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Reich writes: "Anyone still unsure of how (or even whether) they'll vote in the midterms should consider this: All three branches of government are now under the control of one party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump."

Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)


Containing the Catastrophe

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Website

08 October 18

 

nyone still unsure of how (or even whether) they’ll vote in the midterms should consider this: All three branches of government are now under the control of one party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump.  

With the addition of Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is as firmly Republican as are the House and Senate.

Kavanaugh was revealed as a fierce partisan – not only the legal advisor who helped Kenneth Starr prosecute Bill Clinton and almost certainly guided George W. Bush’s use of torture, but also a nominee who believes “leftists” and Clinton sympathizers are out to get him.

He joins four other Republican-appointed jurists, almost as partisan. Thomas, Alito, and Roberts have never wavered from Republican orthodoxy. Neil Gorsuch, although without much track record on the Supreme Court to date, was a predictable conservative Republican vote on the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit – which is why the Heritage Foundation pushed for him and Trump appointed him.  

Even under normal circumstances, when all three branches are under the control of the same party we get a lopsided government that doesn’t respond to the values of a large portion of the electorate.

But these are not normal circumstances. Donald Trump is President.

Need I remind you? Trump is a demagogue who doesn’t give a fig for democracy – who continuously and viciously attacks the free press, Democrats, immigrants, Muslims, black athletes exercising First Amendment rights, women claiming sexual harassment, anyone who criticizes or counters him; who treats the executive branch, including the Justice Department, like his own fiefdom, and brazenly profits off his office; who tells lies like other people breathe; and who might well have conspired with Vladimir Putin to swing the election his way.

Trump doesn’t even pretend to be the president of all the people. As he repeatedly makes clear in rallies and tweets, he is president of his “base.”

And his demagoguery is by now unconstrained in the White House. Having fired the few “adults” in his Cabinet, Trump is now on the loose (but for a few advisors who reportedly are trying to protect the nation from him).

All this would be bad enough even if the two other branches of government behaved as the framers of the Constitution expected, as checks and balances on a president. But under Republican leadership, they refuse to play this role when it comes to Trump.

House and Senate Republicans have morphed into Trump sycophants and toadies – intimidated, spineless, opportunistic. The few who have dared call him on his outrages aren’t running for reelection.

Some have distanced themselves from a few of his most incendiary tweets or racist rantings, but most are obedient lapdogs on everything else – including Trump’s reluctance to protect the integrity of our election system, his moves to prevent an investigation into Russian meddling, his trade wars, his attacks on NATO and the leaders of other democracies, his swooning over dictators, his cruelty toward asylum-seekers, and, in the Senate, his Supreme Court nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has emerged as Trump’s most shameless lackey who puts party above nation and Trump above party. The House leadership is no better. House intelligence chair Devin Nunes is Trump’s chief flunky and apologist, but there are many others. 

Now that Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, you can forget about the Court constraining Trump, either.

Kavanaugh’s views of presidential power and executive privilege are so expansive he’d likely allow Trump to fire Mueller, shield himself from criminal prosecution, and even pardon himself. Kavanaugh’s Republican brethren on the Court would probably go along.  

So how are the constitutional imperative of checks and balances to be salvaged, especially when they’re so urgently needed?  

The only remedy is for voters to flip the House or Senate, or ideally both, on November 6th.

The likelihood of this happening is higher now with Kavanaugh on the Court and Trump so manifestly unchecked. Unless, that is, enough voters have become so demoralized and disillusioned they just give up.

If cynicism wins the day, Trump and those who would delight in the demise of American democracy (including, not incidentally, Putin) will get everything they want. They will have broken America.

For the sake of the values we hold dear – and of the institutions of our democracy that our forbearers relied on and our descendants will need – this cannot be allowed.

It is now time to place a firm check on this most unbalanced of presidents, and vote accordingly.

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+44 # librarian1984 2018-10-08 13:19
Conservatives like to say their favorite judges are originalists who stick to the Constitution, but Kavanaugh held exactly the opposite belief about presidential privilege when he helped Ken 'Perv' Starr prosecute Bill Clinton. (Kavanaugh's questions for Clinton were so intrusive and obscene even the Perv wouldn't use them.)

Their judges are not principled. They're hyperpartisan and they shift, like McConnell, saying whatever justifies them getting what they wanted to begin with.

What's fascinating is to listen to conservatives -- who have the executive, judicial and legislative branches, two SC appointments and huge tax cuts -- still try to claim victimhood.

The Republicans are becoming all the things they said they hated about liberals -- snowflakes and perpetual victims who operate under fuzzy situational ethics even as establishment Democrats adopt the agenda and tactics of the old GOP. Remember, Obama said if this were the 1980s he'd be considered a moderate Republican.

The GOP is toxic to Americans and the planet. Where is the Democrat who can stand up to Trump and McConnell effectively?
 
 
+1 # JCM 2018-10-08 18:47
Where were the people that should have voted for Democrats. Did they stay at home. Did they vote for a third party. Were they told not to vote for Dems even though that meant losing the Supreme Court for decades. Tell us Blah Blah 1984. What happened. Didn't want to vote for the lesser of evil and got the very worst of the evilest. I hope we can get it straight this time. It's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.
 
 
+5 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 10:28
Your only virtue is consistency. No matter what the topic, no matter how dire the future, you can't stop yourself from harking back to 2016. But your memory is tellingly selective: You forget progressives warned you for a year Hillary polled badly and would hurt downticket races. You forget Obama was pushing TPP all year and Hillary couldn't be bothered to go to MI. You forget the DNC stole the nomination and that corporatist HRC promised war and incrementalism, and picked a VP to her right.

After her loss you've bent over backwards to blame the very people who warned you this could happen, refused to hold leadership accountable and fought reform. The result? The same DINOs are running the same strategies (except for the crop of ex-intel candidates, oh goody!), pursuing suburban white women instead of caring that minorities and the young are staying home, uninspired after two years of being treated with contempt, cheated and still nothing to vote FOR.

At this crucial moment enthusiasm is down among millennials, Independents and people of color, people you need to win these elections. Gee. I wonder why.

Idk what will get through to you. You seem deaf to reason OR electoral results.

These people have lost us a thousand seats. Then they lost to Trump. But they're still in charge, and you not only defend them but attack progressives -- whose votes you need.

I'll have faith we can start winning again when people like you wake up.
 
 
+8 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 11:53
Btw, you continue to attack Sanders without ever acknowledging he brought MILLIONS to vote for Hillary. If he hadn't she wouldn't have won the popular vote either. But instead of being grateful you treat him and his supporters like shit. You think that's going to help in 2020? Will you STILL be harping at progressives two years from now?

If you REALLY wanted to win you'd pressure the party to reform, not continue to attack the people who correctly predicted this outcome.
 
 
-1 # JCM 2018-10-09 18:40
Blah Blah 1984: Apparently you haven't learned anything. And I see you picked up some rump habits like lying. I remember you said rump was at least honest. That didn’t work out to well. BTW I went to see Bernie in Atlanta and drove 200 miles to see him. I wouldn't call that an attack. And how do you know what I'm doing to support progressives. Just more of your lying to save face. You preach to these people like you’re a republican, always criticizing the Dems never criticizing the republicans until recently. A little too late. You forget that many people tried to tell you that if people didn't go out and vote for ever Dem they could, everything progressive would be destroyed. and we would lose the Supreme Court for decades. I’d say that was a pretty good guess. And you still haven’t learned that the election is not the time to pressure the Dems. We only lose elections when you do it like that. Support progressives before primaries by donating as much as you can but if they lose, go out and vote for the Dem that won. Any Dem is better than letting a repub win.
It's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 23:05
The moral shortcomings of the GOP are well-documented , self-evident and frankly not within our power to effect, but what's gone unnoted, and what we CAN change, is four decades of DP betrayal.

It wasn't great before Trump -- normalized fiscal crises, stagnant wages, attempts to privatize SS, decimated unions, unending wars -- under BOTH parties -- and in 2016 we learned the DP lies to its members, steals elections, suppresses votes and delivers almost exclusively for donors.

I've no intention of remaining silent as the post-Trump DP takes us back to business-as-usu al -- and don't pretend you EVER think it's the right time to pressure the party.

The only way suffering through Trump is worthwhile is if government is better afterward, which won't happen with your bankrupt anyone-with-a-D -by-their-name- is-AOK bs.

So we should support Joe Manchin, who just stabbed us in the back, or Ds who helped the GOP deregulate WS? Uh, no.

NO. MORE. NEOLIBERALS.

Odd timing, your showing up a month before the election to spew David Brock scripts at us, doing your best to divide us, start fights and recast blame for DP fuckups.

And yeah, let's talk about SCOTUS. Merrick Garland, for real? Imagine if O's nomination had been inspirational, someone who'd fired up the base. But I dream.

Did progressives let that seat languish FOR A YEAR, or was it establishment Ds? Did you harangue them? Or is your faux outrage reserved for true progressives?
 
