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October 20, 2020
Opposing Trump’s Proto-Fascism Doesn’t Merit a Cabinet Spot
Obama famously assembled a “Team of Rivals” when he swept into office in 2008. His cabinet consolidated the ideological flanks of his party while extending an olive branch to Republicans by leaving Bush-appointee Bob Gates in office at the Department of Defense.
The 2010 Republican sweep of Congress quickly incinerated that olive branch.
October 14, 2020 | American Prospect
Prop 22 Is A Dress Rehearsal For This Biden Cabinet Hopeful's Confirmation Battle
Uber and Lyft didn’t come up with the idea of dodging labor law by creating their own category of worker. But one of the men who did stands a good chance of being nominated as the next secretary of labor.
October 14, 2020
How Biden's Treasury Department Could Fight Climate Change
The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.
October 07, 2020 | The American Prospect
The Biden Transition’s Ethics Pledge Is a Paper Tiger
For all of his failures—at business, governing, and even just sitting still and receiving proper medical care for a deadly virus—the American public can always count on Donald Trump to put on a show. For four years, he has gripped the country’s attention with an unending stream of scandals. If current polling trends are any guide, however, the curtain may soon be closing. Without all the distraction, we’ll be left squarely facing a key question: How do we fix what Trump revealed to be broken?
October 05, 2020
September 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats.
September 30, 2020 | American Prospect
The Debate We Had Vs. The Debate We Needed
Tuesday’s debate, sadly, was much more about Trump’s performative unruliness than any insight into either candidate’s plan (or lack thereof) for running the executive branch. While he had some decent moments amidst Trump’s freak show act, this was a particular disappointment for Joe Biden. The best, potentially landslide-generating argument against Trump is not that he is a horrible person. Swing voters were reminded of that by Trump’s performance all evening, but few needed the reminder.
September 25, 2020
Coalition Of 23 Organizations Call For Robust Fiscal Policy From Next Administration
The candidates should maintain an unflinching commitment to fiscally support programs that promote the general welfare of the country, meeting our healthcare, housing, employment, and education needs, especially in struggling communities of color.
September 24, 2020 | The American Prospect
Re-Fund the EPA
The wildfires and hurricanes plaguing the United States in the last month reflect the massive societal implications of climate change. Understanding the importance of this moment, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan designed to transition the economy away from greenhouse gas emissions. The plan calls for an emission-free power sector by 2030, as well as an environmental justice component to address how climate policies have failed communities of color. Parts of Biden’s plan will require new legislation and others will deputize numerous federal agencies. But a major share of responsibility for success will fall on the Environmental Protection Agency.
September 22, 2020 | The New Republic
What a Defiant Democratic Party Looks Like
On Friday night, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shocked an already reeling country. What came next, however, was sadly unsurprising. Mere hours after Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell had already affirmed that he would hold a vote for Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy, contravening the ersatz standard he set out in 2016. Or, as Senator Chris Murphy put it, “Nobody’s word means anything in this place anymore. All that matters is raw power.” It’s a bit of a belated realization: Republicans are unafraid to use their power to achieve their desired ends. Will Democrats respond in kind?
September 18, 2020 | Salon
Democrats Are Overlooking a Big Opportunity to Increase Voter Turnout and Take on the Trump Machine
The anxiety over changes and irregularities with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in August finally spilled over. A functioning postal service undergirds many of our society’s most basic functions, so there was no shortage of reasons to be alarmed. However, one concern—the threat to November’s election—overwhelmingly rose to the top. And the public outcry over that threat pushed a normally lethargic House majority into action, winning some mild but incomplete reversals from USPS.
September 17, 2020 | American Prospect
Biden's Big Test: Selecting A White House Chief of Staff
Steve Ricchetti may be subtler and smarter than “Rahmbo,” but he would be no less of a threat if placed in charge of the Biden White House.
September 17, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Foreign Policy
For too long, American foreign policy decisions have been controlled by the wealthy and well-connected, trampling on the rights and interests of regular people, both at home and abroad. These decisions, including corporate negotiated trade deals and continued engagement in armed conflict abroad, have failed all but a small clique of committed warhawks, defense contractors, and international corporations.
September 09, 2020 | American Prospect
Biden Stiff-Arming Big Tech Would Be Good Politics, Policy
If Biden, should he be elected, chooses not to fill his administration with the usual former industry executives, lawyers, and lobbyists, he will likely be making one of the most universally popular choices of any president in recent history.
September 08, 2020
August 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies
Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats. Quietly, Trump and Mitch McConnell have undermined independent agencies’ functionality by slow-walking nominations. And, in particular, they have undermined the norm of statutorily-mandated political balance on many independent agency boards in a move that could keep regulatory power in Republican hands for years after Trump leaves office.
September 03, 2020 | American Prospect
Mick Mulvaney: A Frustrated Wrecking Ball
It might be a shock to hear that government is “not good” at financial deregulation, given how it’s seemingly the one thing that’s popular on both sides of the aisle. But Mulvaney’s complaint is instructive; he’s frustrated that the civil servants who actually make the executive branch run happen to care about doing their jobs properly.