19 September 2017

Why Isn’t Hillary Clinton Even Angrier?

Michelle Goldberg

It’s Time to Talk to North Korea

"The complaint about the U.N. Security Council’s new sanctions against North Korea is that they aren’t strict enough to force Kim Jong-un to dismantle his nuclear program. But here’s the thing: Nothing is going to force him to do that.

"Kim follows the news. He saw what happened to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi when they gave up their nuclear programs, whether through force or conciliation: They were invaded or overthrown anyway."

Fred Kaplan

15 September 2017

The Myth of Deep Throat

Mark Felt wasn’t out to protect American democracy and the rule of law; he was out to get a promotion.

Max Holland

The First White President

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

24 August 2017

Businesses Are Finally Realizing That Trump Causes “Uncertainty”

And there's simply no evidence that "uncertainty" about the path of policy in Washington, however you define it, hampered business investments, hiring, and especially market performance in the period between 2009 and 2016. Because "uncertainty" doesn't really mean uncertainty—it's just code used by supply-siders and right-wingers. What they really didn't like was the fact that a guy named Obama was sitting in the White House, poised to raise their taxes. (Readers, he did. And the economy and S&P 500 survived.)

Daniel Gross

You're not imagining it: the rich really are hoarding economic growth

Dylan Matthews

11 August 2017

Jeff Sessions Is the Canary in the Coal Mine

Joshua Zeitz

Bosses want capitalism for themselves and feudalism for their workers

It's a reminder that economics isn't just about supply and demand. It's also about who has the power to make demands. Which actually has more to do with government policies than market forces. Things like how high the minimum wage is, how easy it is to form a union, and, yes, how tough noncompete laws are all affect the balance of power between capital and labor independent of the unemployment rate. So does the welfare state itself. Indeed, businesses have historically been opposed to Social Security, Medicare and, more recently, Obamacare not only because those programs cost them money, but also control over their workers. When the government helps people be able to afford to retire, companies can't afford to hire quite as many of them — not if they want to maintain their profit margins. That's because workers have more bargaining power when there aren't as many of them actually looking for, well, work.

The same kind of logic, by the way, applies to stimulus spending. As economist Michal Kalecki argued back in 1943, a government that hires unemployed people is a government that doesn't have to give business what it wants to get them to hire unemployed people. The more the government does, then, the less sway businesses have over the economy and everyone in it.

Matt O'Brien

10 August 2017

I’d Like to Report a Scam Against the Elderly

That Fox has ended up gulling a president is a programming accident. When the late Roger Ailes conceived Fox News two decades ago, he hoped to create shows that attracted—is there a polite way to put this?—an older demographic that seeks news that reinforces its prejudices and rarely challenges them. And he succeeded. It was only by chance that Ailes ended up creating a network that appealed to this particular flighty, low-attention-span 71-year-old.

The Ailes demographic wants to be told that the world is going to hell, a message that harmonizes with the declining status and health many of them experience. The Ailes demographic wants simple and reductionist viewpoints on America’s cultural and policy dilemmas—from crime to immigration to taxes to war and trade. The Ailes demographic seeks the restoration of the social mores it remembers from its youth, and if the past can’t be restored, it wants modern mores castigated. And it wants to be frightened and outraged. Fox almost never disappoints them.

Jack Shafer

How to Replace Jeff Sessions

Steve Vladek

08 August 2017

A Constitutional Crisis Is Inevitable

At this point, why would we expect anything else?

Yascha Mounck

Unpresidential Command

Trump is ordering service members to support the Republican agenda. That is terrifying.

Phillip Carter

25 July 2017

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How MLK Turned JFK Into a Civil Rights Champion

Nathalie Baptiste

Don Trump Jr.’s Emails Are the Smoking Gun

The people closest to Trump intended to collude with Russia and had the blithe sense of corrupt impunity to spell out that intention in an email chain. They unapologetically sided with a hostile foreign power against their fellow citizens. The biggest question now is whether Republicans in Congress will do the same.

Michelle Goldberg

03 July 2017

Is Michael Flynn Cooperating with the FBI?

Jeremy Stahl

Trevor Noah on the Philando Castile verdict: the NRA should “be losing their goddamn minds”

"'How does a black person not get shot in America? Because if you think about it, the bar is always moving. The goalposts are always shifting. There's always a different thing that explains why a person got shot ... at some point you realize, there's no real answer.'"

"'It's interesting how the people who define themselves by one fundamental American right — the right to bear arms — show that once race is involved, the only right that they believe in is the right to remain silent.'"

29 June 2017

How to Deal With North Korea

There are no good options. But some are worse than others.

Watergate Fueled Conspiracy Theories, Too

Both today and back in the 1970s, defenders of the president wove wacky tales to explain away wrongdoing. And the myths just kept going.

David Greenberg

21 June 2017

This profile of Trump's budget director has an unintentionally revealing anecdote

Mulvaney was a US representative for South Carolina for nearly six years before being appointed to the Trump administration and calls himself a “policy wonk and government junkie.” Just not a jobs data junkie, perhaps.

Tara Golshan

We’re Not Even In Kansas Anymore

But what we’re getting instead is a raw exercise of political power: the GOP is trying to take away health care from millions and hand the savings to the wealthy simply because it can, without even a fig leaf of intellectual justification.

Paul Krugman

20 June 2017

A tweet from Trump’s legal team shows he doesn’t understand what being president is about

Trump, in short, ran the public company as if it were for his private benefit. And his legal team seems to think it’s okay for him to run the American government in the same way.

Matthew Yglesias

Watching the Detectives

As the Waldorf Astoria transforms into posh condos, there’s one luxury amenity it’s unlikely to get back: its intrepid in-house sleuths.

Katrina Gulliver

15 June 2017

Trump Can Commit All the High Crimes He Wants. Republicans Aren’t Going to Impeach Him.

The conservative movement takeover of the Republican Party began in the 1960s and took decades to complete. Conservatives still have not lost their sense of being an insurgent movement that might at any moment be betrayed by the party Establishment. Conservatives think of their role as quasi-independent, but they also imagine it as focusing exclusively on enforcing fealty to their doctrine by politicians who might otherwise be inclined to wander. The scenario they are built to fight against is the Republican president who colludes with Democrats, not one who colludes with foreign dictators. If the president is fighting against the opposition party, they assume he is acting correctly. Conservative organs like National Review originally viewed Richard Nixon with hostility, and — perverse as it may sound — came to his defense because of Watergate.

07 June 2017

25 May 2017

Mr. Complicit

William Saletan

Why Staying Put Was McMaster’s Most Patriotic Act

The National Security adviser was called a hypocrite for defending Trump’s handling of classified intelligence. But critics misread his book and his motives.

Mark Perry

17 May 2017

Will Trump Be the First to Politicize the FBI?

Shortlist names like Kelly Ayotte and John Cornyn sound like ideal Washington department heads—until you realize why the FBI has never had a political leader.

Garrett M. Graff

01 May 2017

If you really respect Trump voters, tell them the truth

The ultimate irony of today’s era of nostalgia politics, after all, is that the era people are nostalgic for was itself an era of incredibly rapid change. The “good old days” were a time when new industries were rising, the population was growing fast, and the built environment shifted rapidly in the direction of suburbanization. The country didn’t dig out of the trials of the Depression and World War II by “bringing back” the economic conditions that prevailed during the McKinley administration. Instead, a country that embraced new ideas built new communities populated by people who moved to new places to work in new fields.

Matthew Yglesias

Widespread scalping is a sign of poor revenue management by event organizers

Andris Strazds & Thomas Grennes

18 April 2017

One of Trump’s central problems? He doesn’t get policy.

Andrew Prokop

The Return of the King of Debt

Reihan Salam

70 days in, Donald Trump’s presidency is flailing

The outcomes we're seeing look like what you'd expect from an inexperienced, unfocused president who's more interested in tweeting out cable news commentary than learning about the government he runs and the policies he wants to change.

Ezra Klein

The myth of the 70,000-page federal tax code

Dylan Matthews

Nunes Can’t Be Trusted

William Saletan

American health care can be free market or cheap. It can’t be both.

Ezra Klein

The Year Nixon Fell Apart

John A. Farrell

The Greatest Trick the Government Ever Pulled Was Convincing Us We Aren’t Already on Welfare

Chris Ladd