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White House / Pete Souza

Calling Dr. Clinton

When word went out that Bill Clinton was hospitalized, the prospect that he was in danger made me wish that President Obama had spent more time learning lessons that only Clinton can teach.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Matti Mattila

Senate Democrats Whittle Down Jobs Bill

Here we have yet another example of partisan politicking in action: Senate Democrats, led by Harry Reid, tossed out a jobs bill they’d created in tandem with Republicans and produced a trimmed-down alternative at the eleventh hour. This did not please their former collaborators from the GOP ... (continued)

Posted on Feb 12, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Wall Street Wants a Refund

“Buyer’s remorse” is the way Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate Republicans’ fundraiser, gleefully refers to Wall Street moguls’ current disenchantment with the U.S. president they thought they had bought.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 READ MORE


Some Healthy Summit Skepticism

I’ve been trying, because I’d truly like to see health reform pass, to find something nice to say about President Obama’s plans for a summit. Here’s the best I could come up with: It can’t hurt.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / samirluther

Congress Has a Snow Day

Thanks to the lousy weather pummeling the nation’s capital, Congress is taking some time off. The House canceled all business pending bluer skies, while the Senate convened for a whole five minutes Monday. As of this posting, there is a 100 percent chance of snow in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 READ MORE


Finish Health Care or Go Home

Some Senate Democratic moderates are petrified that Republicans will make terrible trouble if health care is passed through the “reconciliation process.” If Democrats are that intimidated by Republicans, they should just give up their majority.

Posted on Feb 7, 2010 READ MORE


How to Fix Health Care After Massachusetts

We can still have health care reform in America. We need to take a short-term and a longer-term view.

Posted on Feb 4, 2010 READ MORE


Reid
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Senate Dems Go for Job-Creation Angle

Just a day after their motivational session with President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats got back to the task of regaining some lost political capital, making a bid to better their situation and that of out-of-work Americans by introducing a job-creation package—on the same day, the Los Angeles Times noted, that Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown was to be sworn in.

Posted on Feb 4, 2010 READ MORE



Booze Pirates Fleece Puerto Rico With the Help of Congress

A transfer of billions of dollars in federal aid from public projects in Puerto Rico to one of the world’s largest liquor conglomerates over the next 30 years continues to move forward without any objection from Congress.

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 READ MORE


Obama and Senate Dems
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama Tells Senate Dems to Step Out of the ‘Echo Chamber’ (Update: Video)

President Barack Obama gave Senate Democrats a pep talk Wednesday, rallying the battle-fatigued and dispirited among them by reminding of the need to “finish the job” concerning health care and financial reform and recommending that they refrain from taking their cues from cable TV news and the blogosphere. Instead, Obama said, they would do well to get out and talk to ordinary Americans.

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 READ MORE


Scott Brown
AP / Charles Krupa

Another Lone Wolf Joins the Pack

When I heard Scott Brown, the newly elected senator from Massachusetts, describe himself as a “Scott Brown Republican,” I groaned. It sounded as if he’s coming to Washington to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE


Deaf Ears

Share
Posted on Jan 31, 2010 READ MORE


Outsider in Chief

President Obama’s first State of the Union address didn’t signal a political shift to the left or the right. It sounded more like a shrewd attempt to move from the inside to the outside.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE


The Man Who Fell to Earth

Chastened is not an adjective normally associated with Barack Obama, but that was the underlying theme of his State of the Union address.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE


State of the Union Math Test

There was an unexpected poignancy to the moment Wednesday evening, as President Obama sought to pass a political math test by solving several simultaneous equations.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s First State of the Union—Full Remarks

It was his third address to a joint session of Congress in less than a year, and it had all the usual gestures toward bipartisanship, but Barack Obama’s big speech was not without sizzle. The president shamed Republicans for obstructing, Democrats for giving up and the Supreme Court for auctioning off our democracy.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 READ MORE


In Defense of the Filibuster

This won’t comfort Democrats mourning the loss of their filibuster-proof majority, but the existence of the filibuster is, on balance, a good thing.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 READ MORE



Castro Edition

Going nuclear in the Senate, the anthropology of “Avatar” and why Fidel Castro sent doctors instead of soldiers to Haiti. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 READ MORE



Original: Wikimedia Commons / Scrumshus

Health Care Reform? What Health Care Reform?

Democratic congressional leaders are hitting the pause button while they figure out how to press ahead—if at all—with comprehensive health care reform. The most conservative Democratic senators have made it clear they oppose budget reconciliation, but then the whole point of reconciliation is to avoid the votes of conservative Democratic senators. (continued)

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE



Pre-State of the Union Edition

Petraeus says there’s plenty more Afghan war where that came from, Saudi Arabia gets to buy an election or two and Social Security goes on the chopping block. These stories and more on today’s list.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Fighting Words, Winning Actions

It’s not enough to use variations of the word “fight” more than 20 times in the course of relatively brief remarks, as the president did Friday in Ohio. At some point, he needs to—metaphorically, of course—actually slug somebody.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE


Bernanke
AP / Susan Walsh

Good Bernanke News Gives Wall Street a Boost

Well, it’s good news for Mr. Bernanke, at least: The U.S. stock market did better Monday than it had in the last three days of trading, thanks in part to signs that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s support in the Senate appeared solid. The sunny quarterly report from Apple Inc.—coming just days before the company was expected to make a major announcement—also helped reverse last week’s slide.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE


The Urgency of a Teddy Roosevelt Moment

The only proper response to the distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt of a sort deeply rooted in the American political tradition.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE


Stewart

Jon Stewart and His Many Pairs of Glasses Take Olbermann to Task

Let it be known that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is not a fan of Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown. In turn, let it be known that Jon Stewart is not pleased by Olbermann’s apparent descent into “the fetid swamp of baseless name-calling”—except, that is, for his creatively crass description of Rush Limbaugh.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Dean: Health Care Not Dead Yet

In the face of growing pessimism after the Republican U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, Howard Dean, who in December vocally denounced the Senate health care legislation as weak, says he still believes the Democrats can pass a scaled-down health bill despite Republican foot-dragging.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE



Life After Massachusetts Edition

After the jump: A comprehensive roundup of why the Democrats suck, the all-white basketball league and how classical music can be used as punishment for schoolchildren.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Will Obama Fight for Health Care Reform?

