Yes, I Can Imagine That
March 10, 2010
Pointing out the hypocrisy of Republican positions on procedural fairness is getting tiresome, I know. But I can't let this one pass. From Jay Newton-Small at Time: In the Senate, Dems are eyeing Tom Coburn and his promised “hundreds” of amendments warily. So warily that they're considering an obscure procedural tactic some Republicans are labeling the "nuclear option." Under reconciliation rules, debate is limited to 20 hours and only 51 votes are needed for final passage as the budget is immune to filibusters.
February 26, 2010
Who won? It's the exact same question people asked in 2008, after each of the presidential debates. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. What's "winning"--scoring more debate points, making fewer gaffes, or simply appealing to more voters? And aren't all those judgments pretty subjective anyway? But if Thursday's event didn't produce a winner, it was clarifying. Health care reform, as I've said many times now, is really about achieving three basic goals: Making sure everybody has insurance, making sure coverage is good, and making sure that, over time, medical care will cost less.
The GOP Wants Capitulation, Not Compromise
February 25, 2010
Who won? It's the exact same question people asked in 2008, after each of the presidential debates. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. What's "winning"--scoring more debate points, making fewer gaffes, or simply appealing to more voters? And aren't all those judgments pretty subjective anyway? But if Thursday's event didn't produce a winner, it was clarifying. (Click here to read more.)
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.
One Vote Down, Three to Go
December 21, 2009
In the wee hours of Monday morning, the Democrats won the first of four votes necessary to pass health care reform legislation. The vote was procedural, over whether to end debate on Harry Reid's "manager's amendment." With all forty Republicans joining a filibuster, it took the votes of all sixty senators in the Democratic caucus to proceed. The moment was not exceptionally dramatic, given that the last Democratic holdout, Nebraska's Ben Nelson, had declared his support on Saturday. During the floor debate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a plea for "just one" of the bill's supporters to
December 17, 2009
Last month, the Senate voted to confirm Judge David Hamilton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Getting a judge confirmed is always a good thing for a president. But it's hard to view what happened to Hamilton as a victory for Obama. In fact, if anything, the episode suggests that the president's approach to nominating federal appellate judges is seriously misguided. Back in September, The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin reported that the administration nominated Hamilton in order to show that it was taking a new, post-partisan approach to judicial appointments.
Read the Bill Out Loud? Fine.
November 18, 2009
As part of the Republican efforts to drag out the debate on health care reform bill, Senator Tom Coburn has been threatening to demand that Majority Leader Harry Reid schedule a full reading of his legislation before debate begins. Reid, in turn, is looking at alternatives, such as holding the Senate in session next week. I'm sure most Democrats are hoping Coburn decides the effort is futile and abandons his quest, thus freeing everybody to go home Thanksgiving week. But whatever Coburn decides, I wonder if Democrats shouldn't embrace this opportunity--and make the most out of it.
Reid Is Ready to Go (Updated)
November 18, 2009
Multiple sources on and around Capitol Hill say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ready to go. At 5 p.m. today, he'll present the his full health care reform bill, complete with a Congrssional Budget Office score, to a meeting of the Democratic caucus. A press conference may follow. The Democratic message machine is already hard at work.
Tom Coburn: An Unwitting Cog of the Gay Agenda
October 23, 2009
I'm a bit late in getting to this, but I have to disagree with Suzy Khimm's take on GOP Senator Tom Coburn's co-authoring a piece for The Advocate with Christopher Barron, Chairman of GOProud. That organization was founded earlier this year (I wrote about it here) by a pair of disgruntled former employees of the Log Cabin Republicans, who argued that the flagship gay GOP organization had been hijacked by liberals.
Tom Coburn Wants a Gay-GOP Alliance. Seriously?
October 20, 2009
In their latest attempt to turn the tide against the public plan, some Republicans have begun trying to appeal to gay Americans to join their anti-government crusade. As The Hill notes today, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has co-authored an op-ed blasting “government-run health care” for The Advocate, the leading LGBT magazine. Together with his co-author, GOProud’s Christopher Barron, Coburn rails against the Ryan White CARE Act for forcing AIDS patients onto waiting lists to receive life-saving drugs from a government program.