Confederates and both Presidents Bush tell Trump that Jefferson is not like Lee

Trump really missed the boat in reacting to the march of Nazis and KKK members in Charlottesville. His remarks were deeply offensive in drawing a moral equivalence between the racist, Anti-Semitic marchers and those who protested against them. And, in a widely derided press conference, Trump commented on the effort to take down Confederate statues […]

How Maine people moved Sen. Collins and stopped Trumpcare

The stories we tell about politics have consequences, shaping how people and groups act in the future. Tales of courageous politicians, however uplifting, can overlook how citizens influenced them. After the dramatic failure of the health care vote in the Senate, attention flowed to the three Republicans who broke with their party — Susan Collins, […]

Follow the rubles and other rules for investigating politicians

If there’s a movie made about the Trump-Russia ties investigation, expect to hear someone whisper, “Follow the rubles.” Substituting “rubles” for “money” updates Watergate’s Deep Throat’s advice to journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as portrayed in the film “All the President’s Men.” Another investigative rule is to determine who would benefit from improper financial […]

How the public, bad process and a disengaged president killed Trumpcare

Trumpcare seems to be dead, but what killed it? Three dynamics mattered, including President Trump himself. First, the public strongly opposed all versions of Trumpcare and vocally said so. Every poll showed that the House and Senate versions of Trumpcare were deeply unpopular. As time went on, Obamacare got more popular and tended to poll […]

Problems with Trumpcare start with its meanness

Given that he celebrated with House Republicans in the White House Rose Garden after they passed Trumpcare, it was rather odd when President Donald Trump recently told a Fox News interviewer that the bill was “mean.” Trump was contradictory, but correct. There is meanness in what Trumpcare would do to people’s health but it will […]

The health care chart you need to read to understand Trumpcare’s damage

Now that the Senate version of Trumpcare, we see that one of its central elements is the slashing of Medicaid, a program that 74% of Americans see favorably. In the House version, which Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted for, 14 million of the 23 million losing coverage were people receiving Medicaid. The dollars in the 25% […]

Why House and Senate Republicans hide Trumpcare bill

Clergy and counselors sometimes have to keep secrets. But in politics, what you don’t know can hurt you. When it comes to crucial public policy, there is no excuse for hiding who a bill affects and what it costs, particularly when the stakes range from bankruptcy to untreated illnesses and deaths. This makes the prospect […]

How President Trump is undermining our security

Like a bowling pin that hits the others and causes them to wobble or fall, President Donald Trump is hammering arrangements that have benefited our security. These involve both international security and the security Americans have grown to expect from our systems of social insurance. Trump’s damaging foreign trip ended just before Memorial Day in […]

What Bruce Poliquin’s ear buds tell us about American politics

By now, the story of Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s dash into a bathroom and reemergence with ear buds has become the subject of mocking humor, with editorial cartoons depicting the congressman hiding out to avoid reporters. But Poliquin’s actions go beyond political comedy, absurdity or timidity. Poliquin’s ear-budded refusal to divulge his position on Trumpcare until […]