Monthly Archives: August 2019

I Have A Dream

My dream is that some senior member of the Trump administration makes a public declaration that Donald Trump is clinically insane. Everybody knows this, but his appointees keep behaving as if the mad king has clothes. The Republican primary challenge to Trump by former Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh softens the ground. Walsh, in a surprisingly candid op-ed piece, said this: Fiscal matters are only part of it. At the most basic level, Mr. Trump is unfit for office. His lies [...]

By |2019-08-28T10:15:52-04:00August 28th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

America At Its Best And Worst

Last Sunday, America’s paper of record devoted its entire Sunday magazine to its “1619 Project,” named for the year when slaves were first brought to the American colonies. In introducing the book-length collection of essays and literary works, The New York Times editors wrote that Americans are mistaken to view 1776 as their founding. Rather, “the country’s very origin” is the system of chattel slavery. Americans of goodwill are now prepared to come to a deeper reckoning with America’s original sin, [...]

By |2019-08-28T10:14:51-04:00August 28th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Another Senator Kennedy For Massachusetts?

Justice Democrats, the grassroots group that recruited AOC to successfully challenge Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, has taken heat for breaking the unwritten rule that Democrats are not supposed to take down their own incumbents. So far, the group has endorsed six new challengers for 2020, generally progressives taking on centrists. But what happens when a progressive challenger takes on a progressive incumbent, and that challenger’s name is Joe Kennedy, grandson of Bobby? Kennedy is likely [...]

By |2019-08-28T10:12:31-04:00August 28th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Other Reason To Impeach

In all of the calculations about whether there is sufficient evidence to impeach, and what effect impeachment would have on the 2020 election, the most obvious reason keeps being ignored. Trump is plainly unfit to govern. He makes impulsive decisions, makes stuff up, alienates allies, refuses to vet prospective nominees, doesn’t read briefing materials, reverses policies on a dime, brings on a needless recession, and so on. As his Republican allies know all too well, he is out of [...]

By |2019-08-19T11:42:50-04:00August 19th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump’s Trade Policy: Bluster and Cave

Trump has just walked back his threatened new tariffs on China again, this time supposedly to spare customers for Christmas toys and electronic products made in China. Retailers will be ordering these products over the next few months. The 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese products were set to take effect September 1. That has now been moved back to December 15. The Dow promptly soared by several hundred points. Merry Christmas, Beijing. The action came [...]

By |2019-08-14T11:29:10-04:00August 14th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Here Come Several Primary Challenges to Corporate Democratic Incumbents

I spent some time last week with Alex Morse, the 30-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, who has just announced his primary challenge to Ways and Means Chair Richie Neal, 70, the most corporate of congressional Democrats. Neal’s constituents in western Massachusetts are rather more liberal than he is. Morse has gained national attention for running his own home-grown Green New Deal in the depressed factory town that he has governed since first winning the election at age 22. This [...]

By |2019-08-09T23:25:56-04:00August 9th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Breaking China

Trump’s latest impulsive moves against China, which reflect no coherent trade strategy other than his own petulance, could well derail the strongest thing he has going into the 2020 election: a relatively strong economy. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman has calculated that the costs of a trade war with China could equal or exceed the fiscal benefits of the tax cuts and lower interest rates combined. The stock market has been oscillating widely in anticipation of a weakened [...]

By |2019-08-08T10:49:00-04:00August 8th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Will Hate Strangle Its Author?

As you sow, so shall you reap. The manifesto posted online in advance of the El Paso Walmart slaughter leaves little doubt that the killer, who lifted language from Trump tweets, was energized by the climate of white supremacist and anti-immigrant hatred stoked by the rantings of the Hater-in-Chief. As were so many other haters. Trump was way off his game in his effort to say something comforting or remotely plausible about the latest shootings. In his initial pair of [...]

By |2019-08-05T13:27:02-04:00August 5th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Inevitability of Impeachment

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. Several members of the House leadership have newly called for impeachment. These include Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel of New York and Nita Lowey of Appropriations, both of whom will face progressive primary challengers (thank [...]

By |2019-08-03T12:45:45-04:00August 3rd, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Harris’s 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. One of the successes of Republicans and the insurance industry in recent decades has been to take private, for-profit insurance plans whose business model is based [...]

By |2019-08-01T18:51:10-04:00August 1st, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments