June 17, 2010 |
It was one of those ohmyGod moments. Gen. David Petraeus was testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. John McCain was pressing him for his opinion on the feasibility of President Obama's July 2011 deadline to begin troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. Suddenly, the general slumped onto the table. Fortunately, it was only a case of dehydration. After leaving the hearing room and drinking some fluids, Petraeus returned and quipped, "It wasn't Senator McCain's questions.
May 7, 2010 |
After intense sparring over the stimulus plan and a protracted debate over health-care reform, the U.S. Senate was poised to see the introduction of a bipartisan energy and climate bill by Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts, Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Democrat-turned-independent Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. But what was almost a rare kumbaya moment was crushed by a familiar Washington interloper: politics. Facing a tough reelection bid in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that instead of allowing the climate bill to follow health care on the Democratic agenda as promised, he is shifting his focus to immigration.
April 5, 2010
Remember how little kids would take their football, or basketball, or baseball bat, or whatever, and go home because they weren't winning? Republicans are threatening to act that way because they lost the health-care reform fight, and the likelihood of Congress tackling immigration this year has become remote as a result. That's too bad; this issue is much too important to get caught up in partisan pettiness. But one of the most stalwart proponents of immigration reform in the past has been reduced to being a milquetoast on the issue because he faces a strong election challenge from the right.
March 30, 2010
Not so fast with 'scholarships' Are we surprised? Gov. Christie of New Jersey is backing a bill similar to Pennsylvania's Education Empowerment Act, which allows millions in tax credits for corporations who donate "scholarships" to public-school students who then can apply to the schools of their choice. The way the law works in Pennsylvania should be a caveat for New Jersey. First of all, the amount of tax credits keeps increasing with each renewal, and the chief beneficiaries, besides its corporate sponsors, are elite sectarian schools that would otherwise be cash-strapped.
January 26, 2010 |
Health-care reform has been one of America's biggest policy challenges for more than 40 years. The Clinton administration's attempt to address it in the early 1990s was abandoned after it failed to gain broad support. Without real compromise - really soon - the Obama plan faces a similar fate. If Ted Kennedy were alive, and if last week's political tsunami in Massachusetts had happened elsewhere, I can imagine the conversation he might have had with Republicans Orrin Hatch and John McCain in the Senate gym. (As a onetime aide to Kennedy, I speak from experience.
December 17, 2009 |
A doctor who has treated golfer Tiger Woods and many other pro athletes was charged by Canadian authorities yesterday with selling an unapproved drug known as Actovegin. Dr. Anthony Galea, 51, also was charged with conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and smuggling goods into Canada by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Galea was arrested Oct. 15 after a search warrant was executed at the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Centre near Toronto.
December 6, 2009
By now, President Obama is probably tired of hearing people quote him that old saw about knowing you must be right when both sides in an argument disagree with you. How strange it must be for him to hear the Democrats' archnemesis, Karl Rove, with only a few caveats, voice his approval of the Afghanistan strategy the president announced Tuesday night. Imagine Obama's discomfort when hearing that organizations like the Parliament of World Religions, which met last week in Melbourne, Australia, had denounced him. Rabbi Michael Lerner said the group was "in partial mourning for the dream of a new world that President Obama promised, and decisively torpedoed" with his speech at West Point.
August 28, 2009 |
Ted Kennedy was treasured by liberals, loved by many of his conservative colleagues, revered by African Americans and Latinos, respected by hard-bitten political bosses, admired by students of the legislative process, and cherished by the finest cadre of staff members ever assembled on Capitol Hill. The Kennedy paradox is that he managed to be esteemed by almost everyone without ever becoming all things to all people. He stood for large purposes, unequivocally and unapologetically, and never ducked tough choices.
July 28, 2009
THE "BIRTHERS"see right through the verification of President Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate that would satisfy any reasonable person: two fact-check organizations (factcheck.org and PolitiFact.org), announcements in both Honolulu newspapers of a son born to "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalaniaole Hwy. " about a week after he was born, and testimony from several Hawaiian officials including the state's (Republican) governor. So why they haven't investigated this fully documented statement from Obama on Oct. 16, 2008: "Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger.
July 27, 2009
THE FUTURE of the GOP is a hot topic these days. Who is the leader? Should they present themselves as more moderate or more conservative? This type of media template is nothing new - it was also applied to the Dems until they won back Congress in '06. Republicans do have a problem, and it isn't that they've moved too far right. Polls of the party base show the opposite and polling of a wider cross-section of voters show that Obama's big-government policies aren't that popular, unlike his personal poll numbers.