The four zombies of the supply-side apocalypse

Zombies have gripped American popular culture for years. In books, television shows, and films, the undead are regularly resurrected for your entertainment. (Even Jane Austen fans were treated to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy butchering those from beyond the grave in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.) But whatever their reanimation story, the zombie’s Achilles’ heel…

Trump accidentally gets it right on expanding legal immigration

Even a broken clock, the old saying goes, is right twice a day. So it was for Donald Trump during his 2019 State of the Union address on Tuesday night. During perhaps the most backward-looking presidential message in memory, the president thundered about a mythical national crisis of undocumented immigration putting America and Americans at risk….

Fund the wall or we kill the economy: GOP debt ceiling extortion returns

“Both sides do it” may well be the most dangerous and deceitful phrase in U.S. politics. The lazy analyst’s substitute for actual journalism doesn’t merely misdiagnose what plagues the American body politic, but fails to correctly identify the source of the disease. As Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it in their 2012 book, It’s…

Deep thoughts, by Paul Ryan

In the future, historians and political scientists will speak of the “Ryan Gap.” That moniker will be used to measure the yawning chasm between the shining image a politician manufactures for him or herself and the brutal truth of their failed ideas and meager accomplishments. Of course, the inspiration for that damning delta between perception…

Republicans are coming for your Medicare in 2019

Eight years ago, Republicans steamrolled their way to an overwhelming victory in the 2010 midterms. Powered by demonstrable falsehoods about a “government takeover of health care,” Obamacare “death panels,” and Americans being “taxed enough already,” the GOP gained 63 seats and a huge new majority in the House of Representatives. Perhaps the biggest factor in the…

The third worst person in Washington

When it comes to the culpability for the dismal state of American politics and the accelerating erosion of our governing institutions, failure has a thousand fathers. At the top of the list of the usual suspects is Donald Trump, whose presidency of staggering incompetence, unsurpassed corruption, and lying at the speed of light has already…

Trump's golden showers

Campaign Action Donald Trump and his Republican allies have two definitions of the term, “golden showers.” The first concerns a notorious—and as-yet unsubstantiated–claim from the so-called Russian dossier: Decorum prohibits elaborating further here. The second meaning of the term, however, describes any public policy—usually involving taxes—which overwhelmingly delivers its benefits to the very richest people in…

The GOP’s Graham-Cassidy health care bill is a killer scam

Next week, Congressional Republicans will vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill supposedly designed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Shockingly, they will do so without a score from Capitol Hill’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). As the office led by the GOP’s hand-picked director Keith Hall warned last Monday, “CBO will not be able to…

Lies, damn lies, and fake news

In his 2007 book The Assault on Reason, former Vice President Al Gore warned about what he saw as a dire threat to American democracy. “The 'well-informed citizenry,’” Gore fretted, ”is in danger of becoming the 'well-amused audience.'” In a presentation on Super Tuesday 2008 (“That’s Entertainment: Politics as Theater in Campaign ‘08”), I elaborated on Gore’s…

CBO: Conservative Bulls**t Obliterator

This past week was a very big one for some very big promises from Republicans in Washington. It didn’t go well for them. Three weeks after House Republicans voted to pass a new version of their “American Health Care Act,” the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) weighed in on high-profile pledges from President Donald Trump…