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In OtherWords: January 31, 2018

Under the bipartisan facades of Trump's SOTU, there were some familiar hardline demands.


President Trump gave his first official State of the Union address last night. Under the bipartisan facades, there were some familiar hardline demands — especially on immigration and the military.

This week in OtherWords, I parse the Trump-GOP line on immigration and conclude they’re not asking for a compromise. They’re asking for ethnic cleansing. (Also a wall, Khalil Bendib adds, and it’s not Mexico Trump’s demanding the money from.)

Meanwhile, Miriam Pemberton explains why the president’s calls to hike up the military budget and spend more on nukes should rattle our bones, especially after that scare in Hawaii.

Also this week, as students’ spring semesters get underway, Chuck Collins reports on some good news: A huge campaign in California to break up concentrated wealth and make higher education affordable.

And Jill Richardson has a personal story about the irony of skyrocketing tuition costs: The adjuncts who teach those expensive classes are terribly paid and poorly treated.

Finally, Jim Hightower does the math on why tax breaks for big companies are a bad way to create jobs in local communities.

  1. What Trump Wants on Immigration Is Ethnic Cleansing / Peter Certo
    The president’s “open hand” to Democrats is full of poison pills.
  2. Huge Military Budgets Make Us Broke, Not Safe / Miriam Pemberton
    Backing down from nuclear war would make us a lot safer than piling more money into the Pentagon.
  3. A California Trend Worth Catching: College for All / Chuck Collins
    America’s left coast is showing how to break up concentrated wealth and fund higher education for all.
  4. Colleges Are Screwing Both Teachers and Students / Jill Richardson
    Teachers need stable work and students need stable teachers. The adjunct system cheats them both.
  5. No, Big Corporations Shouldn’t Get Tax Breaks to Create Jobs / Jim Hightower
    The breaks seldom pay for themselves — and put employees of local businesses out of work.
  6. Pay Up, Hombres / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of