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Elizabeth Bisbee Silber
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Entries by Elizabeth Bisbee Silber

The Consequences of Our Rapid-Fire Culture

(9) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 3:05 PM

The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others this past weekend in Tucson has engendered many discussions. Some about the tone and temperature of our political rhetoric. Some about the easy availability and accessibility of handguns. And others about the psychological and sociological catalysts that spurred a young man...

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The G.O.P. Naughty List

(15) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 12:32 PM

As Santa is making his list this year, he need not check it twice when deciding which U.S. Senators have been naughty, and which have been nice. In this Christmas season, during which these senators have cruelly been forced to work on the people's business and have thus missed all...

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Fantasies, Conspiracy Theories and Tax Cuts for the Rich

(11) Comments | Posted September 28, 2010 | 11:05 AM

According to almost all prognostications from the political cognoscenti, the 2010 midterm elections are going to be a dismal failure. For Democrats in particular, and progressive causes in general, November 2010 provides an opportunity for outraged Americans to express themselves, throw the bums out, and bring in a new band...

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Majority Rules, Minority Rights

(71) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 10:17 AM

It's the August recess again, and everyone seems to have the crazies. We're cycling through pitched rhetorical battles so quickly, it's hard to keep track. In the past couple of weeks, we've gone from repealing the Fourteenth Amendment, to legalizing gay marriage, and from calling for Robert Gibbs' resignation to...

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Birthright Citizenship and the Modern Day Know Nothings

(78) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 3:08 PM

Initially, I dismissed most of GOP leaders' anti immigration rhetoric as sheer demagoguery and political opportunism. Particularly for senators who hail from states with a significant Latino vote, immigrant-baiting seems politically unwise. Couple that with the GOP's pro-business agenda (which supports comprehensive immigration reform) and coming demographic shifts...

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Do We Really Want "Mainstream" Leaders?

(57) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 2:04 PM

In the recent Elena Kagan hearings, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama accused Ms. Kagan of espousing views that fell far "outside of the mainstream." In a particularly sneering drawl, the senator made this accusation as though being outside the mainstream of anything reflected a diabolical perversion of all that is...

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Obama, the Oil Spill and the American Psyche

(44) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 1:11 PM

President Obama is taking a lot of criticism, most of it valid, for his response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For once, it seems pundits on the left and the right agree in their assessment of the President's leadership and demeanor. He's distant when he...

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Memo to Rand Paul: Free Enterprise Isn't Free

(362) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 6:01 PM

I'm guessing Dr. Rand Paul is unmoved by the BP oil spill live feed posted by the House Energy Independence and Global Warming committee. I imagine he views photos of oil coated wildlife with similar equanimity. After all, as Dr. Paul stated last week, accidents happen, right? And,...

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On Laissez-Faire Government, the Oil Spill, and Conservative Hypocrisy

(16) Comments | Posted May 3, 2010 | 3:59 PM

I know this is Jason Linkins' terrain, and he does it much better, but I simply must comment on today's installment of "This Week".

First, Lamar McKay of BP consented to an extraordinary interview with Jake Tapper. Mr. McKay expressed no remorse, personal or otherwise, over...

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Does Anyone in Congress Have the Stomach to Lead?

(10) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 12:21 PM

Lindsey Graham is taking his toys and going home. After six months of negotiations with Senators Kerry and Lieberman, the senior senator from South Carolina has decided to call it quits on energy and climate change legislation. Why? Did he change his mind about the immediacy of the threat? Nope....

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Ghosts of Presidents Past

(2) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 10:53 AM

It's a good thing there are now so many Americans who have no use for science, because it's difficult to explain, scientifically, the full moon that has shone over this country's political landscape for the better part of the past year. Things are really crazy out there. And getting crazier...

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Standing Athwart History

(22) Comments | Posted March 20, 2010 | 11:17 AM

As the health care debate finally comes to an end, both sides are amping up their rhetoric, rallying their supporters and making their closing arguments. The White House is arm twisting. Nancy Pelosi is vote counting. Republican Congressional leaders are steadying their troops. All of this is predictable, ahead of...

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Mind the Gap

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 12:37 PM

I had coffee with a former student of mine a few days ago. Even in high school, she demonstrated exceptional drive and motivation. Today, she attends a local university, works, and sets her eyes determinedly on the future. She has a bright one.

As we caught up, though, I was...

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Obama in Wonderland

(5) Comments | Posted February 15, 2010 | 2:32 PM

In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the character of Alice finds herself in a world where nothing is as it seems. Its inhabitants, while pretending to help, speak in riddles and nonsense, or employ circular logic in place of actual solutions. Understandably frustrated, Alice must nonetheless find her way...

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Checks and Imbalances

(6) Comments | Posted January 24, 2010 | 10:11 PM

Though he's barely finished a quarter of it, the media are already deeming President Obama's first term a failure. It's a wonder he continues to get out of bed in the morning. Conventional wisdom, across both liberal and conservative punditry, faults his Administration for Americans' anger and dissatisfaction with all...

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Obstruction for Obstructionism's Sake

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2010 | 11:59 AM

For a high school history and government teacher, 2009 brought with it many challenges that provided unique fodder for classroom discussion. The financial meltdown and stimulus raised questions about government intervention, and the balance between personal responsibility and institutional accountability. The health care battle forced a dialogue about what citizens...

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