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M.S. Bellows, Jr.
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Entries by M.S. Bellows, Jr.

Emails Quoting Rush Limbaugh Too Offensive for Department of Defense Email Servers

(39) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 5:45 PM

The United States Department of Defense email server's automatic spam filter may have higher standards for decency than top military officials do.

The U.S. military operates several television and radio networks, both for domestic troops and for servicemembers and their families deployed at sea and abroad. In accordance with the...

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Wisconsin 14 May Be Weakening, Struggle to Regain Leverage

(27) Comments | Posted March 8, 2011 | 2:52 PM

There are conflicting reports today about the intentions of the "Wisconsin 14," the fourteen Democratic members of the Wisconsin state senate who have fled the state to prevent Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP majority from enacting sweeping anti-union legislation.

Most media outlets this week are reporting on letter...

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After Arizona, Reconsidering the Second Amendment

(47) Comments | Posted January 10, 2011 | 1:57 PM

The Arizona shootings are a good opportunity to reconsider the current Supreme Court's oversimplistic analysis of the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court's conservative majority declared in 2008 that the Constitution gives people a personal right to possess firearms, ignoring the 2nd Amendment's limiting clause, "A well regulated Militia,...

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The White House's Possible Strategy on DADT

(7) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 5:24 PM

It's certainly possible that Barack Obama plans to appeal District Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling holding Don't Ask, Don't Tell ("DADT") unconstitutional. Doing so would be a strong, and historically conventional, assertion of the Presidency's ultimate right as Commander in Chief to decide how the military will operate.

But a...

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The Cost of Health Care -- in Live Chickens

(15) Comments | Posted April 21, 2010 | 2:46 PM

Sue Lowden, a Republican challenging for Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) Senate seat, boosted herself to the top of late-night monologues Monday by suggesting that instead of purchasing health insurance, patients should control their health care costs by offering to pay their doctors' bills in chickens.

Lowden...

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Audio: White House Threatens GOP With Reconciliation, But Won't Invest in Public Option

(3) Comments | Posted February 22, 2010 | 10:07 AM

In an embargoed conference call with reporters early Monday morning, Obama Administration officials unveiled Obama's new healthcare reform proposal -- the first formal proposal offered by the White House after a year of Congressional wrangling failed to produce a deal -- and took reporters' questions.

The full audio...

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Obama, Teddy, & the Perils of Governing Without Conviction

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 1:26 PM

Four years ago, I wrote a pair of meditations on my irascible old blog, VichyDems, warning of the harm that would occur if Democrats regained national power without first abandoning the incrementalist, centrist approach advocated so unsuccessfully by the Democratic Leadership Council and instead returning, consciously and assertively,...

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Harry Reid's Disingenuous Game

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 3:24 PM

According to emails exchanged between the Senate Majority Leader's office and the Huffington Post, Harry Reid keeps offering progressive health care proposals that he knows, in advance, will be filibustered by Joe Lieberman and will be cut from the final bill. Are the two working together to mollify conservative Democrats...

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Reid Readying Full Manager's Amendment; Details Secret Until Friday

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 8:05 PM

In an email to The Huffington Post Wednesday night, a spokesman for Harry Reid indicated that the Senate Majority Leader is folding a key health care reform compromise into a larger Manager's Amendment and intends to keep the compromise's details secret until the Congressional Budget Office finishes scoring the full...

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Harry Reid Hiding the Sausage on Healthcare Reform

(8) Comments | Posted December 9, 2009 | 12:53 PM

Otto von Bismarck is popularly (though probably wrongly) credited with saying that "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." The healthcare reform "compromise" announced last night by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is just such a sausage -- and Reid...

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Twitterers, Comedians "Punk" Teaparty Organizer Conference Call

(11) Comments | Posted November 18, 2009 | 12:43 PM

On Tuesday evening, several organizers of the Teaparty Movement and of the ultraconservative website 73wire.com, including healthcare executive and conservative activist Michael Johns and Eric Odom, founder of the American Liberty Alliance, hosted a telephone conference call for Teaparty activists. Twitter user @Strwbrry_Blonde learned of the call and...

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Coughing Up Stupak's "Morning-After" Poison Pill

(28) Comments | Posted November 9, 2009 | 5:48 PM

Bart Stupak (D-MI), the conservative Michigan back-bencher who has suddenly injected abortion rights into the health care debate, may have been acting on a sincere religio-moral impulse: after all, both he and his amendment's co-author, Joe Pitts (R-PA) belong to the secretive, conservative religious family called "The Family," and Stupak...

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How Lieberman Stole Reid's Candy and Drank Snowe's Milkshake

(79) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 3:26 PM

[Updated once twice below]

Several weeks ago, I tried to cut through the Gordian-knot politics of Senate Democratic vote-wrangling over health care reform by explaining the end-game math, which is that the Democratic caucus contains 58 Dems, one liberal Independent (Bernie Sanders, I-VT), and one unreliable, self-serving Vichy...

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Fate of Healthcare Reform Is in Joe Lieberman's Hands

(34) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 5:57 PM

Joe Lieberman has the ability -- and powerful incentives -- to stop healthcare reform in its tracks. So why does everyone assume his cloture vote is in the bag?

Pundits trying to follow what David Waldman calls the "Eleventy-bazillion dimensional chess" of healthcare reform politics are immersing themselves...

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Legs on a Pike: Understanding Baucus' Healthcare Bill "Improvements"

(8) Comments | Posted September 21, 2009 | 8:26 PM

Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus (D-MT), primary sponsor of the healthcare reform bill that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) seem to consider the template or starting point for any reform legislation that ultimately emerges from the legislative process, has announced some amendments to...

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Obama: Leaning Toward Limited "Regional" Public Option?

(3) Comments | Posted September 7, 2009 | 3:40 PM

In a brief press conference aboard Air Force One Monday morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs seemed to hint at a new twist in the debate over whether a government-operated health insurance program, similar to Medicare but open to any citizen who wants to join it, will be one...

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The New "Hope" of Barack Obama

(43) Comments | Posted September 6, 2009 | 7:38 PM

These are troubling times for those who supported Barack Obama for President. Troubling times -- with the President telling Congressional Progressives they need to be "good soldiers" instead of good leaders by passing healthcare "reform" without a public option, and caving in to a toothless Glenn Beck by accepting...

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Is Obama Naive About the For-Profit Health Industry's Commitment to Real Reform?

(69) Comments | Posted May 10, 2009 | 11:28 PM

[Updated on May 11.]

Optimism is a virtue; it leads us to see the best in people despite their flaws, and to envision a better future even when we can clearly see the obstacles that lie in the path to that future.

But blind optimism is no virtue. Naive...

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Obama Restores Endangered Species Protections Weakened During Bush's Last Month in Office

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2009 | 2:18 PM

In a presidential directive issued last Tuesday, and in well-received remarks delivered on the 160th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Department of the Interior, President Obama restored endangered species protections that had been weakened by the prior administration.

A month before leaving office, the Bush Administration enacted...

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"Earmarks" in Omnibus Budget Bill: Not Pork, Just Obama Proving He Can Be Taught

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2009 | 8:31 PM

John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele, and other Republicans are shocked, shocked that there are -- shudder -- earmarks in the budget bill that's currently before Congress. And they're shocked, even though (despite their convenient denials) they were neck-deep in the negotiating process and inserted plenty of...

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