Monthly Archives: July 2019

About That Medicare-for-All Food Fight

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. Today’s employer-provided insurance is riddled with deductibles, co-pays, denials of reimbursement, limits on which doctor or hospital you can use, and losses of insurance when you change jobs. Sanders [...]

By |2019-07-31T22:26:29-04:00July 31st, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Idiocy of Campaign Coverage

Please excuse this rant. Today’s offender is, once again, the best of the mainstream media, The New York Times. Exhibit A: Front page, Sunday piece on Kamala Harris. Print Headline: “Pragmatism, not Ideology, Defines Harris.” OK, for starters, this is a completely false framing. There is no such thing as a politician without an ideology, though there are plenty of politicians who try to duck or fudge where they stand. The Harris piece takes up more than a page in [...]

By |2019-07-29T12:30:08-04:00July 29th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Mueller, Impeachment, the Media, and the Democrats

The takeaway from Mueller’s testimony keeps changing by the hour. After the huge build-up, the initial reaction was gloating in the Trump/Fox camp, deep disappointment among many Democrats, and a pile-on by the press. Mueller looked like a tired old man with his best years behind him, inclined to temporize when asked merely to confirm the multiple crimes laid out in his report. “Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster,” tweeted Harvard Law [...]

By |2019-07-26T19:27:43-04:00July 26th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Al Franken in Perspective

The New Yorker’s indefatigable Jane Mayer has written the definitive piece on the Franken affair. In it, she conclusively establishes that Franken’s main accuser, Leeann Tweeden, of the 2006 USO tour incident, was acting as a right-wing operative - a birther, no less. Tweeden, Mayer documents, had participated in identical Franken skits involving fended off kisses several times before and had registered no objection. The photo of Franken with his hands hovering over the breasts of a sleeping Tweeden [...]

By |2019-07-22T14:07:12-04:00July 22nd, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Planned Parenthood Made the Right Decision

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood ousted its new president, Dr. Leana Wen, who had served in the job for less than a year. Wen, a 36-year-old Shanghai-born physician and former health commissioner in Baltimore, was the first doctor to head the organization in half a century. Wen had defended abortion rights, but had endeavored to shift Planned Parenthood’s focus from reproductive rights to a broader conception of women’s health. She had also alienated staff and board alike with a high-handed [...]

By |2019-07-19T14:17:51-04:00July 19th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Legal, Safe, Rare—and Bad Advice

The Times just published another piece urging Democrats to temper their support for reproductive rights. This piece, “Democrats Shouldn’t Be So Certain About Abortion,” by one Michael Wear, a political consultant on religious issues, is a classic of cherry-picked poll numbers and disingenuous reasoning. Read it with care. In fact, as Pew’s polling shows, support for keeping abortion legal has actually increased slightly in recent years. As I explained in a post last month in response to another misleading Times piece, [...]

By |2019-07-15T16:00:51-04:00July 15th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Barr Throws Trump Under the Bus

You might have missed it, but the most important moment at Trump’s Thursday joint press conference with Attorney General William Barr was the one where Barr committed Trump to obeying the Supreme Court. By making an explicit commitment to obey the courts and the rule of law, Barr has boxed in his president. Trump, at various points, has suggested that he might defy or circumvent the courts. But Barr this time left no wiggle room. In discussing how the [...]

By |2019-07-12T17:15:41-04:00July 12th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Immigration, Refugees, and the Democrats

Let’s be honest. This one is really tough. Yes, most Americans are disgusted by children separated from their parents and living in cages. And yes, most Americans support welcoming the Dreamers; most also back an earned path to citizenship for longtime immigrants here without documents. Trump’s policies and behavior on both issues are to his everlasting shame, and electoral disadvantage. So what’s the problem? The problem is the flow of economic and political refugees from Central America. On the [...]

By |2019-07-10T14:06:21-04:00July 10th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Second Thoughts About That San Francisco Mural

You’ve probably read or heard about the controversy over a 1930s mural at San Francisco’s George Washington High School depicting the American founding as it really was—white men creating a republic that oppressed slaves, on land stolen from the natives. The 13-panel mural, created by a communist with WPA support, Victor Arnautoff, was seen as progressive revisionism, and in its day it rankled conservatives. Now, however, the San Francisco School Board, with a majority of people of color, has [...]

By |2019-07-09T00:17:29-04:00July 9th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump’s Clumsy Dance With the Federal Reserve

 It’s hilarious to watch the three-way dance between the economy, the stock market, and Trump’s hapless effort to fill two open seats on the Federal Reserve. Or, it would be hilarious if the stakes were not so high. Alert readers will recall that Trump has been badgering the Fed to push interest rates even lower, despite the fact that they are near historic lows, as is the unemployment rate. The stock market, which behaves perversely relative to the real [...]

By |2019-07-05T14:50:58-04:00July 5th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments