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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

The Medicare for All Red Herring

Some pundits have taken to warning supporters of Medicare for All that it is a gift to Republicans in the general election. Supposedly, Medicare for All would dismay the vast majority of Americans who are broadly satisfied with their employer-provided insurance. And as Representative John Delaney declared in the first of the two Democratic debates, if you got rid of other forms of insurance and reimbursed hospitals at Medicare rates, hospitals would soon go broke because private insurance pays hospitals [...]

By |2019-07-02T15:24:11-04:00July 2nd, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

When the Grown-Up in the Room is Trump

For two years, the grown-ups in the room restrained Trump. He managed to get rid of all of them—an attorney general in Jeff Sessions who wasn’t willing to do all of Trump’s bidding; some White House chiefs of staff such as Reince Priebus who acted to protect him from himself; the traditional generals who served as Secretary of Homeland Security, and National Security Adviser, and Secretary of Defense. Trump managed to get rid of them all. Now he has [...]

By |2019-06-26T23:05:35-04:00June 26th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Trump: The Wrong Version of the Right Policy, Take Two

As we’ve seen, Trump has moved into the vacuum on trade policy left by globalist Democrats and Republicans who care more about corporate interests than about working Americans. Trump has also made far more of an issue of China’s abusive mercantilism than previous administrations of either party. The trouble is that Trump is royally screwing up the delicate carrot-and-stick diplomacy with Beijing, and may yet roll over for token concessions by the Chinese that he can depict as a great victory. [...]

By |2019-06-22T00:09:28-04:00June 22nd, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The China End-Game

We are now familiar with Trump’s signature style: Create a Trumped-up crisis, pull back from the brink at the 11th hour, and pose as the hero who saved the day. There is only one thing wrong with this method. When applied to genuinely thorny policy challenges, it only simulates progress and leaves genuine problems unresolved, and often worse for the saber-rattling. Trump’s elaborate dance with North Korea, even if it averted war, did nothing to address that nation’s increasing [...]

By |2019-06-19T23:52:41-04:00June 19th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Warren, the Incidental and Integral Feminist

Have you noticed that Elizabeth Warren is not quite running as a feminist? Her feminism is, rather, integral to who she is. For instance, Warren’s basic story tells of how her mother had to take a paid job for the first time after her father’s heart attack, and how she kept saying amid sobs, “We will not lose this house, we will not lose this house.” What kind of story could be more quintessentially female? Every woman in the [...]

By |2019-06-10T15:32:12-04:00June 10th, 2019|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments