Let's Fix This Country

Trump Says Border Is “Single Greatest Threat”, so Keep It Open »

Jan 29 2024

Highly conservative Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma stepped forward on "Fox News Sunday" to list the features of the bill a bipartisan group of senators has been working on for months with Lankford as lead negotiator:

"This bill focuses on getting… Read More »


Debt Ceiling Standoff Questions Will Social Security Be There for You? »

…or Medicare, or Medicaid? A look at one at a time Jan 20 2023

The 20-or-so of the hard-right faction in the House of Representatives refuse to raise the debt ceiling without significant cutbacks to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The White House refuses to

negotiate. They are "fiscally demented", said President Biden in a Martin Luther… Read More »


By the People, For the People? But We Don’t Seem to be Getting the Breaks »

Corporations, though, are doing just fine Jun 16 2018

We like to boast that we are a free people, and for the most part we are. But the pithy warning that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" may not have been passed on to new generations all that successfully because they don't seem to notice the many ways congress, the courts, the president are finding ways to put the cuffs on individual freedom and hand the keys to corporations.

Donald Trump won the presidency with pledges to help working-class… Read More »

guns in america

Trump Was Momentarily Receptive to Gun Control Ideas – But the NRA Wanted to Arm Teachers »

Let's go through how that will work out Feb 25 2018

They were tearful, they were angry, they demanded action and an end to the epidemic of death killing our youngest. It was commendable and cathartic that Donald Trump brought together those suffering from the Parkland shooting to listen to their… Read More »

the new regime

Trump’s 100-Day Plan: The Great Unraveling Begins »

Nov 16 2016

Just moments ago the media universe was forecasting the demise of the Republican party, riven as it was by dissension between the moderate and the extreme, and split in third by a rogue independent who had rented the Party name to catapult himself into the presidency.

Instead, suddenly finding themselves victors, Republicans of all stripes are scrambling to fall in line, seeing their chance to enact every reform in their
wish list. Winning the trifecta of the presidency and control of both Senate and House has given Republicans a nearly clear path to overturning just about everything Obama accomplished in the last eight years.

Just before the election, confident that Democrats would upend the… Read More »


Are You For Net Neutrality, and Against Government Regulation? »

But government regulation of the Internet IS net neutrality Nov 18 2014

It's all so confusing. To most of us the Internet may seem to be a Utopian phenomenon existing somewhere in cyberspace and belonging to the people of the world but the governments of that world have a different view. They want to claim it for their own.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission appointed itself as custodian, even though there is nothing on the books — no act of Congress, say — that confers this privilege. The FCC has been grappling interminably with just what to do with the beast.

The commission had set rules that the public likes, rules that are a light touch and primarily support “net neutrality”, which could be defined as requiring… Read More »


Immigration Breakdown: Republican Right Calls a Halt »

And it’s because Obama can’t be trusted Feb 16 2014

No sooner had the votes been counted in the 2012 election than immigration reform became a top priority. After doing nothing to fulfill a 2008 campaign pledge, after instead
deporting more undocumented immigrants than any president before him, Barack Obama owed reform to the Latino population, 71% of whom voted for him.

For that same reason, Republicans realized that they had better spearhead reform, because if they failed to attract the growing Hispanic voting bloc, the party’s gradual extinction was a possibility. Mitt Romney’s vow… Read More »


First Prize for Nastiest State Goes to… »

This state shows what one-party rule looks like Jul 29 2013

There's a theory that Americans are savvy enough about government that they vote for a legislature in opposition to the president, a kind of populist check and balance scheme to make sure that no one side runs away with the country. And so we have a Democratic president; a Democratic majority in the Senate, hemmed in by the strange filibuster rule that now requires 60% to pass anything; and a… Read More »

Are you the only serious one in your crowd?
No? Then how about recommending us to your serious friends.

Already a subscriber?
We are always seeking new readers. Help this grow by forwarding a link to this page to your address list. Tell them they're missing something if they don't sign up. You'll all have something to talk about together.