 
-1 # JCM 2018-10-10 10:42
"The only way suffering through Trump is worthwhile is if government is better afterward, which won't happen with your bankrupt anyone-with-a-D -by-their-name- is-AOK bs." It would be pretty hard to do with the Supreme Court killing anything progressive or liberal.
"So we should support Joe Manchin, who just stabbed us in the back, or Ds who helped the GOP deregulate WS? Uh, no." I have gotten to really dislike that guy but even a blue dog is better than a republican.
"Did progressives let that seat languish FOR A YEAR, or was it establishment Ds? Did you harangue them?" If I recall it was the republicans that let that seat languish.
"Or is your faux outrage reserved for true progressives?" There you go again, a republican tactic, project a lie on an opponent. I donate to and support progressives all over the country and I have said that many times. What do you do besides just tearing down the Dems and telling people not to vote all Dems. Which is at least one reason we lost control. What would have happened if all the people that supported Obama in 2008 came out and support him in 2012? We might have had a real 60 majority vote. We'll never know what kind of legislation could have come from that. What I can say is that it would have been a helluva lot better than the republicans.
The damage has been done. The Supreme Court is lost to us. That was a good enough reason to vote all Dems.
Vote to keep the republicans from winning anything.
 
 
0 # Benign Observer 2018-10-10 14:10
Quoting JCM:
If I recall it was the republicans that let that seat languish.

OMG that''s your defense? OK imagine it's 2020 and Ds hold the Senate (this IS a fantasy). Do you think Trump and McTurtle would let a seat sit for 293 days? You're actually going to defend that?

If that's the potency of the Democrats WHEN IN POWER, then what does it matter if we give them the majority? The last time they had total power they gave us Republican health care, renewed the Patriot Act and made the Bush tax cuts permanent. No wonder voters stay home!

If Obama had not bailed out the banks and let 5 million Americans lose their home, if he wasn't fighting for TPP and Keystone, if he hadn't shut down OWS -- he would have gotten 60%. He duped people with 'hope and change' and then gave them the same old crap: wars, surveillance and a booming economy for the rich while everyone else continued to slide.

It's not the voters fault. Pressure the party, the people with power.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-10-10 18:22
And now you have an administration that is destroying the fabric of what was left of our democracy. The only way we can get rid of them is to vote for all the Dems you can now.
Again, it's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.
Voting third party or not voting just ain't going to cut it.
BTW, the Dems never really had a functional 60 majority vote. When McTurtle (funny)held that SC seat he had both houses. What would you have done to stop the Turtle.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2018-10-10 20:56
You always twist it so VOTERS have to expect less, when we've been doing that for 40 years. When is it THEIR turn to accommodate US? When do they EARN our vote instead of demanding it since we have 'nowhere to go'?

Like I said below, convincing me and the people here doesn't mean much. Even if we all bought what you're selling there are MILLIONS of people who don't even vote. The EASIEST way for Democraps to win EVERY TIME is to offer policies people like. Duh. Why is that never your answer? Why do you consistently let them off the hook on an obvious and effective way to win?

& one more thing. Why do you 100% of the time say we have to ask nothing of the party, just vote for them 'because Trump' -- when they are STILL CHEATING US, and still attack us with trolls. Who does that?

No respect, no input, no comaraderie, no common goals. We're supposed to pony up, show up and shut up.

Why do you think that's okay?

There is an EASY way for Ds to get our votes. Back single payer health care. Raise wages. Regulate WS. End these obcene wars. HELP US.

If Democrats don't stand for peace, education, climate action, and policies rooted in fact and justice -- AND they cheat us -- AND they LOSE -- why would we support them? You might have an argument if they won!

We're 1/2 through Trump. I'm not willing to let corrupt DINOs pull their same bullshit. They'll shove Harris down our throat and get Trump re-elected. How do you not see that?
 
 
-2 # JCM 2018-10-11 19:08
Yes, I get it. The Dems are all messed up and totally incapable of running the country. OK, during the election we stay at home or vote for a third party if there isn't the perfect progressive candidate to vote for. Then the republicans win of course. Great plan, should have thought of that sooner.

It's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.
 
 
+1 # Depressionborn 2018-10-09 13:34
Quoting JCM:
Where were the people that should have voted for Democrats. Did they stay at home. Did they vote for a third party. Were they told not to vote for Dems even though that meant losing the Supreme Court for decades. Tell us Blah Blah 1984. What happened. Didn't want to vote for the lesser of evil and got the very worst of the evilest. I hope we can get it straight this time. It's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.

they got jobs?
The NFIB said:

“There is extraordinary competition for workers in this historically tight labor market. Small business owners are investing more in their employees to attract and keep qualified workers.”

The areas where workers are most needed are in construction, manufacturing and transportation…
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-10-09 18:45
I'm talking about the people voting during the last election. And please, rump has done little to give him any credit to where the economy is. Unless you think his tax cut did anything for anybody except for the very wealthiest.
 
 
+2 # Depressionborn 2018-10-09 20:03
Quoting JCM:
I'm talking about the people voting during the last election. And please, rump has done little to give him any credit to where the economy is. Unless you think his tax cut did anything for anybody except for the very wealthiest.

re: JCM. If we asked the non-voters, what would they say about why?
 
 
-3 # evolver 2018-10-09 10:07
I suppose we "should" be happy you are entertained in "fascination" with the conservatives! Entertained? Is that what you were looking for Librarian, when your drum beat during the election campaign was to do all you could to make sure this current man in the WH won the election? Fascination, entertainment? I swear, I really DO now think you are or surely sound like a Russian troll and like trump, you have people's attention! Makes me feel ill! Why? Now you relentlessly put down the ONLY party who could possibly SAVE THIS COUNTRY AT THIS TIME!
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 11:28
I do find human behavior fascinating. Understanding it helps us strategize, so I assume you find that troublesome mainly because you're looking for ways to condemn me. But when you misstate what I said and wanted, I can't take it to heart.

I'm well aware I make mistakes, but supporting Sanders was not one of them. If you'd listened to us, if the DNC hadn't stolen the nomination, Trump would not be president.

Are you telling me we had no one better than HRC -- someone with tremendous baggage, who turned off Democrats, riled up Republicans, and had lost before? But somehow her loss is progressives' fault? I reject that.

If you had listened to us instead of insulting and attacking us we would have defeated Trump.

Clinton, the DP, DCCC and DNC deserve blame. Their actions and 'strategy' depressed enthusiasm among minorities, millennials and Independents -- and they're doing it again. How smart is it there was no autopsy, no meaningful reform and no change in leadership?

We should see a blue tsunami but we're not. Why aren't the young or black women, our largest and most loyal blocs respectively, eager to vote? Could it be because people like you show nothing will improve?

The DP is not going to save us. They're as inept and corrupt as the GOP. They're a further obstacle. Chomsky, Nader and Obama agree. Are they trolls too?

Progressives want a BETTER party. Why don't you?

You want to play the blame game? Look in the mirror.
 
 
+4 # economagic 2018-10-09 15:53
"Are you telling me we had no one better than HRC -- someone with tremendous baggage, who turned off Democrats, riled up Republicans, and had lost before? But somehow her loss is progressives' fault? I reject that. . . .

Clinton, the DP, DCCC and DNC deserve blame."

I reject it too, and I blame the many Democratic party officials who continue to hawk corporate BS, rather than the victims of the policies of those misleaders especially since the mid-80s and the DLC, which should have been called the "DMC."

But I also blame the Democrats who failed to see Ms. Clinton's very real shortcomings--t he qualities that were praised by the GOP (or at least acknowledged) even as they tarred her for things that never happened as well as things she said or did that were right on. It really DOES take a village, and not only to raise a child. But her happy dance upon the vicious murder of Ghaddafi was the last straw for many people.

In early 2017 an emeritus professor of political science at UNC Chapel Hill who identified himself as a lifelong Democrat made a presentation to a local civic group dissecting the campaign that had recently ended. In response to a question about his personal take on Ms. Clinton, he said that he had only met her once, but that she had seemed to him to be the coldest person he had ever met.
 
 
-2 # evolver 2018-10-09 18:00
LOL
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2018-10-11 12:01
Wow, thanks for that thoughtful and insightful reply.

I'm assuming you don't have an argument because any honest person can see there isn't one.

Trump, and our situation, are not the fault of voters. This dead donkey can be laid directly at the feet of our corrupt party.
 
 
-3 # JCM 2018-10-09 18:59
Blah Blah: Man you can lie.
You are also forgetting that Hillary won the popular vote, but I guess that doesn't count. And I did vote for Bernie. All your criticisms about the Dems for the most part are accurate, the point is by punishing the Dems you got the very worst of the evils and the worst has come true. You fix the Dems before the election not during the election. Yeah, I do condemn your strategy you preach. It doesn’t help.
BTW, I believe it was mainly the Interstate Crosschecking System that turned the election.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 23:45
See my 11:53 reply. Gee, guess I didn't forget. But I'm sure you'll find some other way to paint me as responsible for the collapse of democracy.

And don't pretend you want to reform the party even when it's NOT an election.

There are two things that can happen: the party listens to us, adopts an agenda that inspires Dems, millennials, Independents, minorities, the working class and progressives -- and starts to win elections. Or. The party continues to kowtow to its donors and deservedly lands in the trash heap of history, THEM with big fat pensions and great health care, and US with a burning planet.

You act as if I control millions of votes. Hey, even if you convince ME, there are millions upon millions of Americans who've given up on the Democratic Party, and I'm just trying to tell you why.

AT ANY POINT the DP could turn this around. But every day they decide not to. It's not me who makes them betray us. I'm just your scapegoat.

I want the party to BE better, to DO better. Why don't you?
 
 
-2 # JCM 2018-10-10 19:06
“See my 11:53 reply. Gee, guess I didn't forget. But I'm sure you'll find some other way to paint me as responsible for the collapse of democracy.” Pardon me, didn’t notice that until later. “And don't pretend you want to reform the party even when it's NOT an election.” The insincerity of this statement truly shows what you stand for. Like the republicans when they say anything to vilify their opponents. “There are two things that can happen: the party listens to us, adopts an agenda that inspires Dems, millennials, Independents, minorities, the working class and progressives -- and starts to win elections. Or. The party continues to kowtow to its donors and deservedly lands in the trash heap of history,” The party doesn’t listen to protest votes. They listen to candidates that win primaries. The way we help progressive candidates is to donate to their campaigns to help them win. “You act as if I control millions of votes. Hey, even if you convince ME, there are millions upon millions of Americans who've given up on the Democratic Party, and I'm just trying to tell you why.” I don’t want you to lose anybody’s vote that will help the republicans win. Like I have said, much of your criticisms are reasonably accurate it’s just your idea of what to do about it is wrong. “I want the party to BE better, to DO better. Why don't you? Your dishonesty is very disturbing. Maybe you really aren’t what you say you are.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2018-10-10 21:49
Quoting JCM:
The party doesn’t listen to protest votes. They listen to candidates that win primaries. The way we help progressive candidates is to donate to their campaigns to help them win
You'd have a leg to stand on if Steny Hoyer hadn't said the DCCC, not voters, picks candidates; if the DNC didn't state in court that accepting donations doesn't obligate them to give us honest primaries; if they hadn't cheated; if they didn't suppress votes; if they didn't fix the debates; if they didn't take machines out of progressive areas and throw away provisional ballots.

That's what I mean. I might buy what you're saying if they weren't ALSO cheating us.

AND. THEY. LOSE.

Really, what are you defending?
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-10-11 19:45
“Really, what are you defending?” As much as the Dems do and say stupid things, and as many times they screw up, when they get a chance to legislate they try to make things better for all people at least some of the time. The republicans, to include rump, legislate only for the wealthiest. More pollution, more financial theft, much less SS, Medicare, Medicaid, less public education, less taxes on the rich, less civil rights, less voting rights, less research and development including for renewable energy, less money for libraries and they try to privatize the post office department. They have destroyed the EPA, the State department, Dep. of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the FDA and probably many more. They support the subsidizing of the fossil fuel industry. Inhuman treatment of immigrants and intolerance of minorities’ and the handicap. And finally, though I’m sure there’s more, they don’t believe in CLIMATE CHANGE.
So however bad you think the Dems are just take a look at this as they pale in comparison to the repubs. I’m not willing to wait for protest votes to change the Dems. I don’t want the repubs to win.
Again, It's not about not voting for the least of evils, it's voting to keep the worst of evils from winning.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-10-11 21:38
More:
They try to destroy Unions and worker rights. Want to sell off national parks and rip up protection of endangered species. Inhuman treatment of immigrants and intolerance of minorities’, women and the handicap. Supports legislation that helps create income and wealth inequality. Less healthcare for millions and support worst healthcare policies. Less support for the Fine Arts program. They disenfranchise millions, and are in charge of the Interstate Crosschecking System that disenfranchises countless voters.
 
 
+2 # Depressionborn 2018-10-11 18:03
Where is the Democrat who can stand up to Trump and McConnell effectively?

RE: Where is the Democrat who can stand up to Trump and McConnell effectively? I think it depends on the border situation
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2018-10-12 06:37
Hi, D. It's interesting -- when I watch shows on Fox I'm always surprised at how upset conservatives are about immigration, while I think most liberals see it as a manageable problem.

It's a legitimate problem but we don't even seem able to agree on the facts. As far as I've heard, there is a net exodus of illegal immigrants. There's also a difference between them and asylum seekers, and many asylum seekers are in distress because of US policy and actions in the region.

As a matter of fact, we bear some responsibility for many of the world's exile movements, yet we aren't willing to pay any price for our actions.

And yet NEITHER party seems willing to hold hearing or tackle the problem in the open because they both use it as a campaign issue. We wreck people's lives and then play politics.

Another issue that bugs me lately, largely because of OUR exchanges, is government. Conservatives have developed such hostility to government, when it performs important functions and is full of hard-working Americans performing essential functions.

Can we ever work together on things like this?

You take care now.
 
 
+1 # Depressionborn 2018-10-12 11:39
we need immigrants. we also need secure borders. actually they are complimentary. The law is clear, just needs to be followed.

ps. like pizza, go to England. gov will help you?

Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government plans to cap the calories in thousands of meals sold in restaurants and supermarkets. Pies, ready meals and sandwiches will also be subject to the new proposed calorie limits, in a desperate bid to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis. Under the draft proposals, a standard pizza for one should contain no more than 928 calories - far less than many sold by takeaways, restaurants and shops. And the recommendations suggest that a savoury pie should contain no more than 695 calories.
 
 
+32 # logical1 2018-10-08 13:30
Democrats and independents need to get out to vote. This is the most lopsided government in my 70 years in America and probably much longer.
This is not a fleeting trend. If we co not act now, the use of dark money will control and overtake our elections.
Gerrymandering, candidate elections run by partisan non profits, and the freedom to for candidates to lie with impunity.
Corporate "people" put huge sums of money to make their candidate win, withdraw funds when they do not vote in line, give lists of their views on political subjects and bills but never tell "their" candidates how to vote. But pay for their elections when the representative is in their corporate pocket for votes.
This is how to control a government being perpetrated by citizens united and the Trump take over of America.
People can live and enjoy life even under the harshest dictators unless they want a better life for mankind and the earth and buck the authority of the despot.
 
 
+9 # logical1 2018-10-08 13:39
Democrats and independents need to get out to vote. This is the most lopsided government in my 70 years in America and probably much longer.
This is not a fleeting trend. If we do not act now, the use of dark money will control and overtake our elections.
Gerrymandering, candidate elections run by partisan non profits, and the freedom for candidates to lie with impunity.
Corporate "people", contributing to these "non-profits" put huge sums of money to make their candidate win, withdraw funds when they do not vote in line, give lists of their views on political subjects and bills but never tell "their" candidates how to vote. Then pay for representative' s election when in their corporate pocket for votes.
This is how to control a government being perpetrated by citizens united and the Trump take over of America.
People can live and enjoy life even under the harshest dictators unless they want a better life for mankind and the earth and buck the authority of the despot.
 
 
+23 # Farafalla 2018-10-08 13:41
"They will have broken America."
I think they already did. The new right is brazen and emboldened by all they can get away with. eg: 500,000 voters (mostly black) dropped from the registration rolls in Georgia. Trump does not get impeached and rigs his way to re-election in 2020.

Liberals lack spine and will spend their time saying that single payer universal healthcare is divisive. They will always condemn the socialist left for waging "class warfare". My House rep (major mainstream democrat) opposes impeachment. The typical Democrat of today is somewhere between Joe Manchin and Diane Feinstein.
 
 
-75 # jtatu 2018-10-08 14:06
Reich becomes increasingly subversive with his intellectually dishonest, misleading assertions. The judicial branch of the federal government is not under the "control" of a political party by any stretch of the imagination. He needs to review Art. III of the U.S. Constitution. A lifetime appointment, no matter who makes it, fairly guarantees independence from politics.
 
 
+8 # Elroys 2018-10-08 14:40
You must be kidding - or you are asleep at the wheel. To think that the Federalist society, Heritage Fdn. and Trump would brutally destroy the women of America for just any old Supreme Ct. nomination is nuts. Wake up and smell the corruption and criminality of trump and his Repugnant enablers.
 
 
+9 # Jim Rocket 2018-10-08 14:44
Ha ha ha! Good one! You forgot to label you post as sarcasm.
 
 
+10 # ericlipps 2018-10-08 15:58
The judicial branch isn't SUPPOSED to be under the 'control" of any party. However, if a particular party remains in power long enough and/or is fortunate enough to be in power at a time when many judges are retiring, it can indeed gain control.

That's how, for instance, we ended up with seven Republicans on the nine-member Supreme Court during the 2000 election controversy: Republicans had been able to pick a disproportionat e number of justices: it was fortunate enough to be in position to pick those justices, who serve for life barring resignation or impeachment.

Granted, once on the court a justice may move in an unexpected direction, as Earl Warren did (Eisenhower nominated him expecting Warren to be a reliably conservative Chief Justice and was quite bitter when he turned out not to be). But in recent decades Republicans have become more and more careful to ensure that new justices they get to appoint are hard-line right-wingers and, if possible, youthful. Democrats, by contrast, have become more cautious (not to say timid) in order to enable a Democratic president's nominees to get past the lockstep opposition of the GOP (and even that doesn't work well anymore; witness Merrick Garland).

Under these circumstances, the judicial branch--especia lly at the top--is anything but "independent' politically.
 
 
+3 # economagic 2018-10-09 16:14
Best answer hands down, and well written.
 
