Louisiana

Can't We Just Eat All Those Pesky Asian Carp?
January 11, 2010

Last week, The New York Times had a great piece about how Asian carp have been making their way up the Mississippi River and are threatening to invade Lake Michigan. If that happens, the Great Lakes would be screwed—the carp would overrun the ecosystem, eat all the food, and devastate the area's $7 billion fishing industry. So far, the carp haven't made it past electric barriers in Illinois, but they're coming unnervingly close, and states like Michigan and Wisconsin are suing to shut down Chicago waterways until a good solution can be found.

Playing With House Money
January 07, 2010

If there’s one area in which the House health care reform bill is obviously superior to the Senate version, it’s coverage and affordability. There’s more financial assistance for buying insurance and much stronger protection against out-of-pocket medical costs. That means more people getting coverage and fewer people struggling with expenses. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies, both on and off Capitol Hill, have made clear this is one of their top priorities for the coming negotiations over how to merge the two pieces of legislation.

Hold Off On Those Climate Bill Obituaries....
January 05, 2010

Seems like the conventional wisdom in Washington right now is that there's no way the Senate passes a climate bill in 2010—especially after that long, gory health care battle we just saw. Here's The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "No matter what Obama and his advisers said… there is now no chance that the Administration's climate-change proposal will come up for a vote in the Senate prior to the 2010 election.

Hard Times--And How You Can Help
December 30, 2009

The economists tell us that the recession is over or, at least, nearly over.  A California woman named Claudia Bruce might not agree: Claudia Bruce was laid off from her well-paying job 13 months ago after the economy fell. Now, Bruce is among a growing number of people who, in what seemed like an instant, went from middle class incomes to relying on public assistance. Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties fed a record-breaking 272,000 people in November.

Tigergate Isn't a Black Thing -- Despite What Some Would Prefer
December 09, 2009

For all of the aching desire a certain crowd have had in 2009 to show that America post-Obama isn’t “post-racial” – and golly, I wonder if anybody really ever thought we were – the Tiger Woods business of late is a ringing indication that we’re well on our way to it. To wit, what we have seen lately is a golfer who has turned out to be a philanderer. What we are not seeing is a Black Athlete who has turned out to be a philanderer.

How Is Tiger Woods "Racial"? And Isn't That Progress?
December 09, 2009

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The Retro Man
November 30, 2009

About 20 minutes into my sit-down with House Minority Leader John Boehner, I am overcome by the desire for a drink. Scotch, maybe. Or a bone-dry martini, extra olives. It’s not that the Ohio congressman is shaping up to be confrontational or unresponsive or in any way unpleasant.

Reid Has the Votes, At Least Tonight
November 21, 2009

Tonight, at around 8 p.m., the Senate will vote on a "motion to proceed" with the debate over health care reform. To be clear, this isn't actually a vote on whether to pass health care reform--or even a vote on whether to hold such a vote. It's a vote on whether to begin talking about whether to have a vote on whether to pass health care reform. And yet the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

BREAKING: House Passes Health Reform
November 07, 2009

At 11:14 p.m., the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America" Act. Cheers erupted when the tally reached 218 votes, enough to pass the bill. The final count was 220 for, 215 against, with one Republican (Joseph Cao of Louisiana) joining the majority of Democrats. More soon.

Matters of Fact
October 24, 2009

In the mid-1950s, a photographer named Robert Frank, lately emigrated from Switzerland, drove around the United States to see and to join his new country. He shot pictures. The results, or his choices among them, were published in a book of eighty-three photos called The Americans, which was an immediate and lasting success. The book was not only a unique way for a newcomer to learn about his new home: in some ways it showed a social candor that was as yet unusual in photography.

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