Jennifer Rubin

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Last quote by Jennifer Rubin

Individually they may not be a big deal. Even collectively they do not rival President Trump’s domestic and foreign policy demolition derby for the most pressing issues of our time. But Trump’s moral depravity and attack on democratic norms remain critically important, as does the pushback which is thankfully coming with more frequency and rigor than ever before.feedback
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NEW Oct 18 2017 Trump Presidency
This page is completely dedicated to what Jennifer Rubin has to say. All of Jennifer Rubin’s quotes are organized here by date and topic. The most recent quote attributed to Jennifer Rubin came from an article called Trump gives Democrats a lifeline: “The latest CNN poll should be a wake-up call for Republicans. Among its findings: President Trump’s approval rating is at a dismal 37 percent, with his disapproval rating reaching 57 percent. It seems that core group, a third of most every poll, is the only segment of the electorate for which he and anything attached to him are not toxic.”.
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Jennifer Rubin quotes

Oct 13 2017 - DACA

What is increasingly obvious is that President Trump’s motivations and impulses have everything to do with narcissism, personal piques, anger at his predecessor and fear of losing face - and very little to do with creating real policy outcomes. He prefers to be seen doing something rather than to do something for which he would bear the consequences. We’ve seen this on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, health care and taxes.feedback

Oct 13 2017

Being governor is about the best job in politics.feedback

Oct 13 2017 - Trump Presidency

Without Russian help, could President Trump have won? “Ms.feedback

Oct 12 2017 - Obamacare

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday intended to allow small businesses and potentially individuals to buy a long-disputed type of health insurance that skirts state regulations and Affordable Care Act protections.feedback

Oct 11 2017

President Trump’s supporters have reveled in his and his administration’s assault on the media.feedback

Oct 10 2017

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and economic adviser Gary Cohn have sacrificed what little credibility they had left by falsely insisting that President Trump’s tax plan wouldn’t benefit the rich, would pay for itself and would create never-before-seen growth.feedback

Oct 10 2017 - Trump Presidency

In what amounts to an amicus brief for use by special counsel Robert S.feedback

Oct 09 2017 - American politics

Having successfully primaried an incumbent senator (albeit one put there by appointment) and put the unhinged demagogue Roy Moore in a position to enter what used to be called the world’s “greatest deliberative body,” Stephen K.feedback

Oct 05 2017 - Iran

During his “I never thought about resigning” press conference, Secretary of State Rex W.feedback

Sep 15 2017 - Federal Reserve

Senior economic adviser Gary Cohn told the media that President Trump had to “do better” after his Charlottesville comments equating the neo-Nazis with counter-protesters (something Trump did again on Thursday, a day after meeting with the only African American Republican senator, Tim Scott of South Carolina.) Cohn contradicted his boss directly, stating, “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK.” He reportedly even drafted a resignation letter. For all that garment-rending, Cohn may have lost a nomination to the Federal Reserve and earned himself Trump’s petulant treatment for disloyal aides - “refusing to make eye contact.” (Yes, this really is like high school.).feedback

Sep 14 2017 - DACA

As President Trump shattered the illusions of his base that he has any scruples whatsoever, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is struggling to remain relevant. The Hill reports.feedback

Sep 14 2017

The voting commission is a fraud itself. Shut it down.feedback

Sep 11 2017 - Climate change

Oh, puh-leez. President Trump is not an “independent,” as right-wing Republicans now would like to believe. (Didn’t they spend the campaign trying to convince fellow Republicans that he was really a conservative?) Trump ran for the GOP nomination, captured the party and now hypes every bad idea that the party’s most extreme elements have espoused — tax cuts for the rich, anti-immigrant hysteria, fear-mongering on crime, know-nothingism on climate change, anti-government animus, and bigotry toward the LGBT community (hence the totally unnecessary ban on transgender recruits to the military). Much as Republicans might like to disown him, they cannot. They remain responsible for nominating the most unfit person ever to hold the office.feedback

Sep 05 2017 - American politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are mulling a basic framework to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts and avert an Oct. 1 shutdown with a short-term spending bill, according to multiple Republican aides. But while top Trump officials like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin back a “clean” debt increase, the president himself is mum on the latest strategy.feedback

Sep 01 2017 - Wall Street

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on two memos President Trump’s lawyers prepared for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.feedback

Aug 31 2017 - American politics

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin let on today that the administration’s tax plan, which President Trump was out selling, will arrive in the “next few weeks.” Hmm. The budget expires in a little more than four weeks. Do we really think an actual tax “reform” bill will be introduced, debated and voted upon (as part of budget reconciliation) when there will be nothing in hand for weeks?feedback

Aug 29 2017

Before the rain has subsided, talk has turned to recovery - and the hypocrisy of Texas Republicans who voted against prior emergency packages for other states. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has been caught in a phony defense of his opposition to Hurricane Sandy relief. The Post disproves Cruz’s claim that two-thirds of the Sandy bill was unrelated to hurricane recovery.feedback

Aug 25 2017 - Taliban

Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and the senior U.S. Embassy official, special charge d’affairs Hugo Llorens, spoke at a joint news conference about the importance of reaching a settlement with the Taliban in an attempt to end the nearly 16-year war.feedback

Aug 21 2017 - Immigration

Last week, the creaky facade of Trumpism came tumbling down as Americans saw for themselves that, at bottom, President Trump’s populism isn’t about economic theory, trade policy or foreign policy. It is an ugly effort to stoke white grievance, convincing working-class whites that their problems are attributable to non-whites who are out to take their jobs and destroy their culture. With Stephen K. Bannon’s departure, even the pretense of economic populism is likely to shrivel, leaving a weird mix of right-wing supply-side economics and nativism - combining, for example, big tax cuts for the rich with virulent opposition to immigration. For policy wonks, this is distressing and destructive; for average Americans, the stench of Charlottesville tends to obscure the policy incoherence.feedback

Aug 18 2017 - Terrorism

James Murdoch, chief executive of 21st Century Fox, has pledged to donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, according to an email he sent to friends. He told them, “What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.” He continued: “These events remind us all why vigilance against hate and bigotry is an eternal obligation - a necessary discipline for the preservation of our way of life and our ideals. The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob.” In pointed criticism of President Trump, he went on: “I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”.feedback

Aug 17 2017

A driver swerved a van onto a pedestrian area Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, ramming into crowds and leaving at least 13 people dead and more than 50 injured scattered along a stretch of tree-shaded sidewalk. Authorities described the incident as a terrorist attack. . . . The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the terrorist group’s Amaq news agency reported, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity.feedback

Aug 09 2017

Republicans kicked off a monthlong respite from the drama surrounding national politics in Washington D.C. this week, only to return home to more chaos and anger from local constituents who elected them to office.feedback

Aug 01 2017 - Terrorism

Republicans of all people should know that scrubbing words from an administration’s vocabulary (e.g., “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic fundamentalism”) can be a powerful signal to enemies and friends around the globe. Language is the stock and trade of diplomats, so even small changes can carry great weight. When changes come in a context in which the administration’s commitments and/or intentions are unclear, word choice can be even more powerful, whether it is intended to be so or not.feedback

Aug 01 2017

The excitement - or maybe it’s just relief - among Republicans that greeted John F. Kelly’s ascension to chief of staff may be short-lived. Here are five reasons.feedback

Jul 27 2017 - Republican Party

I must confess I no longer understand what GOP lawmakers are intending to accomplish in their “vote-o-rama.” Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute argues.feedback

Jul 26 2017 - Fake news

A large segment of Republican voters should try turning off Fox News and allowing reality to permeate the shell they’ve constructed to keep out ideas that interfere with their prejudices and abject ignorance. Unfair? Take a look at the latest poll to suggest that Trump voters like their cult hero feel compelled to label inconvenient facts “fake news.” Morning Consult reporters: “A plurality of Republicans say President Donald Trump received more of the popular vote in 2016 than his Democratic rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to a new Morning Consult/POLITICO poll, 47 percent of Republican voters said Trump outpaced Clinton - despite her nearly 2.9 million-vote advantage after all the states certified their election results.”.feedback

Jul 26 2017 - Republican Party

If you thought that President Trump was testing the waters, probing for a backlash, as he contemplated firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and, further, that it might be a really good idea for Republicans to signal strongly that this action (presumably a steppingstone to firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III) would spell the beginning of the end of his presidency, you’d have been distressed by the GOP reaction.feedback

Jul 19 2017 - Republican Party

Both Democrats sincerely concerned about the viability of a sane, two-party system and #NeverTrump Republicans horrified at what’s become of their once-admirable party have been pondering since Election Day how - or if - the GOP can free itself from President Trump’s grip. How to break the Trump fever - a brew of xenophobia, ignorance, nativism and contempt for facts (for the very notion that there are such things as facts)? Perhaps the answer is simple, hiding in plain sight.feedback

Jul 18 2017 - Obamacare

To be clear, the Better Care Reconciliation Act was already at death's door before McCain took ill and before Lee and Moran's announcements. … Initially, McConnell may have figured a ridiculously early deadline for a vote in July could have cleared the decks (win or lose), but now he has a ready-made excuse for ditching the whole exercise.feedback

Jul 14 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a new proposal to overhaul the Affordable Care Act on Thursday after spending three weeks reworking it to win over wavering lawmakers on the right and in the center.feedback

Jun 22 2017 - Planned Parenthood

President Trump says the Senate health-care bill needs more negotiation. (So what foolish lawmaker would sign onto it now?) Planned Parenthood, hospitals, every Democratic lawmaker and a number of conservatives have panned the bill.feedback

Jun 11 2017 - Trump Presidency

President Trump’s potential impeachment isn’t even Republicans’ worst problem. Sure, they look foolish and craven trying to play defense for a president whose bullying tactics may finally do him in and whose habitual dishonesty leaves him exposed to the detailed denunciation of former FBI director James B. Comey. Yes, it’s true - Republicans’ failure to take action against his attorney general, who apparently concealed three meetings with the Russians from the Senate Judiciary Committee and omitted them from his security clearance application, demonstrates their fecklessness. And, certainly, their utter lack of concern for arguably daily violations of the emoluments clauses belies their claim to be “constitutional conservatives.” But they actually have even bigger problems with the electorate.feedback

Jun 08 2017

With a good deal of the country glued to TV and computer screens, former FBI director James B. Comey begins his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In the mass of details, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. Keep an eye out for these things.feedback

Jun 05 2017 - Xenophobia

There is no topic about which both parties have spewed more economic nonsense than trade. Preying on populist ignorance and xenophobic fears, politicians have taken something that is unarguably of tremendous value to the United States and turned it into an evil. You’d think that trade was making us poorer.feedback

Jun 02 2017 - Trump Presidency

President Trump’s chief selling point in the 2016 election - aside from cultural resentment - was his business prowess. He knew how to create jobs, he promised. Actually, the country had been generating jobs consistently, but slowly, before Trump took office. Since then, it has hit the skids.feedback

May 09 2017 - American politics

Some more literally and clumsily than others, Republican lawmakers are running from the House-passed American Health Care Act. Back home, Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) ran away from questioning about the AHCA, Newsweek reports: “On Monday afternoon, the staunchly conservative Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus fled an interview with Josh Scheinblum, a reporter with TV9 in Dubuque, after Scheinblum had the temerity to ask Blum a series of difficult questions.”.feedback

May 04 2017 - Israel

After meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, President Trump delivered brief remarks.feedback

May 03 2017 - Obamacare

The Post reports on the latest Republican machination as the House struggles to pass a health-care bill that looks less and less like repeal of Obamacare and more like a Rube Goldberg contraption to get this issue out of the House.feedback

May 03 2017 - Trumpcare

Is President Trump winning yet? “The revamped Republican push for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health-care system ran into a new roadblock on Tuesday when a key lawmaker, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), said he would vote against the current proposal.”.feedback

May 01 2017 - Obamacare

On President Trump told John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that any health-care bill he would support would “guarantee” protection for people with preexisting conditions. “Preexisting conditions are in the bill ” he declared. “And I mandate it. I said ‘Has to be.’ ” Politico like a number of outlets pointed out that this is a “shift from language in the Republican replacement bill circulating in the House.” That will surprise Republicans whipping the vote. (CNN noted “The amendment would allow states to seek waivers to weaken several key Obamacare insurance reforms that protect those with pre-existing conditions including the benefits insurers must cover in their policies and the ban on allowing carriers to charge more based on a person’s health background.”).feedback

Apr 27 2017 - AMT

The White House had promised to roll out a “tax plan” Wednesday. Instead of a fully developed plan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior adviser Gary Cohn put out a one-page sheet with bullet points, something you might see as a first draft of a campaign white paper. Worse yet, as we anticipated, Mnuchin and Cohn wound up getting grilled on whether President Trump, who stands to save millions (via, among other things, elimination of the alternative minimum tax), would release his tax returns. Mnuchin was emphatic: “The president has no intention.” He falsely asserted, “The president has released plenty of information and I think has given more financial disclosure than anybody else. I think the American population has plenty of information.” He and Cohn had no specifics about the savings for voters by tax bracket or about the expected increase in the debt.feedback

Apr 21 2017 - French election 2017

The Brexit vote in the United Kingdom stunned many observers, not only because the polls had misjudged popular sentiment but also because of what it told us about global populist sentiment. Brexit’s impact on the British government (David Cameron was forced to resign) and the future of Europe (the first significant rollback in the continent’s economic integration) is still playing out. But if you thought that was earthshaking, take a look at the French presidential election this Sunday, which arguably may have an even bigger impact on the United States and the West more generally.feedback

Apr 20 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Republicans, under heavy pressure from the White House, are inching closer to passing a bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act, but possible revisions released Thursday may not clinch a deal. . . .feedback

Apr 20 2017 - Iran

Trying to discern where the administration stands on a variety of national security issues is nearly impossible so long as the president sees no need for coherence and treats foreign policy as a series of discrete public-relations exercises, unrelated to other actions and messages we send to foes and allies. He equates “winning” with a good news cycle, without much regard for what foreign policy objectives we are pursuing.feedback

Apr 20 2017

The most effective takedown of President Trump’s “Buy American” initiative came from campaign adviser Stephen Moore.feedback

Apr 20 2017

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz announced Wednesday that he will not run for reelection to his House seat in 2018.feedback

Apr 20 2017 - Fox

The Post reported on Wednesday on the stunning downfall of controversial gadfly host Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year run at Fox News.feedback

Apr 20 2017 - Trump Presidency

They really did want to drain the swamp. “A majority of registered voters think it’s inappropriate that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are playing significant roles in the White House, according to a new survey. A Quinnipiac University poll finds 53 percent of respondents say it is not appropriate for Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, to be playing such a significant role in the White House. Thirty-six percent think Ivanka Trump’s White House role is appropriate.”.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Russia

A liberal Democratic friend expressed amazement today that, in light of the Russia scandal and President Trump’s general ineptness, more Republicans haven’t washed their hands of him. There’s no one reason for their reluctance to break free - increasing tribal loyalty, unrealistic hope he could still help them get tax or health-care reform and just plain spinelessness (including fear of the talk-radio mob) all play a part.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Republican Party

President Trump and the House GOP have hit a wall. (No, not that wall. But come to think of it, Trump’s wall likely will never be built.) Their domestic agenda now consists of rounding up noncriminal illegal immigrants (“Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5, 441, ” The Post reports.), repealing regulations and … well, actually, that is about it. The Trump administration is woefully behind on appointments and, as we predicted, hasn’t filled any of the dozens of U.S. attorney slots that opened when it fired President Barack Obama’s appointed prosecutors.feedback

Apr 19 2017

This post was updated at 2:02 p.m.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Extremism

Don’t get me wrong: Some of the better appointments President Trump has made are generals or lieutenant generals (e.g. H.R. McMaster). In part, that’s because other picks suffer from egregious inexperience and ideological extremism. The lesson here should not be that generals make good civilian leaders. To the contrary, we are already seeing that a record number of generals in Cabinet-level ranks has its downsides.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Human Rights

We have not been alone in blasting President Trump for calling to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a “victory” in an election rife with “irregularities, ” according to international monitors. David L. Phillips of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University describes “massive electoral fraud”.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Republican Party

Jon Ossoff did not do the impossible. In an 18-person field, he did not get more than 50 percent of the vote, but then few observers expected him to. (As GOP veteran consultant Stu Stevens tweeted: “Getting over 50% with almost 20 candidates is like throwing a football through 10 swinging tires at 50 yards.”) What Ossoff did do was quite extraordinary, winning 48.1 percent of the vote, which is 5 to 6 points higher than the margin predicted in most pre-election polls.feedback

Apr 19 2017 - Fox

Did you ever think you’d see this? “Fox News is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation. A final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days, the people said.”.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - Syria conflict

President Trump and his advisers are rightly concerned about Syria and North Korea. These rogue states, guilty of human rights atrocities, pose the risk of wider violence and destabilization. Syria’s civil war has already created millions of refugees, has rekindled diseases (e.g. polio) that were once thought to be extinct and has allowed the country to become a haven for Islamic State terrorists. And yet, these should be lesser concerns in the bigger scheme.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - Women

Two new plaintiffs — an association of restaurants and restaurant workers, and a woman who books banquet halls for two D.C. hotels — plan to join a lawsuit alleging that President Trump has violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause because his hotels and restaurants do business with foreign governments.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - Human Rights

A reasonable debate can be had about how much we can attempt to pressure allies on human rights abuses - and how publicly we should do so. We noted yesterday that the balancing act with a NATO ally such as Turkey in a difficult part of the world can be quite nettlesome. It is obvious - to everyone but President Trump - that at the very least we shouldn’t be rewarding or praising behavior that is contrary to our values and which in the long run will make those countries less stable.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - Sanctuary cities

President Trump would have us believe that crime has reached epidemic proportions and is related to so-called sanctuary cities (a term that has no definition and is therefore of limited value anyway). Neither view is right. Now, a substantial study on crime in the 30 biggest U.S. cities shows how wrong he is.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - Republican Party

Unfortunately, the GOP has absolutely no appetite to force the issue. “Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) says President Trump should ‘absolutely’ release his tax returns to end the controversy.”.feedback

Apr 17 2017 - Turkish referendum result

A vote to grant new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sparked fresh arguments in a divided Turkey on Monday, as opposition parties called for the annulment of the referendum results and Erdogan insisted the debate over the outcome should stop.feedback

Apr 17 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Fewer than 100 days after Republicans assumed complete control of Washington, their botched attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and broader struggles to cooperate have stoked widespread distrust and despair inside the party. The friction is evident at town hall meetings across the country during the current congressional recess. ….feedback

Apr 17 2017 - Democratic Party

Tuesday’s contest in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to fill the seat of now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has gotten the president’s attention. He tweeted, “The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal [sic] race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!” However unintentionally, this line of crude attack may well remind many upscale Republican and Democratic voters in this district why they dislike President Trump. He barely carried the district, running almost points behind Price in November. (NBC News finds: “Tom Price got 62% of the vote in this highly educated and affluent Atlanta-area district in 2016, and Mitt Romney took 61% in 2012. But Trump barely beat Hillary Clinton here in 2016, 48%-47%.”).feedback

Apr 17 2017

President Trump’s foreign policy team has drawn praise, if for no other reason that it functions without drama and within the guardrails of mainstream conservative thought. As the Daily Beast reports.feedback

Apr 17 2017 - Twitter

President Trump lashed out Sunday at the protesters who took part in marches across the country Saturday to demand that he release his tax returns, declaring on Twitter that “The election is over!”.feedback

