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Archive for June, 2007

The Headless State

June 28th, 2007

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At backwardsbush.com the ticker reads 571 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes, and 22.6 seconds until the end of the Bush presidency. It’s time to resynchronize our watches to 0 – the Bush presidency ended today at 11:35 am when the Kennedy-Kyl Immigration Bill died. The President’s arm twisting brought over 12 Republicans. That’s 12 out of 49. That’s 24.5% of the caucus. That’s a .245 batting average. That’s Bobby Abreu-ville.

And that’s the good news. If this bill were voted on in the House, Bush would be batting below the Mendoza line.

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The Wall St Journal is Right (So to Speak) – It’s Make or Break Time for the GOP

June 27th, 2007

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Mitch McConnell gets it. So does Trent Lott. Lindsey Graham understands. And so does Mel Martinez. These four Republican senators recognize the point that the Wall Street Journal makes persuasively in today’s lead editorial – that Republicans have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change their brand from one of inattentiveness to minorities to one of openness. The opportunity comes from the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill.

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A New Middle-Class Compact

June 14th, 2007

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Earlier this year, we released a paper called The New Rules Economy, in which we argued that middle class anxiety is rooted in the uncertainty of change.

And by change, we really mean the broad structural changes that our occurring in our economy due to advances in technology and accelerating globalization. In our narrative, we see the middle class as being forced to figure out, cope, and prosper on their own amidst these vast changes. Conservatives tell the middle class not to worry and that they should put their faith in the markets to sort out winners and losers. Many progressives tell them the opposite – to worry. They warn them of the dire consequences of change and promise to turn back the clock or cushion the blow.

Today, we released a strategy memo, A New Middle Class Compact, that offers a series of ideas that address change and help average people succeed. This memo, based on our New Rules narrative, is about steering change and not being steered by it. It is about making globalization work for America and Americans.

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Here’s Hoping My 60 Minutes of Fame is Over

June 13th, 2007

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No gun bill is perfect and that certainly is the case with H.R. 2640, the McCarthy-Dingell-Boucher compromise. Their bill, to improve the background check system (called NICS) used to approve or deny gun buyers, is the product of a deal struck with the NRA. Trust me when I say that the NRA has never, ever made any piece of legislation better. But the fact is that almost nothing having to do with guns can get through Congress without their approval these days.

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The Tiahrt Amendment: Time to Shoot It Down

June 8th, 2007

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Four years ago, Congressman Tom Tiahrt (R-Neanderthal) ambled into an appropriations committee markup with a piece of paper containing legislative language. Tiahrt rose and sought the recognition of the chairman: “I have an amendment at the desk,” the fifth term congressman said. That was to be one of only two intelligible sentences that he would say on that day in that committee.

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“Liberal Media”? Not when it Comes to Religion

June 4th, 2007

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When I hear complaints about the “liberal media”, the additional adjective “secular” is usually a part of the phrase or not far behind. For example, last summer at the so-called “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, DC, speaker after speaker referred to how the “secular liberal media” has neglected religion and distorted coverage of religion and conservative values. A new study by Media Matters, however, documents two key findings that debunk this tired mantra: 1) since 2004, coverage of religion by the media has increased significantly; and 2) this coverage has actually been biased in favor of conservative religious leaders by a factor of nearly 3 to 1.

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