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Paul Krugman: The GOP has become a party of vampires and zombies

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In the not-so-distant past, vampires and zombies were fixtures of American pop culture, a night on the couch with “The Walking Dead” or the “Twilight” franchise. But in the age of Donald Trump, these creatures have moved from our screens to a much more terrifying home: Congress.

Paul Krugman has written before about zombie policies like tax cuts for the rich that conservatives insist will benefit Americans of all incomes—debunked theories that refuse to die, living off the brains of lawmakers. In his Monday column, he introduces us to vampire policies like the latest disaster of a healthcare bill, which would never survive close scrutiny (sunlight), but is allowed to continue its violent, blood-sucking ways under the cover of night (in this analogy, Mitch McConnell).

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In May, House Republicans pushed through what Krugman calls “one of the worst, cruelest pieces of legislation in history.” Naturally, a health care bill that would deprive 23 million Americans of their health insurance is wildly unpopular. So leave it to the Senate, Krugman writes, “to ram through their own version of the A.H.C.A., one that, all reports suggest, will differ only in minor, cosmetic ways. And they’re trying to do it in total secrecy. It appears that there won’t be any committee hearings before the bill goes to the floor.”

The goal is clear, he continues: “to pass legislation that will have devastating effects on tens of millions of Americans without giving those expected to pass it, let alone the general public, any real chance to understand what they’re voting for. There are even suggestions that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, might exploit loopholes in the rules to prevent any discussion on the Senate floor.”

Why go through all of these legislative gymnastics? To Krugman, the answer is clear: “This legislation can’t survive sunlight.” Republicans frequently claim that the Affordable Care Act was passed in secrecy, but in fact, “the Affordable Care Act went through extensive discussion, and Democrats were always very clear about what they were trying to do and how they were trying to do it.”

But “when it comes to the Republican replacement for Obamacare, however, it’s not just the process that’s secretive; so is the purpose. Vox.com asked eight Republican senators what problem the legislation is supposed to solve, and how it’s supposed to solve it. Not one offered a coherent answer.”

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The most likely explanation is that they didn’t have talking points to obscure the fact that this bill is a thinly veiled tax cut for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Krugman also reminds us that these practices are not just a result of Donald Trump, but of a larger sickness within the GOP. After all, he notes, “as far as health care is concerned, he’s just an ignorant bystander, who all evidence suggests has little if any idea what’s actually in Trumpcare. Maybe he’s too busy yelling at his TV to find out.”

No, this is all about the party that nominated him, “the cynicism and corruption of the whole congressional G.O.P. ”

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It would take just a few principled Republican senators to defeat this bill. Unfortunately, Krugman observes, they seem to have been co-opted by vampires.

Read the full column.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Megalomaniacal, paranoid, and psychopathic’: Economist sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘bottomless malevolence’

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, has written a frightening warning about President Donald Trump's "paranoid and psychopathic" leadership style, and he says it could have disastrous consequences for the world if he wins a second term.

In an essay published at progressive news website Common Dreams, Sachs argues that it would be a grave mistake to treat Trump like a cynical politician, when in reality he is an impulsive and vindictive narcissist who acts on his angry whims.

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Trump baselessly accuses Democratic lawmaker of ‘violence’?? in insane tweet

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President Donald Trump, in a strangely giddy and unhinged tweet on Tuesday baselessly accused Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of “violence.”

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” Trump tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

It’s unclear what the president was referring to when he accused the Michigan Congresswoman of violence, but his other remarks appear to be directed at a press conference she held Monday.

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Trump’s Labor Department wants to ‘weaponize’ right-wing discrimination and bigotry

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Just in case you wanted to believe that the Trump administration isn’t on a campaign to trample rights for Americans, here comes the Labor Department to shove a grapefruit in your face.

Labor officials have made public a new rule—no Congress, needed, thank you—to allow companies contracting with the federal government who are “religion-exercising organizations” to ignore federal laws protecting the rights of gays, transsexuals, and who knows who else in hiring or workplace practices. Religious employers and companies with “closely held” religious ties now will be shielded from claims of bias in court or other law enforcement actions, says the rule.

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