When Congress failed to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Sept. 30, and again when it passed a short-term spending bill Dec. 7, it put at risk health insurance coverage for nine million children nationwide.

Virginia officials said they will begin notifying families who receive coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that the program will end on Jan. 31. if the federal government does not adequately fund it soon.

CHIP is having trouble because politicians cannot agree on how to fund the program. The House passed a bill in November that funds the program for five years, but the Senate has not. Both chambers of Congress have been able to pass a major tax reform bill that disproportionately cuts taxes for wealthier US residents, leaving little money for programs such as CHIP.

On the Senate floor Dec. 1, just hours before Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) challenged Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT): Why were Republicans about to pass tax cuts for corporations and business owners while the Children’s Health Insurance Program remains unextended?

Hatch reacted with fury, Dylan Scott noted at Vox.com. (12/5). “Nobody believes more in the CHIP program than I,” he shot back. “I invented it. We’re gonna do CHIP. There’s no question about it in my mind, and it’s gotta be done the right way. The reason CHIP’s having trouble is we don’t have any money anymore.”

Then Hatch added, “I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything,” he said. “Unfortunately, the liberal philosophy has created millions of people that way, who believe everything they are or ever hope to be depend on the federal government rather than the opportunities that this great country grants them.”

So Congress might get around to funding CHIP eventually, but it didn’t adequately fund the program when it passed a short-term spending bill (12/7). The next CHIP funding opportunity comes Dec. 22, the deadline by which lawmakers must resolve their policy differences and pass a long-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

“They probably will act,” said Linda Nablo, the Chief Deputy Director of Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services. “[But] if the government does shut down, that puts us too far behind. It means we are sending this letter around Christmas Eve with less notice.”

House GOP sources told Axios.com (12/11) that Congress is unlikely to authorize new funding for CHIP by the year’s end.

“The bottom line is this putting states in a terrible position where they even have to think about this,” said Elisabeth Wright Burak, a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families. “It’s putting states in a bad situation and putting families in a terrible position, and it’s creating a lot of unnecessary stress.”

Now, 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women enrolled in Virginia’s program are at risk of losing health insurance. Nablo said the letters notifying families will be mailed (12/12), Amanda Michelle Gomez noted at ThinkProgress.

In addition to nine million children, pregnant women also qualify for CHIP coverage in 20 states, including Virginia. The program insures modest-income families who are not eligible for Medicaid. And the federal and state government jointly finance the program; federal dollars make up the majority of the share.

While some states are able to implement contingency plans, like reshuffling existing state dollars, others cannot. Like Virginia, Colorado recently mailed one of two letters that warned families that the program will end Jan. 31 should Congress fail to act in time. The first letter provides parents with an update; the second notice — which is expected to be mailed in January — is the official termination notice, which provides families with alternative coverage options.

Texas, where CHIP covers 400,000 children, has enough funds to keep CHIP running until Jan. 31 and requested an additional $90 million to go through the end of February. Without the money, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will have to send families cancellation notices three days before Christmas, the Dallas Morning News reported (12/11).

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S LONG-AWAITED ANALYSIS OF GOP TAX PLAN HAS BAD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS. The US Treasury Department finally released its analysis of the GOP tax plan (12/11): a single page report that essentially concedes the analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation is correct, Rebekah Entralgo noted at ThinkProgress.

According to the Treasury analysis, the tax plan will cost an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars, while raising only $408 billion in revenue, leaving the country $1 trillion in the hole. This eviscerates any notion that the GOP plan will pay for itself, as previously suggested by administration officials like chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Treasury Department also took its analysis one step too far, assuming 2.9% economic growth over the next decade, without providing any actual analysis for it. A Treasury memo “modeled the revenue impact of higher growth effects, using the Administration projections of approximately a 2.9% real GDP growth rate over 10 years contained in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.”

The 3% growth projected by the Trump administration’s 2018 fiscal year budget has been debunked and labeled a “fantasy” numerous times.

Mnuchin spent months talking about a formal Treasury analysis, only to have the New York Times report in November that no such analysis actually existed, according to an economist in the Treasury department.

“Either the Treasury Department has used extensive taxpayer funds to conduct economic analyses that it refuses to release because those analyses would contradict the Treasury Secretary’s claims, or Secretary Mnuchin has grossly misled the public about the extent of the Treasury Department’s analysis,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote in a letter to the Treasury’s inspector general. “I am deeply concerned about either possibility.”

With the GOP tax bill passed in the House and Senate, and now in conference committee, Republicans will have to reconcile their differences and hash out a final plan that will have to be passed again by the House and Senate. There are a number of disputes that have yet to be resolved in order for Republicans to snag a solid 51 votes, the most important of which being the deficit.

For every tax analysis published, support for the bill from deficit hawks like Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) wanes. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who was instrumental in voting against the GOP’s failed attempts at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, has also expressed a hesitancy to vote for the bill if it includes a repeal of the individual mandate.

GOP TAX BILL BAD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY, BUT GOOD FOR ROBOTS. The Republican tax bill being reconciled between the House and Senate has provisions that favor investments in dirty energy over clean — and robots over human workers, Joe Romm noted at ThinkProgress (12/5).

An MIT economist told Newsweek, “We are creating huge subsidies in our tax code for capital and encouraging employers to use machines instead of labor.” And unless significant changes are made in the GOP plan, those machines will be running on dirty energy.

Romm noted that the House tax bill targets key solar and wind energy tax credits that have helped make clean energy a crucial high-wage job-creating sector in the US. “The good news is that the Senate tax bill doesn’t roll back those renewable energy tax credits. The bad news is that it contains language that could seriously undermine the investment in renewables by imposing ‘a new 100% tax’ on those credits, as Gregory Wetstone, head of the American Council on Renewable Energy, explained in a statement.

“If this bill passes as drafted, major financial institutions would no longer participate in tax equity financing, which is the principal mechanism for monetizing credits,” Wetstone pointed out. “Almost overnight, you would see a devastating reduction in wind and solar energy investment and development.” Meanwhile, tax subsidies for fossil fuels, many of which are decades old, would continue unchanged – and the Senate bill opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

This type of clean energy financing will reach $12 billion this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This investment, much of it by multinational finance companies, has helped leveraged some $50 billion a year in US wind and solar projects, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Ironically — or, rather, tragically — harming renewables mostly harms red states. As The American Prospect noted, “The states that voted for Trump produce nearly 70% of wind energy, while 85% of existing wind projects are in GOP-held congressional districts.”

As for longer-term impacts, the GOP plan would cut billions of dollars in incentives for  the biggest new source of sustainable high-wage employment in the world — clean energy — just as China and the rest of the world are making massive investments.

The GOP plan has no tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire more actual workers or to retrain those who lose their job due to automation, Romm noted.

Indeed, the Senate bill is so bad that Bloomberg’s editors wrote a piece explaining “Republicans have managed to make a terrible plan worse.” As one example the equipment-expensing provision would take effect immediately, but the Senate only lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% (from 35) in 2019.

“This will allow businesses to take deductions on investments while rates are high, then pay a lower rate on the resulting income, creating a perverse incentive to pursue otherwise unprofitable projects,” explains Bloomberg. So the Senate bill actually encourages companies to replace workers even with unprofitable robots.

“Unprofitable polluting robots — quite a legacy for the disastrous GOP tax plan,” Romm concluded.

TO PREVENT CLIMATE CLIMATE CHANGE, DEMS NEED TO LEARN LESSONS IN RUTHLESSNESS FROM GOP. The widely criticized and wildly unpopular GOP tax bill is the inevitable byproduct of the destruction of bipartisan dealmaking — and the end of a livable climate for America and the world is also inevitable unless Republicans become less ruthless or Democrats become more ruthless, Joe Romm wrote at ThinkProgress (12/7).

“There has never been a more outrageous, revolting, unfair process to pass a corrupted bill in the history of Congress,” tweeted political scientist Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He and Thomas Mann of Brookings explain the GOP’s culpability in a New York Times op-ed, “How the Republicans Broke Congress” (12/2).

