Archive of Articles for February, 2009

Friday Talking Points [65] -- The Sausage Race

[ Posted Friday, February 13th, 2009 – 18:05 UTC ]

About a week ago, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs got off a good line about the progress of the stimulus package: "The sausage race is the beginning of the next inning. So just stay tuned." This was about halfway through the bill's legislative process. Not only did he declare an opening to Baseball Metaphor Season, he also rather ingeniously alluded to Otto von Bismarck's well-known warning that the public should not look too closely at how laws and sausages are made.

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Commerce Secretary Spontaneously Combusts

[ Posted Thursday, February 12th, 2009 – 17:51 UTC ]

Because much like the fictional Spinal Tap's famed bad luck in drummers (all of whom have either disappeared or died in mysterious circumstances), President Obama now needs a new Secretary of Commerce.

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The New Deal Lesson Republicans Are Ignoring (At Their Peril)

[ Posted Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 – 17:57 UTC ]

Barack Obama is our first post-baby-boom president. He was supposed to usher in a new era, where we wouldn't have to fight the social battles of the 1960s all over again. Instead, we are now apparently going to fight the battles of the 1930s.

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Populist Caucus Unveiled

[ Posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 – 16:51 UTC ]

The Huffington Post is today reporting that Democratic Representative Bruce Braley will (later this week) be announcing the formation of the Populist Caucus in Congress. The group will initially have 21 members, all House Democrats. From the full article:

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Where Is Our $78 Billion?

[ Posted Monday, February 9th, 2009 – 18:04 UTC ]

This is an outrage. To put this in perspective, this is more money than the annual budget for the Department of Transportation. It is more than we pay for the Department of Education. It is the size of the Departments of Justice, Energy, State, and the Interior -- combined. It is an amount bigger than the GDP of all but about 60 countries in the world. Even in Washington, this ain't pocket change, in other words. It's a lot of money. And it seems to have vanished.

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Friday Talking Points [64] -- Populist Rage!

[ Posted Friday, February 6th, 2009 – 18:20 UTC ]

But alongside the stimulus debate, there is another issue which needs addressing -- one which I have been avoiding talking about until now. I speak of executive compensation. The reason I have been avoiding it is that (1) the stimulus is a more pressing and immediate concern because it will be passed first, and (2) because every time I sit down to write about it I get so enraged I can barely type. So I've held off. Until now.

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There We Go Again...

[ Posted Thursday, February 5th, 2009 – 16:20 UTC ]

Obama's problem is twofold. He seems to have fired all his campaign speechwriters, and he's not getting very effective support from his own congressional leadership.

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Demand An Up-Or-Down Vote

[ Posted Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 – 18:48 UTC ]

Democrats are obviously having problems framing the issues in the ongoing debate about the stimulus package. The bill is now in the Senate, and Republicans are using the leverage of a filibuster (or, technically, a cloture vote) to tear the bill apart and rebuild it to their liking. So it's time to steal a page from their playbook: demand an "up or down" vote.

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Give Howard Dean The Job

[ Posted Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 – 16:12 UTC ]

Howard Dean is a man of many titles. You can call him Governor Dean, or Chairman Dean, or even ex-presidential candidate Dean. But the one title which qualifies him to be named as Secretary of Health and Human Services is Doctor Dean. Now that Tom Daschle has withdrawn from consideration (due to a few tax problems), Howard Dean should be first on the list of possible appointees.

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Democrats Need To Frame The Stimulus Better

[ Posted Monday, February 2nd, 2009 – 18:33 UTC ]

President Obama has been failing a crucial test in the past few weeks. In the first (and possibly most important, at least for a while) legislative struggle in Congress, President Obama's stimulus package has had its ups and downs. But what is truly missing is one entire side of this debate. Where are the cheerleaders for the stimulus package?

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