Chris Dodd

Last year, an unlikely coalition emerged to preserve Internet freedom. Where has it been since then?

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Over at The Washington Post, Jonathan Bernstein argues that the Jim Yong Kim nomination for World Bank president is (for liberals at least) a pleasant byproduct of having a Democratic president: It’s very difficult for me to imagine John McCain, had he won the presidency — or a President Mitt Romney, for that matter — reaching out beyond the usual bankers and recycled government officials to choose someone like Kim. But it’s not at all hard to picture Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or Chris Dodd picking him. Presidents don’t make these types of picks on their own.

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Tonight’s GOP debate, co-sponsored by my own institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, will be focused on foreign policy, and, as is the nature of such events, the journalists moderating it will likely pose a lot of softball questions, with almost no follow-up and nothing that really cuts to the core. Here’s a list of questions that I would love to hear answers to (and I imagine many primary voters would, too), but that almost certainly won’t get asked in the dozen primary debates scheduled in the weeks ahead.

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Newt Gingrich, apparently thinking “What the hell, the voters will never make me president anyway,” made headlines last night by saying Congressman Barney Frank and former Senator Chris Dodd should be arrested for their alleged role in bringing about the financial crisis. Gingrich said that voters have a right to be angry, and if they want to see people jailed for the meltdown, “you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.” Charlie Rose, obviously shocked by Gingrich’s suggestion, offered him the chance to moderate his remarks, but Gingrich didn’t bite.

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On Wednesday morning the managing directors of Wall Street’s biggest bond rating agencies lined up in front of the House Financial oversight committee. To the administration and the Treasury, these men currently represent their worst nightmare. In the last two weeks, Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch have all threatened to downgrade America’s triple-A debt rating, a move that would cost the government billions in raised interest rates and spark disastrous macroeconomic consequences for the country.

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Many Republicans claim the fight about health care reform is really a fight about freedom. Senator Tom Harkin agrees. But, as he explained at today's annual conference for the advocacy group FamiliesUSA,* that's because the Affordable Care Act will allow Americans to be more free, not less: Republicans claim that this is somehow an ‘assault on freedom.’ Well, it is certainly an assault on the freedom to go without insurance, show up at the emergency room, and stick other Americans with your health care bills! ... When we join together, we have more freedom.

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The last poll in Connecticut showed Joe Lieberman a dead man walking. His approval rating was 31%, lower than that of Chris Dodd, who was so unpopular he had to retire rather than face certain defeat. Democratic approval was an astonishingly poor 20-69. But now, fresh off his successful effort to repeal DADT, Joe Lieberman thinks he's back, baby, and he wants to run as a Democrat, reports Brian Beutler: "Some of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus have been very gracious and kind saying they hope I run as a Democrat," he told TPM in an interview Wednesday.

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Chris Dodd's farewell address to the Senate offers a perfect encapsulation of the mindset of the Senate institutionalist. Dodd, the son of a Senator, was literally reared in the folkways of the institution. No amount of evidence can persuade him that the rules of the place don't work. The Senate cannot fail, it can only be failed. Here is is urging his colleagues not to reform the filibuster: I appreciate the frustration many have with the slow pace of the legislative progress. And I certainly share some of my colleagues’ anger with the repetitive use and abuse of the filibuster.

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The Unnecessary Fall

A counter-history of the Obama presidency.

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Dodd and Man

Washington—When it comes to the role and functioning of the United States Senate, my rather dyspeptic views could not be more at odds with those of Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is retiring at the end of the year.  I've reached the point where I'd abolish the Senate if I could.

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