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May 20, 2020 | Talking Points Memo Cafe

Miranda Litwak

Op-Ed

Anti-Monopoly

We Can’t Let Him Get Away With It: Trump Chose Wall Street Over Main Street

In an advertisement released earlier this month, the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump PAC, claimed that the Trump administration bailed out big banks via its coronavirus stimulus legislation (the CARES Act), leaving Main Street to suffer the effects of the pandemic. “Trump bailed out Wall Street, not Main Street,” a grim voice-over tells the viewer. President Donald Trump quickly took to Twitter hurling insults at the leaders of the PAC. Soon after, Politifact reported the advertisement’s claim was false, and Facebook subsequently labeled the advertisement “partially false.” But the Lincoln Project’s statement is true by any measure: The Trump administration played a central role in crafting the CARES Act, a piece of legislation that has bailed out Wall Street and not Main Street. The designers of the CARES Act must be held responsible for their actions.

April 11, 2020 | Washington Monthly

Max Moran

Op-Ed

Revolving DoorTech

How Big Tech Is Preparing for a Biden Presidency

If Joe Biden wins in November, you can bet that Big Tech’s representatives will do the same thing as every other industry’s political strategists: scour the list of more than four thousand appointments across the executive branch the new president needs to make, and figure out which of their loyalists are ready for a spin through the government’s revolving door.

April 09, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Congress Must Have Skipped the First Three Seasons of Trump Reality Show

The coronavirus pandemic created an imperative for action that even Mitch McConnell could not ignore. In the space of just a few weeks, Congress passed three major pieces of legislation, including the largest fiscal package in this country’s history. Now, however, lawmakers have hunkered down in the safety of their in-district homes, while the Trump administration sets about administering newly appropriated funds with little challenge. It is doing a predictably poor job.

April 08, 2020 | Talking Points Memo

Max Moran

Op-Ed

Department of JusticeEthics in Government

What Will Feds Do About Corporate Bailout Bill Corruption? Look To Walmart's Opioids Case

If and when we (likely inevitably) learn that bailed-out companies and multi-trillion dollar slush funds misuse the public disaster relief dollars doled out by the Trump administration in the wake of the pandemic, we should turn back to this Walmart story for further evidence of why big corporations are rarely held accountable.

April 06, 2020 | Alternet

Max Moran

Op-Ed

Ethics in Government

Jared Kushner is the point man for private profiteering on the coronavirus response

Hot off of singlehandedly ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, America’s Son-In-Law-In-Chief has put himself in charge of handling half of the White House response to the coronavirus crisis. Didn’t you know that? No? Oh, well, it seems the White House just decided that, ah, the people didn’t need to hear about this. Oh, and FYI, most of his team are from the private sector. That’s not a problem, Congressional Democrats, is it?

April 02, 2020 | The American Prospect

Andrea Beaty

Op-Ed

Anti-MonopolyIndependent Agencies

The Men and Women Who Shrank the U.S. Ventilator Supply

This week, we learned that America squandered the opportunity to avoid an imminent critical shortage of lifesaving ventilators, and horrifying medical triage, amid surging COVID-19 cases in New York City, New Orleans, and elsewhere. The New York Times reported that a 2012 merger overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) foiled public-health officials’ push to replenish the nation’s ventilator supply.

March 13, 2020 | The Daily Beast

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Trump is Screwing Up His Response to the Coronavirus. House Democrats are Screwing Up their Response to Trump.

Trump’s coronavirus speech proves, once and for all, that the emperor is never going to put on clothes. We have a government without anyone meaningfully in charge of anything other than making Trump and his cronies rich. Banning flights from Europe (and excluding the United Kingdom, where the health minister(!) has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is self-isolating) indicates Trump’s xenophobia is now guided by throwing darts.

March 13, 2020 | Talking Points Memo

Max Moran

Op-Ed

Revolving Door

Trump’s Failing Coronavirus Response is Standard Issue Republicanism in 2020

“He’s got a certain talent for this,” President Donald Trump said of Vice President Mike Pence when entrusting him with the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Pence’s perpetual grimace is the new face of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, after a chaotic week when the White House health team’s internecine squabbles and revolving-door corruption got a bit too public for Trump’s comfort. GOP operatives are likely relieved that their “adult in the room” has taken over. After all, Pence may be a fundamentalist zealot, but he is at least an actual “normal” policy-maker.

March 06, 2020 | Talking Points Memo

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCongressional Oversight

Congressional Democrats Exhibit Symptoms Of A Spinelessness Pandemic

Public health officials agree: coronavirus’ spread is no longer a matter of if but when. The only question now is, how bad is it going to get? The answer will rest on the efficacy of the government’s response, its ability to get resources where they need to be, keep the public informed and react quickly to new developments. The bad news? We have a president whose team is uniquely ill-suited to lead this process. The good news, however, is the government is larger than the executive.

February 27, 2020 | The American Prospect

Andrea Beaty Eleanor Eagan Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionRevolving Door

The Trump Administration’s Contemptuous, Pro-Corporate Response to Coronavirus

The COVID-19 coronavirus is nearly a global pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control’s latest statement warns Americans “to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad.” Amid a global crisis like this, the public needs true leadership from the president and his top aides, and a highly competent government deserving of the people’s trust, with the capacity to effectively respond to incoming threats.But this is the Trump administration. So instead, we are being asked to put our faith in inexperienced political cronies, servicing the needs of corporations rather than the public, and contemptuous of science, scientists, and the idea of expertise.

February 21, 2020 | The American Prospect

Max Moran

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCampaign Finance

The Top Lawyer Bankrolling Democrats

The insidious influence of the wealthy over our politics, as Alexander Sammon wrote last month, is perhaps the defining issue of the 2020 Democratic primary. It’s the reason we at the Revolving Door Project have been yammering on about bundlers—the wealthy and well-connected volunteer fundraisers who almost inevitably end up receiving or influencing key jobs across the executive branch. Bundlers have driven the facile premise of both Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg’s campaigns: “I can’t be bought by the rich, because I am one of the rich who buys.” This was initially Donald Trump’s pitch, too. And the desire to reject the influence of bundlers raise hopes in Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s campaigns, largely driven by small dollars and people power.

February 19, 2020 | Truthout

Eleanor Eagan

Blog PostOp-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionCampaign Finance

As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands

At this time last year, newly declared Democratic primary candidates were racing to outdo each other with escalating promises to shun big money support. Contenders vowed not to take corporate PAC money, to reject lobbyists’ dollars, to discourage super PACs, and to tell fossil fuel executives, “no, thank you”. Now, however, many seem to be in a wholly different sort of race: to put the most distance between themselves and their prior principled stands.