Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is ggurley@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Maine Exhales

Democrats are ascendant in the Pine Tree State. Attorney General Janet Mills became Maine’s first woman governor, and the party took control of the state Senate and increased its House majority. As Mainers breathe easier and state officials begin to clean up the mess left behind by former governor Paul LePage and his cabal, can Maine provide a beacon for the rest of America?

This article is a preview of the Summer 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Liesha Petrovich kept tropical-fish antibiotics on hand just in case. You could get them online and they were much cheaper than the prescription medicines her family might need but couldn’t afford. Two years ago, she stumbled walking and broke her foot. A black-belt karate teacher who co-owns a dojo with her husband in the western Maine town of Norway, Petrovich had broken her foot once before and she decided to power through: Her daughter turned 18 shortly before the injury, leaving her and her husband without the Medicaid coverage that the family had relied on since the older of her two children was born. So instead of racking up thousands of dollars in emergency room bills, she ordered a walking cast from Amazon. But her worries multiplied as the kids neared age 21, the cutoff for their own Medicaid coverage. Her daughter was addicted to opioids, had ended up in rehab, and...

The Rose Garden Infrastructure Massacre

Trump is all about his own drama, even when presented with a chance to build projects that can save Americans’ lives.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hung a huge banner outside its Lafayette Square headquarters directly facing the White House, listing the names of three Republican presidents and their infrastructure accomplishments—past and, the Chamber hoped, future. It was Infrastructure Week, which the Chamber, the AFL-CIO, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and others use every year to stress the importance of infrastructure to their fellow Americans. Eisenhower got a nod for the interstate highway system; Reagan kudos for raising the gas tax that fuels the Highway Trust Fund, the lockbox for highway and mass transit dollars. Donald Trump was on the list, too. But his inclusion had a troll-like “your name here” quality—reminding him that he had a “historic opportunity” to come up with a 21st-century infrastructure program. Of course, this diverse and bipartisan coalition had every reason to be concerned: On Wednesday, the president showed how well...

The Great American Infrastructure Farce

The latest episode of Infrastructure Week was brought to you by the number two trillion.

The national news media echo chamber duly produced the same headline from Tuesday’s White House infrastructure meeting with President Trump: a $2 trillion infrastructure “agreement” touted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during a weirdly sanguine follow-up news conference, punctuated with vague platitudes and phantom bipartisanship. The $2 trillion is merely a number that gained traction after a St. Patrick’s Day confab between Trump and Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the House Ways and Means chairman. Agreeing on a number, however, does not necessarily portend a solid plan to repair structurally deficient bridges, extend broadband internet, or replace the lead pipes that still bring water to millions of American homes. Nor does the $2 trillion number deliver a host of cutting-edge 21st-century projects. Trump is sold on $2 trillion, apparently because he thinks it sounds better than lower figures, according to a source...

No Surprise: Trump’s “Buy American” Policy Is a Sham

But while the president refuses to set or enforce real standards, congressional support for domestic production is rising in both parties.

Two years ago, Donald Trump announced his administration would “follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.” At most of the de facto campaign rallies he’s held since his inauguration, “Buy American” has been a reliable applause line. But Trump’s talks and tweets have not been backed up by any Trump policies that strengthen Buy American policies regarding the use of American-made goods and materials in projects paid for with taxpayer funds. In an age of polarization, the issue stands out for its strong bipartisan appeal. Americans across the ideological spectrum understand that many bridges, roads, tunnels, and drinking water systems have long since exceeded their life spans. An Alliance for American Manufacturing “National Survey on Infrastructure and Buy America Policies” released earlier this month found that 81 percent of 1,200 likely 2020 voters wanted the president and Congress to focus on repairing transportation and...

Amazon Cashes Out

Faced with a nationwide backlash, the world’s largest online retailer pulls back its plan for cashless stores. For now.

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo
Responding to a rising tide of big-city opposition, Amazon announced on Wednesday that it would accept cash (or as the company calls it, “additional payment mechanisms”) at its Amazon Go convenience stores. In March, Philadelphia banned cashless stores, becoming the first U.S. city to reject the burgeoning trend. City officials argued that the stores put unbanked low-income, immigrant, and minority consumers at a major disadvantage. Poised to be a major beneficiary of the model, Amazon tried to muscle out an exemption for its high-end Amazon Go cashless convenience stores. Instead, Philly defied Amazon, the second major metro to do so after New York shocked the country in February by forcing out the company after the city had earned the dubious honor of being selected as one of the sites for Amazon’s second headquarters. Now, New York is poised to join the anti-cashless revolt, too, along with San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. New Jersey has already ruled...

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