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War of the Whales


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Fit to Serve

Fit to Serve

By James C. Hormel and Erin Martin

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Tag: Republicans


finance.senate.gov

Public Option Headed for Senate Death

Looks like the insurance companies are getting what they’ve paid for in the U.S. Congress. The Senate Finance Committee is closer to a deal with Republicans, which means no public health care option. The Blue Dogs, meanwhile, are still nipping at the heels of House Democrats.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


Slow Down

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Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
twitter.com

Where Will Palin Go From Here?

It’s time to add “former” to the Alaska governor’s title. So now that Sarah Palin is a free woman, what will she do with her time? Her friends and flacks aren’t giving anything away, but we already know she has plans to hit the rubber chicken circuit, campaign for like-minded politicians and write a book.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE



Collage from Flickr / Korean Resource Center and senate.gov

How the Democrats Sucker-Punched Labor

It was a foregone conclusion that Republicans and big business would fight tooth and nail against the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, the union bill that would make organizing easier, but in the end it was Democrats who killed it. The Socialist Worker, appropriately enough, has the most comprehensive take on the story to date.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


The Politics of Tenacity

Wow, what big and unexpected news! Reforming the health care system is really hard, and Republicans want President Obama to fail. Imagine that.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Cherie A. Thurlby

Blue Dogs: The Special Interest Pets

Fiscal conservative is one of those terms used by politicians of all sorts to describe themselves, without any real justification. That phrase is often used to mislead the public about the priorities and policies favored by those who claim to embody budgetary prudence.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


Health Plan: Ask ‘What,’ Not ‘When’

Now that it’s gripped the imaginations of politicians and the media, the politics of the calendar has overtaken the plain truth that Congress already is moving—barely moving, and not necessarily to a triumphal finish—toward reform.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Kiwi Flickr

California Cuts Budget Deal

Soon California can stop being the butt of jokes—although seriously, Alabama, let’s not point fingers. Party elders in Sacramento have reached an agreement that should balance the budget with $15.5 billion in cuts that will hurt students, the poor, children and the elderly. Republicans, who make up only about a third of the state Legislature, managed to thwart any new taxes.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Aces in the Hole

It was not the soaring rhetoric that is Barack Obama’s signature, but he recently offered the sound bite that may define his presidency: “Don’t bet against us.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Stains From the Bush Era Won’t Fade

The legacy of that administration’s anti-terrorism tactics cannot be washed away in a tide of feel-good rhetoric about moving on, nor will it fade eventually if we apply Obama’s spiritual wisdom that this should be a time for “reflection, not retribution.”

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor Enters the D.C. Twilight Zone

The would-be first Latina justice faces a committee with only two women members in order to get confirmed by a Senate with only 17 women for a seat on a court with only one woman. And yet Sotomayor has to prove that she isn’t biased.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Franco Folini

California Sees Red

Looks like Republicans are going to win out in California’s seemingly endless budget battle, despite holding a minority in the state Legislature. The deal lawmakers are inching toward favors Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desire to make the poor, the elderly and schoolchildren pay for the state’s financial crisis.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
speaker.gov

House Plan Taxes the Rich to Insure the Poor

Nancy Pelosi and her fellow progressive Democrats in the House have opened a can of health care whoop-ass that’s sure to drive Republicans and conservative Democrats nuts. The House bill, unveiled Tuesday, would tax the rich and businesses that skimp on health care coverage, provide a public option and require everybody to be covered.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Win McNamee, pool

White Men Can’t Trump

For the Republicans outraged at “wise Latina” Sonia Sotomayor, being white and male is seen as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity”—black, brown, female, gay, whatever—has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Closet Racism in the Age of Obama

Unless Sotomayor suffers a “complete meltdown,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted, she will be confirmed. The price, though, is barely coded race baiting that has been part of the assault on Sotomayor since her nomination was announced.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Party of Franken, Party of Palin

Al Franken left showbiz to prove himself a serious policy wonk as well as a devoted family man; Sarah Palin transformed herself and her family into a reality television show. Their long, odd trips reflect the journeys of their respective parties.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


The Unemployed Will Roar

There’s a lot of argument in Washington about the economy, but if anyone’s looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Flex Health Care Muscle

The progressive Democrats in Congress have had just about enough of all this bipartisanship, especially if it means scrapping a public health care plan. Rahm Emanuel recanted his hint of compromise to a room full of hopping-mad House liberals Tuesday night. Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it clear that losing a public option was a deal-breaker for 10 to 15 Senate Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

Sexism and Sarah Palin

Marie Cocco writes that Sarah Palin’s “intellectual emptiness” and “demonstrably poor judgment” should not excuse the “sexist cant that Palin ... has been subjected to since she burst onto the national scene.” Eugene Robinson, however, finds that the fear of “being painted as elitist and sexist” has perpetuated the myth that Palin is “a substantial figure whose presence on the national stage is anything but a cruel, unfunny joke.” Read on and decide for yourself.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Cry for Me, Alaska

What can you say about an ambitious politician who says that “life is too short” to worry about, you know, boring things such as responsibility or duty? You can say that all of us who ever took Sarah Palin seriously—or pretended to take her seriously—should be deeply ashamed.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


A Trashing as Old as Suffrage

None of Sarah Palin’s numerous shortcomings excuse the sexist cant that she, like Hillary Clinton before her, has been subjected to since she burst onto the national scene.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Long, Hard Summer

As the president and centrist Democrats in Congress haggle over the deficit, they could usefully recall that the party’s inability to deliver on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign pledges, particularly on health care, led to a stunning defeat two years later.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


Thomas Paine
Portrait by Auguste Millière

The Age of Paine

“That filthy little atheist,” as Thomas Paine was called by Theodore Roosevelt, has few monuments dedicated to his memory. Building a bronze and marble monument to Paine will never revive the republic, but his words still carry an electric current of freedom. His intellectual and political energy is always available for rediscovery.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


Warming Up a New Politics?

