Kuttner on TAP

Trump’s Unreality TV

Uh, it’s probably not a great idea for Democratic leaders to play Trump’s game of pretending to have serious budget negotiations on live TV. This is nothing if not Trump’s terrain. Trump uses the others as props, to demonstrate his swagger and their supposed lack of concern for “border security,” spelled W-A-L-L. In this case, in line with Trump’s own short attention span and penchant for changing the subject, the stunt was also intended as a diversion from his [...]

By |2018-12-12T21:07:46+00:00December 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Is Britain Finally Coming to Its Senses?

A year ago, I bet a pint of Guinness with an old friend that Britain would never leave the European Union. I’m beginning to think I just might collect. My point, then and now, was that as the degree of likely damage sank in, British voters would come to their senses. Both major parties, in their own ways, colluded to prevent that salutary outcome, but history sometimes has its own logic. Last week, the European Court of Justice, the [...]

By |2018-12-10T21:51:09+00:00December 10th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Circular Firing Squad Report

Oh, those Dems. You’d think they’d be feeling pretty good, but no. It’s more than a year before the first primaries, and the fratricide has already started. Actually, the opening gun was more like sororicide, which the dictionary defines as the act of killing one’s sister. Sister Nancy Pelosi beat back the naysayers handily, and more power to her. But in the next ring of the circus, we have nasty infighting between the party’s center and left about whether [...]

By |2018-12-07T16:42:21+00:00December 7th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Tariff Man: Trump’s Fragile Male Ego Crashes the Market

You would think this moron would savor what passed for a trade victory before immediately raining on his own parade. In Buenos Aires, Trump managed to paper over deep differences with the Chinese, faking progress on trade talks and achieving a deferral of immediate sanctions. He also appointed his chief trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, to lead the talks. Lighthizer is one of Trump’s few competent appointees, with extensive experience as a negotiator. He’s respected as both tough and pragmatic, [...]

By |2018-12-05T20:57:41+00:00December 5th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

What’s Matt Whitaker Up To?

In case you’ve been vacationing on Jupiter, you may have missed the fact that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is under fire on multiple fronts. He’s been sued on the long-established premise that a senior constitutional officer who has not been confirmed by the Senate cannot assume his duties when someone who has been duly confirmed (Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein) is available. He’s also been the subject of an investigative piece pointing out that the Federal Trade Commission has [...]

By |2018-12-03T21:29:04+00:00December 3rd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

The Next Blue Wave Could Be a Tsunami

Forgive me for counting chickens, but one needs to cherish good news. Here are some reasons to be hopeful for 2020, big-time. The Trump presidency is finally coming apart, just as the voters are repudiating it. This took longer than a lot of commentators expected, given Trump’s sheer lunacy. But his several moves to dislodge Special Counsel Robert Mueller backfired, and Mueller’s report, now expected imminently, will be seriously damaging. Secondly, the election news keeps getting better. The Dems [...]

By |2018-11-28T21:12:28+00:00November 28th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Memo to Mike Bloomberg: Go Fund the New York Subways

Billionaire financier and sometime politician Michael Bloomberg has announced a $1.8 billion gift to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, to use for financial aid. This is splendid, but it got me thinking. Bloomberg’s net worth is about $51 billion, making him the eighth-richest person in the U.S. and the 11th richest in the world. The subway system in New York, where Bloomberg was mayor for 12 years beginning in 2001, is in a state of advanced collapse. Bloomberg was [...]

By |2018-11-20T19:25:52+00:00November 20th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Maybe Trump Will Resign?

You get the feeling that Trump isn’t having much fun. He got his clock cleaned on his Europe trip. His effort to make the midterm election a referendum on himself worked all too well—for Democrats. His Trumped-up claim against CNN’s Jim Acosta backfired. As did his effort to hem in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And with Democrats now in charge of the House, blocking bad Republican legislation and readying all manner of investigations, Trump is in for two more [...]

By |2018-11-16T20:09:45+00:00November 16th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

Wanted: A Smoke-Filled Room

It was a great Election Day for progressives, suggesting a path to victory in 2020. But now, progressives are at risk having an embarrassment of riches. Sherrod Brown, fresh from his re-election as senator from Ohio, has said he’s taking a serious look at the presidential race. Ditto Elizabeth Warren. Now Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is looking into changing Oregon election law so that he, too, can run. And Montana’s populist Democratic governor, Steve Bullock, has signaled that [...]

By |2018-11-14T23:37:33+00:00November 14th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

What Next for Mueller’s Investigation?

Trump may have seriously overreached this time. His impulsive decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions was vetted by nobody. And the pushback that he got, including from many Republicans, was sufficient to cause him to try to distance himself (preposterously) from the thuggish Matt Whitaker, whom Trump named as acting attorney general, but suddenly claimed he didn’t know. But what of Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Constitutional scholars I’ve interviewed make the following points. Mueller has obviously been preparing [...]

By |2018-11-12T15:15:30+00:00November 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments