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Archive for February, 2007

Vladimir is Eating his Wheaties

February 16th, 2007

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Last week, Russia’s President started a speech to an international security conference in Munich by noting that “this conference’s structure allows me to avoid excessive politeness.”

Or any politeness at all, apparently. Even Donald “Old Europe” Rumsfeld would have been impressed with Putin’s blunt and rude assessment of supposed US flaws.

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The New Rules Economy

February 15th, 2007

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The middle class is anxious.

Despite reams of good economic news from Wall Street, there’s an underlying anxiety that belies the objective numbers of low unemployment, low inflation, rising stock prices and job growth.

Many progressives are responding to this anxiety by jumping on the bandwagon of what we call “neopopulism.” They interpret this anxiety as a sign of genuine crisis and decline for both the middle class and our nation – a situation that demands economic policies that look inward and backward.

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A Rudy Awakening for the NRA

February 8th, 2007

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A little-noticed oddity of the 2008 presidential election field is that the three leading candidates for the Republican nomination have, at one time or another, gone to war with the NRA and its allies on the gun issue.

After six years of thumb-twiddling boredom – the issue has been off the radar in elections and in Congress – the gun lobby must have been a bit shocked when they realized what they faced: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, all once proud champions of sensible gun laws, are the odds-on favorites to carry the GOP banner.

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Groundhog Day in South Dakota?

February 2nd, 2007

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Today is Groundhog Day – which always reminds me of that fabulous but freakish flick in which Bill Murray wakes up again and again to the exact same day.

Today, though my alarm clock didn’t play
“I Got You Babe,” I still feel a lot like that guy in the movie.

Remember last year, when South Dakota passed a ban on abortions with a jail sentence for doctors in non-compliance? Governor Rounds signed it into law, but the pro-choice community challenged it through a 2006 ballot initiative, and the voters struck it down 56%-44%.

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Hangin’ up the Spikes: A Tribute to A Senate Superstar

February 1st, 2007

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Though hundreds of thousands now say they were there, it was 10,454 fans who really showed up to Boston’s Fenway Park to witness Ted Williams’ last game as a major league baseball player. Yesterday, as I was rattling around the Capitol after a meeting, I had my own Ted Williams moment. I ran into Ed Greelegs in his last hour of his last day as an employee on Capitol Hill.

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