Author Archives: Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Donald Trump is attempting a coup—we must have a special prosecutor

So Donald Trump fired James Comey because the FBI director mistreated Hillary Clinton last summer over her use of private emails. Continue reading

Forget Andrew Jackson, the right thinks Trump is Calvin Coolidge!

Republican Calvin Coolidge, who in 1923 ascended to the presidency following the death of the corrupt and dunderheaded Warren Harding, was a man of few words. But some of the most famous of the few were, “The chief business of the American people is business.” Continue reading

Republicans, where’s the backbone?

Congressional Republicans, we watched you at the White House Thursday. Just before Donald Trump’s rambling, manic, often snarky press conference—delivered more in the manner of a churlish insult comic than leader of the free world—the president met with a group of you, a self-titled “Trump caucus” of early supporters. Continue reading

We must know the truth

This is the worst scandal involving the White House and a foreign power since Iran-Contra. Demand the facts.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there MUST be an investigation by an independent, bipartisan commission of Russia’s ties to Donald Trump and his associates and that nation’s interference in our elections. Emphasize independent and bipartisan. That commission must have full subpoena power to call witnesses and make them testify under oath or risk prosecution. Hearings must be held out in the open, and televised live for the nation and the world to see. That’s what a democracy is all about. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s mission creep just took a giant leap forward

The smell of a coup hung over the White House this past weekend, like the odor of gunpowder after fireworks on the Fourth of July. Continue reading

There’s no debate

The candidates and the media have thoroughly corrupted the presidential debates. Our democracy deserves better. There's still time for a change.

Let’s call the whole thing off. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s dark and scary night

The GOP presidential nominee's acceptance speech was a litany of fear and resentment, a dog whistle to disaffected white Americans.

The GOP’s new big dog blew the whistle Thursday night for nearly an hour and a half and it was loud and shrill enough to reach the ears of every angry, resentful, disaffected white American. The tone was divisive, dark, dystopian and grim. Continue reading

Trump, his virus and the dark age of unreason

There’s a virus infecting our politics and right now it’s flourishing with a scarlet heat. It feeds on fear, paranoia and bigotry. All that was required for it to spread was a timely opportunity—and an opportunist with no scruples. Continue reading

Democrats can’t unite unless Wasserman Schultz goes!

The Democratic National Committee chair has thrown fuel on the flames of infighting just as the party faces a critical November election.

To paraphrase the words of that Scottish master Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice, men—and women—go often astray, or “gang aft agley,” as they say in the Highlands. No one knows this better than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Continue reading

Time for these two Democrats to go

They represent everything wrong with the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton should tell them to take a hike.

There are two Democrats whose resignation from office right now would do their party and country a service. Continue reading

The GOP elites have themselves to blame

Trump's the symptom, not the disease. The Republican establishment has been infecting the body politic for years.

From their “Dark Money” bagman Karl Rove to their philosophical guru David Brooks, the GOP elites are in a tizzy over saving the Republican Party from Donald Trump and the other intruders, extremists and crackpots who have fallen in behind Trump as if he were the Pied Piper of Hamelin. But who will save the party from the elites? Continue reading

Money men say, voters move over, it’s not your election!

David Brooks is a worried man. Continue reading

Bad news for democracy is great news for TV profits

Political campaigns, as well as anonymous millionaires and billionaires, are spending more and more on ads to influence the presidential election—and network heads are cheering them on.

Television news has gone off its rocker and turned our politics into the equivalent of a freak show’s hall of mirrors. Continue reading

Lurking within that ominous, omnibus spending bill

The bipartisan budget compromise is a holiday giveaway to the wealthy.

There is an unwritten rule in Congress that before you do even a little for the working class you must do a lot for the donor class. So while the $1.1 trillion—yes, that’s a “t”—budget bill now winding its way to passage contains some tax breaks for low-income workers, in reality, it’s a bonanza for Big Business. Continue reading

The GOP on the eve of destruction

For reasons hard to fathom, the Republicans seem to have made up their minds: they will divide, degrade and secede from the Union. Continue reading

The paradox of Paul Ryan: Why the Tea Party’s right to be wary

Only in a world where Cosmopolitan magazine can declare the Kardashians “America’s First Family” and the multi-billionaire loose cannon Donald Trump is perceived by millions as the potential steward of our nuclear arsenal could about-to-be Speaker of the House Paul Ryan be savaged as insufficiently right wing. Continue reading

Netanyahu speaks, money talks

Everything you need to know about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress Tuesday was the presence in the visitor’s gallery of one man—Sheldon Adelson. Continue reading