Apr 17 2017 - Trump administration

Warning. “A senior Trump administration official warned Sunday that North Korea’s provocative behavior ‘can’t continue, ’ and said the U.S. is working with partners including China to develop a range of possible responses to future ‘destabilizing behavior.’ ”.feedback

Apr 16 2017 - Mar-a-Lago

Politicians, including President Trump, seemed to have learned very little from an election in which anger toward them overtook all other emotions. Voters dismayed at the arrogance and dishonesty of politicians who forget whom they work for spurred 46 percent of the electorate to vote for an outsider precisely because he was not experienced.feedback

Apr 16 2017 - CIA

I am today surrounded by talented and committed patriots. These are men and women who signed up for a life of discretion and impact - for a career in service to their country, ” said CIA Director Mike Pompeo at his first public speech. He was speaking of the professionals throughout the intelligence community who work just as soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen do to protect their fellow Americans. Pompeo explained.feedback

Apr 14 2017 - Syria conflict

President Trump’s approval polling remains dreadful by historical standards. In the latest Marist poll, he draws only 39 percent approval, 49 disapproval (statistically insignificant from a month ago, when his numbers were 38 percent/51 percent). Gallup shows him with 40 percent approval, 54 percent disapproval (up, but not dramatically, from his low point). Overall, his RealClearPolitics average is 41.4 approval/51.6 percent disapproval. All this follows confirmation of his Supreme Court pick, now-Justice Neil Gorsuch, and a show of force against Syria. There are a few takeaways from this.feedback

Apr 14 2017 - Trumpcare

President Trump should avoid the temptation to delve back into health-care reform. He has already gotten into hot water with threats to wreck the system by depriving needy Americans of subsidies. Should he take the plunge and put the rest of his agenda (primarily tax reform) on the back burner, he’ll find himself treading water for the remainder of his time in office before the 2018 midterms.feedback

Apr 14 2017 - CIA

On Thursday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivered his first public speech. As a preliminary matter, Pompeo should provide some confidence that regardless of the temperament and views of the president, the CIA remains a professional, serious organization with a clear sense of its mission. He believes in and can attest to the professionalism of CIA employees. Moreover, he is prepared to defend them, no matter who the accusers.feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Syria conflict

President Trump would not be the first U.S. president who turned from failed domestic policy initiatives to foreign policy. As we saw even with limited military action against Syria, the public does rally to a commander in chief, especially when America’s moral and pragmatic interests are aligned. Trump is fortunate insofar as Democrats and Republicans are ready to act on several fronts.feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Trumpcare

The close special election in the Kansas 4th congressional district, which should have been a slam dunk for Republicans, and wariness about next week’s special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district reflect Republicans’ lack of enthusiasm after less than three months of the Trump presidency. Anecdotal evidence indicates nerves are frayed and the mood glum. (“Republicans have grown fearful that these voters are recoiling from what they see as lamentable conditions in Washington: a government entirely in Republican hands that has failed to deliver on fundamental goals like overhauling the health care system, the New York Times recently reported. “Early missteps by President Trump and congressional leaders have weighed heavily on voters from the party’s more affluent wing, anchored in right-of-center suburbs around major cities in the South and Midwest. Never beloved in these precincts, Mr. Trump appears to be struggling to maintain support from certain voters who backed him last year mainly as a way of defeating Hillary Clinton.”).feedback

Apr 13 2017 - NATO

In President Trump’s so-called skinny budget, he eviscerated the State Department’s budget and foreign-aid spending. As to the former, perhaps Trump’s recent recognition of the need for diplomatic efforts (with NATO, China, etc.) will teach him that American “soft power” is a corollary to hard power. The former without the latter can be feckless; the latter without the former leaves us binary options (e.g. consent or war).feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Russia

The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Populism

Pity the poor Rust Belt voters who thought President Trump was going to shake up Washington, D.C., drain the swamp, redo trade deals, label China a currency manipulator, repeal and replace Obamacare and back tax cuts for the middle class, not the rich. None of that is coming to pass, for a variety of reasons.feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Holocaust

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday tried a humble apology after arguably his worst 24 hours on the job - no small feat, considering his previous gaffes, mispronunciations, lies, exaggerations and insults. “I made a mistake - there’s no other way to say it - I got into a topic I shouldn’t have, and I screwed up, ” Spicer said in an appearance at the Newseum. The topic, of course, was the Holocaust and his bizarre assertion that not even Hitler used gas on his own people. (That it was uttered on Passover made it all the more cringe-worthy.).feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Russia

Considering Russia’s behavior, this is as it should be. “[Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson Says U.S.-Russia Relations at ‘Low Point’ After Meeting With Putin.”.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - American politics

ATLANTA — Republicans are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to hang on to former Republican congressman Tom Price’s seat here in a wealthy, suburban district where restive Democratic energy has been surging since November’s election.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - Trump-Putin

Several theories have been floating around to explain President Trump’s reverence for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Perhaps Putin has incriminating information on Trump, or maybe Trump owes millions to Russian oligarchs. Then again, Trump might have been trying to butter up Putin during the campaign, thinking that he could finally make some of the big deals he had been pining for - once he lost the election, as he expected. Well, as a world-class narcissist, Trump may have simply been smitten with a dictator who knew how to publicly stroke Trump’s ego. Alternatively, Trump may simply be enamored of a brutal anti-democratic kleptocrat who figured out how to make money off the state. Now, of course, he might fear revelations about the extent of Russian assistance in the election - which he might reasonably expect would delegitimize his victory.feedback

Apr 10 2017

Some Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), opposed use of force to defend the red line against Bashar al-Assad in 2013; now they support President Trump. Many of these Republicans insist, wrongly, that President Barack Obama had more-narrow objectives than Trump did. (My colleague Josh Rogin points out that this is categorically false.) They argue that Obama had no “day-after plan”; funny, neither does Trump.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - Syria conflict

President Trump and his fans are badly mistaken if they think a single show of force on Syria (followed by a declaration that nothing has changed) and the elevation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court are going to plug the hole in his sinking ship. By his own declaration, Trump seems bent on returning to President Barack Obama’s Syria policy, doing nothing to steer the ship of state in a different direction. There seems to be nothing much new that would accelerate “eradication” of the Islamic State, as Trump promised. Likewise, activists are glad that a conservative jurist is replacing Antonin Scalia, but Gorsuch’s confirmation merely defends a conservative seat. Until there are other replacements on the court, Gorsuch won’t be able to deliver on Trump’s and right-wing lawyers’ exaggerated promises of reversing liberal precedent. If the Syria strikes are not repeated or other Supreme Court openings don’t materialize, these two accomplishments will fade from the headlines.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - Syria conflict

As he is wont to do regarding President Trump, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) got carried away, becoming downright giddy in extolling the president’s Syria strikes. The strikes, he insisted, restored “our credibility.” That’s downright silly, for while something is better than nothing - President Barack Obama’s policy - a single show of force does not make a policy. Credibility is restored with persistent, consistent action over a period of time. If Cotton thinks Trump is not showing a “reluctance to use force, ” he hasn’t been listening to the secretary of state, who insists we aren’t doing anything but sending a warning about use of chemical weapons. Cotton’s confidence in Trump, again, is misplaced. Sure enough, on Sunday the cacophony of administration voices affirmed that no one, including the president, has any idea of what comes next.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - Sanctions

More than any other speaker [including Mike Pence], she endeared herself to the crowd, which gave her the heartiest applause and most ovations of the conference. … The crowd luxuriated in her heartfelt identification with the Jewish people as an Indian American and her reminder that, while she was governor, South Carolina became the first state to pass anti-BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) legislation.feedback

Apr 10 2017 - Syria conflict

If he had an actual policy the approval number could be even higher. “About half of Americans support the Trump administration’s decision last week to launch a missile strike on a Syrian air base, according to a new poll. A HuffPost/YouGov survey finds 51 percent of Americans support the president’s decision to order the airstrikes in retaliation for a chemical attack last week that killed civilians in northern Syrian.”.feedback

Apr 09 2017 - Iraq

1. “Just a one-time deal is not – is not going to be productive.”.feedback

Apr 09 2017 - Syria conflict

Eighty days into President Trump’s term, he arguably has only two successes - getting confirmed a Supreme Court judge pre-vetted by conservative lawyers and returning to mainstream Republican foreign policy, even if temporarily, in launching strikes on Syria. The unpredictable president sent to shake up Washington succeeds when he at his most conventional.feedback

Apr 09 2017 - Syria conflict

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addressed the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, and in so doing helped to focus the world’s attention and President Trump’s attention on Tuesday’s chemical attack on men, women and children in Syria. She declared, “Yesterday morning, we awoke to pictures, to children foaming at the mouth, suffering convulsions, being carried in the arms of desperate parents. We saw rows of lifeless bodies. Some still in diapers. Some with the visible scars of a chemical weapons attack.” Holding up two horrifying photographs, she stared down the Russian ambassador. “Look at those pictures, ” she said. “We cannot close our eyes to those pictures. We cannot close our minds of the responsibility to act. We don’t yet know everything about yesterday’s attack. But there are many things we do know.” She continued: “We know that yesterday’s attack bears all the hallmarks of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. We know that [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad has used these weapons against the Syrian people before. That was confirmed by this Council’s own independent team of investigators. We know that yesterday’s attack was a new low, even for the barbaric Assad regime.”.feedback

Apr 07 2017

President Trump, who has been taking credit for the economy he inherited from his predecessor, got a reminder today of the danger of taking credit for economic conditions beyond one’s control. If you want to claim credit for a stock market boom or rosy job reports, you better be able to shoulder responsibility for stock market retrenchment and sour job numbers.feedback

Apr 07 2017 - Refugees

President Trump has taken calibrated but prompt action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, prompting the question as to why, when the situation on the ground was far less challenging, President Barack Obama could not have acted similarly and thereby forestalled much of the death and destruction that followed. We will never know whether swift military action early in the Syrian war (as many in Obama’s Cabinet, including Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta and Robert Gates advised) would have helped to dislodge Assad from power, prevented Russia from establishing a foothold in Syria, spared hundreds of thousands of lives and precluded the outpouring of millions of refugees that strained neighbors’ and European economic and political systems to the breaking point. What we do know is that Trump ironically has the opportunity to rebuff a policy of retrenchment, amorality and willful blindness (call it, say, “America First”) and reestablish U.S. leadership in the world.feedback

Apr 07 2017

Bannon's rivals know just how cringeworthy all that sounds, which is precisely why they leaked all this.feedback

Apr 07 2017

Cory Booker and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the Combating Global Corruption Act of 2017, which, according to their press release, “would make fighting international corruption an American national security priority, encourage greater transparency in U.S. foreign and security assistance, and publicize anti-corruption efforts and results worldwide.”.feedback

Apr 07 2017 - Syria conflict

President Trump - who ran a presidential campaign excoriating interventionism, ridiculed the idea of action in Syria, voiced confidence we could leave Bashar al-Assad in place and reintroduced the noxious 1930s “America First” rhetoric - when confronted with the real world threw away all that refuse and launched a retaliatory missile strike on the airfield from which planes carrying sarin gas took off earlier in the week. The Post reported, “The U.S. military launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield late on Thursday, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago.” It is not clear whether this is an isolated action or part of a larger campaign.feedback

Apr 07 2017

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? “[Stephen K.] Bannon’s removal from the NSC is certainly a positive step forward, [but] it does not ultimately end the problem of indiscipline in White House decision-making. That problem ultimately traces back to President Trump’s preferred style of management, which is unlikely to change significantly at age 70.”.feedback

Apr 06 2017

Stephen K. Bannon broke the cardinal rule of office politics: Don’t insult the boss’s relatives. Bannon’s inability to behave professionally and civilly - in other words, his preference for imitating President Trump’s behavior - may spell doom.feedback

Apr 06 2017 - Aleppo

The dig against liberals is that they love humanity but hate people. President Trump, on the other hand, hates humanity but loves people. One on one he charms, seeking approval and love. More important, when presented with individual human cases of suffering, his amoral, inhumane stances seem to melt.feedback

Apr 06 2017 - Supreme Court

Senators voted on Thursday to advance Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a final confirmation vote on Friday.feedback

Apr 06 2017 - Wiretapping

President Trump’s wild accusation and the right-wing media’s eagerness to support the claims of the Trump White House, working in cahoots with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), that there was nefarious “unmasking” of Trump associates picked up in surveillance of Russian officials has proved to be a colossal flop. Nunes wound up discrediting himself and implicating White House staffers in a half-baked scheme to deflect attention from the president.feedback

Apr 06 2017

Donald Trump ran a campaign inventing his own reality, eschewing facts, peddling rumors and just plain lying to the American people. But as one president after another has learned, once in office the president has to confront unpleasant realities. Trump is discovering a bunch of them.feedback

Apr 06 2017 - Chemical weapons

President Trump may have figured this out on Wednesday. “He can’t criticize Barack Obama on one hand for turning a blind eye to Assad’s chemical weapons in 2012 and then allow it to happen in 2017 and do absolutely nothing while this holocaust unfurls before our eyes.”.feedback

Apr 05 2017 - Obamacare

Perhaps the Freedom Caucus believed the resumed talks on health-care reform were “real” and could lead to a new agreement. Alternatively, this may have been a thinly disguised attempt to shift blame to moderate Republicans and escape the ire of Republicans who blame their intransigence for failure of the America Health Care Act. The latter theory got some support when Heritage Action’s Dan Holler went on a tweet storm blaming the Tuesday Group of moderates for shying away from repeal of Obamacare. (Quoting his chief executive, Michael Needham, Holler tweeted, “Tuesday Group seems more interested in Barack Obama’s solutions than conservative solutions.”).feedback

Apr 05 2017 - Trump-Putin

Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin are responsible for the Syrian genocidal war, including a series of apparent chemical attacks on innocents. Indeed, they are war criminals by any definition, having, among other things, deliberately targeted civilians and aid workers. President Barack Obama and his advisers who indulged in excuse after excuse to avoid action will have a blot on their record that is permanent and damning. Responsibility goes to Republicans and Democrats alike who opposed the use of force in defense of the “red line, ” thereby facilitating Obama’s flip-flop. These include everyone from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to liberal Democrats. And, finally, presidential candidates (e.g., President Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)) who egged on isolationists and urged we not oppose Assad and are not exempt from blame.feedback

Apr 05 2017

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon will no longer be a member of the National Security Council’s principals committee, according to three White House officials and federal register filings.feedback

Apr 05 2017 - Nordstrom vs. Trump

Even President Trump’s harshest critics concede that his daughter Ivanka Trump is poised, intelligent and capable. Nevertheless, she suffers from the same myopia as her father. That’s a big problem, both because it reinforces the president’s shortcomings and because she is more likable, and hence more effective in moving public opinion than her father.feedback

Apr 05 2017

An advertiser boycott against Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly picked up dramatic speed Tuesday in a rapid-fire reaction to the news that the outspoken host has been the subject of a succession of sexual-harassment allegations over the past 15 years.feedback

Apr 05 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Democrats should give credit where credit is due - to President Trump. He has accomplished what they and President Barack Obama could not, namely make the Affordable Care Act popular, if not actually loved. The Kaiser Family Foundation poll reports.feedback

Apr 05 2017 - U.S. National Security Adviser

The Russia scandal won’t vanish anytime soon. “What was young [Ezra] Cohen-Watnick, a 30-year-old favorite of [Michael] Flynn, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner whom National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster tried and failed to fire, doing ransacking this supersensitive database? Gellman speculates that he was trying not only to buttress Trump’s smears against Obama but also to monitor the status of the FBI investigation into Kremlin-gate. If so, was he acting on his own initiative, or did someone higher up, e.g., Bannon or Kushner, authorize an attempt to use top-secret intelligence for political purposes?”.feedback

Apr 04 2017

No matter how angry President Trump gets at the media or how furiously his willing right-wing media fans spin, the voters seem to think the president is losing. And because people don’t like losers, as Trump frequently reminds us, they don’t like him very much at all.feedback

Apr 04 2017 - SCOTUS

Watching senators’ arguments on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and on the deployment of the filibuster and nuclear option reminds us how disingenuous politicians can be. Whether you favor Gorsuch or not, support keeping the filibuster or not, the talking points on both sides demonstrate how intellectually dishonest both Democrats and Republicans have become.feedback

Apr 04 2017 - American politics

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Republicans are in the preliminary phase of an effort to restart talks over a stalled health-care bill, but he did not commit to a timeline for resolving the differences that sank the measure last month. . . .feedback

Apr 04 2017 - Trump-Putin

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.feedback

Apr 04 2017 - National Security Council

The list of objections to Jared Kushner’s expansive role in the administration - nepotism, the aura of monarchical power and his lack of credentials - grows each day. Seeing him pop up in Iraq in a meeting with Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, underscores the degree to which the State Department - along with the official National Security Council - has been marginalized in an administration in which political cronies and relatives run the show. Who speaks for the administration, and why go through normal diplomatic channels if you can bypass all that by going to the president’s son-in-law?feedback

Apr 04 2017 - Egypt

The Post reports on the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.feedback

Apr 04 2017

It was never a blind trust. Now it’s not even a trust. “President Donald Trump can draw money from his business empire as its trustees see fit without disclosing it publicly, according to a revised version of his trust, a change that ethics experts say blurs the lines between the Trump Organization and his administration.”.feedback

Apr 03 2017 - Republican Party

Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report writes that “if you look back at the last four midterm elections where the party in the White House lost control of one or both houses of Congress, you see that they share the following traits in common: the president has approval ratings among his own partisans under 85 percent and approval ratings among independents in the 30’s or low 40s.” She adds, “Moreover, there’s also empirical evidence that Democrats are more energized in their dislike of Trump than Republicans are in their support of him. . . . We’ve got a long way to go before the 2018 midterms. But, the current situation of Republican-infighting, a lack of legislative accomplishments and a President determined to keep stoking political divisions is a very dangerous path for the GOP.”.feedback

Apr 03 2017 - Nordstrom vs. Trump

Last week, the New York Times reported that the president’s daughter and son-in-law “remain the beneficiaries of a sprawling real estate and investment business still worth as much as $740 million.” Jared Kushner’s business depends on “foreign investment from undisclosed sources.” And to top it off, Ivanka Trump still has her stake in her father’s Washington, D.C., hotel, where foreign governments book rooms and events. Like President Trump, they have ceded management roles in their businesses but not their ownership stake. They are, therefore, in danger of running afoul of both constitutional and statutory prohibitions.feedback

Apr 03 2017

A week after the 2016 election, foreign policy expert and #NeverTrumper Eliot Cohen wrote a controversial piece in which he warned.feedback

Apr 03 2017 - SCOTUS

The Post reports on the upcoming fight to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace late justice Antonin Scalia.feedback

Apr 03 2017

Following his extraordinary testimony last week, former FBI special agent Clint Watts appeared on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. This exchange, in which he explained Russia’s “active measures” during the 2016 campaign, was eye-popping.feedback

Apr 03 2017 - Supreme Court

You’d think he would get tired of losing. “Ten weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump hasn’t had an easy week yet. Mr. Trump has hit regular high points-the nomination of a Supreme Court justice, a smooth speech to a joint session of Congress, an active deal-making role in health-care negotiations. But they have each been punctured, within hours or days, by low points-courts blocking his travel restrictions, an early-morning tweet about wiretapping, and the collapse of those talks to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”.feedback

Apr 02 2017 - AT&T

At a Friday signing ceremony for two executive orders, President Trump apparently was so flustered by a reporter’s question about former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn’s bizarre public plea for immunity being turned down by the Senate Intelligence Committee, he left the room without signing the orders.feedback

