Jacob Sugarman

Nancy Pelosi is not on our side

Do as I say, not as I do, never publicly criticize the so-called “Blue Dogs” in the Democratic caucus, no matter how egregious their positions, and if you have a problem, take it up with Maureen Dowd. Increasingly, that appears to be the ethos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose attitude toward her party’s progressives has devolved from one of weary tolerance to outright disdain, political and generational.

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'There is a strategy': Noam Chomsky dismantles the Trump-McConnell Republican party 'con game'

Even for Donald Trump, the remarks were almost staggering in their density. Last month, in an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Western liberalism has “outlived its purpose,” adding that “it has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.” When asked during the G20 summit in Osaka if he agreed, Trump offered this gleaming ruby: “[Putin] sees what’s going on—I guess if you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco and a couple of other cities, which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people. I don’t know what they’re thinking.”

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Can socialism save US democracy?

It was all but a formal declaration of his re-election strategy. “Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” President Donald Trump bellowed during his State of the Union address in February. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that this will never be a socialist country.” (It should be noted that the line earned applause from several congressional Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.)

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Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to radically reform the Pentagon

Elizabeth Warren has likely heard the criticism. On Wednesday, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 Democratic hopeful issued a call for U.S. armed forces to go green—one that earned the ire of progressives like Naomi Klein for its failure to grapple with the size of America’s military industrial complex. On Thursday, she unveiled a proposal that appears to address these concerns, at least in part.

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2020 Democratic hopefuls are silent on Gaza — and it's deafening

Israel reached a ceasefire with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip this week after several days of fighting left four Israelis and 25 Palestinians dead, including two pregnant women and a one-year-old child. Yet as of this writing, just three Democratic candidates for president have elected to weigh in on the violence—two of them in defense of Israel, according to Haaretz. Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, who is running an expressly anti-war campaign and whose social media is being managed by a group of teenage students, has offered the lone voice of support for Palestine.

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Chelsea Manning has sacrificed everything twice

Few can endure the mental anguish of solitary confinement, or what prisons more insidiously refer to as “administrative segregation.” Fewer still can endure multiple stretches of “ad seg” occurring months and years apart. Former United Nations expert Juan Mendez has said that such detention can amount to torture, yet that’s precisely what whistleblower Chelsea Manning has braved in her pursuit of transparency and justice.

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They're back: Here's how the neocons are regaining power in Trump's America

In December, after a 23-year run that saw it perpetuate the Bush administration lie that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction and breathlessly champion the ensuing war in Iraq, The Weekly Standard released its final issue. Two years removed from Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, one might be forgiven for having concluded the publication’s demise sounded the final death knell of neoconservatism—an ideology that has been roundly defeated at the polls and appears to lack even a constituency, the ubiquity of Bill Kristol on cable news notwithstanding.

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Naomi Klein Explains How the GOP's 'Increasingly Savage Racial and Gender Politics' Will Lead to an Insidious New Era of Capitalism

When Nikki Haley resigned this week as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, seemingly the political press’ first question was whether Donald Trump would name his daughter Ivanka as her replacement. Trump did little to discourage this speculation. “[It’s] nothing to do with nepotism,” he told reporters at the White House, barely concealing a smile. “But I want to tell you that the people that know, know that Ivanka would be dynamite.”

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Noam Chomsky: Facebook and Google Pose a Manifest Danger

In “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media”(1988), authors Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky identified what they called the “five filters of editorial bias”: Size, Ownership and Profit Orientation; the Advertising License to Do Business; Sourcing Mass Media News; Flak and the Enforcers; and Anti-Communism.

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Has Donald Trump Made the World Less Safe for Jews?

Earlier this month, a lifetime ago in the Trump administration, an art dealer named Todd Brassner burned to death in a fire at Trump Tower. (The building did not have a sprinkler system on its residential floors because its eponymous owner refused to install one, citing its prohibitive cost). According to the New York Daily News, real estate mogul Trump was less than enamored of Brassner, reportedly referring to his tenant as "that crazy Jew." The scandal barely registered with the American public, but it offered yet another reminder that the Oval Office is still oozing with anti-Semitism, even after the departures of white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

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Paul Krugman: Donald Trump Is Just Terrible at This

You knew it was coming. In a fit of pique Thursday, Donald Trump threatened to triple tariffs on Chinese goods, the latest in a series of provocations that could land the United States in an all-out trade war. The move is almost guaranteed to backfire, but then the president has never let empirical data or common sense dictate his decision-making. As Paul Krugman writes in his Thursday column, Trump is just terrible at this whole governing thing. 

