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Dissent: Voices of Conscience

Dissent: Voices of Conscience

By Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright and Susan Dixon
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Tag: Democrats


original image from Wikimedia Commons

Is Texas a Closeted Blue State?

Hold on to your 10-gallon: Gallup’s polling data from the last election show that more Texans identify as Democrats than Republicans. That hasn’t translated into a political earthquake just yet, but it may only be a matter of time. Changing demographics make the Lone Star State and its 34 electoral votes a tempting target for Democrats.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

President Obama’s outreach to Republicans is popular, but the coming week will test his resolve. Eventually, he’ll have to say “no” to the GOP, or lose what he’s fighting for.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


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


Let the Limbaughs Whine

How fortunate for Barack Obama that Rush Limbaugh, big radio personality and leader of the instinctual far right, has yet to retire to a sunny island with his bottles of pills.

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



Flickr / hthg1983

Biden Says Banks May Get More, More, More

The vice president let it slip Sunday that the $700 billion TARP bailout bill could have a sequel. Also, Nancy Pelosi indicated that Congress might dole out more funds to financial institutions. Let’s see, that’s $700 billion on TARP, $850 billion for the still-pending stimulus package, plus the mysterious billions they’re tossing around at the Federal Reserve. ... Here’s hoping China doesn’t cut up our national credit card.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Partisan Politics Wait in the Wings

Beneath the warm pledges of bipartisanship and the earnest calls for cooperation lurks an unpleasant fact: From the moment it loses power, the opposition party turns to the task of getting it back.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


book covers

Brenda Wineapple on Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

Two recent books show how a man of reason and conservative temperament and a man of passion and radical disposition joined together, even before either knew it, to end slavery.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Defining ‘Bipartisan’ in a New Era

When Obama delivered his stunningly eloquent and inspiring address at midday on Jan. 20, he provided a powerful hint of what bipartisan, a term hollowed out by habitual and insincere misuse, means to him now.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jphilipg

What Does $825 Billion of Stimulation Feel Like?

There will be negotiation, revision and capitulation, but the basic guts of the Democrats’ $825 billion stimulus package are out in the open. There’s billions for infrastructure, billions for schools and billions for you and me. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded by saying “Oh. My. God,” which we’ll take to mean, “Praise Jesus! The Democrats have done it again.”

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Nothing to Fear but No Health Care

Fifty million Americans are without health insurance, and 25 million are “underinsured.” Millions being laid off will soon be added to those rolls. At this perilous moment, we need sweeping New Deal-caliber changes, not the impotent tinkering that has been proposed.

Posted on Jan 13, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Short View of History

In his eyes, there’s “no such thing as short-term history.” It’s true that some presidencies look different after a few decades. But it’s also true that presidential acts can have immediate consequences—and Bush’s eight years are seen as a nadir that will take years to recover from.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

That’s Senator Burris to You, Bub

Although a majority of his state’s voters are opposed to his appointment (according to a recent poll), Roland Burris will be seated as the junior senator from Illinois. Senate Democrats had promised not to seat Burris but, true to tradition, promptly caved.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Learning From Clinton’s Mistakes

One of the clearest signals President-elect Barack Obama has sent is his determination to learn from the Clinton years, and particularly from the former president’s failures on health care.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
The Economist

The Road to Impeachment

The Illinois House has voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich on charges of corruption—like, for example, trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. The road to impeachment now leads to the Illinois state Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to boot Blagojevich.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Politician in Chief Works for a Stimulus

The substantive issues surrounding an economic stimulus are clearer than the politics of getting it passed fast. Here’s how Obama is trying to weave the politics and the substance together.

Posted on Jan 8, 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


Beware, Mr. Obama, of Tax-Cut Seduction

Much of the business-tax package Obama contemplates fails his own test of cutting business taxes “where it makes sense and is going to work.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Burris

Burris: ‘We Don’t Need This Distraction’

Roland Burris tells MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow he’d rather not have a media circus swirling around his controversial appointment. But that’s what is shaping up as he moves to claim a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Posted on Jan 6, 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


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich vs. the Senate

Some have argued that the Senate does not have the right to reject embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to replace Barack Obama. However, history clearly disagrees.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Democrats Must Not Get Into Blagojevich’s Game

The governor is playing Chicago-style hardball at the highest level. His opponents need to reply in kind. 

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich!
AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich Gets Blagoje-Ditched

Rod Blagojevich, the most recent Illinois governor to be mired in scandal, is finding himself at odds with his own party after Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that Blagojevich’s attempt to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat will be blocked, much to the disappointment of Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


For Howard Dean, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee fought to expand his party’s reach to the red states that Barack Obama won. His pioneering Internet fundraisers became Obama’s pioneering Internet fundraisers. He refused to budge on Florida and Michigan. So why is Howard Dean out in the cold?

Posted on Dec 22, 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


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
nytimes.com

Is This Heaven? No, It’s Team Obama

Doing little to slough the stereotype that Midwestern governors are automatically good at farming, Barack Obama has announced the next nominee to his presidential inner circle: former Iowa governor and presidential candidate Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008 READ MORE


Blundering U.S. Should Spare the World Any More Nation Building

According to a new report, the U.S. has accomplished little more in Iraq than restoration of the basic services destroyed by the American invasion and the looting that followed. This is after killing or wounding—how many, a half million?—Iraqi civilians in order to liberate them. No wonder the Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Pelosi Gets Tough With Rahmbo

When he selected Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, Barack Obama acknowledged that he was looking for a bad cop, but Nancy Pelosi refuses to be bullied. A former mentor of sorts to Emanuel, the House speaker is “laying down the law,” according to the Politico.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Killing the Big 3 Would Be Nuts

Despite the popular myth, lemmings don’t really hurl themselves off a cliff to reduce their numbers. That sort of behavior is seen only among Republicans in the Senate, who gave us a demonstration when they torpedoed legislation to bail out the auto industry.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Crippling the Auto Union Is Just a Warm-Up

I must admit that when the danger of a global financial implosion became apparent in March, I did not understand how all those worthless Wall Street credit swaps really could be the fault of an overpaid union welder at an auto plant somewhere in Michigan.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


There May Be GOP Gold in the Blago Scandal

The troubles of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have endangered one of the Democratic Party’s safest U.S. Senate seats.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / jburwen

In Illinois, They Love Blagojevich Not

How many Illinois state House members voted Monday to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich? 113. How many Illinois state House members are there? 113. But in a twist, the governor retains the power to name Barack Obama’s successor, although the U.S. Senate has no intention of recognizing a Blagojevich appointee.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


Premature Fretting on the Left

Oh, my: Barack Obama is still more than a month away from assuming the presidency and already there are reports about “the left” being dispirited about change it no longer believes in.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE



Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
New York Times / Stephen Crowley

Bailout to Jump-Start Detroit

Agreement has been reached between the White House and congressional Democrats to offer the U.S. auto industry a $14 billion emergency package aimed at keeping the Big Three going until spring. Also, in the grand tradition of state socialism, the deal includes a new auto “czar” to oversee the restructuring of Detroit.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


The Case Against Kennedy

How can Democrats, who ridiculed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as an inexperienced political wannabe, now embrace the idea of elevating Caroline Kennedy—who hasn’t served a day in public office—to Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat?

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Embraces the Military

In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Auto Bailout Comes With Car Czar, Standard

White House and congressional leaders have agreed to bail out the auto industry. Detroit will get $15 billion in loans and, to make sure the Big Three keep running after their warranties expire, a so-called car czar will oversee long-term restructuring. And because we’re really serious about getting this right, George W. Bush gets to pick the car czar. D’oh!

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 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


Big Three
aolcdn.com

Poll: Auto Bailout Low on Fuel

With a bailout of the Big Three hovering over our political landscape, popular opinion has signaled a considerable voice against any federal support for the failing auto industry. A poll shows 61% of Americans oppose a bailout, believing any government assistance would be both unfair and ineffective in fixing the economy.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Beard!
nytimes.com

And Commerce Secretary Goes to ...

Bearded political renaissance man and current governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson was picked Wednesday morning to be Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce. The unsurprising move makes Richardson the latest politician drafted by Team Obama, who point to Richardson’s experience at the U.N., as governor, and as energy secretary.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE


Saxby Chambliss
Flickr / Savannah Grandfather

Saxby Succeeds in Georgia

Saxby “Big Daddy” Chambliss has successfully defended his U.S. Senate seat against rival and fraternity brother Jim Martin. After a close contest in the general election, the two were forced into a runoff Tuesday, which Chambliss won handily.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / sskennel

Palin Milks Georgia Runoff

As Sen. Saxby Chambliss squares off Tuesday against challenger Jim Martin in Georgia’s runoff election, a certain Alaska governor has managed to work her way back into the spotlight. Stumping for Chambliss, Sarah Palin continues to draw throngs of Republicans while others wish she would simply go away.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Obama the Realist

In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush.

Posted on Nov 27, 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


Tuning Out the Braindead Megaphone

If you’re having trouble remembering what the recent election was all about, rest easy: You’re probably not going senile – you’re likely experiencing the momentary effects of brainwashing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Should Obama’s Army Lay Down Its Arms?

While the nation’s capital obsesses over who will be the next pick for Barack Obama’s Cabinet, the president-elect’s lieutenants are engaged with what may be a more important long-term issue: What will become of Obama’s vast grass-roots network?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


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