What’s the significance of the Republican criticisms of Trump and Putin in Helsinki?

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Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, then defended the Russian president. Democrats were outraged, of course, but this time many Republicans chimed in with disapproval as well. What does the language of these Republican protests tell us about the probability of an impeachment? Trump got everyone upset with this response to a reporter’s question: AP … Continued

What do the Republican tax proposals really mean?

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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 Paul Ryan PowerPoint presentation about healthcare is excellent

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Republicans attempting to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the American Health Care Act are taking a pummeling. Everyone from the American Medical Association and the AARP to the Tea Party Patriots have come down against it. House Speaker Paul Ryan took to PowerPoint to explain and defend the law, and his presentation technique was quite … Continued

Reaching across the aisle to prepare for the Trump presidency

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If you’re a liberal, Donald Trump’s presidency gives you two choices: fight fiercely against everything conservative or Republican, or find common cause with Republicans against Trump’s excesses. The angry fight will make you feel good for a moment. The rapprochement might save our democracy. Democrats are about to enter hell. Republicans controls Congress. The new president … Continued

The boldness of security experts’ Trump critique

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Yesterday, 50 former national security officials who had served in Republican administrations published a letter criticizing Donald Trump. This document is bullshit-free: it’s written in the first person with active voice, direct, declarative sentences and a limited number of qualifiers. For a political document, this is remarkable. An effective document is short, features a descriptive title, and explains its … Continued

Donald Trump endgame: The Trumpist Party

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Analysts predict not only what will happen next, but what will happen after that. Here’s my prediction: after losing in 2016, Donald Trump will form his own party, the Trumpist Party. Trump is divisive Trump thrills white men and scares nearly everybody else. Donald Trump is a hero for white, working-class men. As Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post, … Continued

How the candidates would mindlessly trash your privacy

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Last night’s CNN Debate was about how the Republican candidates are “tougher” than Democrats. But look close. Tougher always means violating somebody’s rights, including yours. While the debate moderators asked about the mass collection of phone records, they glossed right over the implicit privacy violations in many of the candidates’ proposal. Only one candidate — Rand … Continued

46% of CNBC’s debate questions were weak or awful

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The Republican National Committee suspended its relationship with NBC News, alleging bias and disrespect in the recent debate on CNBC. My analysis shows that only 54% of the questions were about legitimate policy issues. So the RNC has a point. Debates featuring a scrum of ten people are a poor way to judge candidates; they mostly show the candidates’ … Continued