Policy For Dummies: Trump’s Handout To Coal Executives

Policy For Dummies: Trump's Handout To Coal Executives

Permit me to channel–okay, parody– Elizabeth Barrett Browning. How do I ridicule thee? Let me count the ways. I sneer to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach… President Trump–in his obsessive effort to eradicate anything and everything that his predecessor did (he was black, you know)– has reversed Obama’s moratorium on new leases for coal mining […]

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Pravda: Will Trump Make Us the Next North Korea or Russia?

Trump state-run media

Last week Lara Trump (Eric Trump’s wife) made news by starring in a Trump campaign produced “real news” video posted to Donald Trump’s Facebook page. The video labeled mainstream media “fake news” while arguing to offer “real” news focusing exclusively on positive aspects of the current administration. That flirtation with state-run media may be escalating as a new video appeared on […]

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Has Liberalism Failed?

For quite a while, I called myself an “18th Century liberal,” because I considered myself a genuine conservative, a term I defined as a fiscal conservative who believed in conserving the libertarian principle developed during the Enlightenment. The meaning of “liberalism” (at least until Rush Limbaugh et al appropriated the term for use as an expletive) was–as Fareed Zakaria recently noted in a New […]

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Trump, Christianity & Love of Money

Trump, wealth, gold and Love of Money

Here’s a challenge: how many biblical phrases must an evangelical Christian ignore in order to justify supporting Donald Trump? I know–you have a life, and you are too busy to compile them all. My personal favorite is the admonition that “Love of money is the root of all evil.” (Note: it isn’t the money–it’s the love of money.) Next time your pious […]

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A Poverty of Understanding

children in poverty thanks to the Great Recession civil rights

Pundits and scholars and public officials spend considerable time trying to determine the causes of poverty and advocating measures to alleviate it. In contrast, they spend very little time examining public perceptions of those causes, and less still inquiring into the demographics of those holding very different opinions about the causes (and thus the cures) for poverty. But a recent survey did just […]

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I Don’t Know What This Is, But It Sure Isn’t Capitalism

wisconsin foxconn

A number of media outlets have recently reported that Foxconn, a company usually referred to as a “Taiwanese giant,” will open a plant in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. As the Guardian prefaced its article, The announcement by the Taiwanese giant Foxconn that it will build an LCD-manufacturing facility in Wisconsin worth an estimated $10bn was met with considerable fanfare. But the state has a troubled history […]

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Pills and Profits: The Underlying Health Care Crisis

pills and profit: the drug manufacturing industry

One of the many aspects of America’s mess of a healthcare landscape–a mess that the Senate GOP is trying to make much worse– is the issue of drug prices. Pharmaceutical companies defend that pricing by pointing to the significant costs of research and development. That argument seems persuasive–if we ignore the inconvenient fact that taxpayers fund a considerable amount of that […]

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Democracy Vouchers: Politically Empowering Everyday Citizens

democracy vouchers

The outrage that followed the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United focused national attention on a problem that has long preceded that unfortunate ruling: the influence of money on democratic deliberation. Even if we ignore the armies of lobbyists and the corrupting influence of “big money” campaign donations in Washington and our state capitals, anyone who is at all familiar with the […]

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Education Achievement Gaps: Race & Socioeconomic Status

The Brookings Institution recently published a very interesting study about the persistence of an achievement gap between white and minority students in the nation’s classrooms. The research looked at multi-racial student performance–a population that was rarely studied before increasing rates of intermarriage produced enough children to allow for reliable conclusions. The study is explained more fully by the linked article, but here […]

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Reality Bites: Government Cannot Be Run Like A Business

It’s really a shame that American policymakers are so allergic to evidence, because we have recently had a couple of natural experiments testing the GOP’s most fervent economic ideologies, and we could learn a lot from both of them. Most people who follow the news are aware of Sam Brownback’s effort to make Kansas a shining example of economic growth to be […]

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