Politics

A New Way Forward on Trade and Immigration

16399679698_904958bdb1_o.jpg

President Donald Trump’s policy agenda may seem somewhat incoherent, but his underlying approach — developed, in large part, by now-departed chief strategist Steve Bannon — can be best summarized in one word: nationalism. This covers a range of issues from immigration and trade to cultural and ethnic identity, and generally the ones with the most polarizing impact on our political system.  read more »

Will Donald Trump Expose America’s Great Mass Transit Hoax?

32984151252_65704dd490_z.jpg

Whatever you think of President Trump, his claims about the lousy condition of America’s basic infrastructure are widely accepted—even by resisting Democrats grinding their teeth on a L.A. freeway or waiting for a New York or D.C. train to arrive. His call for a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan may be his last best bet for finding bipartisan support.  read more »

Reconciling the three Democratic parties

28400799955_d7a9bcc0ff_z.jpg

With President Donald Trump’s Dr. Demento impersonation undermining his own party, the road should be open for Democrats to sweep the next election cycle. And, for the first time since their horrific defeat of 2016, not only nationally but also in the states, the Democrats are slowly waking up to the reality that they need to go beyond the ritual Trump-bashing.  read more »

Subjects:

State Governments Are Oppressive, Too

TexasStateCapitol-2010-01.JPG

Historically, the battle over the size and scale of government has been focused largely on “states’ rights.” This federalist notion also has been associated with many shameful things, such as slavery, Jim Crow laws and other abuses of personal freedom.  read more »

Postcards From the Zombie Apocalypse

johnny-zombie.jpg

I’m regularly accused of being a doomer whenever I point out the obvious – that many aspects of how we’ve organized our affairs over the last several decades aren’t meant to last. So they won’t. The end of Jiffy Lube and Lean Cuisine isn’t The End. Civilization will carry on without them, I assure you. But when it’s suggested that our current set of arrangements won’t last forever people immediately imagine Mad Max, as if no other alternative exists. Things are going to change. They always have and they always will.  read more »

On the Outside, Looking In

o-BLACKISH-facebook.jpg

The urban political base that was the foundation of African-American politics since the Civil Rights Movement is slowly eroding. Because of large-scale demographic trends at work in our metro areas, black political influence is in decline. Unless blacks become more inclusive (or intersectional) in our political approach, or better at building coalitions, we risk having our political concerns relegated to the margins, by virtue of where we live.  read more »

Why the Greens Lost, and Trump Won

34326936541_ee6ff0f30d_z.jpg

When President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords, embraced coal, and stacked his administration from people from fossil-fuel producing states, the environmental movement reacted with near-apocalyptic fear and fury. They would have been better off beginning to understand precisely why the country has become so indifferent to their cause, as evidenced by the victory not only of Trump but of unsympathetic Republicans at every level of government.  read more »

Capitalism Did Not Win the Cold War

Brazil_protest_2016_March.jpg

When the Soviet Union collapsed 26 years ago, it was generally agreed that the West had won the Cold War. This was affirmed by the prosperity and possibilities awaiting citizens of Western countries, as opposed to the political and economic stagnation experienced by those in Communist states.  read more »

Subjects:

High-Flying California Charts Its Own Path -- Is A Cliff Ahead?

8028178642_f2dacd4af6_z.jpg

As its economy bounced back from the Great Recession, California emerged as a progressive role model, with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman arguing that the state’s “success” was proof of the superiority of a high tax, high regulation economy.  read more »

Is Anybody Really Listening: Pizza with Perez in Youngstown

Thomas_Perez--ADA_Department_of_Justice.jpg

Ohio has long been seen as a battleground state, up for grabs in most Presidential elections. The state supported winning candidates of both parties for decades. But as the state shifted back and forth, the Mahoning Valley (Mahoning and Trumbull Counties) in Northeastern Ohio remained a Democratic stronghold. If Democratic candidates could garner more than 62% of the vote in this region – as they often did -- they would win the state. In years when Republicans won, the Mahoning Valley still voted for the Democrats, but with less enthusiasm.  read more »

Subjects: