News

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda

Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen:

We know this because we’ve seen it before. The authors of this guide are former congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the Tea Party. We saw these activists take on a popular president with a mandate for change and a supermajority in Congress. We saw them organize locally and convince their own members of Congress to reject President Obama’s agenda. Their ideas were wrong, cruel, and tinged with racism - and they won.

Read the full practical guide here.


Some End Of Year ACA (Obamacare) Analytics

Even though we live abroad with minimal impact from ACA, here are some insightful ACA articles to handle holiday family discussions:

The Impact of Obamacare, in Four Maps

Over all, the gains are substantial: a seven-percentage-point drop in the uninsured rate for adults. But there remain troublesome regional patterns. Many people in the South and the Southwest still don’t have a reliable way to pay for health care, according to the new, detailed numbers from a pair of groups closely tracking enrollment efforts. Those patterns aren’t an accident.

Read the full New York Times article here.


Higher health-insurance premiums don’t mean the ACA is a disaster

But here is the good news. While health-care costs and premiums are rising — the recent announcement notwithstanding — they are rising much more slowly than they did during the George W. Bush administration and, indeed, over the past 50 years. For instance, from 2001 to 2005, per-person health-care spending rose an average of more than 7 percent per year. More important, for ordinary Americans, employer-based health insurance premiums for a family increased by 54 percent between 2001 and 2005. Conversely, from 2011 to 2015, per-person costs rose an average of just 3.4 percent per year; family insurance premiums rose only 16 percent in that same time.

Read the full Washington Post article here.


The Delayed Gratification of Obamacare

Many of the economic protections and personal benefits of health insurance, like any insurance, are long-term in nature, and will probably elude detection in public opinion over the short term. Stability for families should increase, if incrementally. Unlikely catastrophic health events should become less financially catastrophic over time, the average ability of families to handle crises should improve, and the cumulative effects of better access to care should lead to much healthier people. But those effects occur over the horizon of years, and the lives of those people that coverage can affect the most are still turbulent now.

Read the full Atlantic article here.


Working the Refs

Part of this effectiveness comes through false equivalence: news organizations, afraid of being attacked for bias, give evenhanded treatment to lies and truth. Way back in 2000 I suggested that if a Republican candidate said that the earth was flat, headlines would read, “Views differ on shape of planet.” That still happens.

Read the full New York Times op-ed article here.


Let’s Hear From a Deplorable

My sister, Peggy, knew she wasn’t voting for Hillary, despite the fact that they both started as Goldwater girls. But could my favorite member of the "basket of deplorables," as I like to call her, vote for Trump?

She has been going back and forth on it for a year, vertiginous with the vicissitudes of trying to be a Republican in the Year of Trump.

She jumped off the Trump train whenever he said offensive things and when he retweeted an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz, but tentatively came back when he apologized for that picture, after I told Trump that he had lost her vote.

Read the full opinion The New Your Times article here.


160 Republican Leaders Don’t Support Donald Trump. Here’s When They Reached Their Breaking Point.

This list includes leaders who have said they will not vote for Donald J. Trump, have withdrawn endorsements of him or have called for him to step down as the nominee. People shaded in blue have said they will vote for Hillary Clinton.

Read the full New York Times article here.


Can Republicans be rational?

. . . our political preferences are not the product of careful analytic reasoning. Instead, they spring from a combination of moral intuition (instinct) and a tribal affiliation with people who we believe share these instincts. We use reason, facts and analysis to affirm our gut decisions.

Read the full Washington Post opinion article here.


Donald Trump is America’s Silvio Berlusconi

Like Berlusconi in Italy, Trump has built a political campaign employing unvarnished language and jaundiced humor, which has succeeded in the United States, a country that — embarrassingly — ranks second among wealthy industrialized nations, only behind Italy, in terms of being uninformed on key issues of the world.

Read the full Washington Post article here.


This celebrity-packed political ad eviscerates Donald Trump

The three-minute ad, released Wednesday by director Joss Whedon's super PAC, Save the Day PAC, starts out with a familiar plea from celebrities: Register to vote, and cast a ballot on Election Day. It was the cornerstone of the "Rock the Vote" campaign that was most visible in the 1990s. P. Diddy made the same appeal in his "Vote or Die" campaign in 2004, and was subsequently mocked on Comedy Central's "South Park" for it.

View the full Save The Day political ad here.

Read the full Washington Post article here.


For Every 10 U.S. Adults, Six Vote and Four Don’t. What Separates Them?

But what distinguishes voters from nonvoters can be only partly explained by demographics. Experts say individuals tend to be motivated by a combination of their priorities, their group culture, how competitive their state is, and how easy or hard it is to vote. At the individual level, education and income are still two of the strongest predictors of whether someone will turn out at the polls.

Read the full New York Times article here.


Lynch v. Morales-Santana - A SCOTUS Case That Expats Should Follow

Issue: (1) Whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children through 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409 (1958) violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.

Follow the case through the SCOTUS blog here.