That some highly vulnerable Democrats in the House were willing to face tens of thousands of dollars worth of Republican attack ads as the price of supporting a bill to curb global warming is the untold story of what, so far, is the year’s most dramatic legislative showdown.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


Family Values

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Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


Iraq Has Another One of Its Famous Turning Points

As the media trumpets sound for the pullback of American troops from urban areas in Iraq, the essential lesson of our involvement must be recalled: Nothing about our entanglement in Iraq has ever been as it seemed.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Charles Dharapak

The Sickening Influence of Campaign Contributions

Democrats who are talking down Obama’s health care initiative tend to have something in common—their abject dependence on campaign contributions from the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations fighting against real reform.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Foreclosure Fiasco

The Bush-Obama strategy of throwing trillions at the banks to solve the mortgage crisis is a huge bust. The financial moguls, while tickled pink to have $1.25 trillion in toxic assets covered by the feds, along with hundreds of billions in direct handouts, are not using that money to turn around the free fall in housing foreclosures.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE


Alternative Lifestyle

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Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE



Illustration from Flickr / CJ Sorg and South Carolina Governor's Office

Governor Goes Missing

South Carolina governor and anti-stimulus crusader Mark Sanford has vanished. Sanford gave his staff and security team the slip four days ago and managed to miss Father’s Day without alarming his wife, who also doesn’t know where he is. “He was writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids,” she explained to AP.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / denn

California Attacks Budget Crisis With Make-Believe

Unable to agree whether to raise taxes or cut spending, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state’s lawmakers will instead rely on time travel. Sacramento hopes to “save” somewhere around $10 billion by shifting costs to next year’s budget and resorting to other accounting tricks.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher

Bill Maher: ‘Democrats Are the New Republicans’

Last week Bill Maher took on the president. This week, the “Real Time” host accuses the Democrats of selling out their principles to hedge funds and polluters: ” ... over the last 30-odd years, Democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into a mental hospital.”

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE


Max Baucus
senate.gov

Health Care Fail

By one estimate, Sen. Max Baucus gets about $1,500 a day from the health industry. Who put this man in charge of health care reform? The senator’s latest innovation in compromise is to slash proposed insurance subsidies in a bid to get Republicans on board. And forget about a government-run insurance program.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


The AMA’s Unhealthy Obsession

The real question is not what the AMA will support or whether the attitudes of the AMA have changed, but why anyone would still heed its policy prescriptions. Very few national organizations have been so wrong for so long about the matters most salient to their own members.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


Max Baucus
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Bipartisanship of Fools

Where did we get the idea that the only good health care bill is a bipartisan bill? Is bipartisanship more important than whether a proposal is practical and effective?

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


Why Patch-and-Fill Won’t Do

At the moment, Republicans are gleeful and Democrats glum because of a Congressional Budget Office analysis—based on an incomplete and early draft of what is likely to be the most liberal-leaning health care proposal to emerge from the Senate—that shows the measure just won’t get the job done.

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 READ MORE


Guns and the Link We Won’t Admit

There are without a doubt links among the extremists who have opened fire in this spring of slaughter, but we tend to ignore the most obvious point: We have decided to let just about anyone have a gun.

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 READ MORE


The Lesser of Two Spuds

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Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE    


Why So Scared of a Public Plan?

Big insurance and pharmaceutical companies are lobbying frantically (and spending millions of dollars) to foreclose the possibility of the most promising aspect of health care reform: a public insurance option.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


The Identity Dance

I can’t help noting that in the Sotomayor drama, the charge of “identity politics” is leveled at relative newcomers. For that matter, identity itself seems to be exclusively a matter of race, gender and minority status.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE


Vern

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Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE    



AP photo / Damian Dovarganes

Prop. 8 and the Misery of the Law

The right to rebel is my real subject here, but the misery of the law is not incidental. No good case can be made for rebellion as an unqualified good in itself. But the right to rebel also cannot be limited to the rebel causes that were won long ago and have passed over into our national mythology.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Whither the Sacred Campaign Promise?

Historically, Americans generally held campaign promises sacred. Just ask the first President Bush. But now behavior by President Obama suggests a systemic assault on the campaign promise is under way.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


What Rhetoric Won’t Cure

The murder of Dr. George Tiller cannot be smoothed over with a speech. This is the lesson the Obama administration must learn from it.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Ronald Reagan
Reagan Library

Reagan Didn’t Do It

It would be nice to blame Ronald Reagan for the economic meltdown, as Paul Krugman did recently, but the facts don’t support it. Unfortunately, the real villains are closer at hand.

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE



gov.ca.gov

Democrats Aren’t Buying What Schwarzenegger’s Cutting

As if delivering the tagline of his latest movie, California’s governor announced to the state Legislature Tuesday that the “day of reckoning is here.” But Democrats are fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to cut funding for schools, the poor and sick children while refusing to raise taxes.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform’s Pulse Is Fading

So it’s health care overhaul this year—or bust. If this is the bet, right now I’d put my money on bust.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE



reformation-lutheran.org

Abortion Doctor Murdered in Church

Dr. George Tiller was volunteering at his Kansas church Sunday when a gunman shot him dead. Republicans in Congress recently made a villain of Tiller when they stalled the confirmation of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE


Hung Up on Race

President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court is a proud and accomplished Latina. This fact apparently drives some prominent Republicans to a state resembling incoherent, sputtering rage.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Big Tent

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Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


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