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Sinclair Management Is Making Its Employees Downright Miserable: Report

Sinclair Broadcasting employees worry they're being surveilled and that management could seek retribution against them, according to a new report by the HuffPost's Eliot Nelson. Sinclair has come under scrutiny this week after it was revealed the right-wing telecommunications company forced its local television anchors to read a promo to viewers denouncing the proliferation of "fake news"—a message that effectively amounted to propaganda for the Trump administration. While a handful of Sinclair television personalities have protested, the majority have stood by in silence, fearful that any form of criticism might cost them their jobs. 

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We Have Bill Clinton to Thank in Part for Trump's Propaganda Machine

If you spent any time on social media over the weekend, you've probably seen it by now. On Saturday, Deadspin's Timothy Burke published a supercut of news anchors for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group reciting a distinctly Trumpian promo. "We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country," each of them intoned. "The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories, stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.'"

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Paul Krugman Reveals an Unsettling Truth About Trump's Taste for TV Stars

Earlier this week, Donald Trump called supporter Roseanne Barr to personally congratulate the actress on the "huge" ratings for the revival of her show, "Roseanne." For any other president, it would have been a bizarre gesture, but for Trump it made perfect sense. As Paul Krugman argues in his Thursday column, the former host of "The Apprentice" treats his entire presidency as one giant television spectacle. "Unfortunately," Krugman writes, "what looks good on TV isn't necessarily good for the America, or the world."

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Do Trump's Voters Even Care If the President Is a Criminal?

Earlier this month, the Democracy Fund voter Study Group released an astonishing report. While an overwhelming majority of Americans favor a constitutional democracy, 32 percent of Trump voters would prefer a "strong leader" who doesn't have to answer to Congress or a body politic. "The highest levels of support for authoritarian leadership," the Study Group concluded, "come from those who are disaffected, disengaged from politics, deeply distrustful of experts, culturally conservative, and have negative views toward racial minorities."

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Mitt Romney Is Living Proof There Are No Decent Republicans

When Mitt Romney launched his bid for Orrin Hatch's Utah Senate seat last month, a small coterie of conservatives could hardly contain their elation. In Romney, they convinced themselves, they'd have a Republican who would stand up to the president and reassert the party's family values. "Mitt Romney [is] a decent, honorable person," the Daily Beast's Matt Lewis wrote at the time. "It turns out, that’s about all you can ask for these days."

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The Congressional Map Is Even More Rigged in Favor of Republicans Than You Realize

The chatter began in earnest after Ralph Northam's blowout win in the Virginia gubernatorial race, and has only grown louder since Doug Jones' and Conor Lamb's upset victories in Alabama and Pennsylvania, respectively. This November, the political media class has determined, is going to be a wave election for the Democratic Party.

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Paul Krugman: Donald Trump Is Banging the Drum for War

Donald Trump is banging the drum for war. On Thursday, the president replaced H.R. McMaster as national security adviser with John Bolton, an Islamophobic ultrahawk who has called for pre-emptive strikes on North Korea and Iran, among other nations. Catastrophic as the appointment would appear, Trump has already kicked off a conflict with China, not to mention some of the United States' closest allies. As Paul Krugman writes in his Thursday column, "trade wars are rarely good, and not at all easy to win—especially if you have no idea what you’re doing. And boy, do these people not know what they’re doing."

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Does the Right Want to Do Away with the Humanities Altogether?

Since the turn of the 20th century, the University of Wisconsin has embarked on a "search for truth" in order to "serve and stimulate society." This philosophy is known as the Wisconsin Idea, and it's literally written into the state code. (The progressive governor and senator Robert M. La Follette Sr. was among its greatest champions). During budget negotiations in 2015, however, Republican Governor Scott Walker attempted to purge this language from the university's mission statement. No longer would the school "improve the human condition"; instead it would simply "meet the state's workforce needs."

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Paul Krugman: Republicans' Poisonous Policies Are Finally Catching Up with Them

The news isn't all promising for Democrats. Republicans control all three branches of government, and thanks to congressional gerrymandering, they stand to maintain their majorities in the House and Senate this November, barring a blue tsunami. Still, Conor Lamb's triumph in a district Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016 cannot easily be dismissed. For Paul Krugman, it's an indication Americans are finally wising up not only to the corruption of this administration, but to the destructive policies of the GOP.

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6 Reasons We Should All Hope Trump Doesn't Add John Bolton to His Cabinet

Earlier this week, Donald Trump tapped a charter member of the Tea Party to lead the State Department and an established torturer to head the CIA. Both appointments were perfectly monstrous, but if there is a governing law of this administration, it's that things can always get worse. Consider the president's rumored replacement for national security adviser H.R. McMaster: According to multiple outlets, Trump has met with John Bolton at the White House and could offer him the position as early as next week. 

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Donald Trump Has an Accused Cult Leader Proselytizing on His Behalf

Eight years ago, Barbara Weed returned to her South Leamington home in the U.K. to find a message from her son, Tom. He was moving in with a friend, he informed her, and she shouldn't try to contact him. Weed hasn't had direct contact with her son since, and knows only that he's living in a foreign country. 

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Paul Krugman: Trump Could Unravel One of FDR's Signature Achievements

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich bragged that Republicans would finally dismantle what's left of the "Franklin Delano Roosevelt model" of governance. More than a year later, they're well on their way to succeeding, having passed a comprehensive tax bill redistributing the nation's wealth from the bottom to the top and all but decimating the Affordable Care Act in the process. Now Trump is threatening to scrap one of FDR's signature achievements: reciprocal trade policy.

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Will Trump Help Saudi Arabia Become a Nuclear Power?

The House of Saud is angling for approval on a new nuclear power program, and Donald Trump just might grant it.

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Mick Mulvaney Bids Gary Cohn Farewell with an Anti-Semitic Dog Whistle

Months after watching Donald Trump praise some of the white nationalists in Charlottesville as "very good people," Gary Cohn resigned as chief economic adviser Tuesday, deciding the president's newly declared tariffs on steel and aluminum were his red line. That evening, Director of the Office of Budget and Management Mick Mulvaney thanked Cohn for his service as only a member of the Trump administration could: with an anti-Semitic dog whistle.

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Paul Krugman Has a Brutal Message for American Taxpayers

Last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) came under fire for celebrating the $1.50 weekly raise a public school secretary stands to gain from the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Ryan's outrageous statement is even more preposterous if you actually crunch the numbers. As Paul Krugman writes in his Thursday column, "How’s that $75-a-year saving going to look when the [secretary] finds out that, partly because of that tax cut, her mother’s Medicare plan has been converted into an inadequate voucher system and Medicaid won’t pay for her father’s nursing home care?"

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Is Donald Trump Fueling a Mass Extinction of Democracy Across the Planet?

Earlier this week, during a freewheeling speech to Republican donors at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump cracked the following joke about Chinese leader Xi Jinping: "He's now president for life. President for life. No, he's great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday."

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The New York Times Newsroom Is Openly Revolting Against Its Editorial Page Editor

Since Donald Trump was elected president, the New York Times editorial page has waged a frontal assault on its readers' intelligence. Just this month, it has published pieces defending Woody Allen and Aziz Ansari against allegations of sexual abuse, and another scolding liberals for not being sufficiently respectful of gun owners in the wake of the latest mass shooting. In between, the paper hired and fired its leading commentator on technology after learning she counts a prominent neo-Nazi among her close friends.

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Paul Krugman: The GOP Is Waging War on Community Itself

Donald Trump has proposed arming as many as 40 percent of American teachers, yet somehow his isn't the most ghoulish response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. That distinction belongs to right-wing personalities like NRA board member Ted Nugent and former Republican Congressman Jack Kingston, who claim the school's teen survivors-cum-activists are actually "crisis actors" promoting a leftist agenda.

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Disney Inadvertently Exposes Trump's Tax Cut for the Scam It's Been from the Start

When Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, he touted the legislation as a financial boon for American labor. As recently as January, Trump pointed to $1,000 bonuses for employees that American Airlines, AT&T and Disney have announced as proof corporations would reinvest the billions of dollars they stand to save in their respective workforces. But if the president has offered a vision of how tax cuts for multinational corporations might operate in theory, an unfair labor practice complaint filed Tuesday reveals how they work in practice. 

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Paul Krugman: The Bad Faith of Republicans Is Endless

Earlier this week, the Trump administration released a $4.4 trillion budget proposal that calls for a massive increase in military spending along with cuts to programs for food stamps and basic school safety, among other essential social services. The proposal would also blow up the federal deficit over the next decade, but of course Republicans have never been the fiscal hawks they claim to be. As Paul Krugman writes in his Friday column, the GOP consistently operates in bad faith, "pretending to care about things it doesn't, pretending to serve goals that are the opposite of its actual intentions."

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