Monthly Archives: May 2018

America as the Hope of the World

I’m traveling in Europe. And despite the fact that neoliberal governments caused the financial collapse and the economic fallout and political backlash, one looks in vain for a left-wing government. Mostly, the protest goes far-right. The reason is that the “center-left” governments of the 1990s bought into the hyper-globalism of that era. So when it crashed, their fingerprints were all over the collapse. Angry citizens looking for a global opposition party to the Party of Davos could not find [...]

By |2018-05-31T13:56:52-04:00May 31st, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|1 Comment

How to Screw Up Trade Policy

After Donald Trump was elected, some progressives harbored the hope that he might make a partial constructive difference on trade. At least he recognized that China’s state capitalism was predatory on the system and on American industry and jobs. At least he recognized that NAFTA hadn’t lived up to billing, and that it mattered whether the United States retained more manufacturing. Yes, some of his gambits were mere stunts, but this was a welcome acknowledgment. Silly progressives. This set [...]

By |2018-05-25T17:22:22-04:00May 25th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Jobs, Income, and the Dems

Want a preview of the next great debate dividing progressives? (Or if we are lucky, uniting them.) We need to stress jobs and income, right? The average voter knows that the economy is doing well—on average—but life prospects are still lousy for regular people, especially young people, especially young people without well-off parents and a family welfare state. What to do? Well, in the first ring of the progressive circus we have Guaranteed Jobs, a favorite among some progressive advocates: The government [...]

By |2018-05-23T16:35:00-04:00May 23rd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Felons’ Rights for Republican Thugs

One of the issues dividing Democrats from Republicans is the question of whether former felons should ever lose their voting rights, or get them back once they have served their time. Republicans regularly oppose this. It’s one way of holding down voting by demographic groups such as African-Americans who are disproportionately savaged by the criminal justice system—voters who might support Democrats. Currently, there are 13 states, all of them in the Deep South or heavily Republican areas of the [...]

By |2018-05-21T16:05:54-04:00May 21st, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

It’s Impeachment, Stupid

Rudy Giuliani, in his role as Trump’s lawyer, has been crowing about an unconfirmed conversation in which Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team supposedly said that an impeachment would have to come before any indictment of the president. In the upside-down world of the Trump defense, this is presented as a victory. To paraphrase the Greek general Pyrrhus, one more such victory and Trump is finished. The end game of this presidency has always been impeachment. An indictment after the [...]

By |2018-05-18T18:33:19-04:00May 18th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump’s Selling Out His Country for Personal Gain Continues

When the news broke that President Donald Trump was chiding the Commerce Department for sanctioning a Chinese tech company, ZTE, everything about the move was puzzling. ZTE epitomized why the Trump administration was taking a harder line against Beijing. ZTE sold products containing U.S. products to Korea and Iran, and then tried to cover it up. The FCC has prohibited U.S. carriers from buying equipment made by ZTE, for fear of hidden “back doors” that could spy or introduce [...]

By |2018-05-16T16:31:35-04:00May 16th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Too Normal

I had one of those “aha” experiences over the weekend. My wonderful nephew, Ben, graduated from medical school. To be precise, he graduated from the medical school of the University of South Carolina, in the state capital, Columbia. The ceremony was lovely. Some 85 med students who had worked their hearts out for four years got accolades from teachers. The commencement speaker hit just the right notes. The locals were friendly, and the food was superb. It was as [...]

By |2018-05-14T16:20:18-04:00May 14th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Homage to Stormy

It is somehow fitting that the indignation of a wronged porn star could lead to the final undoing of Donald Trump. Despite the growing power of the #MeToo movement, and the falling of predatory male icons across the political spectrum, the Predator-in-Chief has gotten away with it—until now. As Deep Throat (whose nickname is now somehow doubly fitting) famously counseled, follow the money. So if we follow the money, Stormy’s rage against Trump and his fixer, Michael Cohen, has [...]

By |2018-05-10T18:25:46-04:00May 10th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump, Kerry, Korea, and the Logan Act

One of the possible charges against disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and quite possibly against Trump himself is that they violated the Logan Act. That’s the statute that dates to the early years of the Republic, making it a crime for a private citizen to attempt to conduct foreign policy, specifically to “influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government” in a dispute with the United States or “to defeat the measures of the United States.” It’s painfully [...]

By |2018-05-07T23:38:46-04:00May 7th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave

The problem with serial lies is that it becomes hard to keep them straight. Add to that a compulsive liar with a short attention span and a penchant for impulsive outbursts, and you have a first-class challenge. Especially when that serial liar happens to be under criminal investigation by prosecutors who, unlike their target, are experts at keeping facts straight. Exhibit A is Stormy Daniels. First Trump denied knowing anything about the $130,000 hush money, and his hapless, lapdog [...]

By |2018-05-04T18:34:11-04:00May 4th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments