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By Richard Rayner
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Tag: Debate

Making Him Do It

Intragovernmental squabbling probably makes the conflict-averse Obama uncomfortable. But the “make him do it” dynamic could finally bring the center of Washington’s political debate closer to the progressive center of American public opinion.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Brings on a Family Feud

President Obama’s visit with House and Senate Republicans this week was useful for setting a new tone and a refreshing break from the Bush administration’s habit of consulting almost no one. But it was a sideshow to the main battle over how to improve the economy, which is among Democrats.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Stuck Playing the Same Lame Game

The president took his swing in the 25-year-old game of ideological pingpong known as the global gag rule, but he also made it clear he’d like everyone to put their paddles down.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Timothy Geithner
Wikimedia Commons / Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Senate Sends Geithner to Treasury

Timothy Geithner may be a tax dodger who helped funnel taxpayer funds to his banking buddies, but we need that kind of cunning right now. That’s the thinking on Capitol Hill, anyway. The Senate confirmed President Obama’s pick to head Treasury on Monday, over the grumbles of 34 senators.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Navel-Gazing in the Grand Old Party

While Republicans are looking inward and focusing on appeals to the party’s activist base, Obama wants Democrats to concentrate their energies on recently acquired political terrain and the new converts who were central to his party’s sweep last year. 

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

James Blight on McGeorge Bundy

One of JFK’s “best and brightest” died wondering how the Vietnam War could have gone so wrong. Now, in an important new book, we have some answers.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Choice for Education Secretary Marks a New Path

  Because Arne Duncan gets along with teachers unions but is also seen as a reformer, his selection was interpreted as a politically shrewd, split-the-difference choice by Obama. But that is not the whole story.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Should She Be Sen. Kennedy?

In the culture of celebrity, the media have instantly deemed Caroline Kennedy a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, much to the frustration of elected officials who feel they have earned a chance to win what she would merely take.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Caroline Kennedy
welt.de

You Can Never Have Too Many Kennedys in the Senate

There is something refreshing in seeing a mother and public citizen auditioning for a second act. Beyond that, there is something tender and timely in seeing this particular woman coming home to the family business.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


We Told You So

With the release of three new reports, there’s no debate anymore about who was correct and who wasn’t concerning the economic collapse and the Wall Street bailout. The studies prove that progressive critics were right and the Washington ideologues and the pundits were wrong.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Class Bigotry Mars Auto Debate

The auto industry bailout would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three’s unionized work force. Yet you can’t turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Flashback: Obama Looks Forward to Clinton’s Advice

Barack Obama’s fondness for Clinton retreads and his choice of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state took many by surprise, but we might have seen it coming. This debate skirmish before last year’s Iowa caucuses has turned out to be remarkably prescient.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Mbeki width=
EPA / Jon Hrusa

AIDS Theory Runs Amok

In a glaring example of the importance of theory in practice, U.S. researchers have accused former South African President Thabo Mbeki of being responsible for more than 300,000 AIDS-related “avoidable deaths,” pointing to Mbeki’s siding with a theoretical camp that argues AIDS is caused by a collapsed immune system, not a viral infection. As a result, offers of free drugs and grant money for AIDS treatment were rejected.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Scratch on That Glass Ceiling

It is time to stop kidding ourselves. This wasn’t a breakthrough year for American women in politics. It was a brutal one.

Posted on Nov 19, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Some Blame Must Follow the Financial Collapse

“What am I going to tell the public,” one French official asked, “when there are 3 million people marching in the streets of Paris? That ‘we all made mistakes’? That no one was really responsible?”

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / LM Otero

The Obama Standard

A good politician triumphs by adapting to the times and taking advantage of opportunities as they come. A great politician anticipates openings others don’t see and creates possibilities that were not there before.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Madalyn Ruggiero

‘Joe the Plumber’ in 2010?

Life took an unexpected turn for Joe Wurzelbacher, or “Joe the Plumber,” when he became a kind of human talking point for John McCain and Barack Obama during their last debate, and now Wurzelbacher has apparently taken a shine to politics.

