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White House / Pete Souza

Obama Pressures Senate on Public Option

Like a reluctant Sisyphus, the president is still pushing the public option up Capitol Hill. According to a report in the L.A. Times, Obama has been trying to sell moderate Democrats on the idea. That’s no easy task, as many have taken gobs of money from the private health industry and coincidentally oppose meaningful reform.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE


The Public Option Only Looks Dead

The strangest aspect of the debate over a public option for health coverage is that the centrists who oppose it should actually love it.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


A Question of Health—and Equality

My favorite moment so far in the health care debate was when Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl argued against mandating maternity benefits as part of a basic insurance coverage. “I don’t need maternity care,” he blurted out. At which point, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow quipped, “I think your mom probably did.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Massachusetts Looks for Life After Teddy

All the Democrats running to replace the late senator are on a Be-Like-Ted ticket, but there are degrees of Ted-ness. Who will win the heart of this state that loves liberals, tradition and Kennedys?

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Let Blue Dogs Face the Music

The president is protecting the very Democrats who are tanking his agenda by saving them from having to face tough primaries.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Robert Byrd
senate.gov

Is Byrd’s Health a Factor for Health Reform?

Not to be morbid or insensitive, but the succession of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat got us thinking about another Democrat among the 60 probably needed to push through health care reform.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


Paul
dipity.com

Kennedy’s Seat Is Temporarily Filled

With Ted Kennedy’s death, the Democrats fell one vote short of the 60-seat threshold needed to stop a filibuster in the Senate. But now the governor of Massachusetts has named former Democratic Party Chairman Paul Kirk to temporarily fill Kennedy’s seat, giving the Democrats a major tool in the fight for health care reform.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


Health Reform Money Is Aimed at Red States

Sen. Max Baucus’ health care plan would shift massive amounts of tax money away from traditionally blue states.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


Olympia Snowe
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Talk of Bipartisanship Is Now Thoroughly Warped

All of the health bills on offer, even the supposedly “liberal” House bill, are already centrist compromises built on a private health insurance market. Above, Olympia Snowe, who may turn out to be the single Senate Republican voting for reform.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Selective Deficit Disorder

When President Bush vastly expanded the deficit with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy, where were the conservative organizations that recently marched on Washington?

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter Is Right

President Obama has to give even his most vocal critics the benefit of the doubt. But I don’t. There’s a particularly nasty edge to some of Obama’s detractors that is difficult to explain in terms other than racism.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Massachusetts Close to Replacing Kennedy With a Temp

Democrats would like an interim senator to fill Ted Kennedy’s shoes until a January election provides a more permanent solution, and the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Thursday agreed to give Gov. Deval Patrick the power to appoint just such a person.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Testing the Obama Effect

President Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia’s electoral votes since 1964, and his drop in the polls has already had a powerful influence on the direction of this year’s contest for governor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

All U.S. Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own—and Obama Has His

The more one hears the discussion among Democrats about the war in Afghanistan, the more one feels that it is a serious handicap that Barack Obama has no personal experience of international relations or of foreign policy or military service.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jeff Chiu

Bill Clinton Picks a Horse in Cali Governor Race

The former president has thrown his considerable political and fundraising heft behind San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the race to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger. Newsom is up against California institution and former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



US Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore

On Oct. 7, the U.S. enters its ninth year of occupation of Afghanistan—equal to the time the United States was involved in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Appease and Carrots

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Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE    



AP / Charles Dharapak

Stop Begging Obama and Get Mad

The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



house.gov

Is Rep. Joe Wilson Winning?

The White House was worried President Obama’s major health care address would get lost in the commemorations of 9/11. They didn’t know about Joe Wilson, the heretofore unknown South Carolina congressman who is now the national poster boy for the disaffected and ill-informed white people hurling tea bags and insults at the president.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi Sees Little Support for Troop Deployments

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown a high-level wrench into President Obama’s plans to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Pelosi said Thursday that she sees little support in Congress for new deployments, an observation that comes at a time of rising casualties and strife in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 11, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Speech Even Insurance Companies Could Love

President Barack Obama’s health care reform speech to Congress Wednesday night was impassioned, but it also echoed a lot of ideas from insurance company lobbying.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


A Perfect Storm of Idiocy

How did America surrender its political discourse—not to mention the news cycle—to the most unreasonable and unstable elements of the far right?

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


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


Mike Ross
house.gov

Don’t Take Blue Dog’s Word for It: It’s Worthless

Rep. Mike Ross, head of the House Blue Dogs, says he can no longer abide a deal he made with White House chief of staff (and Blue Dog patron saint?) Rahm Emanuel. Ross’ vision of the public option already made liberals queasy, but now the Arkansas Democrat says even that version is too much.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Stuck in the Middle

Politicians love to run to the center, but it would be a mistake for the president or the Democratic leadership in Congress to underestimate the passion for health care reform among their party’s activist base.

Posted on Sep 7, 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



ABC

‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 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


Why We Must Stay in Afghanistan

A slim majority now says the Afghanistan war isn’t worth fighting. This is alarming, and inexplicable.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
Air Force / Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

Democratic Fundraiser Arrested in $74 Million Fraud

Hassan Nemazee has raised millions for Democratic candidates, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He was arrested Tuesday for allegedly using bogus documents and phone numbers to try to sucker Citibank out of $74 million.

Posted on Aug 25, 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


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

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


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


The Real Death Panels

The ugly fact is that every year we fail to reform the existing system, that failure condemns tens of thousands of people to die—either because they have no insurance or because their insurance companies deny coverage or benefits when they become ill.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama

“Something is broken,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his family home in Connecticut. “We are not at the Bangladesh level in terms of passivity, but we are getting there.”

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



Flickr / brownpau

The Nut Job as Political Force

If there’s been a more clinically insane political phenomenon in my lifetime than the “birthers,” I’ve missed it. Is this what our national discourse has come to? Sheer paranoid fantasy?

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE


Can Republicans Escape Their Extremists?

Things are looking up for the Republicans, relatively speaking. There’s just one problem: The country still doesn’t like them.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE



Frederic Raphael on Socrates

Was Socrates an atheist, a guru to a strange sect and an elitist corrupting the youth of a democratic Athens defeated in the Peloponnesian War, as his accusers successfully charged? A new book by Robin Waterfield seeks to dispel the myths about “Why Socrates Died.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Tyranny by 13 Obstructionists

The lawmakers charged with health care reform, hailing mostly from small states and rural areas, together represent only 13 million people, meaning those speaking for just 4 percent of America are maneuvering to impose their health care will on the other 96 percent of us.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE


A Time, Again, for Bill Clinton

Perhaps the time has come, if it isn’t already too late, for President Obama to ask for help from President Clinton.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


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