Monthly Archives: January 2020

Will Trump Get Away With This?

So far, Iran’s response has been pretty feeble. And since Trump doesn’t do restraint, the Iranian leadership is coming under international pressure to display restraint. Iran seems to be seeking proportional forms of retaliation that don’t produce counter-retaliation by Trump. So far, the Iranians haven’t found anything that quite threads this needle. Score one for Trump. When you are certifiably nuts and capable of almost anything, that does tend to keep your adversaries off-balance. The Iranians must be thinking [...]

By |2020-01-13T12:51:32-05:00January 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Putin: World Statesman

One of the accomplishments of Trump’s abrupt move to conduct foreign policy by assassination is to make Vladimir Putin look like one of the adults in the room. Putin has just invited Germany’s Angela Merkel to Moscow to explore how to prevent the crisis from deepening—and perhaps salvage something of the Iran nuclear deal, of which both Germany and Russia were major partners and guarantors. Putin has his own radical Islamists to contend with. Though he has had his own tactical [...]

By |2020-01-13T12:50:53-05:00January 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Earth to Mitt Romney

The Democrats need four Republican senators to vote with them on the rules of the Senate impeachment trial. This could compel the calling of witnesses, and even perhaps require a final conviction vote by secret ballot. So far, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have both declared that they expect a fair trial with the outcome not prejudged, much less with Mitch McConnell working hand in glove with the White House. But where’s Mitt? In the past, he [...]

By |2020-01-13T12:50:10-05:00January 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Just How Solid Is the Trump Economic Boom?

It’s not hard to demonstrate all the soft spots in the economy that Trump keeps bragging about. What’s hard is to predict the political effect. Normally, incumbent presidents get re-elected when the economy is strong. A Yale economist named Ray Fair has even reduced this tendency to a mathematic model, with surprisingly good predictive power. But this is neither a normal president nor a normal economic boom. For starters, though wage growth is finally ticking upward, ordinary workers have nothing [...]

By |2020-01-13T12:49:29-05:00January 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Grieder and Sifton: Unique Treasures, RIP

I’ve lost two much-admired friends this month. My former carrel-mate at The Washington Post, Bill Greider, died at 83 on Christmas Day. Bill became more of an intellectual and more of a radical as he got older and as American capitalism became more corrupted. I don’t think Bill’s core values changed; reality did. Bill earned his strong views through deep reporting. I learned from him that if you ask respectful, well-informed questions, the most improbable sources will give you the [...]

By |2020-01-13T12:48:44-05:00January 13th, 2020|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments