FROM Carol Scudere
'Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth' in America A conservative columnist reports that we're in " the second great Gilded Age ." A liberal author warns that "a bloated over-class can drag down society." But a New York Times Magazine article is headlined " Don't Hate Them Because They're Rich : The Trickle-down Effect of Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth." America's median income is $48,000, but the starting salary for some butlers is $60,000. Those numbers can be used to show that the massive wealth of the Super Rich "trickles down" to the rest of Americans, but not everybody sees it that way. In 20 years, the number of billionaires has gone from 13 to several 1000. Some see a permanent aristocracy in the making, while the middle class struggles to pay the bills. How did the super rich get that way? Are they good or bad for the economy?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
'Do-or-die' time on healthcare bill President Trump has demanded a House vote today on replacing Obamacare…whatever the details might be. Despite his campaign promise that nobody would lose health insurance, that's possible for 24 million people if he were finally to sign this bill into law.