Archive of Articles for June, 2009

Courting Republican Support... With A Tax Hike?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 – 16:42 UTC ]

We have officially entered Cuckoo Bananas Land in the healthcare reform debate, it seems. Because that headline is correct -- some Democrats now think that the way to entice Republicans to vote for their healthcare bill is to raise people's taxes. Well, when I say "some Democrats," I should really use the more technically-correct "Senator Max Baucus." Because his plan doesn't even seem to have impressed many of his fellow Democrats so far.

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An Ad Script For Teddy Kennedy On Healthcare Reform

[ Posted Monday, June 15th, 2009 – 17:06 UTC ]

KENNEDY: "Hello. I'm Senator Edward Kennedy, and I'd like to talk to you about an issue I've been championing for 40 years in Washington: healthcare reform."

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Friday Talking Points [81] -- Where Are The Democrats On Healthcare Reform?!?

[ Posted Friday, June 12th, 2009 – 17:20 UTC ]

To put it another way (that is less dependent upon how readers personally interpret italics), the first point is: "Where the heck are the Democrats in the public debate about healthcare reform? I haven't been hearing much from them on the news, or the talk shows. Who is leading the effort? Who is supporting the effort? WHERE are all the Democrats out there talking about it in public?"

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A Lost Opportunity On Digital Television And Campaign Finance Reform

[ Posted Thursday, June 11th, 2009 – 15:16 UTC ]

Tomorrow marks the end of analog television in the United States. All analog broadcasting signals will go permanently dark some time tomorrow (times vary by station). But while others are hailing the dawn of the digital television age, I have to say that this is the end of a long road which ultimately led nowhere. The opportunity lost was a big one, too -- nothing more than a complete and far-reaching reform of the way we conduct political campaigns in this country. This was a bipartisan failure, I should add -- Democrats and Republicans both bear the blame for caving to the media conglomerates' interests over the public interest.

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My Third Anniversary Blogging

[ Posted Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 – 18:47 UTC ]

This column apparently shares a birthday with none other than Donald Duck, who turned 75 years old yesterday. Who knew? Yes, my column turned three years old yesterday, since my first foray into blogging happened on Huffington Post on June 9, 2006. Since I don't follow horoscopes, I have no idea what the metaphysical significance is of this column sharing the date with a duck who doesn't wear pants, so I will leave that for wiser minds to decide.

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How Democrats Need To Frame The Healthcare Debate

[ Posted Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 – 15:52 UTC ]

The debate over what, exactly, "healthcare reform" means is about to hit fever pitch (so to speak), and instead of diving into the legislative details of what seems to be emerging from congressional Democrats, I would like to make a broad suggestion in how they should be framing the issue correctly. Some may call this approach naive, but I truly believe that rather than fighting for one species of reform over the other, Democrats need to first adequately define the core principle they are fighting for. Their "values" on healthcare reform, to put it another way. And while it may not be achievable this time around, I think the goal Democrats should loudly proclaim they are attempting is a very simple one: nobody should ever go bankrupt because they get sick.

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A Question For Dick Cheney: Should We Now Waterboard Tiller's Murderer?

[ Posted Monday, June 8th, 2009 – 15:36 UTC ]

I have a question for former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been staunchly defending the Bush administration's use of waterboarding and other torture against prisoners in our care. My question: Should Scott Roeder, accused murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller, now be waterboarded? Roeder has just gone on the record stating that further violence is coming, in "many similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal." In other words, Roeder is claiming the now-infamous "ticking time bomb" scenario of what can only be termed domestic terrorism. So, Mr. Cheney, doesn't this mean (following your own "logic") that Roeder should immediately be waterboarded to tell us what he knows? Anything less, by your standards, would be hypocritically picking and choosing which terrorists get a pass, and which don't.

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Friday Talking Points [80] -- Parsing Obama's Cairo Speech

[ Posted Friday, June 5th, 2009 – 16:36 UTC ]

Although this is long, it merely hits the highlights of Obama's speech. I encourage everyone to take ten minutes and read the entire transcript for yourself. Obama, it should be pointed out, did not have to give this speech -- he chose to. He ran the risk of criticism here at home, and the benefits to him personally and politically in America were slight compared to the risk of actual political damage.

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American Motors General Survives Hummer Sale To China

[ Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2009 – 16:54 UTC ]

[Full Disclosure: I have never owned a Hummer. I have never even ridden in one. I have, however, owned quite a few Ramblers over the years. I was offered no compensation of any type for writing this article from AM General, who can still be found in South Bend, Indiana, right where they've always been. Even if they had offered me a Hummer, I would have turned it down (where the heck would I park the thing?!?). But if someone wants to offer me a fully-restored 1969-and-a-half AMC-Hurst SC/Rambler with a 390 cubic-inch V8 engine and four-speed transmission, I will gladly write glowing articles on whatever subject they suggest. I'm just saying, every man's got his weak spot....]

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Senator Sessions, Judge Sotomayor, And Racism

[ Posted Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 – 16:21 UTC ]

In all the hoopla over Judge Sonia Sotomayor being nominated to the Supreme Court, there is one interesting side story that the media is largely ignoring. His name is Senator Jeff Sessions, and he is now (after Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic side of the aisle) the ranking minority member on the Senate Judiciary Committee (that's "minority" in the sense of Sessions being a Republican in a Democratic Senate, and not... you know, "minority"... since Sessions is a white male). And Sessions, as well as having a long enough term on the committee to be the ranking Republican, also has his own history with confirmation hearings before the same committee. Because he was the first of Ronald Reagan's judicial nominees to be rejected (before Bork, in other words), and he was rejected for perceived racial insensitivity. So it will be very interesting to see how he acts on Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation.

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