Let's Fix This Country
governing

It Doesn’t Take Absolute Power to Corrupt Absolutely »

Tom Price and others living big on our dime Oct 5 2017


Tom Price: Out

How does the average citizen grasp the workings of the mind of Tom Price, the disgraced and now former Secretary of Health and Human Services? How many transformations would we have to undergo in order to reach a state of mind so corrupted with self-importance as to think oneself deserving of private jets and military transports just to ferry oneself about to this or that meeting at exorbitant cost to… Read More »

Columnist George F. Will, Ex-Republican, Goes After Jeff Sessions »

Dec 28 2016

By guest columnist Al Rodbell

George Will gave up his long time registration in the Republican party when it chose their nominee for the Presidency, and unlike many others who protested this at the time, he has not backed down an inch. This is in contrast to the Bush family who all sent Trump their congratulations, and most egregiously Mitt Romney who fawned over him, along with so many other former “neverTrump” Republicans. This has freed Will from any party ideology or concern about how he appears to a target audience of its members. O.K. sure, he’s… Read More »

the election

Why Donald Trump Is Dangerous »

Once president, his weapons go far beyond Twitter Nov 11 2016

The days-long assault on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado that peaked from 3:20am to 5:00am one morning underscored to what lengths Donald Trump will go for vengeance. It amplified concerns for how that character trait is
likely to burst forth when transported to the affairs of the Oval Office. Bill Maher reminded viewers of "Hillary's ad from 2008, 'Who do you want answering the White House… Read More »

election 2016

Why Trump Is Dangerous: #2: Nuclear? No Big Deal »

Once president, his weapons go far beyond Twitter Nov 4 2016

The days-long assault on former Miss Universe that peaked from 3:20am to 5:00am one morning sounded an alarm that went far beyond concern for the undeserving Alicia Machado. It underscored to what lengths Donald Trump will go to revenge the most trivial of insults or rebukes. It amplified concerns for how that character trait is likely to burst forth when transported to the affairs of the Oval Office.

Bill Maher reminded viewers of the 2008 campaign ad, "Who do you… Read More »

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capitalism

How Corporate Welfare Fleeces American Cities »

Will voracious Amazon set a new record? Nov 10 2017


It's nothing new. This Time
cover dates from November, 1998

Wasn't there a time when a business moved to a new town — chosen for proximity to rail or highways, for its educated workforce, for a reliable energy supply, etc. — built a factory and set to work as a valued addition to a community, content to support it by paying its taxes?

That time is long gone. Corporations now make colossal demands of any… Read More »

the cabinet

A Quartet of Trump Cabinet Choices »

Dec 22 2016

Donald Trump's appointments make it clear that he is putting together not just a conservative government, but a cabinet whose mission is to reverse what preceding governments — Democrats and moderate Republicans alike — have worked to accomplish, underscored by appointing Rick Perry to head Energy, one of three departments in the 2012 campaign debates he (and many Republicans) wanted abolished ("it's three agencies of government that when I get there are gone"). On this page are short takes on four appointees that we foresaw in December would run into strong objections in their confirmation hearings.

election 2016

Why Trump Is Dangerous: #1 First Amendment? Let’s Sue the Press »

He fundamentally does not believe in freedom of the press Nov 4 2016

Donald Trump would hardly be the first president to be irked by the prodding and poking of the press. An adversarial relationship is its job in order to pry open the secrets of government. But not yet in government, Trump already harbors a corrosive animus toward the fourth estate. "I gotta tell you, the media is [sic] among the most dishonest groups of people I've ever met", Trump has said. "They're terrible". He has said that most reporters are “absolute… Read More »

national security

Trump Won’t Read Daily Intel Brief, But Kushner Does »

No security clearance, but the son-in-law sees everything Feb 18 2018

For the last seven presidencies, the day began with reading the daily intelligence briefing, the product of an arduous nightly undertaking by the intelligence agencies that pulls together for morning delivery findings from all over the world.Kushner Clearance Downgraded: Feb. 28: His contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns causing access to classified information to be reduced from top-secret to secret, still extraordinary for someone well past the time limit for temporary clearance.
    

But… Read More »

governing

The Government Shutdown of a Different Sort »

Feb 14 2018

There are about 2 million people employed by the federal government so it may not seem all that important that a comparatively small number of posts sit empty. But these are the jobs of key personnel, some 1200 top jobs that call for presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. Of those The Washington Post
tracks 630 that are thought to be the most important. More than a year into the Trump presidency, 240 of those… Read More »

governing

Exiting the World: Trump Gutting the State Department »

Nov 25 2017


“There is simply no denying the warning signs that point to mounting threats to our institution and to the global leadership that depends on us”, writes Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, a career diplomat with the U.S. State Department for over 30 years, in a letter to a foreign service publication:

"The talent being shown the door now is not only our top talent, but also talent that cannot be replicated overnight. The rapid loss of… Read More »

Andy Puzder for Labor Secretary »

Dec 22 2016


If you want a cabinet position, write op-eds for The Wall Street Journal. How else could Trump have come upon Andy Puzder, the CEO of a restaurant chain whom Trump has appointed to be labor secretary. He's not new to us, though. It has filled us with wonder to watch the Journal give Puzder extraordinary free access to its op-ed page — at one point we counted four submissions in one… Read More »

Tom Price for Health & Human Services »

Dec 22 2016


For health secretary, Trump has chosen a House representative who has drafted a complete replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leaving no doubt that he is allied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who says, "I can tell you where we're going to start" the new term. "With a process to repeal and replace Obamacare".

Trump's choice is Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from… Read More »

Scott Pruitt to Head EPA »

Dec 22 2016


The Attorney General of Oklahoma can finally stop suing the Environmental Protection Agency. Donald Trump has appointed him to run it, from which vantage he can reverse decades of policy extending back to when government environmentalism began: Richard Nixon's signing of the Clean Air Act. He is to head an agency charged with the role of regulating the industry he has made a career of promoting because it will now become an agency that… Read More »

Betsy DeVos at Education Department »

Dec 22 2016


DeVos, a long time advocate of vouchers and charter schools, presumably will champion the conservative desire to make free choice of schooling the norm. This would bring a complete reorientation to the Education Department. The mission would no longer be support of public education, if Ms DeVos has her way. It is notable that DeVos, a billionaire, has never attended a public school.

In her home state of Michigan, she has lobbied for parents to… Read More »