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Obama

McCain’s Oil-Talk Addiction

This week’s Mosaic Intelligence Reports investigates John “Drill, Baby, Drill!” McCain’s claims about “good” and “bad” oil, energy independence and whether he played a little fast and loose with the oil talk during the final presidential debate,

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Looking Down the Final Stretch

No more presidential debates (at least for a couple months or so)! Who won the last one, Barack Obama or John McCain? Tony Blankley, Matt Miller and Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer size up the candidates and their campaigns and discuss the latest developments in the economic arena on this week’s “Left, Right & Center.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


Stuck in the Primary

John McCain’s debate performance almost certainly did him good among those whose votes he already has: very conservative Republicans who share Joe the Plumber’s view that Obama is some kind of socialist.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Sounds Worse Than He Looks

Grouchiness, twitchiness and haughtiness didn’t help John McCain in Wednesday’s debate, but what he said hurt him more than how he said it.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

McCain’s Scare Quotes

The term “health of the mother” is a coded term used by extreme pro-abortionists to mislead the public about their nefarious intentions, as John McCain suggested during Wednesday’s presidential debate. Or it could just mean “health of the mother.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


The HBO Debate

Here’s one way to liven up the political process.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Getting Off at the NSA

Warrantless wiretapping makes for a rollicking good time at the National Security Agency, according to moral crusader Stephen Colbert, who’s not above a little dramatic re-enactment of his own biblically inspired carnal fantasies (for illustrative purposes only).

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


McCain in Ohio
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Another Round of Dirty Tricks in Ohio

After Wednesday’s big debate, McCain-Palin volunteers celebrated what they considered a big victory for their presidential candidate. But the real action was taking place in courts miles away.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Madalyn Ruggiero

Joe, the Plumber Who Wasn’t

Things really aren’t going well for John McCain, but then he has only himself to blame. Take Joe the Plumber, whom McCain mentioned more than 20 times in Wednesday’s debate. For the record, Joe’s name is Sam, and he’s not a plumber.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama 3, McCain 0

Although the pundits were impressed with John McCain’s debate performance, the polls showed another win for Barack Obama, who once again kept his cool against an angry, negative opponent.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


Endangering Choice

While gay marriage is losing its stigma, abortion is once again retreating to the closet.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


Debate Preview: Batman vs. the Penguin

Now we know where John McCain has been getting his campaign ideas: 1960s camp television. My friends, who is the Batman? And why is he always palling around with criminals?

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE


McMime

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Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE    


Palling Around With Meteorologists

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went on the attack today, claiming that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has long-standing ties to The Weather Channel.

Posted on Oct 12, 2008 READ MORE


This Is No Time for Specifics

Each campaign has given voters ample notice about the inclinations, temperaments, habits, philosophical leanings and advisers they would bring to the White House. That’s enough.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Palin vs. Palin

Would the Republican VP nominee vote for herself? During her debate with Joe Biden, Sarah Palin said “we have to fight for” and “protect” our freedom, but her party and the policies she seems to support have crippled American liberty.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



Citizens Against Government Waste, and for McCain

During the first presidential debate, John McCain gave a high-profile shout-out: “I suggest that people go up on the Web site of Citizens Against Government Waste, and they’ll look at those projects.” The group quickly returned the favor—its political action committee is calling McCain a “taxpayer hero” in TV ads airing over the next two weeks in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Michelle Obama on 'Daily Show'

Michelle Obama, Known Associate of Barack Obama, Visits ‘Daily Show’

Do we really know Michelle Obama? She thinks so, since, as she tells “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, after 20 months on the campaign trail there have certainly been plenty of opportunities to check her and Barack Obama out.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

Third-Party Blues

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

Flashback: McCain Pledges to Run a ‘Respectful Campaign’

What a difference a few weeks and a few polling points can make. Last April John McCain pledged to run a “respectful campaign”—a goal he restated on more than one occasion until around midsummer.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


overhead projector
Composite: communicationcorner.com/wikimedia

Projectorgate 2008: Astronomers Fact-Check McCain

What on earth was John McCain referring to during Tuesday’s debate when he kept bringing up that mysterious “$3 million overhead projector” that Barack Obama ostensibly supported in Chicago?

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Responds to McCain-Palin Attacks

During a sit-down interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson that aired on Wednesday, Barack Obama talked about the economy and how he’d lead differently from President Bush before addressing the McCain-Palin campaign’s ramped-up attacks of late. “All these statements are made simply to try to score cheap political points,” Obama told Gibson.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


Honor Won and Lost

Nothing in the presidential campaign so far has been as instructive as its swift descent into the politics of personal destruction. Although voters have probably heard little lately that they did not already know about Sen. Barack Obama, they have learned something very important about Sen. John McCain.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Don’t Know

Uncertainty is the backdrop for a presidential campaign whose last month is being conducted over the shakiest terrain. What we didn’t know yesterday, last week, last month suddenly reshapes the contours of our lives.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


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