Apr 02 2017 - Democratic Party

The Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), provided a rare example of sanity, bipartisanship and competence this past week. Refusing to go down the partisan road that paralyzed the House Intelligence Committee, Burr and Warner insisted that the Senate could perform its oversight function - and then proceeded to hold one of the most informative and nonpartisan hearings in recent memory.feedback

Mar 31 2017 - Kremlin

During Thursday’s highly informative hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clinton Watts, a former FBI special agent, explained that President Trump helped spread Russian propaganda by echoing its claims during the campaign. He said.feedback

Mar 31 2017

President Trump is flunking out. That’s what a substantial plurality of Americans say, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.feedback

Mar 31 2017 - Iran

Conservatives who excoriated President Barack Obama for acquiescence to genocide in Syria should be just as vocal when it comes to the Trump administration. Indeed, the Trump administration seems to have thrown in the towel entirely on seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thereby consenting to Iran’s effective domination of the country and to Russia’s success in defending its allies Iran and Syria.feedback

Mar 31 2017

Perhaps we should not be surprised by the flurry of unforced errors. President Trump has little relevant experience, zero curiosity in policy and a rotten temperament that suggests he is divorced from reality. His staff is a mix of ideological extremists and party hacks, none with White House experience. His 30-something daughter and son-in-law have no public experience, either. How did you think this was going to work?feedback

Mar 31 2017

Trying to undo a grave mistake. “The North Carolina legislature agreed Thursday to a compromise bill that dials back a controversial bathroom law, an attempt to reverse a tide of businesses and sports events leaving the state for a policy they considered discriminatory.”.feedback

Mar 30 2017 - Supreme Court

Republicans insist on getting Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Democrats refuse to “reward” them for denying Obama nominee Judge Merrick Garland a vote. Democrats do not seem to have enough votes (40) to trigger the filibuster that would trigger the “nuclear option, ” abolishing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Each side has risks. Republicans will one day be out of the majority and the White House, facing a super-liberal nominee. Democrats fear a second Trump nominee if a seat is vacated could make Gorsuch seem liberal by comparison. So where are we?feedback

Mar 30 2017

The Senate Intelligence Committee held a rare public hearing on Thursday, a first look at its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. ….feedback

Mar 30 2017 - Snapchat

Call it political karma. Right-wing conservatives who just a couple of years ago prowled the halls of Congress and the campaign trail hunting RINOs readily cast aside all ideological standards (and ethical standards) to back President Trump. Now Trump, a wounded beast, has turned to snarl and snap at the right. The Post reports.feedback

Mar 30 2017

Gallup reports that President Trump, already at a record low for a president’s first year, has hit a new low, 35 percent. As Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), likes to say, Trump’s support is down to paid employees and blood relatives. Gallup includes this historical perspective.feedback

Mar 30 2017 - American politics

President Trump should have given her a Cabinet post. “Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said Wednesday that a special prosecutor or independent commission is needed to handle investigations into Russia and the Trump administration.”.feedback

Mar 29 2017 - Republican Party

Sensing how pathetic they appear in giving up in only 17 days on a seven-year-old pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, many Republicans are hesitant to admit failure. One of those is, well, President Trump, who days after pulling the GOP health-care bill proclaimed to a group of senators, “I know that we’re all going to make a deal on health care - that’s a very easy one. And I think that’s going to happen very quickly.” Huh?! (Today, White House press secretary Sean Spicer resorted to the it-was-only-a-joke defense.) This is yet another moment when Trump resembles a cringe-worthy relative popping off at a family get-together.feedback

Mar 29 2017 - Nordstrom vs. Trump

Whenever President Trump has run into trouble - be it a gaffe, a policy blunder, a personal scandal - he has gone to his old standby, bashing the media. His adoring base nods with approval as he and his brain trust (e.g. Stephen K. Bannon, Kellyanne Conway) throw grenades at the media as a whole as well as specific individuals who dare cross them (such as April Ryan who - gasp! - shook her head when met with press secretary Sean Spicer’s spin). In the wake of his loss on Trumpcare, it seems he cannot even count on his favorite punching bag to distract very many voters.feedback

Mar 29 2017

Reports such as this one from Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where early voting has begun to replace the seat vacated by now-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, must bring a smile to the faces of Democrats.feedback

Mar 29 2017 - Russian probe

The House Intelligence Committee’s probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including potential ties between the Trump team and the Kremlin, is effectively on hold, after its chairman said the panel would not interview more witnesses until two intelligence chiefs return to Capitol Hill for a still-unscheduled private briefing.feedback

Mar 29 2017 - Iran

At Monday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran there was, given the political environment, rare and welcomed unanimity. Ranking member Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) remarked that although he voted against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran, he doesn’t think it would be wise to withdraw. He continued.feedback

Mar 28 2017 - Supreme Court

In a time of increasing polarization Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is one of the few remaining “centrists.” Speaking from the Senate floor as a centrist and as a veteran of many Supreme Court nominations, she reminded her colleagues of recent history, urging them not to filibuster Judge Neil Gorsuch.feedback

Mar 28 2017

We find it increasingly hard to take Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) seriously these days. At his weekly leadership press appearance he proclaimed.feedback

Mar 28 2017 - CIA

President Trump’s belly-flop on health care may be a single, albeit humiliating defeat, or, Democrats certainly hope, the beginning of a series of catastrophic failures that render him isolated and enfeebled. As former CIA director for President Obama and chief of staff for President Bill Clinton Leon Panetta put it in an NPR interview, “The last thing you want is another loss that makes it that much tougher to be able to govern.” Unfortunately, Trump faces a series of challenges over the next several months and the potential for more losses.feedback

Mar 28 2017 - Trump-Putin

You know things are looking grim for President Trump when he starts tweeting about Hillary Clinton again. Monday evening he sounded trapped and wounded: “Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech.” Well, perhaps it is because she is not president, did not hold back her tax returns, did not constantly cheer for Vladimir Putin, did not hire a host of pro-Putin flunkies and did not have aides who lied about contact with Russian officials.feedback

Mar 28 2017

President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan both want to rewrite the tax code, but their proposals differ on how much tax relief to give the middle class.feedback

Mar 28 2017 - United Nations

Compared with the years during which the Iran nuclear deal was under consideration or the presidential election was raging, this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference had been a tame affair. Politicians of both parties spoke; the latest miraculous Israeli technology was on display. But Vice President Pence gave a bland address, and the most moving speeches before Monday afternoon came on Sunday from a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, followed by the president of Rwanda. Then, on Monday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley showed up.feedback

Mar 27 2017 - United Nations

Sunday began the first national policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee since President Obama left office. It would be an understatement to say that the past eight years were a tension-filled and often acrimonious period in U.S.-Israel relations, between the administration’s hectoring over Israel’s building (inside or outside Jerusalem), a fundamental divide over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (a.k.a. the Iran deal), the president’s and his staff’s harsh public rhetoric and accusations directed toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and last but not least, the administration’s refusal to veto a lopsided United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlement activity. (The last was met with robust, bipartisan criticism of the administration.).feedback

Mar 27 2017 - Trumpcare

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises - such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction - by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.feedback

Mar 27 2017 - Russian probe

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was on his way to an event in Washington late Tuesday when the evening’s plans abruptly changed. After taking a brief phone call, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) swapped cars and slipped away from his staff, congressional officials said. He appears to have used that unaccounted-for stretch of time to review classified intelligence files brought to his attention by sources he has said he will not name.feedback

Mar 27 2017 - Obamacare

As President Trump licked his wounded ego Friday, he told The Post in an interview, “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode.” His Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney, echoed that sentiment on “Meet the Press”.feedback

Mar 27 2017 - Russia

The Post reports on scores of protests in Russia on Sunday over endemic government corruption, followed by mass arrests.feedback

Mar 27 2017 - Obamacare

These guys have no clue how to govern. “White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told a group of House conservatives they had no choice but to back the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill days before the bill was pulled, according to a new report.”.feedback

Mar 26 2017 - SCOTUS

If at one end of the moral spectrum is the superficial, narcissistic president who delights in his own ignorance, then at the other end is Judge Neil Gorsuch, a student of the law and a self-effacing and polite man, who repeatedly asserted in his confirmation hearing last week that judging is not all about him. It’s about the law.feedback

Mar 24 2017 - Republican Party

After some high-fiving, a drink or two and wiping away their tears of joy, Democrats should reflect on what opportunities the GOP health-care fiasco has opened up. President Trump despises failure and will now be famished for a “win.” That gives Democrats the chance to make some deals.feedback

Mar 24 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) avoided total humiliation in wriggling out of the president’s order to take what he knew would be a losing vote on the American Health Care Act. That he had to go, whip list in hand, to the White House, tells us how far he has been reduced in stature by this process.feedback

Mar 24 2017

Today President Trump, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), moderate House Republicans and Freedom Caucus Republicans risk their jobs, their credibility and their agenda. How could this have gone differently, without the potential for political self-immolation? Consider some alternative scenarios.feedback

Mar 24 2017 - Republican Party

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump said he would replace Obamacare with “something terrific.” In February, he assured us he was putting together something “wonderful.” He would cover “everybody,” he said in an interview with The Post. He once bragged that he was the only GOP candidate to promise not to touch Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. He never would give particulars, other than to say he would allow insurers to sell plans across state lines (which has never been feasible since it involves the upfront challenge of setting up a network of doctors).feedback

Mar 24 2017 - Wiretapping

Will he finally learn this time? “House Intelligence Committee Democrats said Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) apologized to them Thursday during a closed-door meeting for his handling of revelations about surveillance that potentially could have been collected about President Trump and his associates during the transition period.”.feedback

Mar 23 2017

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would join with other Democrats in filibustering the nomination — a move that could complicate his confirmation and lead to a total revamp of how the U.S. Senate conducts its business.feedback

Mar 23 2017 - Republican Party

President Trump’s poll numbers, dreadful from the start of his term, have drifted even lower. His rock-solid support from his base has started to crumble.feedback

