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What would Nino do?

Mark Peterson, professor of history | February 17, 2016

A profound irony hangs over Republican politicians, pundits, and presidential candidates as they mourn the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia. They laud him as an intellectual giant for his promotion of Constitutional originalism and statutory textualism. Yet in nearly the same breath, they call for a suspension of the procedures the Constitution explicitly defines, insisting … Continue reading »

Election 2016: The long and uncertain path to a Trump victory

Terri Bimes, political science lecturer | February 12, 2016

After his victory in New Hampshire, Donald Trump has shown that he is a real contender for the Republican Party’s nomination. Prediction markets, in which consumers can place bids on who will win the nomination, had soured on Trump following his setback in Iowa. But right now on Predict It, Trump’s shares are worth twice … Continue reading »

GOP still clinging to the Southern strategy

Lisa García Bedolla, chancellor's professor, education and political science | August 7, 2015

In the 1960s, the Republican Party launched the Southern strategy – the use of coded racialized appeals to gain white votes. The large proportion of whites that now identify as Republican attests to the strategy’s resounding success. Its continued influence was evident on the stage in Cleveland Thursday. Despite the fact that Fox’s Facebook monitoring … Continue reading »

Islamophobia: An Electoral Wedge Issue!

Hatem Bazian, senior lecturer, Near Eastern studies and Ethnic studies | February 25, 2015

In 2011, the Center for American Progress published a groundbreaking report, “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” which managed to expose for the first time the funding sources behind the bigotry producing Islamophobic industry, the individuals responsible and the effective strategies that made possible to impact the mainstream.  CAP’s report managed … Continue reading »

The ever-fascinating Christie

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | January 15, 2014

The most interesting thing about Chris Christie’s apology is that it was no apology. An apology is a speech act – an utterance that is in some way world-changing. Apologies change the world by reversing the power of speaker and addressee: the speaker puts himself intentionally in a one-down position as a result of actions … Continue reading »

The GOP’s war isn’t over. It’s only a ceasefire

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | October 18, 2013

The war isn’t over. It’s only a cease-fire. Republicans have agreed to fund the federal government through January 15 and extend the government’s ability to borrow (raise the debt ceiling) through Feb. 7. The two sides have committed themselves to negotiate a long-term budget plan by mid-December. Regardless of what happens in the upcoming budget … Continue reading »

Republican crazy talk about the debt ceiling

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | October 9, 2013

“I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast, that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we will default on our debt,” says Sen.Tom Coburn, R-Okla. “We won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest.” This is crazy talk. While the Treasury Department could prioritize interest payments after October 17 – … Continue reading »

The debt ceiling and the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | October 8, 2013

It slipped under the radar screen due to all the furor over the impending government shutdown, but the NY Times ran an important article two weeks ago about the debt ceiling.  The Republican plan is apparently to condition their agreement to raise the debt ceiling and save the country from default on a massive regulatory rollback. This … Continue reading »

The sequester and the Tea Party Plot

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 1, 2013

Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population. Imagine further that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread … Continue reading »

Why is each sequel worse than the last?

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 15, 2013

Some movie franchises last way too long: Friday the 13th, Rocky, Nightmare on Elm Street.  Each new film is worse than the last, and they’re all worse than the original, which wasn’t so great itself.  The GOP war on energy-efficient light bulbs has the same characteristic — you wish someone would just drive a stake through … Continue reading »

The death of climate legislation revisited

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 12, 2013

Why did the push for climate legislation fail even though Democrats controlled Congress and the White House in 2008-2010 ? Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist, addressed this issue in a controversial recent paper.. Matt Kahn and I have both blogged before about her paper (here and here). Now that I’ve had a chance to read the 150-page article more … Continue reading »

How to never win another election

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | November 16, 2012

Suppose you have just been defeated in a tough political contest. Suppose further that it was one that, in your heart, you expected and felt entitled to win. Suppose in addition that most serious analysts attributed your loss, to a significant extent , to your antagonizing several key groups of voters: African Americans, women, Latinos, … Continue reading »

Why the GOP should embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency

Dan Farber, professor of law | November 13, 2012

There’s a lot of discussion these days about how the Republican Party should reposition itself in light of last week’s election results.  Support for renewables and energy efficiency would make sense as part of a package of policy adjustments — it would strengthen the Party’s appeal to swing voters, women, and younger voters, with only … Continue reading »

The GOP platform and the environment

Dan Farber, professor of law | August 30, 2012

With some effort, I was able to find full text of the platform. Not surprisingly, the basic thrust is to relax limits on industry. The energy provisions correspond to Romney’s recent proclamations — more drilling in more places, less regulation of coal, etc. On the environment, the basic message is that current regulations are too … Continue reading »

What Republicans argue when they have nothing left to say

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 20, 2012

Republicans are desperate. They can’t attack Obama on jobs because the jobs picture is improving. Their attack on the Administration’s rule requiring insurers to cover contraception has backfired, raising hackles even among many Republican women. Their attack on Obama for raising gas prices has elicited scorn from economists of all persuasions who know oil prices … Continue reading »

Why no responsible Democrat should want Newt Gingrich to get the GOP nomination

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 27, 2012

Republicans are worried sick about Newt Gingrich’s ascendance, while Democrats are tickled pink. Yet no responsible Democrat should be pleased at the prospect that Gingrich could get the GOP nomination. The future of America is too important to accept even a small risk of a Gingrich presidency. The Republican worry is understandable. “The possibility of … Continue reading »

The GOP ticket in 2012: Romney-Rubio

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 3, 2012

Since my New Year’s prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I’ve been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes. You can forget the caucuses and early primaries. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Republicans may be stupid but … Continue reading »