A decade after writing a book that blamed “both parties, equally,” for the dysfunctional nature of Washington, Ornstein and Mann wrote, “over the past decade it has become clear that it is the Republican Party — as an institution, as a movement, as a collection of politicians — that has done unique, extensive and possibly irreparable damage to the American political system.”

Significantly, they point out, “Republican leaders have been blunt about their motivation: to deliver on their promises to wealthy donors, and down the road, to use the leverage of huge deficits to cut and privatize Medicare and Social Security.”

The problem for humanity is that there can’t be a bipartisan climate change bill as long as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy continues in the Senate and as long as the GOP is in the thrall of its wealthy pollutocrat donors like the Koch Brothers – who are leading funders of climate disinformation and climate inaction, Romm noted.

Yet it is essentially impossible for the world to avert catastrophic climate change if the US can’t pass legislation needed to slash carbon pollution at a considerably faster rate than we have been.

Staying below dangerous levels of global warming — which the nations of the world agreed to do in the 2015 Paris climate accord — requires every major country to ratchet their emissions down to near zero in the coming decades. And while the exponential pace of the clean energy revolution means that America (and the rest of the world) can do that super-cheaply, government policy will be needed to make an orderly transition off of fossil fuels at a fast enough pace.

That means the Democrats would have to pass the bill entirely on their own the next time they control both houses of Congress and the presidency — assuming that ever happens again in a world where GOP gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement efforts put the thumb on the scale of every national election.

And that means they would almost certainly have to use the reconciliation process in the Senate, so they could bypass an inevitable filibuster, which requires 60 votes to overcome and pass the bill with a simple majority.

Tragically, the Democrats were “too polite” to use reconciliation for the climate bill that had passed the House of Representatives in June 2009, as journalists Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley argued in their 2013 analysis, “The Too Polite Revolution: Why the Recent Campaign to Pass Comprehensive Climate Legislation in the United States Failed.”

“Many Senate staffers we spoke with said the climate bill was doomed from the start because it was not slated for reconciliation, which would have provided immunity to filibustering and enabled the bill to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes rather than the standard sixty votes needed to bring it to a vote. Gaining those 60 votes became even more difficult in January 2010 when Republican upstart Scott Brown won a special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat. After that, any Senate cap-and-trade bill would have to have at least one Republican backer to pass the Senate.”

They go on to say, “As Eric Pooley recounts in The Climate War, Reid indicated in a March 2009 meeting with Duke CEO Jim Rogers and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Fred Krupp that he might try to pass the climate bill through reconciliation but that Rogers and Krupp managed to persuade him not to take that route.”

Pooley explains in his book that even though the White House insisted on keeping open the reconciliation option for health care, they took a different view about climate change: “Using this fast-track process for the cap, [White House Chief of Staff Rahm] Emanuel said, would be ‘a bridge too far’ — another reminder that Obama wanted healthcare reform more than climate action.”

Nonetheless, Pooley describes the meeting between Reid, Rogers and Krupp this way:

Looking directly at Rogers, he said “I don’t think we’re going to get a strong bill unless we do this through budget reconciliation” — a maneuver that would allow Reid to pass a bill with 51 votes. “I may try to get it done that way.”

So it seems as if the Senate Majority Leader Reid was prepared to use reconciliation, but the White House, other Democratic senators, and key climate advocates were not, Romm noted.

“Obviously it would be better if the national GOP could return to an era where they put America first on matters of national security. And maybe some day in the future there will be one or more GOP ‘profiles in courage’ senators who can defy both their major funders and misinformed voters. I commend those who are working to restore some sanity and rationality to the national Republican Party on the climate issue, like former GOP congressmen Bob Inglis,” Romm wrote.

“But it is entirely possible that change doesn’t happen anytime soon, and then future Democrats will have to decide if they want to keep being too polite or if they want to save America and the world from an ever-worsening climate catastrophe.”

WORKER SHORTAGE SLOWS REBUILDING IN TEXAS AND FLORIDA AFTER HURRICANES. A shortage of construction workers is slowing rebuilding efforts in Texas and Florida, as builders and their trade groups say it likely will be several years before all the repairs are done, USA Today reported (11/14).

“There was a significant labor shortage in the construction sector before the hurricanes,” Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), told USA Today. The storms, he adds, compounded the crunch. “This will leave people in a very tough position for a much longer time.”

Although rebuilding began in Texas and Florida in October, the Labor Department recently said the construction industry added just 11,000 jobs in October, below its average monthly pace of 14,700 so far this year. The limited hiring partly reflects worker shortages, says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in late August and Irma lashed Florida in early September. About 135,000 homes out of about 2.4 million in the Houston area were damaged or destroyed, according to the Greater Houston Builders Association and the Texas Association of Builders. In regions that were affected across the state of Texas, as many as 1 million houses out of 2.8 million suffered at least some damage.

Not all of them will be restored. The vast majority were not covered by flood insurance, and some people who can’t afford the repairs will simply walk away, says Don Klein, incoming president of the Houston builders group.

In Florida, insurance or government assistance claims have been filed for some 800,000 structures, 75% of which are residential, says Greg Matovina, incoming president of the Florida Home Builders Association. While much of the damage in Texas was flood-related, wind was a chief culprit in many parts of Florida.

At the same time, the Trump Administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants is reducing the number of foreign workers available. Nearly 30% of construction trade workers were foreign-born in 2015, according to NAHB, but the share was higher in states like Texas and Florida.

“A large percentage of (foreign workers) have decided not to come or have gone back (to their countries) because they are afraid,” says Matovina, of the Florida builders group.

A few weeks after Hurricane Harvey, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resumed “regular, targeted immigration enforcement operations” in the Houston area, “with the exception of immediate relief operations like shelters and food banks,” according to an ICE statement (9/20) reported by (11/17).

Contractors in both states must wait for subcontractors in sheet rock, insulation, cabinets and other specialties to arrive from other job sites. Once they do, projects often take longer than normal because crews are thin. Many workers are job-hopping for higher pay.

Contractors told Mindy Gronauer that repairs on her four-bedroom Houston house – whose main floor was destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Harvey – should be completed in about four months, Paul Davidson reported for USA Today.

“That’s not going to happen,” says the 64-year-old retiree. She figures it will take more like a year, noting that all 159 homes in her neighborhood sustained similar damage and worker crews are scarce. Gronauer is staying with her daughter’s family in the meantime, but she still finds the whole situation very unsettling.

“I used to have what I want and need,” she says. “I miss everything.” Most disconcerting, she says, is not knowing when she can return to her home. “It’s the uncertainty … I have to live with it.”

UNDER MULVANEY, CONSUMERS DON’T NEED PROTECTION. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a product of the regulatory backlash after the near-destruction of the world economy, is now being throttled by Mick Mulvaney, the Tea Party non-economist who hates the whole idea of the agency, Charles P. Pierce noted at Esquire.(com) (12/6). As the New York Times reports, Mulvaney’s leaving a trail of evidence that you don’t exactly need a magnifying glass to follow.

“After a nearly three-year legal skirmish, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared to have been victorious. A judge agreed in September with the bureau that a financial company had misled more than 100,000 mortgage customers. As punishment, the judge ordered the Ohio company, Nationwide Biweekly Administration, to pay nearly $8 million in penalties. All that was left was to collect the cash. Last week, lawyers from the consumer bureau filed an 11-page brief asking the judge to force Nationwide to post an $8 million bond while the proceedings wrapped up. Then Mick Mulvaney was named the consumer bureau’s acting director. Barely 48 hours later, the same lawyers filed a new two-sentence brief. Their request: to withdraw their earlier submission and no longer take a position on whether Nationwide should put up the cash.”

And what was this company up to as regards its customers? The usual held-up-without-a-gun, robbery-by-fine-print that the CFPB was set up to eliminate, Pierce noted. From Quartz:

“A federal judge in California didn’t agree with all of the CFPB’s charges and said that it had adequately disclosed the first annual fee, writing that “the ‘distinctive, eye-catching bold text’ stating ‘NO UPFRONT FEE’ serves as an implied warning that there likely were some fees, rather than deception.” He declined to order Nationwide to repay its customers directly, or force Lipsky to give up his profits. On three other counts, the company was found to be acting in a misleading manner: It labeled mailers to appear as though they were from the customer’s mortgage lender, adding phrases like “Second Notice” to make them appear official. It said its program was the only way to cut mortgage interest costs over time, though some consumers could pay bi-weekly instead of monthly directly to their lender.”

It all sounds minor, but the CEO of this company made $33 million last year,” Pierce noted. “A lot of minor swindles add up to major profits. That this is the way the economy is supposed to operate apparently is the CFPB’s newest mission statement,” he wrote. From the Times:

“Mr. Mulvaney has begun examining lawsuits filed by the agency and its process of gathering information from companies under investigation. The bureau’s so-called demand letters — an investigative tool used in the early stages of investigations — are “fairly broad and fairly burdensome,” he told reporters on (12/4).”

“A light touch, that’s what folks are calling it,” Pierce wrote.

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR NAMES INDICTED MEDICAL CHIEF TO LEAD PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has named a state official who was indicted on a felony manslaughter charge in connection with the Flint water crisis to serve as chair of the new Public Health Advisory Commission, which is supposed to ensure the safety and health of all residents.

Dr. Eden Wells, the state’s chief medical executive, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice for her role in covering up the health hazards of a switch of the Flint water system from the Detroit water system to a new, cheaper source of water from the Flint River in April 2014 after an “emergency manager” appointed by Gov. Snyder took control of the city government. The new water, ,which was not treated to reduce corrosion of lead pipes, immediately caused complaints about the smell, taste and appearance of the water, and raised health concerns, as residents reported rashes, hair loss and other problems.

According to a timeline of the water crisis by the Associated Press, a group of doctors on Sept. 24, 2015, urged Flint to stop using Flint River water after finding high levels of lead in the blood of children, but state regulators insisted the water was safe. On Sept. 29, 2015, Snyder pledged to take action in response to the lead levels. On Jan. 5, 2016, Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint and a week later the Michigan National Guard began helping to distribute bottled water and filters in Flint, while Snyder asked the federal government for help. On Jan. 13, 2016, Michigan health officials reported an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases over the past two years in Genesee County, which includes Flint.

Wells was charged with obstruction of justice and making a false statement related to the Legionnaires’ disaster outbreak in 2014-15 that was linked to at least 12 deaths and 79 illnesses, and manslaughter for failing to act to prevent the death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore of Genesee Township, in the Flint area, the Detroit News reported (10/9).

Snyder has kept Wells and state Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, who also was charged with involuntary manslaughter as well as obstruction of justice, in their posts.

STUDY SHOWS MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION REDUCES ALCOHOL USE. A trio of researchers recently tried to settle the question of whether marijuana and alcohol are substitutes or complements, Kevin Drum noted at MotherJones(com) (12/4). Using detailed scanner data of alcohol sales, the researchers picked out states that had enacted medical marijuana laws and measured sales of alcohol at the county level. For each state that passed a medical marijuana law, they compared its alcohol sales to states that hadn’t legalized medical marijuana. They found that, after medical marijuana laws were enacted, sales of alcohol were lower in those states:

“We find that marijuana and alcohol are strong substitutes. Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15%, which is a consistent finding across several empirical specifications. When disaggregating by beer and wine we find that legalization of medical marijuana had a negative effect on corresponding sales by as much as 13.8 and 16.2 percent, respectively.”

The authors also measured sales of alcohol in border counties. The effect was the same: after medical marijuana laws were enacted, counties in MML states had lower alcohol sales than counties across the state border.

There are a few caveats here, Drum noted. “First, it’s based on scanner data, but not all alcohol is sold in stores. Second, as usual for studies like this, the authors control for a wide range of things: ‘county economic conditions such as unemployment rate and median household income … total population, percentage of male and Hispanic population, and the share of population by age groups.’ Is that enough? Is it too much? It’s always hard to tell.

“There’s more to marijuana than just this, but it’s nonetheless positive news. If it holds up, it’s yet another reason that legalizing marijuana is, on net, probably a good thing.”

SCHOLAR ON LIARS HAS NEVER SEEN ONE LIKE TRUMP. Bella DePaulo is a social scientist who spent the first two decades of her career studying liars and their lies. “I thought I had developed a sense of what to expect from them. Then along came President Trump. His lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people’s,” she wrote for the Washington Post (12/8).

At The Washington Post, the Fact Checker feature has been tracking every false and misleading claim and flip-flop made by President Trump this year, she noted. “The inclusion of misleading statements and flip-flops is consistent with the definition of lying my colleagues and I gave to our participants: ‘A lie occurs any time you intentionally try to mislead someone.’ In the case of Trump’s claims, though, it is possible to ascertain only whether they were false or misleading, and not what the president’s intentions were. (And while the subjects of my research self-reported how often they lied, Trump’s falsehoods were tallied by The Post.)

I categorized the most recent 400 lies that The Post had documented through mid-November in the same way my colleagues and I had categorized the lies of the participants in our study.  

In research at the University of Virginia in the mid-1990s, college students participating in her research told an average of two lies a day, and people from the nearby community told one. A more recent study of the lies 1,000 US adults told in the previous 24 hours found that people told an average of 1.65 lies per day; the authors noted that 60% of the participants said they told no lies at all, while the top 5% of liars told nearly half of all the falsehoods in the study.

In Trump’s first 298 days in office, however, he made 1,628 false or misleading claims or flip-flops, by the Post’s tally. That’s about six per day, far higher than the average rate in our studies. And of course, reporters have access to only a subset of Trump’s false statements — the ones he makes publicly — so, unless he never stretches the truth in private, his actual rate of lying is almost certainly higher.

That rate also has been accelerating. Starting in early October, the Post’s tracking showed that Trump told a remarkable nine lies a day, outpacing even the biggest liars in our research.

But the flood of deceit isn’t the most surprising finding about Trump.

Both the college students and the community members in her study served their own interests with their lies more often than other people’s interests. They told lies to try to advantage themselves in the workplace, the marketplace, their personal relationships and just about every other domain of everyday life.

Less often, the participants lied in kind ways, to help other people get what they wanted, look or feel better, or to spare them from embarrassment or blame.

About half the lies the participants told were self-serving (46% for the college students, 57% for the community members), compared with about a quarter that were kind (26% for the students, 24% for the community members). Other lies did not fit either category; they included, for instance, lies told to entertain or to keep conversations running smoothly. 

Nearly two-thirds of Trump’s lies (65%) were self-serving. Examples included: “They’re big tax cuts — the biggest cuts in the history of our country, actually” and, about the people who came to see him on a presidential visit to Vietnam in October: “They were really lined up in the streets by the tens of thousands.” 

Slightly less than 10% of Trump’s lies were kind ones, told to advantage, flatter or protect someone else.

The most stunning way Trump’s lies differed from herr participants’, though, was in their cruelty. An astonishing 50% of Trump’s lies were hurtful or disparaging.

The sheer frequency of Trump’s lies appears to be having an effect, and it may not be the one he is going for. A Politico/Morning Consult poll from late October showed that only 35%  of voters believed that Trump was honest, while 51% said he was not honest. (The others said they didn’t know or had no opinion.) Results of a Quinnipiac University poll from November were similar: Thirty-seven percent of voters thought Trump was honest, compared with 58% who thought he was not.

She concluded, “By telling so many lies, and so many that are mean-spirited, Trump is violating some of the most fundamental norms of human social interaction and human decency. Many of the rest of us, in turn, have abandoned a norm of our own — we no longer give Trump the benefit of the doubt that we usually give so readily.”

From The Progressive Populist, January 1-15, 2018


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