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Tag: Congress

Obama’s Health Care Reset

By joining specifics, a powerful moral argument and an unapologetic defense of government’s role in promoting social justice, the president sought to rescue the health care debate from the mire of a congressional system that has encouraged delay and obstruction.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


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Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Video: Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress

Listening to the president’s speech Wednesday night was at times riveting, at times like listening to an insurance salesman. He gave a strong defense of the public option, but also indicated he would settle for whatever he could get.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Obama Heckled During Speech

Rep. Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, is a real class act. To prove it, he heckled the president Wednesday, shouting “You lie!” after Obama promised that his plan would not cover illegal immigrants. Update

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN



White House / Joyce N Boghosian

Ted Kennedy’s Letter From Beyond the Grave

The late senator had an unexpected cameo in the president’s speech in the form of a letter that, at Kennedy’s request, was delivered after his death. The White House has released the document, which says “at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.” Read it after the jump.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Rep. Charles Boustany

Republicans Ask Reformed Birther to Rebut Obama

Boy, they sure can pick ’em. When Republicans asked Rep. Charles Boustany to give the response to President Obama’s major speech tonight, they either didn’t know or didn’t care that the congressman once questioned the president’s nationality and is so patriotic he may have attempted to purchase a British title.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


The United States of Plutocracy

Since the 1970s, the nation has been in a dizzying downward spin in the effective purchase of public office by corporations.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


DeLay dances
abc.go.com

‘Dancing’ With Tom DeLay

What’s up with erstwhile Republican congressional powerhouse Tom DeLay deciding to hoof it on “Dancing With the Stars” afore a national audience? Some of his GOP buds are perplexed by this unorthodox career maneuver, but as DeLay himself points out, politicians tend to love the spotlight.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


States Ignoring Stimulus Welfare Fund

Congress created a $5 billion emergency fund for needy families that can be used to immediately create jobs or pay rent for families facing eviction, but many states say they can’t afford to take advantage of the windfall.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rick Rycroft

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


Corporate Flag
Illustration courtesy of Adbusters

It Could Be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It

Radical is too small a word to describe the extent to which the Supreme Court will turn our political system upside down if it decides to let corporations directly fund campaigns.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Pay the Price for Confusing a Party With a Movement

Washington’s labor, environmental, anti-war and anti-poverty groups spent millions electing a Democratic president and Congress and were promptly stabbed in the back. So why are they still loyal?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Don’t Be Fooled by the Public Option

The fight over the public option has occupied much of the media coverage, but left unsaid is the fact that weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations have weakened the public option proposal to the point that it is hardly an option at all.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Distorting the Voice of the People

There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the screamers and ignored the majority of calm Americans interested in health care reform.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

The 2009 Copenhagen climate conference will be critical to the success or failure of establishing a practical, binding global plan of action before human-caused climate change reaches the point of no return, creating a cascade of catastrophes.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Spitzer
Center for American Progress

3 Reasons Eliot Spitzer Should Run Again

This is coming from the New York Post, so take it with a metric ton of salt, but the rag says former New York governor and “Client 9” Eliot Spitzer is thinking about getting back into politics, possibly challenging conservative Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Spitzer has repeatedly denied any interest in running again, but if the polling pans out he should. Here’s why…

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

How Obama Can Win on Health Care

President Obama can still secure major health care legislation this year if he learns from his mistakes in recent months and spends more time reminding Americans why they were once eager for fundamental change.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Kennedy’s Shadow









Posted on Aug 28, 2009 ENLARGE


Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters love America so much they would transform it into Stalinist Russia.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / nikoretro

How About ‘Cash for My Crap Mortgage’?

Forget about replicating the success of the surge in Iraq: Whoever came up with “cash for clunkers” should be put in charge of everything. The clunkers program ended Monday—under budget—after moving almost 700,000 new fuel-efficient cars through an auto industry in the grip of rigor mortis. To put things in perspective, the whole program cost less than 2 percent of AIG’s bailout.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


The Eternal Flame

Ten summers ago, I asked Ted Kennedy’s office to provide an account of key legislation he had sponsored in what already was a long and distinguished career. I received a very humble 32-page fax.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy in Pictures

There’s a lot missing in this hastily constructed array of Ted Kennedy’s life. His run for the presidency, for instance, and the scandal that never quite left him. We also leave out his many legislative accomplishments to focus on his family and the extraordinary swan song that might have been.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Status Quo Is Not an Option

The summer of disinformation seems to have accomplished its goal: to preserve for the private insurance industry an effective monopoly over how much most Americans pay for health care, and on what terms they can buy it.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Bob Child

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Elizabeth Washburn

Progressives Are the Key to Reform

Constituents’ pressure on a fractious Congress is likely to be the only thing that can win the day for an effective overhaul of the health care system.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE


Missing: Democrats’ Passion

Here’s the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party. The wonder is that it’s taken so long for public opinion to curdle.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Enabling the Gun Nuts

The Secret Service says it is quite capable of protecting the president, but the rest of us don’t have armed guards.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Enforcer: Not Really Tough Enough

Every mistake made by the Obama White House in the pursuit of health care reform can be traced to the political style and ideological prejudices of Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly sought to intimidate progressives and empower conservatives.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

You Can’t Blame Obama for American Stubbornness

The president is simply too decent to get the job done. His advisers never learn from their mistakes and the American public is intolerant and hasn’t a clue as to what really is going on in the world.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

‘Nothing Has Changed’ for Public Option

Press secretary Robert Gibbs called the media’s determination that the president had abandoned the public option “one of the more curious things I’ve ever seen in my life.” Is this a case of spin or spine? Read Gibbs’ entertaining back-and-forth with reporters (full text after the jump) and come to your own conclusion.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera

Red-faced people are now hurling the same falsehoods at the nonexistent Obama plan that they hurled at Clinton’s plan—and Harry Truman’s national health insurance proposal, and Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Defense Isn’t Working

It’s true that politics is the art of the possible, but it’s also true that great leaders expand the scope of possibility.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Pulling the Plug on the Public Option

Obama, under political pressure, has softened his call for that element of health care reform, and a Congress awash in industry money is likely to be all too happy to bid it adieu.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Joe Biden and Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Feels Liberal Backlash on Public Option

We keep hearing that the president can’t get his health care reform without the support of conservative Democrats in the Senate, but he also can’t pass anything without progressives in the House, who are none too happy with the administration’s hints that a public option could be dead.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


10 Awesome Reasons to Pass Health Reform

Forget the fearmongering scare tactics of the right, here’s how your life will actually be better.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE



house.gov

Georgia Republican Worries Dems Will Declare Martial Law

Rep. Paul Broun, who once compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, now thinks the president is part of a radical “socialistic elite” that may try to declare martial law. Broun’s comments came during what an area newspaper described as a “relatively peaceful” town hall.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

What Do Billie Jean King and Bob Dole’s Running Mate Have in Common?

The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC1 Nicholas Lingo

Contractor Waste of Tax Dollars Continues

DynCorp International got caught charging the government $50 million over contract for providing living facilities in Kuwait. The company’s CEO told a congressional commission, “If we’re not competitive [in costs], it’s possible for the government to replace us.” But the opposite seems to be true when it comes to contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, where fraud, waste and abuse have been all too common for years.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


banking hearing
AP / Susan Walsh

Letting the Banking Rats Out of the Bag

“Was there some sort of ghost that performed these actions?” New York federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff demanded to know Monday in rejecting a deal that would let Bank of America off the hook in yet another banker bonus scandal.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


C-37
seeandavoid.com

House Grounds Fancy Plane Plan

During a time when the term government spending (not to mention recession) gets quite a few hackles up, House Democratic bigwigs’ choice to scrap plans to purchase four posh planes to shuttle congressional leaders around is clearly wise, although the Senate vote may still pose a problem.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock

U.S. Targets Afghan Drug Suspects for Killing

“Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed ... ,” The New York Times reports. That’s not quite targeted assassination, but it comes pretty close.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE



White House archive / Oliver F. Atkins

35 Years After Nixon

President Richard Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974, in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the revelations of his “abuses of power” and obstruction of justice. For his involvement in criminal activities, Nixon earned his unique epitaph: an unindicted co-conspirator.

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd

Thanks to the Khaki Pants Offensive in the Great American Health Care and Tax War, finally, there’s no pretense. Finally, the Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd’s ugliest traits are there for all to behold.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ThreadedThoughts

Hold On to Your Clunkers, the Cash Is Coming

The Senate is finally getting around to approving more money for the wildly successful “cash for clunkers” program, which seems to have saved the auto industry from the forces of recession and bankruptcy. With an additional $2 billion on the way, the administration hopes to transform 500,000 more clunkers into cleaner, smaller, more efficient vehicles.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Willow Run factory
U.S. Army Signal Corps

Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years

Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame writes that “official secrecy and deceptions about our nuclear weapons posture and policies and their possible consequences have threatened the survival of the human species.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Onion coup

Pesky National Debt Wiped Out by Faux Coup

Should this ever actually happen, The Onion gets credit for its prescient mock-up of a hostile takeover of the American government by a militant, yet strangely familiar, enemy organization bent on ... completely obliterating the ever-increasing U.S. debt.

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


A Coup for Lobbyists at the White House

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in the middle of the night just over a month ago, enjoys global support for his return, with the exception of the Obama White House.

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Rennet Stowe

Guantanamo 2

President Obama has ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by January 2010. To meet that deadline, the administration may push for a new detention facility on U.S. soil. Such a compound, sources tell AP, would include space for the indefinite detention of prisoners deemed too dangerous to face trial.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE


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