Donald Trump is recently returned from his first trip overseas as president.

Numerous gags from the trip made headlines — some sharp elbows during a photo op, a glowing orb. But a more serious moment occurred during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he lectured his hosts about the threat of Islamic terrorism and rolled out a massive arms deal with the autocratic Saudis.

This week in OtherWords, Dina El-Rifai takes a careful look at that speech and what it says about U.S. foreign policy — and the absurd demands it makes of Muslims.

But the real news this past week happened here at home: Namely, the Trump administration dropped its detailed new budget proposal. This week in OtherWords, several contributors take a deep dive on what it means.

Josh Hoxie runs the numbers and finds that they don’t really add up at all. But whatever comes out the other end, it’s going to mean big tax cuts for a wealthy few and big service cuts for everyone else.

Ben Lilliston, meanwhile, examines what it means for one of Trump’s most important constituencies: rural America. Perhaps surprisingly, the proposal actually guts a host of programs that rural Americans — from farmers to workers to homeowners — depend on. Meanwhile, LeeAnn Hall reports on what another bill in Congress — the repeal of the Affordable Care Act — will mean for many of those same rural voters.

Also this week, Craig Aaron explains some changes that may be coming to your local news station, courtesy of the new administration. Jill Richardson explains why bad grades may have nothing to do with hard work or intellect. Jim Hightower takes a peek behind the White House’s secretive process to “renegotiate” NAFTA. And Khalil Bendib, finally, diagnoses some leading Russiagate figures with amnesia.

All that makes for a pretty robust offering this week. That’s because we’ll be taking next week off. So the next OtherWords package will arrive on June 14. We’ll see you then!


Khalil Bendib/

  1. The Unpleasant Impact of an Unserious Budget / Josh Hoxie
    If you can get past the fuzzy math, Trump’s budget means certain pain for most families — and big tax cuts for the wealthiest few.
  2. The Problem with Dividing ‘Good Muslims’ from ‘Bad Muslims’ / Dina El-Rifai
    The “war on terror” has killed millions of innocent people. You don’t have to be a “bad Muslim” to oppose that.
  3. Rural Communities Have the Most to Lose With Health Care Repeal / LeeAnn Hall
    The GOP health bill won’t just roll back Obamacare — it will end Medicaid as we know it.
  4. Trump TV, Coming to a Market Near You / Craig Aaron
    Political appointees are changing the rules to let administration allies crowd out local voices on local TV.
  5. Trump’s Revealing Budget for Rural America / Ben Lilliston
    Rural America supported Trump handsomely. In return, farmers and rural residents are getting their safety net shredded.
  6. The ‘Why’ Behind Bad Grades / Jill Richardson
    Poor grades don’t mean you’re lazy or dumb. Often they mean something else is going on.
  7. Making NAFTA Worse / Jim Hightower
    Trump promised to negotiate the widely loathed trade deal, which would be great — except he’s giving corporations even more power to offshore jobs.
  8. Collective Amnesia Syndrome / 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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