The Problem Solvers

Reporting published on July 30 by Politico has shown that a group of about 40 members of the House have been collaborating in the background of the healthcare fight to come up with an honest bipartisan compromise bill. They call themselves the Problem Solvers caucus.

The group is led by Democrat Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Republican Tom Reed of New York. Gottheimer, a first-term legislator, has been a strategist at Microsoft and a speech writer in the Clinton administration. Reed has been in Congress since 2010 and was formerly the mayor of his hometown.

reed and gottheimer
Rep. Josh Gottheimer D-NJ (Left) and Rep. Tom Reed R-NY.

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Safe and Sound: Extreme Politics Will Save the ACA

Carlos barria reuters clinton supporters sad

When I look at pictures of Clinton supporters on election night 2016, it reminds me of the feeling that accompanied the loss — a sick, empty disbelief. In this picture, the unthinkable is unfolding for these people. I remember being shocked, wondering about a lot of things and at some point I wondered, “What is President Obama thinking?” Was he worrying for the country, or feeling bad for Hillary Clinton, or was he wondering what would become of his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act?

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Why Mika and Joe Just Love Donald Trump

Mika and Joe laugh

Recently, while wading through a self-created deadline crisis over the Senate health bill, the President stepped onto the Twitter stage and launched a strange personal attack against broadcast journalist Mika Brzezinski, her co-host and fiancé Joe Scarborough, and their show on MSNBC, Morning Joe.

The President said:

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

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Science in Trump’s America

Science is under attack from the White House, but it also seems to be increasingly doubted by wide swathes of society.

Science isn’t obvious. It’s not obvious that the Earth is 4.5 billion years-old, that it’s shape is an oblate-spheroid or that the Sun is a nuclear fusion reactor. It isn’t obvious that a hydrogen atom contains one proton and one electron, anymore than its obvious that one disease is caused by this while another is caused by something else.

The facts of science aren’t obvious, and people doubt them, ignore them, and reason without them, which is exactly what we heard from President Trump when he pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord.

I was surprised that his speech lacked the usual bad science of climate-denial, like references to data on cooling and temperature moderation; in fact the speech was almost entirely science-free, which is disconcerting in its own way. When climate-deniers use bad science it’s at at least an indication that they feel the need to back up their arguments with some science. Not so with Trump.

Trump arms shrug John Minchillo AP
Credit: John Minchillo AP

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Trump’s Trump Problem

Why is it that this administration can’t handle a controversy or scandal without creating more problems for itself?

A week ago we saw the resignation of White House communications director Mike Dubke.  Dubke told CNN that the people he’s leaving behind at the White House Office of Communications are, “the hardest working men and women in the American government,” which sounds like he’s sticking up for his former staff, as if to say, ‘this isn’t their fault.’  He may be right. In the wake of this story breaking I heard an MSNBC correspondent say something to the effect that the White House’s problem isn’t the communications strategy, or the need for a “shake up,” it’s actually the President himself.

And it occurred to me that the President’s problem is also himself. In a certain sense that’s obvious. But it isn’t to Trump. He seems genuinely not to understand why people react to him the way they do. He seems to truly believe he’s being unfairly persecuted.  Continue reading “Trump’s Trump Problem”

We’re Back

It’s been about four years since my last post and well…things have been things.  I’m getting back into the game though, and I’ll be uploading content regularly.  I just don’t know what regularly means yet.

This time around the blog will be a mix of commentary on politics, some real reporting, some specialty topics… stay tuned. I plan on doing some rust-shaking posts and then maybe exploring some of the topics in those posts more in depth.

I’ll also be tweaking the site appearance as I go.

If you’re exploring the new posts and you’ve gotten this far, I should advise you that everything below here was from the first incarnation of this blog from 2012/13.