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A Government of Men, Not Laws

In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Time to Put the Clamps on Tobacco

An idea that has been around for years now has reached that rarest of moments: There is a political environment that should, if reason prevails, produce legislation to require the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


A Big Moment for Volunteerism

The House this week is expected to vote to expand civilian service, and the Senate will soon take up a similar bill. This issue holds the promise of producing that much prized but elusive Washington commodity: a large bipartisan majority. 

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


For Competition Before They Were Against It

Republicans insist that “competition solves health care,” and tell us that government programs are worse than private health insurance. So, don’t they welcome a private-versus-public competition, believing that the former will trump the latter? Well ... uh ... no.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


From Frozen Minds, a ‘Spending Freeze’

Things are bad, and very likely to get worse—but the Republicans seem determined to plunge us into a real depression, gambling that catastrophe would return them to power.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


A Bad Fix Would Be No Fix

Advice to solve the financial crisis before even thinking about health care, energy or education is either misguided or disingenuous. Fortunately, Obama seems to be ignoring all the chatter.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Lynne Sladky

A Changing Community Now Wants Softer U.S. Policy on Cuba

A majority of Florida’s Cuban-Americans, including many former hard-liners, have come to oppose a U.S. embargo strategy that has proved futile over the decades.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Art Comments

Buffett Says ‘Muddled Messages’ Fuel Uncertainty

The world’s richest man—until recently, anyway—said the economy “has fallen off a cliff” and he blamed “muddled messages” for the public’s uncertainty. Warren Buffett, in remarks broadcast Monday on CNBC, criticized Republicans and the political process, but his barb has at least grazed the man he helped elect president.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi Has Reason to Smile

It’s “a completely different world,” says the House speaker, delighted by “the fact that we have a Democratic president who ... put forth an agenda for America that contained many of the issues that we have been fighting for over the years.”

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


The Man Who Won’t Change

Rush Limbaugh asks why women don’t like him. Well, I think I know why. Pull up a chair, my dears, and I’ll tell you, and him, a sad, sad story.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Rushing Toward Irrelevance

Once, conservatives liked to say that “ideas matter.” Although many of their theories later proved flimsy, they at least attempted to address real problems with fresh thinking. But ideas no longer matter—and in fact they’re dangerous, according to the maximum leader of the right.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


The Weight of the Party

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Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

America’s New Trajectory

Just six weeks into his term, Obama has opened his bid to redraw the boundaries of our politics and expand the realm of the possible.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Mitt Romney
c.berlet / publiceye.org

Conservatives Cling to Romney

The conservative wing of the Republican Party still has a lot of affection, oddly enough, for the former governor of the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. For the third straight year, Mitt Romney beat out the likes of Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee in a poll of conservative activists.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Robin-Hood Republicanism?

Only months after the 2008 primaries, most Americans probably don’t remember Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. But that doesn’t mean the conservative populism they championed during their campaigns is as fleeting as their dark-horse candidacies.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Government’s Long Night May Be Ending

Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Redux?

For someone who spent much of the Democratic primary season running against the Clinton era, Obama sounds an awful lot like President Clinton.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


David Brooks

David Brooks Calls Jindal’s Speech ‘Insane’ and ‘a Disaster’

When civilizations collapse, mass hysteria ensues, often followed by cannibalism—a scenario familiar to the Republican Party, in which old friends are now turning on each other with reckless abandon.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Schwarzenegger Thought About Ditching the GOP

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biographer has revealed that the California governor recently thought about leaving the Republican Party, but decided he wouldn’t gain much by doing so, politically. Camp Schwarzenegger has yet to respond, but the news fits, given the governor’s problems working with his own party.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


A Road-Trip Presidency

After Obama began to campaign around the country for the stimulus, support for the package rose. Administration officials have taken notice. Count on this to be a road-trip presidency. 

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / geerlingguy

Some Governors May Tell Obama to Stuff It

While just about every state in the Union is starving for funds, a small band of Republican governors is debating whether or not to reject the stimulus bill’s cash infusion, citing concerns over future taxes. This California editor says good. Give their stimulus money to my state. It’s broke.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Health Care Reform Can’t Wait

The national health care crisis, intensified by the recession, is so bad that nothing can be permitted to stop reform of the system, not even the implosion of the president’s health czar.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Two-Headed Monster

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Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


There Was No GOP ‘Victory’

Republicans congratulate themselves for remaining unified in defeat and whine about Obama’s refusal to capitulate—but in fact it is they who have failed in the initial episode of a confrontation that will certainly continue for four years.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


A Hand on History

President Obama senses that fate has handed him opportunities few presidents ever get, and that his test will be whether he makes good use of his chance to bend history at one of its “inflection points.”

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Jeffrey Beall

Pols Sink or Swim With the Stimulus

President Obama on Tuesday will sign the stimulus bill, which passed without the support of a single House Republican and with only three votes from the GOP in the Senate. With battle lines that stark, lawmakers have tied their fates to that of the bill.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009 READ MORE



Allen Barra on the Myth of Ronald Reagan

At last, a revisionist takedown of our 40th president, portrayed as an empty suit too often lauded by the common people he betrayed.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Another Nominee Bites the Dust

Apparently nobody wants to be President Obama’s commerce secretary. The second candidate for the post, Sen. Judd Gregg, has dropped out. The Republican senator cited “irresolvable conflicts,” including the stimulus package and the census. That’s what you get for trying to make nice with those fussy Republicans.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


Stronger, Please, Mr. President

Having allowed his Republican opponents to dominate the economic debate, Obama used his first news conference to rebut them—coolly and civilly, yet without leaving any doubt that he can strike back harder if necessary.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Stimulus Survives Senate Pecking

The Senate passed its own version of the stimulus package Tuesday, slashing funding in areas that would most effectively stimulate the economy, such as aid to low-income Americans and states, while expanding tax cuts. The House and Senate bills must now be reconciled with one another.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Charles Darwin on the Origin of Republicans

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Posted on Feb 10, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Slam the Door on Compromise

Bipartisanship is a cute idea, but with 600,000 Americans losing their jobs in one month, there simply isn’t time to be nice.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Real Obama

It took less than three weeks for the real Barack Obama to come into view. He turns out to be both a conciliator and a fighter. Update

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 READ MORE


A Team of Zombies

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals,” but instead President Obama has populated his administration with Bush yes-men and Wall Street kleptocrats whose discredited theologies cannot be killed.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Another Nominee With Tax Problems

What exactly was the point of that endless questionnaire Team Obama famously had prospective worker bees fill out? A fifth Obama nominee has run into some controversy, the fourth due to a failure to pay taxes, although in the case of Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis, her husband is to blame.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


In Washington, Public Policy and Private Wealth Are Hopelessly Tangled

Barack Obama in Washington reminds one of Diogenes in Athens, with his lantern in search of an honest man.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama and Howard Dean
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Howard Dean Should Have Been Obama’s Pick All Along

Now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from the running to be health and human services secretary, President Obama should revisit the idea of nominating former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean for the position, an idea he abandoned last November for all the wrong reasons.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


GOP Revs Up the Spin on Stimulus

Republicans have been winning the media wars over Obama’s central initiative. They have done so largely by defining the proposal by its least significant parts.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over Obama’s plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE



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


Stampede

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Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE


What’s Your Rush?

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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


The GOP’s Soundproof Room

Unbeknown to the House Republicans who voted unanimously against President Obama’s stimulus package, we are in the midst of a rare fundamental shift in American politics.

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


Economic Policy That Might Actually Work? Who Knew?

After eight years of trickle-down tax cuts that pushed the prosperous up and left most everyday Americans sliding further down, the stimulus bill now moving swiftly through Congress is more than a reversal of political course. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


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