In the last week, critics of the Trump administration’s appointees finally got a few scalps.

First there was Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who was caught lying about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. OtherWords cartoonist Khalil Bendib thinks Flynn was just the tip of the iceberg in the Trump administration’s Russia ties.

Then there was Andrew Puzder, the labor secretary pick whose company was notorious for its labor rights violations. This week in OtherWords, IPS director John Cavanagh says the episode tells you everything about what the White House really thinks of working people.

On a related note, Chuck Collins explains what’s at stake in Trump’s war on financial reform: nothing less than preventing another financial collapse.

Also this week, as we round out Black History Month, Mandisa Routheni meditates on what the hunt for black family history, which often includes painful gaps in family trees, can tell us about American history writ large. And Tim Butterworth says there’s something to learn today about the rebellions of cities like Boston against pre-Civil War fugitive slave laws.

Finally, Jim Hightower reports on a new Wall Street-led effort to buy up farms and lease them to tenants, which is boxing younger (real) farmers out of the market.


Khalil Bendib/

  1. The Hunt for Black Family History / Mandisa Routheni
    Simple genealogy searches don’t work for people whose ancestors were treated like property.
  2. Cities Can Fight Federal Crackdowns / Tim Butterworth
    A century and a half before Trump’s refugee ban, cities like Boston rebelled against the Fugitive Slave Act.
  3. Wall Street Hopes You’ve Forgotten the Crash Already / Chuck Collins
    Big banks want to scrap rules designed to prevent another recession — and they’ve got a friend in the White House.
  4. Trump Proved He Doesn’t Think Much of Working People / John Cavanagh
    The president’s first choice to protect your workplace rights was a leading violator of them.
  5. Regulations Can Favor Some Businesses — And That’s Fine / Jill Richardson
    Sometimes it’s a good thing when the feds pick winners and losers.
  6. Wall Street Sodbusters / Jim Hightower
    Big-money speculators are buying up farms and boxing young farmers out of the market.
  7. RussiaGate / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of 

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