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America Doesn’t Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

America Doesn’t Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

    By Thomas L. Knapp On August 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates denied US president Donald Trump’s request to increase the number of debates between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden from three to four. Trump’s case: The expansion of voting by mail means that many ballots will have been cast before the […]

Election 2020: Biden vs. Trump is an Echo, Not a Choice

Election 2020: Biden vs. Trump is an Echo, Not a Choice

    By Thomas L. Knapp “Democracy,” H.L. Mencken wrote, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Mencken’s assessment is philosophically dismissive of democracy as a theory of government. It’s snobbishly contemptuous of Joe Six-Pack’s qualifications for self-government of the democratic type. And […]

Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On

Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On

    By Thomas L. Knapp In 2010, US Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced their Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Better known as the “Internet Kill Switch” proposal for the emergency powers it would have conferred on the president, the bill died without receiving a vote […]

“Peak Libertarianism?” No, Thom Hartmann is Just a Sore Winner

“Peak Libertarianism?” No, Thom Hartmann is Just a Sore Winner

    By Thomas L. Knapp “We have now reached peak Libertarianism,” Thom Hartmann informs us at CounterPunch, “and this bizarre experiment that has been promoted by the billionaire class for over 40 years is literally killing us.” That claim is so bizarre on its face that it’s easy to dismiss. On the other hand, […]

CARES Act: Prelude to a $15 Minimum Wage?

CARES Act: Prelude to a $15 Minimum Wage?

    By Thomas L. Knapp Included in the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were three programs with less euphonious acronyms: FPUC, PEUC, and PUA. These programs extended (by 13 weeks), expanded (to self-employed workers), and added a $600 per week federal kicker to, state-level unemployment benefits. As July comes […]

Executive Orders: This is Trump’s Brain on Drugs

Executive Orders: This is Trump’s Brain on Drugs

    By Thomas L. Knapp On July 24, US president Donald Trump signed four executive orders with an eye toward altering the way prescription drugs are priced and purchased in the United States. Three of the four orders embody good ideas that accord with the goals of think tanks supposedly supporting “free-market policy solutions” […]

Yes, the Rent is Too Damn High — But Not Because the Minimum Wage is Too Damn Low

Yes, the Rent is Too Damn High — But Not Because the Minimum Wage is Too Damn Low

    By Thomas L. Knapp “Full-time minimum wage workers cannot afford a two-bedroom rental anywhere in the U.S.,” Alicia Adamczyk writes at CNBC, “and cannot afford a one-bedroom rental in 95% of U.S. counties.” Adamczyk gets her figures from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report. Here are a few […]

School’s Out. Reactionaries Hate That

School’s Out. Reactionaries Hate That

    By Thomas L. Knapp If there’s been one bright spot in America’s COVID-19 experience, it’s the near-complete shutdown of an expensive and obsolete government education system cribbed from mid-19th century Prussia. Across the country, “public” pre-K thru 12th-grade programs closed their doors this spring. Some districts attempted to hobble along using not yet […]

Political Parties: Inevitable and Ugly, But Not Entirely Useless

Political Parties: Inevitable and Ugly, But Not Entirely Useless

    By Thomas L. Knapp George Washington, America’s first president, devoted part of his 1796 farewell address to warning against “[t]he alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension.” He feared perpetual war for power between political parties both as “a frightful despotism” in and […]

A Modest Proposal for Compromise on “Confederate” Military Bases

A Modest Proposal for Compromise on “Confederate” Military Bases

    By Thomas L. Knapp In July 1864, Confederate forces led by General Jubal Early attacked Fort Stevens and Fort DeRussy on the outskirts of Washington, DC. Union forces drove them away after two days of skirmishes, but the battle threw a scare into the capital city and constituted a high point in the […]