Monthly Archives: February 2018

Year of the Dictator

American political and financial elites make catastrophic, self-serving mistakes. Exhibit A is Xi Jinping, China’s newly announced lifetime president. As recently as decade ago, leaders of both U.S. parties and informed commentators were convinced that China would soon converge with the West, as a capitalist democracy, and that easy terms of entry to the World Trade Organization would pave the way. Everyone from Clinton’s economic eminence Robert Rubin to Joe Biden to George W. Bush insisted that China would soon [...]

By | 2018-02-28T16:58:48+00:00 February 28th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

In Proximity of Sin versus #metoo

There is a sexual misconduct/rape case going forward at Yale, which sheds some light on several thorny issues. In this case, a woman wound up very drunk in a fellow student’s dorm room, reported waking up briefly to find him on top of her, tried to push him off to no avail, and in the morning woke up to find herself naked. She decided to go to the authorities with a formal rape complaint rather than just relying on Yale’s Title [...]

By | 2018-02-27T11:51:55+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

Have you noticed that all the great social movements of the past half-century have been led by the young? The sit-ins and freedom rides, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the antiwar movement, the Dump Johnson children’s crusade. Now comes the long-deferred backlash against the lunacy of the NRA, which has held too many Democrats as well as Republicans hostage. And it’s being led by outraged high school students. Once the NRA got captured by absolutists, the gun lobby became adamantly opposed [...]

By | 2018-02-23T16:24:30+00:00 February 23rd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Our thoughts and prayers

One possibly redeeming consequence of the latest massacre of school children is that the scapegoating of mental illness and the parade of politicians who take NRA money expressing “thoughts and prayers” for dead children and grieving parents are wearing thin. It’s time to take over the national narrative. These are not “shooters.” They are domestic terrorists. And this is not about balancing gun rights with other rights. It’s about keeping our children safe. As I suggested the other day in this space discussing [...]

By | 2018-02-20T16:31:46+00:00 February 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ban Entitlements

My friend Drew Westen, author of the classic book on political language, The Political Brain, observes that Republicans run rings around Democrats when it comes to the Orwellian use of political language, and that Democrats often step on their own strengths. For instance, as Westen observes, Democrats should never, ever use the budgetary term entitlementsto describe our two most cherished Democratic programs, Social Security and Medicare. Democrats use the term either because they want to sound like savvy wonks, or out [...]

By | 2018-02-20T16:31:04+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Can you dig this?

Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan is another bait and switch. For starters, it’s dead on arrival, since Congress just concluded a two-year budget deal after massive horse-trading. Legislators are not about to reopen negotiations. It’s bizarre that Trump releases his budget after rather than before this deal. It’s one more sign of his irrelevance. As for the proposed infrastructure plan, it proposes $200 billion of actual federal spending over a decade. The rest is supposed to be private money, [...]

By | 2018-02-12T16:54:38+00:00 February 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Big Short

Poor Trump. He brags on the stock market and then the stock market tanks. Now, it’s made up about half of his losses. I've been waiting for Trump to tweet that Monday’s sickening market slide was the Democrats’ fault. They spooked investors by refusing to approve his wall; or by failing to applaud his State of the Union address; or maybe by threatening his very presidency, the source of everything good in the economy. Trump is implicated in the wildly gyrating [...]

By | 2018-02-12T16:55:08+00:00 February 7th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

What happens next with special counsel Robert Mueller and President Trump?

Clearly, White House Counsel Donald McGahn or his associates were the source of the explosive leak that Trump had directed McGahn to fire Mueller, and that McGahn blocked the move by threatening to resign. But why did McGann choose last week to leak the story of an episode that happened last June? The most obvious explanation is that Trump was again making noises about firing Mueller. If that was the concern, McGahn’s leak worked, with several key Republicans again [...]

By | 2018-02-12T17:16:54+00:00 February 5th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Dreamers and Trump’s Wall

My friend Tom Edsall wrote a very smart column in The New York Timeson Trump’s immigration offer to the Democrats. Edsall quotes a number of political scientists and strategists, but the bottom line is: Take the deal. Trump is offering to more than double the number of number of young people brought here illegally as children who can qualify for citizenship. In exchange, Democrats must support $25 billion for Trump’s wall, as well as his unsavory demands to limit so-called chain migration [...]

By | 2018-02-12T16:03:29+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments