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Now that the Senate vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been postponed until after the July 4th Congressional recess, our Prof. Matt Dallek takes a look at why repealing legislation is so difficult.

He finds that this is the case in part because of a paradox "Americans distrust the federal government’s commitment to the public’s welfare, yet Americans in the main are also opposed to fundamentally reforming the government’s costliest social programs."

Read his full post on Yahoo News.

(apologies to George Gershwin and Gene Kelly)

By Prof. Michael Cornfield

June 5, 2017

My Facebook reaction to the president’s announcement to exit the Paris climate agreement last Thursday was this:

GSPM grad Travis Taylor was skeptical:

Travis is right about the low priority Americans accord the environment as a campaign issue. A Reuters/IPSOS poll concluded just before the announcement was in keeping with the trend; environment was selected at the top issue by a mere 3% of voters, far below the top three of economy/jobs (20%), health care (18%), and terrorism (16%).

But I think Trump gave the issue a boost in salience. He is by far the most famous person on earth, maybe in human history; he gets more free media coverage than the next 1,000 people combined. His spotlight moves quickly from topic to topic, but the Paris exit was declared from the Rose Garden, it was a binary decision everyone understands, and the time frame for it is four years, not decades (the eco-time frame) or one day (the @realdonaldtrump time frame).

So I think the announcement sets off a messaging contest in sync with the 2018 and 2020 elections. Good issue positioning entails linking across standard categories. The battle will be over Paris AND job creation (especially job loss to foreign countries, Trump’s issue citadel), Paris AND energy prices (gas, of course, but also electric) and even Paris AND quality of life (hazards and disasters) in the battleground states and districts where voters live. We’ve already seen Dominion Power becoming an issue in the 2017 Virginia primaries.

Behind the messaging, this will be a battle of corporate clout: fossil-fuels against renewables, inland against coastal real estate. The fossil inlanders have a tremendous head start in the form of Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity (AFP) and its related influence organizations. By 2015, AFP had a $150 million yearly budget, 500 paid staffers including directors in 34 states, and 2.4 million activists advocating, among other things, a “No Climate Tax” pledge taken by three-fifths of GOP House members and over half of GOP Senate members in the 113th Congress (2013-2014).

The opposition to Trump’s announcement voiced by CEOs of big corporations, Michael Bloomberg, the governors of California, New York, and Washington state, and numerous mayors is a significant reaction. That’s all it is for now.

On Twitter, Trump Moments Resembled a Series of Seinfeld Highlights

by Prof. Michael Cohen

We could discuss a more substantive analysis of Twitter conversation around these important issues (we will) but, let’s face it, most of us are exhausted from the 2016 campaign and the first few months of the Trump presidency. So let’s have some fun, instead. Let’s look at the trip’s moments that Twitter obsessed over, in chronological order, most of which will mean nothing long-term but were as entertaining as some of the best Seinfeld episodes.

I promise to honor the Seinfeld credo, in part, with no hugging but we will add some learning. Let’s see how much of an imprint each of the following 10 moments had on Twitter when they were connected to President Trump. For the purposes of our research, I’ll limit the time frame of our data to May 20 to 27, the length of the trip. I won’t restrict the tweets to the U.S. as the trip was international news.

Read the full post on Medium.

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