Not a suscriber? Sign up and we'll send you email notices when we have new material.
Just click HERE to join.

social programs

Biden’s Ambitious Social Program Stumbles Toward the Finish Line »

Oct 23 2021

[Updated November 20]: That President Joe Biden's progressive social and climate legislation has been sharply cut back and reconfigured from the $3.5 trillion that was originally proposed comes as no surprise. That he and Democrats in Congress embarked on so… Read More »


Up in Smoke: Biden’s Agenda Stymied by Contrary Senators »

Jun 11 2021

As the weeks passed this spring, two ostensibly Democratic senators discovered the thrill of power. They realized they have Joe Biden's presidency in their hands. They are not about to… Read More »


DACA Youths Betrayed, and With So Many Lies »

Sep 16 2017

In a singularly cruel act that so befits this cold-hearted man, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, giving some 800,000 young people notice that they must leave the country beginning six months from now unless Congress passes a law allowing them to stay.

Speaking at the Justice Department, Sessions made the announcement, Breakthrough Broken: Oct 11: This update space earlier reported that the President had reached a deal… Read More »

Checks & Balances? The Three Branches Are Stepping on Each Other’s Turf »

Jul 18 2016

Senate Republicans repeatedly rebuke President Obama for what they claim is his unconstitutional abuse of executive power, but they have no qualms about themselves violating the Constitution by ignoring its mandate to provide "Advice and Consent" for Obama's choice of Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. This inaction both blocks the Executive branch, preventing the President from exercising his Constitutional responsibility to nominate and appoint justices, and hobbles the Judicial branch's ability to decide what the law is. It "erodes the rule of law and leaves major issues in limbo", writes Obama in The Wall Street Journal.

Obama has usurped the Legislative branch, it would argue, by deciding on a three-year moratorium halting deportation of some… Read More »

secret government

Obama Collaborating with CIA to Hide Torture Report Findings »

CIA allowed to redact report that investigates ... the CIA Sep 8 2014

The Senate has spent five years and an estimated $40 million to lay bare the true extent of the Bush administration’s policies of rendition, detention and interrogation conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The Senate's probe is a vital process of confronting our own history that should not be impeded or abridged, yet this president has appointed himself as the supreme arbiter of what truths may be told us. Not only is the White House tampering with the work product of the legislative branch, but it is doing so in collaboration with the… Read More »


Minimum Wage Blocked, Obama Tries Overtime End Run »

He intends to greatly expand universe of workers entitled to overtime pay Mar 15 2014

While arguments for and against an increase in the minimum wage rage back and forth — a debate “dumb as rocks”, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek calls it — President Obama's offense turned to a different page in his playbook, directing the Labor Department to revise rules on overtime pay. The move would tighten who in the workforce can be called supervisory and therefore ineligible for overtime pay as well obstruct businesses who falsely classify workers to avoid paying them for added hours of work.

As for the minimum wage. the Republican rebuff of Obama’s call to “Give America a raise!”, by their refusing to consider an increase, hands Democrats a popular cause (73% percent of Americans, including 53% of registered Republicans, favored… Read More »


Will Congress Let Americans Go Hungry? »

Oct 1 2013

Every five years or so Congress passes the bill that has paid scores of billions to farmers ever since the Depression. The second half of the bill has always funded food stamps.

This time though, the House passed a bill in July that lavished more than it ever

had on farmers and froze out food stamps with nary a cent. Food assistance for the American poor was dropped from the bill, with Speaker John Boehner saying, “We’ll get to that later”. Off went Congress on a five-week vacation for all of August and… Read More »


America’s Infrastructure Earns a C-. Here’s the Report Card »

May 20 2021

Democrats and their progressive wing don't think President Biden's infrastructure plan has gone a bridge too far, but Republicans think it has strayed too far from bridges and what is commonly thought of as infrastructure. His plan doubles as a program to combat climate change such as electric vehicle subsidies, clean energy manufacturing, and what appear to be social programs, such as $400 billion for care of the disabled and elderly. Even if pared back, Republicans refuse to raise taxes… Read More »