Mar 23 2017 - Republican Party

The #NeverTrump Republicans warned that by electing a pathologically dishonest, intellectually vapid president, the GOP would soon destroy its own credibility. In just the past 24 hours, we have seen ample proof of that.feedback

Mar 23 2017 - Wiretapping

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday accused U.S. spy agencies of abusing their surveillance powers by gathering and sharing information about President Trump and his transition team, an unproven charge that was quickly embraced by the White House but threatened to derail the committee’s investigation of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia.feedback

Mar 23 2017 - National Security Council

This seems entirely reasonable. “Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday in pressuring the Trump administration to surrender records of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s payments and contacts with foreign officials during the past three years.”.feedback

Mar 22 2017 - Supreme Court

We have reached the part of the Supreme Court justice confirmation hearing when senators are repeating themselves. (In a court of law, the objection would be: “Asked and answered.” Alas, no one can tell a U.S. senator to hush up.) Just as in the confirmation hearings of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch has said everything that can ethically be said about particular matters. Accordingly, the party that did not nominate the judge has grown frustrated and downright cranky. Gorsuch has gone no further than those nominees of President Barack Obama - and certainly than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (“A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case, it would display disdain for the entire judicial process.”).feedback

Mar 22 2017

We have heard the excuses over and over on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s behalf. He’s new at this. He’s getting his feet wet. He’s not used to press scrutiny. Frankly, neither he nor his defenders are helping his cause at this point.feedback

Mar 22 2017 - Supreme Court

In his back-and-forth with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) made an interesting remark concerning President Trump’s attacks on the courts. Blumenthal specifically referenced Trump’s crack about the “so-called” judge who ruled against him and recalled that Trump blamed the courts for any terrorist attack if the Muslim ban was not upheld. Blumenthal said that if a litigant came before Gorsuch, he might entertain a motion for contempt. That is an interesting proposition, one that may come into play and that we will get to in a moment.feedback

Mar 22 2017 - Obamacare

The replacement for Obamacare has been attacked on all sides. Is there an argument for the bill?feedback

Mar 22 2017 - NATO

The symbolism is awful. “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will skip a planned meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers next month, while also arranging a visit to Russia, the State Department said. Mr. Tillerson’s travel schedule, which also revolves around a planned U.S. visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is raising questions at home and abroad as the Trump administration’s intentions toward Moscow and NATO remain under close scrutiny.”.feedback

Mar 21 2017 - Trumpcare

President Trump’s breathtaking lack of interest in or grasp of policy made his appearance on Capitol Hill in favor of Trumpcare pathetically underwhelming. The Post reports.feedback

Mar 21 2017 - Republican Party

No great political acumen or psychology degree is necessary to conclude that President Trump is highly susceptible to flattery. It’s little wonder then that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), desperate to pass GOP health-care reform or at least not be blamed if it fails, keeps talking about what a terrific “closer” Trump is.feedback

Mar 21 2017 - Supreme Court

After hours of speeches from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - some more insightful than others but all long-winded and unnecessary - Judge Neil Gorsuch delivered a humble, folksy opening statement at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. “Ours is a judiciary of honest black polyester, ” he said, making the point that judges are not the leading lights in a democracy but rather occupy a “modest station.” His plain-spoken remarks and humility provided a stark contrast to the senators’ self-indulgent pontificating.feedback

Mar 21 2017 - Republican Party

Hardly a drumbeat for the GOP bill. “A majority of voters say the Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare will be a step back for the country rather than an improvement, according to a new Harvard-Harris Poll survey . . . . The survey found that 51 percent of registered voters view the GOP effort as moving the country backward, while 26 percent say it would be an improvement.”.feedback

Mar 20 2017 - Russia

Ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) hardly rates as a household name. He’s a bit stiff, not your typical glad-handing politician. Nevertheless, with the primacy of the Russia investigation he has become a frequent face on TV news. His effective, precise arguments, delivered largely without hyperbole, are an effective counterpoint to the often hysterical White House utterances.feedback

Mar 20 2017 - NATO

Some of President Trump’s support came from voters who did not agree with him on a number of issues and may not have liked him all that much. But, they reasoned, he was rich and successful so he could help America (and people like them) win. No question but that superficial aura of confidence and business experience Trump conjured up was enough to win over voters who didn’t much listen to the details of what he was saying or focus on his incoherent, a-factual utterances.feedback

Mar 20 2017

President Trump’s budget, like all presidential budget proposals, was supposed to demonstrate his spending priorities. For Trump that meant an increase in defense spending as part of the commitment to enhance U.S. military readiness and capacity. Or did it?feedback

Mar 20 2017 - Fake news

Before FBI Director James B. Comey began his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, President Trump was back, compulsively tweeting - and underscoring the growing perception that his allegation that President Barack Obama had Trump’s “wires tapped” is nonsensical, his attachment to reality fleeting and his concern about Russian interference in the election on his behalf is palpable. He tweeted: “James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” (Interestingly, he limited the denial of collusion to him, POTUS, only.) Certainly, he had been rattled by a parade of Republican lawmakers affirming there was no evidence of wiretapping. He was right to be anxious.feedback

Mar 20 2017 - Trumpcare

If you watch the Sunday shows you’ll quickly see the GOP’s circular reasoning: To drive down insurance premium costs you have to remove the insurance mandates, but that’s not in the bill. It comes later, they say, but their fellow Republicans candidly acknowledge that later means “never.”.feedback

Mar 20 2017 - Iran

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) should hit home President Trump’s supporters. “The bigger problem with this legislation is on the private insurance market. I simply think that it’s not going to work to bring down premiums for working Arkansans and working Americans all across the country.”.feedback

Mar 19 2017 - CIA

1. “The last thing that we should be doing is cutting the budget for biomedical research.”.feedback

Mar 19 2017 - Trumpcare

President Trump is having no success selling the American Health Care Act to voters, according to a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll.feedback

Mar 17 2017 - Republican Party

President Trump signed on to a pair of changes to the House Republican health plan and declared “100 percent” backing for it Friday, moving to consolidate support among GOP lawmakers in hopes of moving it through the House next week.feedback

Mar 17 2017 - Immigration

No issue was more central to President Trump’s campaign - and to Stephen K. Bannon’s world outlook - than demonizing immigrants and slowing the decline (demographically and culturally) of white, Christian America by keeping foreigners out. As one commentator puts it.feedback

Mar 17 2017 - Republican Party

Republicans on the Ways and Means and on the Energy and Commerce committees already have cast votes for the America Health Care Act. In the House Budget Committee, all but three Republicans moved the bill along. Strangely, those who supported it don’t seem all that keen about their votes.feedback

Mar 17 2017

The excuses are weak. “The White House budget requests a $6 billion cut to Housing and Urban Development, which MSNBC reporter Peter Alexander said went against Trump’s promise to urban black voters that he would rebuild the nation’s inner cities. [Office of Management and Budget chief Mick] Mulvaney argued that the cuts to HUD were for money allocated on building new houses, which could be reinserted in a later infrastructure spending bill.” No, homes aren’t infrastructure. Homes are homes.feedback

Mar 16 2017 - American politics

President Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, putting together a collection of evangelical Christian, rural and working-class voters who felt betrayed by government. He was the outsider, agitating for an agenda that did not promote corporate profits at the expense of workers and vowing, for example, to leave entitlements alone. His vision was nativist, nationalist, protectionist and paternalistic. Big government for the little guy, in other words.feedback

Mar 16 2017

President Trump has little appreciation of America’s Constitutional system but he is getting a crash course in checks and balances.feedback

Mar 16 2017 - CIA

Wednesday was arguably the worst day of the Trump presidency - at least since he went to the CIA headquarters to insist his inauguration crowd was bigger than President Obama’s. His second Muslim travel ban was put on hold by another federal judge. His health-care bill is taking on water. In his Michigan appearance he did not even mention it. In Tennessee he seemed intent on getting it behind him. (The Post reported, “Though health-care reform was a major promise of his campaign and a signature pillar of the Republican Party’s platform for most of the last seven years, Trump made it clear Wednesday that he would much rather be dealing with the tax code than with health care, which he recently said ‘nobody knew’ could be so ‘complicated.'”).feedback

Mar 16 2017 - Travel ban

President Trump suffered yet another loss on his Muslim ban when a district court in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order preventing the second version of his executive order from going into effect. The Post reports.feedback

Mar 16 2017 - Trumpcare

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, marking a significant retreat from his earlier position that the carefully crafted legislation would fail if substantially altered.feedback

Mar 16 2017 - Mexican wall

What’s so bad about Trumpism? This: “This is how the [Stephen K.] Bannons and [Rep. Steve] Kings view the modern world: The West is threatened by hordes of swarthy outsiders, especially Mexicans and Muslims, and they are lonely defenders of the white Christian race against this insidious threat. There is no evidence that Trump has given this matter as much thought as they have, but, based on his public pronouncements, he has reached similar conclusions. That helps to explain why the administration is building a border wall, expanding deportations, and trying to keep out citizens of as many Muslim countries as possible. This isn’t about fighting terrorism or crime; it’s about fighting changing demographics. And it’s premised on an unspoken assumption that only white Christians are true Americans; all others are ‘somebody else.’ ”.feedback

Mar 15 2017 - Obamacare

The most critical and consistent argument that Republicans have advanced for their health-care bill is that “Obamacare is failing” or is in a “death spiral.” There are lots of definitions of “failing” (pre-Obamacare health care was “failing” for lots of people, too), but “death spiral” has a specific meaning, namely, that through adverse selection the pool of those insured becomes so expensive that coverage is dropped or becomes hugely expensive. (In other words, the individual mandate isn’t working well enough.).feedback

Mar 15 2017 - American politics

Tomorrow the Republicans’ American Health Care Act goes to the Budget Committee. What looked like another rubber stamp for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s and President Trump’s bill may instead mean the demise of the bill, at least this version of Republican health care. Moreover, a bombshell dropped in a meeting between Senate Republicans and the White House that would surely doom the AHCA.feedback

