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Aaron Belkin

Entries by Aaron Belkin

Karl Rove's War

(177) Comments | Posted March 16, 2013 | 6:34 PM

As we mark the tenth anniversary of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, surely it makes sense to acknowledge the consequences of our conduct, and just this week scholars at Brown University released new estimates of the war's cost in treasure and blood: $6 trillion and at least...

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On Sequestration, Give the GOP a Dose of Its Own Medicine

(1337) Comments | Posted March 3, 2013 | 7:26 PM

Now that it is crystal clear that Republicans are happy to cut needed government spending in an era when the economic recovery remains fragile and when Keynsian prime-the-pump stimulus is still needed, observers across the political spectrum have suggested that President Obama miscalculated in assuming that the GOP would step...

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5 Things Hagel Should Do for Gay Troops

(199) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 7:56 PM

When it comes to gay issues, the world has changed since Chuck Hagel served in the Senate. And among all those gay issues that have shifted over time, change has been perhaps most dramatic in the Pentagon, which executed a 180-degree turn with respect to its culture and policies concerning...

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Don't Reform the Filibuster -- Kill It

(72) Comments | Posted December 2, 2012 | 10:06 PM

This post originally appeared in the New York Times

Senator Harry Reid's recent pledge to reform the filibuster is welcome, but in an era of extreme polarization, modest procedural change won't enable the government to fix critical problems like global warming. President Obama...

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Kill the Filibuster

(759) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 6:34 PM

Election day 2012 was a great day on so many levels, but one of the most pleasant surprises was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's pledge to consider reforming the filibuster, the antiquated Senate rule that allows a minority to block legislation. Senator Reid has made similar pledges in...

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Romney's Greatest Deception

(718) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 2:14 AM

Mitt Romney has been widely panned for blaming 47 percent of the public for its sense of entitlement, its demand that government redistribute wealth downward, away from rich people who earn their money honestly and down to poor and middle-income Americans who just want handouts.

While observers have rightly...

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New Study on DADT Repeal: Openly Gay Service Has Worked

(29) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 7:17 AM

As the demise of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) approaches its one-year anniversary next week, Huffington Post's Lila Shapiro is reporting on a new study that I wrote, along with eight co-authors, about the impact of the new policy of open service. Given that the Chairman...

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Would Romney Reinstate DADT?

(275) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 2:33 PM

Two disturbing pieces of information emerged recently which, when considered together, suggest that Governor Mitt Romney may have plans to try to undo the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) if elected President, but that he doesn't want to say so during the campaign.

First, Lila Shapiro,...

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Obama, Osama and the Cycle of Machismo

(6) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 6:58 PM

In her critique of Barack Obama's new campaign ad questioning whether Mitt Romney would have ordered the military strike that killed Osama bin Laden, Arianna Huffington urges the president to "refuse to continue the destructive 'who is more macho?' cycle of bravado." According to Huffington, this...

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GOP and New York Times Slam Obama Over Osama

(563) Comments | Posted April 29, 2012 | 10:19 PM

Politics is a rough sport, but President Obama has taken unusually heavy flak for running a campaign ad that credits his role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, and for using statements by Mitt Romney to suggest that the former governor might not have exhibited similar leadership....

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GOP Deceptions About Gas Prices

(890) Comments | Posted February 18, 2012 | 5:01 PM

"...Our return to Bush-era gas prices is because the economy is rebounding..."

Well, here they go again. With nothing positive to campaign on, GOP strategists have decided to launch a messaging war against President Obama, blaming him for the high price of gasoline. According to the New York...

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Mr. President: Depict Romney as the Extremist He Claims to Be

(156) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 1:48 PM

According to today's New York Times, the president's advisers are debating whether to characterize Mitt Romney in terms of his inconsistency on important policies (flip-flopper), his support for far-right positions that are out of touch with the moderate middle (extremist) or a combination of both. While there's no...

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Notes from the White House

(54) Comments | Posted December 16, 2011 | 12:29 AM

I was honored to attend policy briefings and a reception at the White House this week along with hundreds of activists and community leaders from around the country. It was a fascinating opportunity to take the temperature of the progressive base, in that participants represented a wide range of organizations...

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Planned Pentagon Cuts Are Trivial

(23) Comments | Posted November 6, 2011 | 10:13 PM

Poor, poor Leon Panetta. Our Secretary of Defense has to find a way to cut $45 billion per year out of our $700 billion military budget. That's right, five percent.

At a moment when my students take on ever more debt because of steep tuition hikes which reflect...

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Federal Courts Must Protect Gay Troops

(116) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 1:38 PM

After "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) is repealed on September 20, it would be difficult for any future administration to reverse the change. Most of the country supports allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly, including a majority of Republicans, and it will be operationally and politically challenging to...

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Sen. McCain's Opposition to DADT Repeal Is Prejudiced, not Principled

(47) Comments | Posted December 16, 2010 | 10:55 AM

Senator John McCain, leader of efforts to block the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," took pains during recent Senate hearings to disavow the possibility that he might be motivated by prejudice. Senator McCain said that he is a nice guy who feels no animus towards gay men or lesbians,...

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McCain Flips Military the Bird

(219) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 3:24 PM

Back when Senator John McCain was a straight talker, he said that if military leadership ever told him that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" would be in the best interest of the forces, then he would change his views on the matter.

That was then and this...

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Gay Troops Urge Defense Bill Passage Even if DADT Fails

(142) Comments | Posted November 15, 2010 | 11:24 AM is reporting that two of the most important groups representing gay and lesbian troops, OutServe and KnightsOut, have requested that Congress pass the National Defense Authorization Bill, even if doing so would require sacrificing the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

According to their logic, the repeal...

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Mr. President: Please Let DADT Die

(380) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 8:14 PM

Last month, District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay troops from serving was unconstitutional. Today, she issued an injunction to the military worldwide, with one simple directive: The policy must end now. Since DADT "infringes the fundamental rights of United...

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A Unique Opportunity for the Democrats

(261) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 2:08 AM

With control of the Senate up for grabs next month, the Democrats have a rare opportunity to eliminate the filibuster, one of the worst and most anti-democratic features of the American political system. Democratic Senators should announce that whether or not they retain control of the chamber, they will no...

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