The American Prospect

Mueller's lackluster performance actually increased Democratic support for a full investigation of Trump ⁠— here's how

More than half of the House Democratic Caucus has now come out for impeachment — 118 of 235. Mueller’s testimony, though lackluster in performance, was devastating in detail. As I wrote at the time, the pundits who thought that it had killed impeachment had it backwards.

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Neoliberalism: Political success, economic failure

Since the late 1970s, we’ve had a grand experiment to test the claim that free markets really do work best. This resurrection occurred despite the practical failure of laissez-faire in the 1930s, the resulting humiliation of free-market theory, and the contrasting success of managed capitalism during the three-decade postwar boom.

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‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is a rumination on fake news

Early on the morning of June 13, explosions rocked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. By daybreak, officials in Washington were pointing figures at Iran, which had been accused of recent attacks in the Gulf amid rising tensions with the international community. With many observers skeptical, the American military later that day released a grainy, black-and-white video depicting what they alleged was an Iranian patrol boat pulling an unexploded mine off the side of one of the tankers.

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Why the Democrats need to talk about economics and racism

In their response to President Trump’s racist tweets telling them to “go back to where they came from,” the four female congressional representatives dubbed “The Squad” tried to shift the debate. Instead of battling over whether the tweets and the subsequent “Send Them Back” chant count as racist, and instead of yet another round of media amazement at the president’s bad behavior, the Squad called for renewed attention to policies aimed at addressing inequality. Too many of their Democratic colleagues, however, including most of those running for president, took Trump’s bait, condemning the president and defending the Squad’s honor as citizens and women of color.

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How deregulation led to the opioid epidemic

The opioid abuse epidemic is one of the worst public-health crises in American history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2017, almost 400,000 people died in the U.S. from an overdose of either prescription or illicit opioids. In 2017 alone, opioids, more than one-third involving prescriptions, killed more than 47,000 individuals. And today, on average 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses.

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Kamala Harris' fake Medicare for All plan

In the extensive jousting over Medicare for All, Kamala Harris has evaded scrutiny for the most insidious aspect of her plan: It significantly expands for-profit insurance at the expense of true Medicare by promoting more use of commercial products spuriously known as “Medicare Advantage” and calling that a version of Medicare for All.

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CNN's Democratic debate was an inevitable by-product of turning news into an entertainment and cultural product

Everyone working for CNN should walk into network president Jeff Zucker’s office and resign en masse on Wednesday morning. A “debate” that spent its opening 25 minutes less efficiently than a Super Bowl pre-game show got dramatically worse as the actual questions got started. Jake Tapper then delivered instructions, warning the candidates not to go over time after CNN saw fit to run the national anthem and then a commercial break after the scheduled start time. The only ones wasting time on debate night would be CNN.

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Here's what you need to know about the people writing 2020 candidates' policies

The 2020 presidential campaign has been notable for its focus on policy (Thanks, Senator Warren!), with candidates drawing distinctions through plans and proposals. But we should reserve at least some thought for the backgrounds of the advisers helping candidates construct the policies. Campaigns often turn to experts in various fields, as well as a network of policy advisers with whom they feel comfortable, and these are the people a victorious candidate usually hires for their cabinet, too.

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This is the most plausible path to Medicare for All

It is indeed possible to get to universal coverage under the auspices of Medicare, without bankrupting the public treasury or increasing net costs to the middle class. And the coverage would be better, more reliable, and more cost-effective than even the best insurance that people now get from their employers.

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Democrats must reframe 2020 around Trump’s corruption

The path to defeating Donald Trump next November, in my opinion, does not lie in foreboding warnings of an imminent economic washout. It lies in connecting the corruption at the heart of the family occupying the White House to the broader economy, and showing how this rigged system confines the spoils of growth to those wealthy and connected enough to get in line for the payoff, while everyone else treads water.

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Why Democrats shouldn't pick one of those many senators for VP

Over the next two nights, we’ll see seven Democratic senators (counting Bernie Sanders as the Democrat he effectively is) on the debate stage. Not all of them, of course, are really running for president. The more obscure, the non-frontrunners, may have calculated that the exposure they are getting will set them up for a vice-presidential nod. (Some of the other candidates now polling at one percent appear to be running for a post on the level of deputy assistant secretary for Horseshoeing in the Department of Commerce.) Senators Michel Bennett, Kirsten Gilllibrand, and Amy Klobuchar might well have had Joe Biden’s old job in mind when they declared their candidacies.

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As Charles Koch cultivates anti-war image, Koch industries profits from defense contracts

Libertarian billionaire industrialist Charles Koch has gone to great lengths to paint himself as an anti-interventionist. He has funded foreign policy-focused think tanks and university centers such as the conflict-averse Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University and the Notre Dame International Security Center, which is directed by anti-NATO professor Michael Desch.

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Republicans just proved deficits don’t matter: 'No politician ever lost office for spending more money'

No politician (has) ever lost office for spending more money.” Donald Trump reportedly relayed this message from Mitch McConnell to his staff recently, and you can see that philosophy at work in the two-year budget deal he just struck with Congress.

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Is Trump really on track to win re-election?

There has been a lot of political talk and pollster analysis lately suggesting that Donald Trump has a clear path to re-election. The usually estimable Nate Cohn in The New York Times pointed to numbers showing Trump’s popularity among his base in the Midwest. Cohn speculated that high turnout could allow Trump to win key states like Wisconsin and Michigan once again, and maybe flip states that Hillary Clinton narrowly carried such as Minnesota.

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Why did the first humans to set foot off Planet Earth plant the flag of only part of Planet Earth?

On July 20, 1979, the tenth anniversary of Apollo 11, a Cincinnati reporter asked Neil Armstrong how he felt saluting the American flag from the surface of the moon. “I suppose you're thinking about pride and patriotism,” he replied. “But we didn't have a strong nationalistic feeling at that time. We felt more that it was a venture of all mankind."

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Can the Democrats define their own cause — or will Trump define it for them?

Until Donald Trump’s tweet tirade against the “Squad,” I was getting pessimistic about the chances that Democrats could overcome their divisions for the 2020 election. Now, at least for the moment, Trump has solved that problem—nothing unifies Democrats better than a racist and xenophobic attack. But I’m even more concerned about how Trump continues to dominate the framing of America’s choices in 2020.

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Donald Trump's race-based 2020 re-election campaign

Donald Trump does not play 12-dimensional chess. He does not say or do outrageous things out of a shrewd and carefully constructed strategy to distract you from some other outrageous thing he’s saying or doing. When he makes you appalled, more likely than not it’s because he demonstrated his true beliefs and feelings, whether it benefits him politically or not.

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Putting the Con in Foxconn Wisconsin: How Commercial Studies Have Justified the Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Corporations

This summer, the roar of bulldozers replaced the sound of tractors over thousands of agricultural acres outside of Racine in southeastern Wisconsin. Road, water, and electricity infrastructure construction was well under way for a new industrial complex for Foxconn, the Taiwan-based technology giant. In the project’s master plan, Foxconn will eventually own 4.5 square miles of once-prime Wisconsin farmland, an expanse about a fourth the size of the city limits of nearby Racine, population 77,000. The main 24-inch water main will have the capacity to deliver more than 20 million gallons a day of high-quality Great Lakes water (home to 21 percent of the world's remaining supply), although initial usage has been promised to be much less. Foxconn has pledged to be good environmental stewards, even as Wisconsin has waived many of its basic environmental regulations in order to expedite the project.

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Forget the Deep State -- This Is the Trump State

Periodically over the last year and a half we've had cause to ask ourselves, "Is this it? Is this the moment we've been dreading and warning about? When Donald Trump truly becomes the kind of president he keeps telling us he wants to be?"

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Why 21st Social Movements Are Very Different from the Last Century

In mid-March, a Canadian alliance of First Nation tribes led protests in British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This action followed other indigenous protests in Canada and the United States over the past few years, over Keystone XL, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the Bayou Bridge. One of the most widely covered of these protests, the anti-DAPL demonstrations at Standing Rock, was led by the Standing Rock Sioux, which unfolded in tandem with their lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers. Under President Obama, the Corps finally denied an easement for the construction of the pipeline. With little apparent care for the Sioux’s concerns, President Trump promptly reversed that move.

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The Federal Government's Secret War on Black Activists

Eight months ago, the images of a white mob in Charlottesville rallying around Confederate statues landed on our front pages and in our news feeds. Even the most cynical readers were shocked by the incident. Despite the terror and racism that fueled that moment—one that ended in a murder—it is Black protesters, not white supremacists, who are the targets of a campaign of surveillance and intimidation that’s gaining strength in the federal government.

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What the Teacher Strikes Mean

Around seven years ago, I had a standard wisecrack to explain the standing of workers in the world’s two dominant economies: “China has strikes but no unions; America has unions but no strikes.”

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Students Have Transformed the American Gun Debate

Every social movement in history has been greeted by "concern trolls," long before that term was invented. You're doing it wrong, activists are inevitably told. You're asking for too much too quickly, or your message should be more specific. You don't understand the issue deeply enough, or you're getting lost in the weeds. You've got the wrong spokespeople. You're being rude. Your tactics are alienating those you're trying to persuade. This is never going to work.

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The Students Who Hosted the D.C. March for Our Lives - and Became Political Activists in the Process

Downtown Washington, D.C., was still rather empty by 8 a.m. when DC-Area Teens Action marchers arrived. The sun had barely risen, the temperature was in the thirties, and many of the members hadn’t slept much in the past few days, but the teens’ excitement was palpable as they walked down Connecticut Avenue toward the White House.  

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Women and American Politics: Another Great Awakening?

In the days following the upset victory of Democratic candidate Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, journalists and pundits searched for reasons why his GOP opponent, Rick Saccone, lost in a cluster of southwestern counties that Donald Trump had carried by 20 points. While many saw the race as a bellwether of Trump’s waning popularity, others zeroed in on the personal qualities and positions of the two men, and some pointed to the role of labor unions in a heavily working-class region. For these latter analysts, union support was more or less synonymous with the grassroots, but what was missing in this equation was the impact of newly-formed women’s networks in the Pittsburgh suburbs whose members fanned out not only in their own neighborhoods but in the rural areas where support for Trump had once been strongest. As one GOP voter told The New York Times, “if it wasn’t Lamb yard signs, it was his supporters knocking on doors.” Many of the doorknockers belonged to those networks of women.

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Workers Claim Victory Against 'Tip-Stealing' Rule

After a number of decidedly anti-labor appointments to top positions in the Trump administration’s Department of Labor, it was clear that big business would be a major player in the department’s activities. Indeed, last December, with support from the National Restaurant Association, the department proposed a “tip pooling” rule that would allow employers to control workers’ tips, including taking them for themselves.

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Republicans Prioritize Airline Employees' Poor Judgment With Pets Over Young People Dying From Gun Violence

On a day when American students and their supporters marched to demand stricter gun laws and to memorialize 17 people brutally killed at a Florida high school, the news broke that Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana intended to file an animal protection bill. The move came about 48 hours after the death of 10-month old puppy on a Houston to New York flight after United Airlines employees forced the owners to put the animal in an overhead bin.

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We Are Watching a Working-Class Revolt in West Virginia

Sometimes, working people push back.

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West Virginia Teachers Win - Will the Legislature Try to Undercut Their Victory?

The West Virginia teachers’ strike, which had become the longest in the state’s history at nine days, ended Tuesday with a deal to increase the pay of teachers as well as all state employees by 5 percent. (Previously, union leaders had struck a deal for a 5 percent pay raise of teachers with only a 3 percent raise for state employees. With the Republican state Senate initially balking at the deal, rank-and-file teachers were rightfully skeptical that the legislature would agree to the raise, and continued striking.) The increasing costs of the teachers’ health insurance was another driver of the strike; Republican Governor Jim Justice has promised to set up a task force to look at the state’s program.

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Planned Parenthood Launches $20 Million Midterm Election Campaign

On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood announced a plan to invest $20 million in the 2018 midterm elections, the organization’s largest midterm campaign effort yet.

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