Mar 15 2017 - Trumpcare

After a few days of horrible news coverage of his health-care plan and his unfounded allegations that President Obama wiretapped him, President Trump’s poll numbers, according to Gallup, hit a new level of awfulness - 55 percent disapprove and 39 percent approve. There is reason to believe the American Health Care Act (or “Trumpcare”) is a significant part of his problem.feedback

Mar 15 2017

President Trump paid $38 million in federal taxes in 2005 on income of $153 million and reported a $105 million write-down in business losses, according to a copy of his tax return first revealed Tuesday night.feedback

Mar 15 2017 - American politics

By my count, six Republicans in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the American Health Care Act in committee before they had the Congressional Budget Office scoring. These were: Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and Leonard Lance . (We cross-checked Clinton districts where the Republican House members won against the votes in the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.) In some cases Clinton won by big margins in these Republicans’ districts. (In Curbelo’s district, she won by more than 16 points; in Paulsen’s by 9.5 points.) One supposes Democrats will put these members at or near the top of their list of incumbent targets in 2018.feedback

Mar 15 2017

Don’t bother them with logical questions. “One of the White House talking points on the American Health Care Act is that it’s the first part of a ‘three-phase plan, ’ something Sean Spicer reiterated. … But Fox’s John Roberts asked him, ‘How are they supposed to take into account something that doesn’t yet exist?’ ”.feedback

Mar 14 2017

If you think politicians should make cogent argument for their proposals, not cherry-pick facts; recognize economic and political realities, not lie about what they and their opponents say; and own up to the defects in their own proposals, you are probably very distressed - or cannot bear to watch the day’s events.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - NATO

There is no comparison between the amount of activity on the domestic front (executive orders, Trumpcare, budget preparation) - however misguided - and foreign policy in the new administration. As for the latter, so far as one can tell, there is virtually no change in approach on Syria (passivity), Iran (continue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), Russia (allow violations of existing agreements, enact no new sanctions) or NATO (commit to mutual defense, ask for more contributions). Promised renegotiation of trade agreements has not begun. A former George W. Bush official observes that “if you think about the JCPOA, sanctions, etc., there is no Iran policy. Why did we do nothing a week ago when the USS Invincible was swarmed by Iranian gunboats - just as Obama did nothing for eight years?”.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - Russia

Democrats have been arguing for weeks that a special prosecutor or independent commission is required to get to the bottom of the metastasizing scandal over President Trump’s and his aides’ connections to Russia. Now they are getting help from Stand Up Republic, a group formed by the independent conservative presidential ticket of Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn. Stand Up Republic is out with a new ad entitled “Sunlight“.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - Trumpcare

The Congressional Budget Office’s bombshell numbers - 24 million fewer insured and big premium hits to President Trump’s base under the GOP’s health-care plan - got the headlines, but two other findings pose big challenges for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is facing the biggest crisis of his speakership and failure on the GOP’s primary issue for 7 years.feedback

Mar 14 2017

The Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act - showing that as many as 24 million people could lose health insurance, Medicaid would be drastically cut and older, poorer Americans would suffer the most - leaves us with a number of questions.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - Republican Party

The Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the American Health Care Act was expected to be bad. It was not, among Republicans, expected to be as bad as it was, and that’s the fault of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who did not properly prepare his members. The GOP defense was haphazard and contradictory. The Post reported.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - Iraq

President Trump’s actions never measure up to his words. “There is a lot more continuity than change in the anti-ISIS campaign. In fact, almost nothing has changed on the battlegrounds in Syria and Iraq since Trump became president. U.S. advisers are now allowed closer to the front lines but this was a decision made by President Obama before he left office.”.feedback

Mar 13 2017 - Republican Party

Overshadowed by the GOP revolt over the House-crafted American Health Care Act, the Senate Republican caucus has begun to distance itself from the House GOP tax reform bill as well. Last week, The Hill reported.feedback

Mar 13 2017

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) press secretary AshLee Strong sent out a lengthy, defensive email Monday morning attempting to rebut the criticism that her boss was trying to jam through a deal.feedback

Mar 13 2017 - Trump administration

President Trump’s decision to fill out his White House staff and leave the rest of the executive branch without leadership tells us a lot about his limited business experience. He’s run a family business, a small one which operates on his gut instincts and impulses. That’s precisely what he recreated in the White House, complete with overlapping power centers where aides duke it out to win his favor. It may not be surprising then that what the Trump administration is lacking is the administration.feedback

Mar 13 2017 - Trumpcare

The House Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare would cost Ohio $19 billion to $26 billion in federal funding for Medicaid over six years, according to an analysis released today by the Center for Community Solutions.feedback

Mar 13 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Not so long ago, President Trump vowed that “everybody” would be covered under the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act. On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price vowed that “nobody will be worse off financially” under the GOP’s American Health Care Act, an assertion so preposterous that it makes President Obama’s “You can keep your doctor” declaration seem trivial.feedback

Mar 13 2017

Obviously! “Sean Hannity ‘does not recognize real journalism.'”.feedback

Mar 12 2017 - Wall Street

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.feedback

Mar 12 2017 - Russia

His soon-to-be-boss Jeff Sessions threw away his own credibility by foolishly misleading the Senate and failing to correct the record on his contacts with Russian officials. By contrast, Rod J. Rosenstein, nominee for deputy attorney general, demonstrated how lawyers serving the public should behave. He pledged to ensure every investigation was conducted “independently ” - that is, free of bias and partisanship. He promised to review whether a special prosecutor would be needed to investigate President Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. However, he appropriately would not prospectively commit to appointing one. He was firm, polite and precise in his testimony, exactly the qualities you would want in a high-ranking Justice Department figure.feedback

Mar 10 2017

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has been out pitching his American Health Care Act and will be going on “Face the Nation” on Sunday as well. He tends to make generic claims, so it’s time to pin him down. Interviewers can start with these questions.feedback

Mar 10 2017 - Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act proceeded from the belief that the government needed to make sure most everyone had access to health-care insurance, meaning that those with preexisting conditions or insufficient income would get help. Once that decision was made, the individual mandate was needed to deal with two problems: the “free-riders” (i.e. people without insurance who would show up in emergency rooms) and, more important, adverse selection. As to the latter, unless insurance companies had enough younger, healthier people in the exchanges who paid premiums and didn’t use much health care, they could not afford to cover the older, sicker people who used a lot of health-care services. It didn’t work out, because people gamed the system (going in and out of the exchanges) and many people simply didn’t sign up, willing to incur the penalty for not buying insurance. Carriers started losing money and then raised premiums or pulled out. The exchanges in some cases were left with a single provider, which naturally raised premiums.feedback

Mar 10 2017

In other words, those who know anything about health care hate it. “Doctors, through the American Medical Association, joined that chorus on Wednesday morning, calling the bill ‘critically flawed.’ Other major players - including seniors advocacy group AARP and health organizations from the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society to the March of Dimes - have also panned the bill.”.feedback

Mar 09 2017 - Immigration

The anti-immigrant vitriol from the troika of President Trump and advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller is increasingly at odds with America’s economic well-being. Pew Research explains.feedback

Mar 09 2017 - NATO

A senior U.S. general on Wednesday accused Russia of deploying a land-based cruise missile in violation of “the spirit and intent” of a nuclear arms treaty and charged that Moscow’s intention is to threaten U.S. facilities in Europe and the NATO alliance.feedback

Mar 09 2017 - Trumpcare

Consider a run-of-the-mill Republican House member - call her Rep. Bland - from a district that went for Hillary Clinton or narrowly for President Trump but generally votes Democratic in presidential races. She is neither a #NeverTrump Republican nor an enthusiastic backer. Bland mostly wants to be a “team player” and not offend Trump’s base but doesn’t go along with all the “crazy stuff.” (Privately she thinks Trump is nuts and fairly dangerous. She would be thrilled if Vice President Pence could have the job instead.) In other words, like many Republicans, Bland is a genial, right-leaning pol who really wants to be reelected.feedback

Mar 09 2017

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.feedback

Mar 09 2017 - Trumpcare

If you had to craft a bill that would be worse for more poor, vulnerable people you would be hard pressed to come up with something to “compete” with the GOP’s American Health Care Act (or Trumpcare or whatever you want to call it).feedback

Mar 09 2017 - Republican Party

With a lot of pretentious talk about the “deconstruction of the administrative state” and political fantasies (tariffs that don’t provoke retaliation, for example), Stephen K. Bannon and President Trump hoped to transform the GOP into an ethno-nationalist, pro-Russia party akin to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the National Front in France and the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (headed by Geert Wilders). We will see how the European counterparts do in elections throughout the year, but so far the Trumpist GOP and its hodgepodge of ill-conceived ideas gleaned from Fox News (with its obsession over illegal immigration for which it provides oodles of incorrect data) have fallen flat.feedback

Mar 09 2017 - Deportation

Voters abandon President Trump on immigration. “Illegal immigrants should be allowed to remain in the U.S. and eventually become citizens, 63 percent of American voters say, the highest level of support for this option since Quinnipiac University began asking the question in 2012. Another 11 percent say illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay, but not become citizens, and 23 percent say they should not be allowed to stay. Only illegal immigrants who have committed a serious crime should be deported, 55 percent of voters say, while 21 percent say deport illegal immigrants who have committed any crime. All illegal immigrants should be deported, 19 percent say, while 3 percent say no immigrants should be deported.”.feedback

Mar 08 2017 - Russia

Two new polls suggest that President Trump’s rhetoric does not conceal how unpopular his actions (or lack thereof) regarding Russia are - and how mired in scandal he has already become.feedback