 
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-10-09 19:51
Yeah, if only eric was on our side lol
 
 
+8 # Harvard72 2018-10-08 16:00
It takes a "stretch of the imagination" only to go back to last Thursday to Kavanaugh's testimony to see that he (and by extension the 4 like voters on the Supreme Court)are under the control of the Republican party. Kavanaugh did not try to hide the fact that he is a far right Republican partisan, and that is practical point that Reich is making. To the 38% of the voting population who likes the lunacy of the Trump actions, the fact that all 3 branches of the government are now part of the Trump empire is great news; but to the vast majority of "other Americans," we are in frightening times and must act NOW. Trump will believe there are literally no limits on him if Republicans maintain the House and Senate in November 2018. The damage in the next two years would be absolutely devastating. Everyone reading this must vote Democratic.
 
 
+6 # economagic 2018-10-08 17:08
Excuse me? On what planet in what galaxy far, far away have you been spending your time since they taught you that in high school Civics class?

It worked more or less that way, despite such horrible rulings as the Dred Scott case and "separate but equal," until the middle of the 20th century. The Warren Court (1953-1969) was unabashedly "liberal" (as it was called in those days), which aligned fairly closely with the Democratic party outside the South. Beginning in 1969 Nixon, the Burger Court, the Powell Memo, the OPEC oil embargo, and the rise of the right-wing think tanks, reversed all of that in a decade, and with the election of Ronny Raygun in 1980 the Court has been shifting steadily farther to the right and aligning and allying itself increasingly with the Republican party.
 
 
+8 # conniejo 2018-10-08 17:17
Where have you been the past couple of decades? The court has come down on the side of corporations/th e rich/republican s in so many decisions because it is a republican institution. Have you forgotten about the Citizens United decision? Kavanaugh is even worse - far more partisan as he so clearly demonstrated in his ranting testimony against the democrats - than Kennedy was, and Kennedy wasn't even an old-time conservative. Why do you think republicans announced that their top goal in 2016 was to get control of the presidency and congress in order to put in place a judiciary that served their purposes? Reich is not dishonest nor misleading. He has stated clearly the problem faced by those who care about a government for all the people.
 
 
0 # BetaTheta 2018-10-09 21:22
Agree totally. And, in fact, the Court has favored business elites for most of its long history. The Warren court was one of the few aberrations.

The Gilded Age court started the ball rolling on the idea of corporate personhood via perversion of the 14th Amendment. It was Republican-domi nated and about every other justice was an ex-railroad lawyer, placed there to serve the interests of the companies whence they came.

SCOTUS has never been really free of politics and the attendant corruption of money. But it is worse now than in many years.
 
 
+5 # logical1 2018-10-08 21:11
Ignorance does not make one honest. You're ignorance of the forces of "dark money" working it's way to control America dies not mean a vindictive person will change his spots because of a lifetime appointment. Trump wants judges who are bad enough and honest enough to be beholding to him for his appointment, and Kavanaugh is his perfect judge.
 
 
+2 # MidwestDick 2018-10-08 22:31
True that! SCROTUS is under the direct control of the Koch network. The GOP is just a cover story. Clever of you to have noticed.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 13:57
Rip Van Winkle, is that you?

Antonin Scalia?

Bush v Gore? Ring a bell?

Citizens United?

What do you think this is all about? it's about putting Federalist Society radical activists on the highest court. That's EXACTLY what it's about! Funded by Koch.
 
 
+28 # ddd-rrr 2018-10-08 14:32
.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

ON NOVEMBER 6th, PLEASE VOTE!

But, please VOTE THOUGHTFULLY!

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
.
 
 
+1 # franpryor 2018-10-08 16:11
Did I hear somebody say Sieg Heil, mein Fuhrer?
 
 
+2 # giraffee23 2018-10-08 16:57
And if you don't vote we may end up with Dictator Orange - reading all of the above comments and agreeing ---- it is imperative the non GOP votes are needed---

Among the reasons we need the left as at least one branch of the govt is to INVESTIGATE and PROSECUTE the WRONG (ok if there are any) committed by the GOP.

461M untaxed $ floated into Trump's pocket === Russia is still in our election process and Orange has done zero (not even admitting this problem) --- but there is more that S/B investigated .... It appears the wrongs are in plain sight but GOP in prevents the 99% from even looking into the wrongs.

VOTE
 
 
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-08 19:21
Guys like Reich have been trying to conatain the catastrophe of Trump for almost four years now, ever since he made noises about running. The blockbuster news is that they don't have a clue about how to do it. Reich just writes one jaw-dropping article after another, expecting that jaw-dropping and bunkerbuster revelations will actually do something. Reich and the hordes in the major media think that their devastating articles will awake the masses and Trump will be undone. The real catastrophe is that no one cares and no one believes writers like Reich or anyone at the NYT or Wapo.


Trump won because the democratic party candidate ran a terrible race. With a little common sense effort, Hillary could have beaten Trump. Demos were and are still just too over confident. Most people understand that about Trump. He was a protest candidate who got lucky. Now he really does not know much of what to do.
 
