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Tag: Senate

Who Is Obama Playing Ball With?

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with a top executive from UBS, a bank that sheltered wealthy tax dodgers while hardworking U.S. taxpayers were bailing it out.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Status Quo Is Not an Option

The summer of disinformation seems to have accomplished its goal: to preserve for the private insurance industry an effective monopoly over how much most Americans pay for health care, and on what terms they can buy it.

Posted on Aug 24, 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



AP / Jae C. Hong

You Can’t Blame Obama for American Stubbornness

The president is simply too decent to get the job done. His advisers never learn from their mistakes and the American public is intolerant and hasn’t a clue as to what really is going on in the world.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

‘Nothing Has Changed’ for Public Option

Press secretary Robert Gibbs called the media’s determination that the president had abandoned the public option “one of the more curious things I’ve ever seen in my life.” Is this a case of spin or spine? Read Gibbs’ entertaining back-and-forth with reporters (full text after the jump) and come to your own conclusion.

Posted on Aug 18, 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


Obama and Rahmbo
White House / Pete Souza

Team Obama Ready to Surrender Public Option?

The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. ... ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

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


C-37
seeandavoid.com

House Grounds Fancy Plane Plan

During a time when the term government spending (not to mention recession) gets quite a few hackles up, House Democratic bigwigs’ choice to scrap plans to purchase four posh planes to shuttle congressional leaders around is clearly wise, although the Senate vote may still pose a problem.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Mel Thinking
washingtonpost.com

Another One Bites the Dust

Has the world gone mad or is Sarah Palin a trendsetter? Florida’s Republican Sen. Mel Martinez has announced he will step down after Congress’ August recess, claiming that his priorities of “my faith, my family and my country” suggest it’s time for him to retire from public life. Rumors are circulating that “family problems” are behind his premature exit.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Markus Schreiber

Playing Politics With a Ghost

Now that the remains of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Speicher have been recovered from Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts and other politicians will have to stop shamelessly exploiting his disappearance to sell their war agenda. Update from the author

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Small Business Owner vs. Conservative Democrat

Michael Snider, a small business owner from Nebraska, stars in a pro-public option ad currently running in opposition to the stand of “conservaDem” Sen. Ben Nelson on health care reform. Snider tells Rachel Maddow that Nelson called him about the ad, but didn’t change his mind.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor
AP / Ron Edmonds

Sotomayor Makes the Senate Cut

The U.S. Supreme Court just got a little wiser. On Thursday, the Senate voted 68-31—split largely along party lines—to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Supreme Court justice and only the third woman to serve on America’s top court.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ThreadedThoughts

Hold On to Your Clunkers, the Cash Is Coming

The Senate is finally getting around to approving more money for the wildly successful “cash for clunkers” program, which seems to have saved the auto industry from the forces of recession and bankruptcy. With an additional $2 billion on the way, the administration hopes to transform 500,000 more clunkers into cleaner, smaller, more efficient vehicles.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / soggydan

If a Republican Votes Against Sotomayor, Does it Make a Sound?

Republicans are so against the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court that even John McCain, a self-proclaimed maverick with plenty of Latino constituents, says he will vote against her. Thing is, there just aren’t enough Republicans in the Senate for party unity to make a difference.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / LM Otero

So Much for the Promised Land

The most prominent faces of color, such as President Obama or Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr., mask an insidious new racism that, in essence, tells blacks they have enough, that progress has been made and that it is up to them to take advantage of what society offers them.

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



AP / Timothy Jacobsen

The Electricity in Your Garbage

With biomass pioneers advancing their technology, the smelly stuff that you throw away today may be providing electricity for your home tomorrow.

Posted on Aug 2, 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


The Marvel That Is Medicare

Medicare is where political posturing runs headlong into historical truth: It is, along with Social Security, the most successful government program that the United States has ever created.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


Less Than Perfect Health Care Reform

If only Democrats and Republicans could get together and produce a health care bill that would expand coverage and control costs. But wait—there is such a proposal. In fact, there are two.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE



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


Obama’s Military Is Spying on U.S. Peace Groups

Anti-war activists in Olympia, Wash., have exposed Army spying and infiltration of their groups, as well as intelligence gathering by the Air Force, the federal Capitol Police and the Coast Guard.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


Let NRA-Loving Senators Practice What They Preach

Isn’t it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away, and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation’s Capitol building?

Posted on Jul 27, 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


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


Barack Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Pushes Health Care in the Face of Delays

President Obama made an appeal Wednesday night for health care reform, complete with this zinger: “This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress.” However, his Senate mentor, Dick Durbin, said not to expect a health care vote before the August recess. Excerpts from the president’s speech and video after the jump.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


Take Politics Out of Health Care Reform

If you’re interested in how to get health care costs under control, the case of the F-22 offers an instructive example.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

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



Flickr / aflcio2008

Democrats Gut Union Bill

Senate Democrats aren’t doing their friends in organized labor any favors. Lawmakers have decided to strip out the basic reform in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act that would make creating unions much easier—the whole point of the bill. But all may not be lost. ...

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Confirm This

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Posted on Jul 16, 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



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi’s Toothless ‘Commission’

Congressional leaders are expected to announce a new commission to investigate the causes of America’s financial disaster. But unless the speaker and her colleagues summon much greater courage than they have displayed to date, it will only highlight the failure of the Democrats to live up to their heritage.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Court Votes May Return to Haunt Him

Republican senators are asking themselves why they should give President Obama more leeway to name justices to his liking than then-Sen. Obama was willing to accord President Bush when he voted against both Bush nominees.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Health Insurance Whistle-Blower Knows Where the Bodies Are Buried

Wendell Potter is the health insurance industry’s worst nightmare. He’s a whistle-blower. Potter, the former chief spokesperson for insurance giant CIGNA, recently testified before Congress, “I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick—all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Sheldon Whitehouse
senate.gov

Confirmation Remarks Worth Revisiting

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are as much about politicians grabbing a little face time as they are about probing a nominee’s legal philosophy. Amid all the posturing and finger-wagging Monday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spoke rather eloquently about what the court has become, and what it should be: “ ... A place ... where the comfortable can be afflicted and the afflicted find some comfort. ... ”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Confirmation Hearings

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Posted on Jul 14, 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


Obama and Benjamin
AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama Picks ‘Country Doctor’ as Surgeon General

If she is approved by the Senate, Dr. Regina Benjamin has a big job ahead of her as the next surgeon general during a time of upheaval in the health care industry. Luckily, given her résumé, she seems more than qualified for the position.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings Under Way

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor began on Monday. Despite a strong partisan divide over her candidacy, she is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate after she has a chance to make her opening statement and answer questions from the Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, she will be the first Latina and only the third woman justice to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor’s Critics Are the Real Radicals

This week’s hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court represent the opening skirmish in a struggle to challenge the escalating activism of an increasingly conservative judiciary.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009 READ MORE


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