Republicans have been slamming Democrats for their vote to cut $500 billion out of Medicare as part of the Affordable Care Act: The NRSC revised and reissued a three-day-old news release that targeted virtually identical statements at Brown, of Ohio, and four other senators who all are Democrats up for re-election next year: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bill Nelson of Florida. "Despite Sherrod Brown's transparent political strategy to mislead Ohio seniors and demagogue Medicare, this serves as another reminder he is the only candidate in Ohio
In 2007, a Russian businessman named Oleg Derapaska applied for a multiple-entry visa to enter the United States. Derapaska certainly had some impressive credentials—he is one of the richest men in Russia, with a fortune of $10.7 billion as of 2010, which he made initially by cornering Russia’s aluminum market. He is well traveled, and is the owner of a £25 million home in the Belgravia neighborhood of London. The State Department nevertheless turned him down (though it did grant him a one-time entry visa in 2009).
The key dynamic as far as passing important laws is the 60-vote requirement in the Senate. Passing laws through the reconciliation process, which only requires 50 Senate votes, is therefore crucial.
The ten liberal and moderate Democrats trying to hammer out a compromise on the public option are talking seriously about letting older workers pay to be enroll in Medicare. While doing so wouldn't qualify as creating a new public plan into which anybody could enroll, it would qualify as opening up an existing public plan to a group of people that might appreciate its many virtues. And that's certainly a good thing. Introducing new ideas at this relatively late stage of the debate is not exactly easy to do. But, then, this isn't exactly a new idea.
I consider myself a fairly strong supporter of investments in public transportation, yet I often feel a vague sense of discomfort at the way some on the left frame the conversation. A good example is this recent interview that Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland gave to Grist's Kate Sheppard: I'm a big, big supporter of dramatic change in public transportation. It includes more than just the bus and rail systems in our urban areas.