Donald Trump

Why We Need Thoreau Now More Than Ever

Hasan Zillur Rahim

Thoreau is relevant today because we continue to confirm his observations. He taught us that treating the environment with respect not only made economic sense, it made even more sense as a moral imperative. “We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander,” he wrote. “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

Donald Trump’s Populism Decoded

Leonard Steinhorn

Politicians may troll the white working class for votes, but except for an occasional art deco version of working-class heroes and their machines, our cultural arbiters have deemed them benighted and even bigoted throwbacks to a rusted-out, less enlightened era. Much as farmers of the earlier populist moment resented their own loss of status as our culture drifted away from the agrarian ideal, today’s white working-class men stew over their diminishing place in the contemporary American pantheon.

Trump's Ugly Midyear Record on Civil Rights

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

His first nomination out the box was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department, the umbrella agency that the Civil Rights Division is under. The total remake of the department was a top priority for Trump. Sessions hit the ground running. He demanded the delay, if not the end, of federal consent decrees on police misconduct, a new war on low-level drug offenders, silence on criminal justice reforms, and a full-throated endorsement of private prisons. Given Sessions’ intense dislike of the Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the law is even more imperiled.

The GOP Healthcare Mess

Paul Kleyman

Starr worries that congressional Republicans are not only acting to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), but aim to restructure Medicaid into a program with federal-budget caps so tight it would break down one of the principal Great Society health protections of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Medicaid and the Medicare program have been fundamental to health care in the United States since 1965. 

The Opioid Crisis in Black and White

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There’s one final great cruelty in the glaring racial double standard on drugs. The reports and statistics on opioid and heroin addiction, the wrath of news stories and features on it, and the calls for legislative action to deal with the problem, have not changed one whit the deeply embedded perception that drugs in America invariably come with a young, black face. 

Will James Comey’s Testimony Sink Trump?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Those hopes almost certainly will be dashed. The so-called “impeachment clause” in the Constitution lists the thoroughly ambiguous, “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the crimes that a sitting president must commit for the House to initiate the action and then the Senate to convict. In Trump’s case, this would fall into the category of obstruction of justice. The Comey memo isn’t enough. Trump will continue to deny that he ordered him to back off from the investigation. 

How the Saudis and Israelis Fooled Trump

William O. Beeman

The Saudi government is continually looking for some acceptable justification to suppress this Shi’a minority, which Riyadh believes threatens the stability of the kingdom. The designation of Shi’a as heretics aids in cementing this justification. However, the Saudi rulers have gone one step further. They have tied the interests of their Shi’a citizens to Iran, creating a false narrative of Iranian hegemony. 

What I Learned About the Election by Watching ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Maiysha Kai

Ironically, this new retelling—presciently filmed during the tail end of the last election cycle—reveals that the forced reproduction that is the backbone of Gilead’s economy was initially the brainchild of Serena Joy, wife of one of the “commanders” who eventually comes to power. “Fertility as a national resource; reproduction as a moral imperative,” she suggests to her husband in a flashback, moments before he reveals that a coup to overthrow the existing government—in which women are still considered autonomous citizens—is imminent.

The Problem With the Republican Healthcare Plan

Marty Kaplan

They must be baffled by how devoid of mojo their old battle cries have become. “Jobs-killing Obamacare” packs no punch in an economy that’s added more than 10 million jobs since the Affordable Care Act passed. “Disaster” and “death spiral” sound demented to someone who’s gone from no insurance to comprehensive coverage. “Higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays” may in some cases be accurate, but for Americans long suffering from rising prices, the real news is the slowing of the rate of increase.

Why Mike Pence Would Be Worse Than Trump

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

A President Pence would move quickly, adeptly, and expertly at trying to ram legislation and initiatives through Congress and via executive order fiat to gut or eliminate every one of these protections. The key word here is expertly. He knows the legislative process through and through. He is part and parcel of the GOP establishment. GOP senators and congresspersons are comfortable with him. He would smile affably, make no bombastic, outrageous statements or tweets, and work quietly and businesslike behind the scenes to implement his agenda. 

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