Third Way Perspectives

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Archive for February, 2011

American politics has become tribal

February 25th, 2011

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That’s the message of the National Journal voting scores coming out this week for the 2010 Congress. National Journal has been ranking Members of Congress on key votes for nearly 30 years. (I developed National Journal’s ranking system back in 1982.)

2010 is some kind of a milestone: the 2010 Congress was the most polarized since the vote ratings began. On key congressional votes last year, every Senate Democrat had a more liberal voting record than every Senate Republican. And every Senate Republican had a more conservative voting record than every Senate Democrat.

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Why the president’s budget is a success

February 22nd, 2011

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This piece was originally published in The Hill.
A president’s budget is only as good as the debate that it engenders. After all, Congress doesn’t even have to vote on it, and it rarely does.

Measured by this standard, President Obama’s budget is a resounding success. Republicans have tagged it as a job-killer. Deficit hawks say it doesn’t go far enough. Budget doves fear the impact of cuts to heating assistance and numerous other programs.

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The Big Pay Off of Investing in Nuclear Energy

February 22nd, 2011

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This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

In the midst of talk about government shutdowns and budget showdowns, it seems like there is not any room for bipartisan agreement in the Nation’s Capital. One of the all too rare glimmers of hope comes from reviving America’s nuclear energy industry. President Obama supports it. So do Republican leaders, Senator Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner. The question is how we get there.

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GOP acts out revenge fantasy

February 22nd, 2011

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

The orgy of budget cutting on the House floor last week was not about the deficit. It was about ideology.

The House Republican majority acted out a revenge fantasy against President Barack Obama and the Democrats in retaliation for what they see as the left-wing ideological aggression of the last two years. They are the counterrevolution.

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Funding research funds the future

February 7th, 2011

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This piece was originally published in The Hill.

$300 million.

That’s a lot of money to spend on a government program.

But what if that program was in fact an investment, one in which $300 million could bring much more in return? If it yielded even $1 billion it would be an enormously successful investment.

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Obama: Politics vs. diplomacy

February 7th, 2011

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This piece was originally published in Politico.

Diplomacy is subtle. Politics is not.

President Barack Obama is under pressure right now to pursue a subtle, delicately nuanced diplomacy in trying to influence the course of events in Egypt. That can be politically hazardous.

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