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Author: Robert Reich

Supreme Court justices appointed by a president who instigated a coup show true colors as partisan hacks

In mid-September, Clarence Thomas told a crowd of more than 800 students and faculty at Notre Dame University that the U.S. supreme court should not be viewed in political terms, and that justices do not base their rulings on “personal preferences.” But if not political or personal preferences, where exactly do they discover the law? Thomas never said. When asked whether the attorneys presenting oral arguments ever compel him to change his mind, Thomas said, “almost never.” In late September, the court’s newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, told a crowd in Kentucky that supreme court justices are not...

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Unhappy Americans: The unrealistic expectations of how fast President Joe Biden can clean up Trump’s mess

America is overflowing with good news. Unemployment is down, wages are up, consumer confidence is rebounding, and consumers are spending more. COVID seems to be in retreat, at least among those who have been vaccinated. And two big parts of Biden’s legislative agenda, last spring’s $1.9tn American Rescue Plan and his recent $1.2tn infrastructure plan, have been enacted. So what’s not to be happy about? Apparently, plenty. Biden’s job approval rating is 12 points lower than when he took office – now just 41% (around where Trump’s was for most of his presidency). Most registered voters say that if...

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A False Inflation: High prices are being driven by a few corporate giants trying to rake in too much profit

The U.S. labor department recently announced that the consumer price index, a basket of products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents, rose 6.2% from a year ago. That was the nation’s highest annual inflation rate since November 1990. Republicans are hammering Biden and Democratic lawmakers over inflation – and attacking his economic stimulus plans as wrongheaded. “This will be a winter of high gas prices, shortages and inflation because far left lunatics control our government,” Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida posted via Twitter on November 11. A major reason for price rises is...

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Rule of the Minority: Understanding how the Senate’s Filibuster is actually Unconstitutional

A lot has been said about the filibuster these days. But here is one thing about this old Senate rule that most people might not know: the filibuster actually violates the Constitution. 41 Senate Republicans, who represent only 21 percent of the American population, are blocking the “For the People Act,” which is supported by 67 percent of Americans. They’re also blocking an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, supported by 62 percent of Americans. And so much else. Even some so-called moderate Democrats, like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, have outsized power to block crucial...

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Power of the State: A departure from Ronald Reagan’s limited government to an absolute intrusion

I am old enough to remember when the Republican party stood for limited government and Ronald Reagan thundered “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Today’s Republican party, while still claiming to stand for limited government, is practicing just the opposite: government intrusion everywhere. Republican lawmakers are banning masks in schools. Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and South Carolina are prohibiting public schools from requiring students wear them. Republican states are on the way to outlawing abortions. Texas has just banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even...

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Corporate Welfare: When Republicans punish the poor with “Capitalism” and reward the rich with “Socialism”

Much of the news from Republicans in Congress has been about their attacks on the agenda of Democrats, with abundant false claims of scary “socialist” policies. We do have socialism in this country — but it is not policies promoted by Democrats. The real socialism is corporate welfare. Thousands of big American corporations rake in billions each year in government subsidies, bailouts, and tax loopholes—all funded on the taxpayer dime, and all contributing to higher stock prices for the richest 1 percent who own half of the stock market, as well as CEOs and other top executives who are...

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