I have a general conceptual disagreement with Jane Hamsher's post bemoaning liberal support for the Obama administration, but let me focus on this specific area of confusion: Of course, the White House is going to go after Social Security again. It’s the pot of gold at the end of Wall Street’s rainbow, and they desperately want that injection of cash which could keep their giant ponzi scheme from exploding. . .
The Public Option, Still Dead
March 12, 2010
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just declared that the public option is dead. Again. And she's right. Again. For the last few weeks, public option advocates have waged a heroic campaign to revive the public option by getting individual Senators to endorse it. The idea was to take advantage of the reconciliation process, in which fifty-plus-one senators can pass legislation without getting filibustered. The public option never got 60 votes in the Senate; that's why it didn't end up in the final Senate bill. But it got a lot more than 50. But things are not so simple.
Be There and Be Square
February 24, 2010
The White House has released some more details about Thursday's Blair House meeting: Who will be there and the shape of the table where they'll all be sitting: The President will be seated in the middle of one side of the hollow square, with the Vice President, Secretary Sebelius, and congressional Leadership seated alongside him.
A Few Good Dems
February 15, 2010
The Democrats’ recent electoral woes have been well-chronicled. Within the last six months, the party has been plagued by high-profile losses (Martha Coakley, Jon Corzine), high-profile retirements (Byron Dorgan, Marion Berry), and, yes, even high-profile deaths (Ted Kennedy, John Murtha). Stack those on top of a faltering economy, a stalled-out Congress, and a pissed-off populace (to name just three bits of bad news), and the first Tuesday in November is looking nasty.
September 05, 2009
In all the debate over public opinion polls, town hall protests, and “bipartisanship” (or the lack thereof), not to mention the complex details of this or that plan, it is easy to forget that the key obstacle to enactment of health care reform remains the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.
Dept. Of Inauspicious Beginnings
April 30, 2009
It looks like the Obama-supported effort to let bankruptcy judges modify mortgages if the lenders can't get it done has died in the Senate. Dick Durbin, who championed the effort, is going to be especially peeved: "I hope the homeowners across America have more friends here than the American Bankers Association," said Mr. Durbin, the assistant majority leader and the Senate's second-highest-ranking Democrat. Speaking to reporters before the vote, Mr.
Brains Of The Operation
March 12, 2009
There's some news buzz around Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Chuck Schumer's proposal, introduced earlier this week, to create a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC) that would regulate, among other things, mortgages, credit, and payday loans to "reduce [their] consumer risk." The Chicago Sun-Times even touted the commission as "Durbin's big idea." But, as Clay Risen noted this morning, the brain behind the idea is Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, bankruptcy expert, and chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (COP). In her COP role, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ha
December 03, 2008
Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and other friends have spent the past year screaming about the horrors of Barack Obama. And, while it's true that they talked ad nauseam about socialism and the Weathermen and Jeremiah Wright, careful listeners would have noticed a recurring theme of anxiety: that Obama was going to use the newly acquired levers of government to destroy them.
November 19, 2008
In the spring of 2007, long before Sarah Palin became a feminist icon, before Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers reared their unreconstructed heads, before Hillary Clinton ever questioned his readiness to be president, Barack Obama's greatest nemesis was a 29-year-old paralegal named Joe Anthony. Anthony had attracted tens of thousands of fans to a MySpace page he'd set up for Obama—a testament to the legions of new voters the candidate was inspiring. But, back in Chicago, all Anthony's site inspired was indigestion.
The Iraq Tug-of-war
July 10, 2007
Everybody's swooning over new Republican war defectors Dick Lugar, Pete Domenici, and George Voinovich -- "It's as if the dike has burst," moderate Sen. Susan Collins gushed -- taking their statements of frustration as a sign the Senate could finally pass tough legislation to end the war. It's harder than that, though: Think of the politics on this as a simple elementary-school-field-day-style tug-of-war, where, when one side gives, the other rushes back too, so they don't end up any nearer to each other after all.