representative

Who is Us?

WASHINGTON--Is there room in the Republican Party for genuine moderates? Truth to tell, the GOP can't decide. More precisely, it's deeply divided over whether it should allow any divisions in the party at all. That's why the brawl in a single congressional district in far upstate New York is drawing the eyes of the nation. Conservatives are determined to use the race to prove that there is no place in the party for heretics, dissidents or independents. President Obama set up the fight by nominating the district's former representative, John McHugh, as his Army secretary.

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Things Come Together

The Thing Around Your Neck By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, 218 pp., $24.95)   In “Jumping Monkey Hill,” the most wicked story in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new collection, a group of young writers selected from all over Africa have gathered for a workshop at a fancy resort outside Cape Town--”the kind of place,” thinks Ujunwa, the representative Nigerian, “where . . .

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Speculation as to who will succeed Ted Kennedy is proceeding apace, with his nephew, former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, the likely frontrunner in the January 19 special election. The eldest son of Robert Kennedy, Joe held the House seat once occupied by his uncle John and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, representing Boston from 1987 until 1999. If he does run, Kennedy would start with a financial disadvantage.

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Mob Rule, Continued

Kathy Castor, Democratic representative from Florida, held a town hall meeting on Thursday to talk about health care and to make the case for reform. At least, that's what she tried to do. Here's what happened instead, via a video posted at Daily Kos. I'm generally wary of jumping to conclusions based on blog postings, but this seems pretty unambiguous--and consistent with what I'm seeing and reading elsewhere. As many others have noted, this is not an effort to have a debate.

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Republicans have a stable of bona fide health policy experts. These are recognizable, sometimes quite partisan conservatives. Yet they are handicapped as political operatives by their residence in the reality-based community.

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Ambassador Feelgood

Over a thousand delegates gathered in early October at the Sheraton Chicago for the fifteenth annual Hispanic leadership conference. The gleaming hotel, towering over the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, seemed emblematic of Hispanics' growing political heft. Speakers at the conference included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, and Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.

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