. Yesterday I explained to a Twitter idealist from a decade ago how political Twitter had succeeded, but not in the way any of us expected. Now every politician has … Continued

Talking about Donald Trump and Twitter with an idealist from 2007

Josh from 2007: I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m talking to you ten years in the future. Josh 2017: Yup. I’m here to tell you that you were right about social media blowing up. Even politicians are using it. But it turns out that connecting a politician’s brain directly to millions of voters … Continued

How Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz uses words to create a biased perspective

The statement from Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s lawyer, regarding former FBI director James Comey’s testimony yesterday was, basically, “see, there’s nothing there.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post had this headline: “Comey testimony threatens to deepen political crisis engulfing White House.” The difference reveals how what you think depends on which facts and statements you want to concentrate on. As … Continued

James Comey’s statement is totally believable, but it won’t matter

In advance of his testimony before the Senate today, former FBI head James Comey released a written statement. In it, he describes his interactions with President Trump regarding the FBI’s investigations into Russian interference in the US election. The statement is vivid, consistent, and appears free from bias. Comey wrote memos after each interaction with Trump, … Continued