If President Obama has decided to give up on health care reform, he should just come out and say so. Then we could all get on with our lives—those of us with health insurance, that is.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE



Original: Reagan Library

Democratic Corporatism Brings Reagan Back From the Grave

In a state where Democrats outnumber the GOP by a 3-to-1 margin, little-known Republican Scott Brown defeated his rival by demonizing the government and taxes.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE


No Obama Obituaries, Please

If scored strictly by his legislative attainments, Obama is a highly effective president. In fact, the scrupulously nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly rated him the most effective president of the past five decades, as measured by congressional votes on which he took a position.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


The Contradictions of Obamaism

It turns out there were core contradictions in the promises Barack Obama made to the country in 2008. They caught up with his party on Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Losing the Health Care Battle Is Not an Option

Just pass the damn thing. If the health care bill fails, President Barack Obama’s legacy could be limited to the failing war in Afghanistan. Worse yet, many thousands more Americans will die because they don’t have adequate medical care.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


Coakley
AP / Steven Senne

What Massachusetts Got Right

The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent’s strengths can gainsay that fact.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


Scott Brown centerfold
cosmopolitan.com

Democrats Lose Ted Kennedy’s Seat

Well, the Democrats really made a donkey out of this one. The Commonwealth of Taxachusetts, as it’s known among tea-partiers, will now have a Republican senator. That means the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority—which only amounted to doing Joe Lieberman’s bidding, anyway—is over. (continued)

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements

The Source of America’s Imperial Presidency

A new book inspired by liberal disappointment with President Barack Obama blames the atomic bomb for America’s misadventures. This strikes me as interesting but completely wrong.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Hard Lessons of a Rookie Year

There are important lessons from the past year that Barack Obama and his team had better learn if he is to achieve his goal of being a “transformational” president.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE


The Bay State Lesson

Democrats should be worried about the trouble in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate race that forced President Obama to Boston on Sunday for a last-minute campaign rescue mission.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 READ MORE


Harold Ford Jr.
AP / Alex Brandon

Does Harold Ford Jr.’s Race Matter?

New Yorkers, beware. It seems that former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a transplant from Tennessee, has upset people again. Ford, an executive at Merrill Lynch and a New York University lecturer who might be seeking to unseat fellow Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in a race for the U.S. Senate, has made a very bold statement about his identity.

Posted on Jan 18, 2010 READ MORE


Brown and Giuliani
brownforussenate.com

Massachusetts Senate Race Heats Up

He’s not your, er, conventional Republican—having spent part of his childhood being raised by a bona fide welfare mom, not to mention posing nude during law school—but regardless, Massachusetts state Sen. Scott Brown could pose a serious challenge to his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, in the race to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat.

Posted on Jan 15, 2010 READ MORE


Newsflash: Right Is Not Center

On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe. For a year, national reporters (with help from conservative talk-radio goons) have depicted the center-right Obama administration and its corporatist policies as quasi-Marxist.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE


Chairman Mike Turns the Tables

Republican Party grandees were all set to use Michael Steele in the most cynical way. Now it’s becoming clear that Steele has been using the users all along.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE


Reid’s Motive Does Matter

If the Senate majority leader’s private remarks about the skin tone and speaking style of Barack Obama was offensive, the Republican crusade to oust him from his leadership position is worse.

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE


Clueless

Share
Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE


Health Care Reform: Easier Than It Looks

There is broad agreement on the kinds of concessions the Senate can make to the House and still preserve the 60 votes needed for passage of a unified health care reform bill.

Posted on Jan 10, 2010 READ MORE


Harry Reid’s Poor Choice of Words

The Senate majority leader acted like an idiot when he commented on Barack Obama’s race, but he was also right.

Posted on Jan 10, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / CarbonNYC

Gay Marriage Bill a No-Go in N.J. Senate

The New Jersey Senate on Thursday put a major damper on the pro-gay marriage camp’s effort to score another victory for its cause in the Northeast, defeating a same-sex marriage bill by a vote of 14 yeas and 20 nays. Supporters had hoped that the bill would pass before Gov. Jon Corzine, who favors legalization of same-sex marriage, leaves office later this month.

Posted on Jan 7, 2010 READ MORE


The Byron Dorgan Thunderclap

The North Dakota senator’s retirement after three decades is an unfortunate twist for Democrats already looking at a difficult election year.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 READ MORE


Sick With Terror

The underwear bomber has reignited the debates about how best to protect the American people, while a killer that claims 45,000 lives annually—one dead American about every 10 minutes—goes unchecked.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


flag of New Jersey
Wikimedia Commons / xrmap

Gay Marriage Vote Coming Soon in N.J. Senate

The New Jersey Senate has reportedly scheduled Thursday for their vote on whether to legalize gay marriage. Timing will be key in determining the outcome of the issue in the Garden State. Gay marriage advocates have a sympathetic governor in office for only another two weeks.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Beautiful People Edition

Today on the list: gay-baiting in Illinois’ GOP primary, a website for beautiful people only (ouch), the ups and downs of higher education and more.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010 READ MORE


Why 2010 Doesn’t Have to Be 1994

Democrats can avoid a midterm rout if they get progressives excited without turning off independent voters. Here’s how.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE


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