Mar 08 2017

How do we know that the advantage of living in a city is not merely the result of higher income, more productive people moving to cities? There are three pieces of information which push against the pure selection story that urbanites are just innately better. First, as I’ve mentioned, you can look at migrants — people who move from place to place. While it is true that rural-urban migrants don’t immediately see their wages rise, by five years in the city, they have significantly higher wages than they did before they came. By comparing the same people before and after, we can see something like the true effect of urban location. Second, on observables, including years of education, experience and even I.Q. tests, on the whole urbanites don’t look better than people who don’t live in cities. This can’t rule out selection on unobservables, but it reduces the likelihood of that possibility. Third, if city-dwellers were innately more productive, then we should expect them to earn higher real wages (earnings corrected for housing costs), not just higher nominal wages (take home pay). Yet they typically do not, because city prices offset city wages.feedback

Mar 08 2017

One can imagine a bizarre contest among Republicans as to who can say the most insulting, unhelpful remarks about health-care reform, sure to reinforce the stereotype that Republicans are the party of the rich.feedback

Mar 08 2017

While I was looking at the 2016 presidential election map, one phenomenon stuck in my mind: “The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America’s economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2, 600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country’s output-just a little more than one-third of the nation’s economic activity.” What we are seeing is the rural-vs.-urban divide (more than the coasts vs. the heartland). Trump paints cities as crime-ridden hellholes, overrun by dangerous illegal immigrants. The truth is that cities make us richer and happier.feedback

Mar 08 2017

AARP does not lose many political battles, even when its arguments are weak (e.g. refusing to gradually increase the retirement age despite increases in longevity). When the group has a really good case, well, don’t bet against it, especially in advance of a midterm election in which older voters tend to predominate.feedback

Mar 08 2017 - Trumpcare

Until Tuesday, President Trump and Stephen K. Bannon did a good job of keeping their base happy. They threw out red meat on immigration, ruthlessly attacked the press, cooked up an anti-Barack Obama conspiracy (to replace the birther conspiracy) and continued to talk tough on trade. If his actions and rhetoric horrified all Democrats, most independents, some thinking Republicans and the press, he did not care. Keep the base happy, stick to the nativist, protectionist Bannon hymnal.feedback

Mar 07 2017 - Wiretapping

FBI Director James Comey was “incredulous” over the weekend after President Donald Trump’s allegation via Twitter that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of his phones during the campaign, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.feedback

Mar 07 2017 - Republican Party

Republicans, who now have the majority in both houses as well as control of the White House, are determined, it seems, to repeat every mistake made by the party swept out of power in previous wave elections - and a few more. GOP members fear - because all politicians these days seem to act out of fear - getting on President Trump’s wrong side more than they fear the voters’ ire over their failure to honorably perform their duties. They dismiss the genuine concerns of constituents. Republicans paid for their arrogance in the 2006 midterms, as did Democrats in 2010.feedback

Mar 07 2017 - Protectionism

Conscientious conservatives (there are some, still), libertarians and business interests have struggled to make the intellectual and macro-economic arguments in favor of free trade. Now, perhaps, the time has come to get into the weeds, see which Americans would be hurt by trade protectionism and hold the White House and members of Congress responsible for the harm their protectionist policies would cause.feedback

Mar 07 2017 - Affordable Care Act

The Post reports, “House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies.” However, let’s be clear how little we know — and how little members will know — about what this entails. For example, “it is unclear what the size of the tax credits will be compared to the ACA’s subsidies.” We don’t know whether tax credits “would be restricted to people under a certain income threshold — perhaps $75,000, according to the House member briefed on the plan — or whether the subsidy would taper off after a specific income level but not end entirely.” In what must be the understatement of the year, it seems, “several House Republicans expressed concerns that the committees might start to work on the legislation without a complete fiscal assessment.” That’s putting it generously.feedback

Mar 07 2017

President Trump’s attacks on the international liberal order — from free trade to defense of international sovereignty to democratic values — did not start with him. Ironically, while Trump’s America First attempts to repudiate the foreign policy views of the Obama presidency, operationally and even rhetorically Trump at times resembles the worst aspects of the Obama years.feedback

Mar 07 2017 - Refugees

Like the president, the travel ban becomes more irrational over time: “Refugees generally aren’t a security threat, for example, and it’s unclear whether vetting or visa-issuing procedures in the six remaining targeted countries represent the biggest weakness in our border defenses or ability to prevent terrorism on American soil.”.feedback

Mar 06 2017

President Trump, a raging narcissist attracted to baseless rumors and wacky conspiracy theories, has in Stephen K. Bannon his Iago. Bannon is constantly at Trump’s side, egging him on and feeding on his paranoia. He interprets and reinterprets events to lead Trump by the nose down the road of revengeful conspiratorialism. The Post reports.feedback

Mar 06 2017 - Democratic Party

President Trump was “mad - steaming, raging mad, ” The Post reports. No one was defending his harebrained assertion that President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower. How dare they not defend the indefensible! No Republican seemed to see his allegation as credible or vouch for it on the Sunday talk shows. Mark Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bevy of conservative commentators set out to debunk Trump’s latest lunacy. Then along came former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who said straight out that nothing of the sort had occurred.feedback

Mar 06 2017 - Affordable Care Act

For a time we imagined that the greatest resistance to repealing the Affordable Care Act would come from unified Democrats and moderate Republicans. The latter know that Republicans have been promising for years they have a plan that will provide higher-quality health care with cheaper premiums and without the compulsion of an individual mandate. However, these Republicans now realize what they are offering might in some cases be less generous than what millions enjoy under Obamacare.feedback

Mar 06 2017

The Associated Press’s recent poll on America’s identity reveals a serious and disturbing trend among Republicans. The poll tells us.feedback

Mar 06 2017 - Wiretapping

President Trump opened up a can of worms here. “[I]ntelligence monitoring-whether direct or indirect-of persons connected with a presidential campaign inherently carries a high risk of abuse, and as Congress moves to launch its own inquiries into the Trump campaign’s Russian ties, it would be entirely appropriate to further scrutinize both the FBI’s initial surveillance and applications and the surveillance that was ultimately conducted for any signs of impropriety.”.feedback

Mar 05 2017 - Watergate

President Trump on Saturday angrily accused former president Barack Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap the phones at his Trump Tower headquarters last fall in the run-up to the election.feedback

Mar 05 2017

Liberals are discovering the many admirable qualities of President George W. Bush. His book tour is a hit. The New Yorker gushes over his artistic talent.feedback

Mar 03 2017

Two House Republicans endorsed a Democratic effort on Friday calling on the House and Senate committees with oversight of the Internal Revenue Service to request copies of President Trump’s tax returns.feedback

Mar 03 2017 - American politics

Pressure is growing on Republican leaders to support a special prosecutor to investigate contacts between Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, transition team and Russian intelligence agents.feedback

Mar 03 2017

The House plan calls for a refundable tax credit to help Americans afford insurance premiums, but conservatives in the House and the Senate think it amounts to an expensive new federal entitlement. . . . Conservative Republicans have long opposed refundable tax credits because Americans with lower incomes, who pay less in taxes, receive the full credit even if it exceeds their tax bill. Nonrefundable credits can be used only to offset actual tax liability — but would also mean less money in the pockets of Americans who need help paying for health insurance.feedback

Mar 03 2017

President Trump’s Russia problem becomes more distracting and disturbing each day. Who do we find out today has lied? Who actually did speak to Russian officials? And what about Trump’s finances?feedback

Mar 03 2017

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and 32 other Democrats turn up the heat with a resolution, which declares, “in the absence of express affirmative authorization by Congress, dealings that Donald J. Trump, as President of the United States, may have through his companies with foreign governments or entities owned or controlled by foreign governments [will be regarded] as potential violations of the Emoluments Clause.”.feedback

Mar 02 2017 - Sanctuary cities

While the media kvelled over President Trump’s “tone” in his address to Congress, the centerpiece as it was in the campaign remains a xenophobic, false narrative about immigrants. No subject took up as much time in so many different variations - illegal immigrants, the wall to keep out immigrants, sanctuary cities that conceal immigrants, drugs brought in by immigrants, crime caused immigrants, a special office to help victims of crimes by immigrants. It is fair to say Trump, his base and both Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller are obsessed with the topic.feedback

Mar 02 2017 - Affordable Care Act

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went ballistic - an utterly justifiable reaction - after he said he learned that House Republicans have a draft of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act “under lock & key, in a secure location” and may not have a Congressional Budget Office scoring when a vote takes place. Paul declared in one of a string of tweets that this was “unacceptable.” In other tweets he lambasted the House process. “What is the House leadership trying to hide? My guess is, they are trying to hide their ‘Obamacare Lite’ approach.” In another he tweeted, “I demand the House release the text of the bill. Every elected official & every American deserve to know what they’re trying to do.”.feedback

Mar 02 2017

With Republicans and Democrats calling for him to recuse himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and some Democrats calling for him to resign, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is fighting for his political life and livelihood. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the latest to break ranks. “Attorney General Sessions should recuse himself to ensure public confidence in the Justice Department’s investigation, ” she said in a written statement provided to Right Turn. “He should also clarify his statements to the Judiciary Committee with respect to his communications with the Russian Ambassador.” His ability to conduct the investigation seems fatally damaged, and his own stature as a lawyer is crumbling the longer he stays to spin.feedback

Mar 02 2017

When President Obama delivered State of the Union addresses without a full and detailed discussion of foreign policy, conservatives justifiably complained. We are a country at war, with rising, big power threats in an increasingly unstable world. All true. And yet when President Trump said virtually nothing of substance Tuesday night on national security, conservatives by and large gave him a pass.feedback

Mar 02 2017

The mainstream media had barely caught its second wind after 24 hours of breathless excitement over President Trump’s ability to appear normal, when the facade of sanity and reality began to fray.feedback

Mar 02 2017 - Trumpcare

It’s an up hill climb, certainly. President Trump “faces significant challenges in bringing lawmakers together. First, he needs to bridge differences within his own party on tax policy, health care and other matters. And he will also need support from Senate Democrats to pass much of his agenda, at a time when the party’s base voters are urging resistance.”.feedback

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