Dividing the spoils

We’ve been watching Congress since the midterm elections and reading Zephyr Teachout’s terrific history book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United. That snuff box was a gift from King Louis XVI of France. His Majesty was a good friend of the American Revolution but when he gave Benjamin Franklin the gold box, featuring the monarch’s portrait surrounded with diamonds, some of our Founding Fathers objected. They worried that the gift would corrupt his judgment and unduly bias Franklin in France’s favor. Continue reading

Don’t let them silence you: Vote, dammit

Our country’s oldest and longest struggle has been to enlarge democracy by making it possible for more and more people to be treated equally at the polls. The right to participate in choosing our representatives—to vote—is the very right that inflamed the American colonies and marched us toward revolution and independence. Continue reading

Politicians show their gratitude where it count$

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart, a poet wrote, and as this year’s summer winds toward its end and elections approach, gratitude is indeed what our politicians have flowing from that space where their hearts should be. Continue reading

Learning from Lawrence of Arabia

As fears grow of a widening war across the Middle East, fed by reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) envisions a region-wide, all controlling theocracy, we found ourselves talking about another war. The Great War—or World War I, as it would come to be called — was triggered one hundred years ago this month when an assassin shot and killed Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Through a series of tangled alliances and a cascade of misunderstandings and blunders, that single act of violence brought on a bloody catastrophe. More than 37 million people were killed or wounded. Continue reading

Don’t let Net neutrality become another broken promise

Barack Obama told us there would be no compromise on Net neutrality. We heard him say it back in 2007, when he first was running for president. Continue reading

Government = protection racket for the 1 percent

The evidence of income inequality just keeps mounting. According to “Working for the Few,” a recent briefing paper from Oxfam, “In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.” Continue reading

Advice to Perkins: Time to shut up!

There’s a rule of thumb in cyberspace etiquette known as Godwin’s Law, named after Mike Godwin, the Internet lawyer and activist who first came up with it. A variation of that law boils down to this: He who first compares the other side to Nazis loses, and the conversation is at an end. Unless you’re billionaire Tom Perkins, who seems dedicated to digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself. Continue reading

Gunpowder and blood on their cold, dead hands

This grim anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut, killings, with 28 dead, reminded us of that moment back in 2000 when Charlton Heston made his defiant boast at the NRA convention that gun control advocates would have to pry his rifle from his “cold, dead hands.” You would have thought he had returned to that fantasy world of Hollywood where, in a previous incarnation, he portrayed those famous Indian killers Andrew Jackson and Buffalo Bill Cody, whose Wild West, as Cody marketed it, still courses through the bloodstream of American mythology. Continue reading

The lies that will kill America

Here in Manhattan the other day, you couldn’t miss it—the big bold headline across the front page of the tabloid New York Post, screaming one of those sick, slick lies that are a trademark of Rupert Murdoch’s right wing media empire. There was Uncle Sam, brandishing a revolver and wearing a burglar’s mask. “UNCLE SCAM,” the headline shouted. “U.S. robs bank of $13 billion.” Continue reading

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus—campaign cash

If you want to see how grossly money can distort democracy, just go to the state of Virginia, where there are no limits on how big a check can be written for statewide office. Groups and individuals from outside the Old Dominion are taking full advantage, pouring millions into a governor’s race they see as a dry run for the tactics they’ll use in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race—sort of the way the Spanish civil war turned out to be a testing ground for many of the deadly weapons of World War II. Continue reading

Pro football’s unsportsmanlike conduct

When Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal, his Monticello farm team was obviously not what he had in mind. They were chattel, possessions toiling in his fields. So it’s not lightly—or unreasonable—to invoke the plantation mentality to describe the National Football League. Continue reading

Mr. President, have pity on the working people

And you thought the government didn’t have a jobs program. It does. The problem is that the pay and benefits are lousy, and in many cases the working conditions ain’t so great either. Continue reading

Enabling greed makes U.S. sick

At the end of a week that reminds us to be ever vigilant about the dangers of government overreaching its authority, whether by the long arm of the IRS or the Justice Department, we should pause to think about another threat—from too much private power obnoxiously intruding into public life. Continue reading

Don’t shoot, organize!

We were struck last week by one response to our broadcast gun violence and the Newtown school killings. Continue reading

Do-nothing Congress gives inertia a bad name

If you want to see why the public approval rating of Congress is down in the sub-arctic range—an icy 15 percent by last count—all you have to do is take a quick look at how the House and Senate worship at the altar of corporations, banks and other special interests at the expense of public aspirations and need. Continue reading