We’re Getting Buried in Trash but Americans Are Oblivious »

Devoted recycler? Sorry. It's just getting burned or buried Jul 2 2019

On the first day of 2018, China announced that it would no longer accept "loathsome foreign garbage". The world’s largest importer of trash had decided to deal instead with its own "towering mountains of waste”. Beginning in the 1990s, as it grew into an industrial behemoth, China would ultimately take in 40% of America’s plastic, glass, metals and waste paper to feed its insatiable demand for raw materials. It was cheap to ship in otherwise empty container
Trash-pickers in Turkey. An industry elsewhere, we don't want
that here, but waste is going out of control.

ships, returning to China after unloading the products into which the trash had been converted, and low-cost labor made it economical to sort the imperfectly separated shiploads coming from the U.S. into clean stocks. The U.S. and other countries shipped 106 million tons of… Read More »

It Was Thoughts and Prayers Time Again »

Feb 19 2018

Donald Trump   @realDonaldTrump

Contributions from the NRA:… Read More »


How to Get Rid of Gerrymandering:
First, Get Rid of Congress »

May 4 2016

“We've got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around”, President Obama has said. He was referring to the practice of gerrymandering, of political parties rigging districts so as to assure the election of their candidates. It has been with us for two centuries, is manifestly undemocratic, yet the Supreme Court avoids confronting it, and Congress likes things just as they are.

Once every ten years, based on the population census, each state usually must reconfigure its voting districts, first to conform to the number of congressional representatives that its newly-counted population permits, and then to arrive at approximately equal numbers of voters in each district. That… Read More »


A Gallery of Gerrymanders »

Crimes against geography May 4 2016

The contorted shapes that gerrymandering produces are grotesque reminders that our democracy needs an asterisk. The word derives from 1812’s governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, who rearranged election districts to his liking. The shape of one of them

The 1812 cartoon in the Boston Gazette mocking the shape of one of Gov. Gerry's contrivances.

reminded people of a salamander. Hence Gerrymander.

Here is a selection of the most notoriously contrived to make an election outcome a certainty for the party controlling the process.

Maryland's 3rd District: As your eye will bear witness, this bug splat is
considered the most gerrymandered district in the country. Connected by tiny threads and leaping… Read More »


Congress Avoids the War but Quickly Acts Against its Refugees »

Nov 29 2015

Congress lost no time when threatened by refugees. It rushed to pass a law to hobble their admittance, hastily throwing aside Paul Ryan's promise that the House would return to the orderly process of developing legislation in committees.

The President called them out: "Now suddenly they're able to rush in, in a day or two [after the Paris attacks], to solve the threat of widows and orphans and others who are fleeing a war-torn land and that's their most constructive contribution to the effort against ISIL?"

Obama was undoubtedly referring as well to the avoidance by Congress to authorize force in Syria. With much the same motivation for speedily acting against… Read More »

the press

Obama v. Leakers and the Press:
Bad as Nixon Says Journalism Group »

Worse says former Times general counsel Nov 14 2013

In the wake of the government shutdown and the threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt, a report on the Obama administration’s hostility toward the press and its
reporters went by hardly noticed. The report is a formal statement in support of what the media have contended all along — that the Obama regime’s aggressive actions against press freedom has introduced a climate of fear that inhibits both journalists and sources alike. ”The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration”, says the author, former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr.… Read More »

press freedom

Obama v. the Press: A History Worse Than Nixon? »

The Constitution professor doesn’t like the First Amendment Jun 4 2013

As a candidate he had called warrantless surveillance “unconstitutional and illegal”.

In his first inaugural address he said, “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration”.

On his first day in the Oval Office he commented, “For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city", as he signed executive orders to reverse some of the Bush Administration policies.

And just days ago President Obama said, “…a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism… Read More »