Elias Esquith

Why Paul Krugman's Attacks on Bernie Sanders Miss the Mark

Now that the outcome of the primary seems considerably less up in the air than it did a month ago, the fight Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign inspired between the Democratic Party’s self-styled populists and its wonks — Paul Krugman chief among them — has lost much of its urgency.

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“A Turning Point for Obama”: How the President Learned to Love the National Security State

One of the great mysteries — and ongoing controversies — of the Barack Obama presidency has to do with his record on civil liberties and counter-terrorism. In fact, for many former supporters of the president, it’s the alleged continuities between the anti-terror policies of Obama and Bush that first caused them to rescind their support for the former. Charges that Obama is worse than Bush, because he legitimized and gave bipartisan cover to that which was once seen as radical and divisive, are not uncommon.

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The GOP Congress Is a Raging Dumpster Fire With No End In Sight

From almost the very moment Republicans assumed control of the House of Representatives, the institution, along with Congress in general, has been an absolute mess. Yet despite having spent much of the past five years setting new precedents for dysfunction and sclerosis, it wasn’t until Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s shocking withdrawal from the race to be speaker that House GOPers truly hit “rock bottom.” And perhaps most remarkably of all, this mess is liable to get worse before it gets any better.

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Plutocrats Have Captured It All: How Sheldon Adelson Shows the Need for Campaign Finance Reform

If we were to keep a running tally of every way the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has weakened American democracy, we’d probably soon find the task to be overwhelming. And because there are so many examples to choose from, it’s unlikely that any two lists would be identical. You may see “dark money,” for example, as Justice Kennedy’s ugliest creation. But I’d adopt a different perspective; I’d put casino magnate and GOP mega-donor “Sheldon Adelson” at the very top of my list.

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Why Jeb Bush is Losing

With polls showing Donald Trump in a better position than ever, and with the next presidential debate still nearly a month away, now appears to be the summer of the Republican Party donor class’ discontent.

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Plutocrats Torched the Economy: Our New Gilded Age and the Hollowing Out of America’s Middle Class

You may recall how in 2013 — and then again in 2015 — President Obama tried to give his economic vision a snazzy name, something to compete with “trickle-down economics” in terms of memorability and pith. What he came up with, and has stuck with since, is “middle-out economics,” or sometimes “middle-class economics,” which is supposed to communicate his and the Democratic Party’s commitment to seeing the middle class — and not the 1 percent — as the true fount of economic growth.

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Austerity Is 'Complete Horsesh*t': Ivy League Prof Dismantles the Conservative Lie

As devoted readers of Paul Krugman know well, there’s plenty of evidence from the last six years indicating that austerity, the idea that the government can best boost the economy by engaging in significant tax cuts as well as spending cuts, simply doesn’t work — at least not in today’s economic conditions. With the U.S. going through a period of significant GDP growth, a decrease in the unemployment rate and a falling deficit, it’s a lesson that holds less salience today than it did in years past. But in the eurozone economy, the application of “expansionary austerity” has been vigorous — and rather unsuccessful.

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Chris Rock's Inequality Bombshell: Why Aren't Poor People Rioting?

I’ve already written a bit about Chris Rock’s must-read interview with Frank Rich and, as much as I enjoy the comedian’s work, I didn’t expect to be returning to it quite so soon. But although Rock’s comments on racism initially drew the most attention, a recent studyfrom Gregory Clark, a researcher at University of California, Davis, has got me thinking that the comedian’s most insightful (and potentially radical) statement came earlier in the interview, during a brief digression about inequality. “Oh, people don’t even know,” he said, responding to Rich’s claim that class was still “the elephant in the room” of American politics. “If poor people knew how rich rich people are,” he continued, “there would be riots in the streets.”

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