David Faris: Things are looking up for President Trump and his Republican Party. While both Trump and his congressional allies remain staggeringly unpopular, recent polling indicates that they might skate by with a narrow House majority in the fall and even pick up a seat or two in the Senate. Analysts now think the Democrats' chances of retaking the House are no better than a coin flip. This in itself is stunning. Democrats should clean up in the midterms. Instead, they're barely muddling through. And if they fail to take control of one or both chambers of Congress, that future-altering catastrophe can be traced back to the moment in January when they decided to cave on the fight over the DREAMers and started disastrously cooperating with the president and his allies.
Many leaders in the Democratic Party are veering too far left and overpromising government programs that are not fiscally possible, Howard Schultz told CNBC on Tuesday. Without naming names, Schultz said in a "Squawk Box" interview: "It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left.
I say to myself, 'How are we going to pay for these things,' in terms of things like single payer [and] people espousing the fact that the government is going to give everyone a job. I don't think that's realistic." "I think we got to get away from these falsehoods and start talking about the truth and not false promises" said Schultz. read more
With speculation mounting over the possible retirement of supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump could have a lasting impact on reshaping America's most important court. "If President Trump fills another vacancy on the court it will have an enormous effect," said Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of Berkeley School of Law at the University of California. "It will create the most conservative court since the mid-1930s," he added. "It would mean a majority to overrule Roe v Wade and to allow states to prohibit abortions, to eliminate all forms of affirmative action, to eliminate constitutional limits on illegal police conduct."
Two years ago, the Supreme Court heard a case with bleak implications for the country's labor movement. A California teacher named Rebecca Friedrichs decided she didn't want to pay fees to the union that represented her because she didn't want it funding liberal causes. So she sued. If the Court ruled in her favor, which no one doubted it would, public employees could choose to stop paying such fees, potentially triggering a vicious cycle of membership flight and financial ruin. But then Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep on a ranch in West Texas and the case ended in a 4-4 deadlock. The fees would remain; the unions were spared. At least for a while. Poised to break the tie was Justice Neil Gorsuch, sipping happily from a thermos on the stage-left end of the bench. Republicans were in heaven. "Try funding the modern Democratic Party without union dues," said GOP operative and anti-tax obsessive Grover Norquist, who was milling around the Court. "Good luck."
In one respect, it seems to me, the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erased Barack Obama's two-term legacy. I don't want to say or face this. I still want to believe my colleague, Jonathan Chait, whose thesis is that the changes Obama made in his difficult but tenacious eight years in office are too great to reverse. And there are a couple of shifts that do indeed seem to be as permanent as anything is in politics: marriage equality and legal cannabis. As for the rest, in specific policy terms, Trump and the Republican Congress have succeeded in undoing Obama's work to an extent I barely anticipated. read more