 
+2 # economagic 2018-10-09 16:49
(This comment was reconstructed after the typing of it was interrupted by a fund-raising banner.)

The Democratic (sic) party ("democratic" refers to actual democracy) did indeed run a terrible race. But in addition, almost everybody, including the Democratic candidate and all 327 of the Republican candidates were caught flat-footed by Trump's complete disregard for the truth (which of course he doesn't know anyway) and his cavalier ridicule of each and every one of his adversaries. The primaries gave him a great warm-up period, but it also gave the Democrats an opportunity to develop retorts, an opportunity which they punted. From the perspective of those colored-dog Democrats that should rank as the greatest failing of their campaign.
 
 
+7 # Jaax88 2018-10-08 22:51
I think Dem Party and independents need to understand the GOP has taken a no-holds barred, win at any cost war position on politics in America. Until the Dem Party or a viable third party comes to grips with that reality it will be hard for progressive-lib eral party to regain some effective dominance over the politics in America. There is a war going on; the GOP has said it and are carrying it out.
 
 
+5 # librarian1984 2018-10-09 11:47
I actually agree with you.

I hope the Dems will take the House -- but even against Trump and McConnell they are struggling. Why? Shouldn't they be 30 points ahead everywhere, instead of in dead heats and toss-ups?

There should be a tsunami on the horizon but there's not, even in the face of a historically regressive and abusive opponent, because the party is still more focussed on fighting progressives than Trump. They'd STILL rather lose with blue dog candidates than win with progressives.

People should quit attacking our left flank. Instead, pressure the party to stop undermining the base in order to please their donors.

When they fight for healthcare and peace, a green economy and living wages -- THAT is when we'll see blue tsunamis crushing the fascist right. Not before.

How many election cycles do we have to lose before that sinks in?
 
 
+4 # economagic 2018-10-09 16:52
"How many election cycles do we have to lose before that sinks in?"

Possibly all of them. Be prepared to advance AND SUPPORT primary opponents for every corporate hack the corporate Democratic misleaders put forth, especially those with the guts to challenge the misleaders themselves.
 
 
+1 # Jaax88 2018-10-11 18:12
Read Naomi Klein at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxvzLDqnLBVglHdnhGWBKKtCdJvh The title is: FOCUS: Naomi Klein | Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Rule of Pampered Princelings

It very clearly says what is going on in America where money is equal to power in the old fashion sense. "I have lots of it, so screw you." Money not so much from they worked hard to make and accumulate it, but "I inherited and that entitles me to believe, act and be treated better than
the masses."
 
 
+6 # relegn 2018-10-09 06:24
Our Supreme Leader's "base" don't come to his rallies nor concern themselves with his tweets, except to snicker, they aren't the rubes seen on TV. They are the Wealthy who have already made millions backing this autocrat and hope to make millions more in the future. This is the real "class war".
 
 
+2 # DongiC 2018-10-09 21:17
The Republicans are waging war, no question about it. So is Mother Nature. I write this from Sarasota, Fl where hurricane Michael has suddenly erupted into view. Weather commentators report that there has been no storm like this in the northern gulf in recorded history. Of course, global warming has nothing to do with it. Nor with the fires in California, other parts of the West and Europe as well. My question is how many election cycles do we have left before the environment breaks down and even the Republicans get scared?
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2018-10-11 20:17
1984

please 1984, things are not good:

We now live in an era of manufactured rights: illegal alien rights, universal free healthcare rights, free college education rights, LBGTQ rights, right to choose rights, and a list of other rights only limited by one’s imagination. All of these so called rights come with a cost of implementation that must also be continually funded year after year. These alleged rights, for which someone else has to bear the financial burden, are another form of tyranny.

A republic rights come from God, nt gov
 
 
+1 # Depressionborn 2018-10-13 17:19
Hi 1984
Just for you, my lovely: Fascism

"The fascist state is defined as a tight collusion between the government and several key business sectors, within a self-designed and evolved crime syndicate of vast proportions, which has arranged privilege for profiteering like a parasite, and in almost all cases engages in hostile actions militarily against enemy and allied nations alike. The rule of law and the political process are crushed in the process. Truth becomes the enemy of the fascist state, while those who promote the truth become targets for harassment and worse. The principal sectors which lead the fascist state are the banks and military. In the United States, the general sectors are financial, military, energy & services, pharmaceutical & medicine, news networks, and entertainment. The co-opted sectors are educational and scientific research, in addition to the economic counsel. We will know they are fascists by their hatred, violence, corruption, and ruinous behavior. Few Americans admit that the United States has morphed into a vicious fascist state. Relations with allied nations and other nations are constantly put to great strain." ...there is more-it gets worse.
 

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