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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010

Paul Ryan’s plan would subsidize the private insurance industry

For voters listening to the Republican leadership over the past year, the most startling surprise was the shift in their attitude toward Medicare. Where faithfulness to true conservatism was once measured by fierce hostility to the popular insurance program for the elderly, as articulated by Ronald Reagan at the birth of Medicare in 1965, today the Republicans claim to be its staunchest...
Friday, Feb. 19, 2010
"I am in control here in the White House."—Secretary of State Alexander Haig, 1981 Ah, the good old days when even a big shot like Gen. Al Haig could get in trouble for such mavericky declarations that defy basic constitutional precedents. In the 21st century, that's ancient history. We've so idealized cowboy-style rebellion in matters of war...
Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010
Last month, President Obama proposed to freeze government spending on everything other than defense, veterans’ benefits, homeland security, Medicare and Social Security. The New York Times reported that administration officials depicted the initiative as proof of the president's "seriousness about cutting the budget deficit." Such spin may fly in Orwell’s Oceania or Washington...
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010

Obama shouldn’t cut spending to appease critics

On the eve of his first “State of the Union” address, Barack Obama confided that he would "rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." But his proposal to freeze domestic spending is exactly the kind of policy that could result in four years of stagnation—rewarded by an election defeat at the hands of dispirited and disillusioned voters. If he continues to surrender his mandate, he just...
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009
Every now and then, an insider inadvertently exposes the hideous rationalizations that run the American political grotesquerie. The best known of these statements are memorialized on TV as "gaffes." But the ones that never become famous tend to reveal the ugliest assumptions of all. Case in point is the comment the pharmaceutical...
Friday, Nov. 27, 2009
Pop quiz—name the political leader who said the following: "We must be willing to pull the plug before sinking more dollars into weapons that do not provide what our warriors need." Now name the leader who said this: "(W)e cannot track $2.3 trillion in (Pentagon spending) ... We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion...
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009
Opportunities to make history in politics rarely adhere to any candidate’s plans. They open up unexpectedly for those who seize the moment. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was an ambitious, young politician who almost certainly envisioned he would run for president...
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009

Republicans invent death panels, high deficits, immigrant coverage and more

Within hours after the House of Representatives approved health care reform by a narrow margin, Republicans predicted retribution at the polls next fall. They promised to make every Democrat regret that historic...
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009
Humorist Will Rogers summed it up a long time ago when he said: “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” It was just last November that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama scored a resounding victory in Wisconsin, winning 59 of 72 counties. That rout helped Democrats win control of the state Assembly, giving them control...
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009

Veterans helping veterans transition from war to peace

Milwaukee’s community of veterans is proving to be adept at healing soldiers from the current wars as well as those who left the battlefield decades ago. Many veterans are reaching out to their peers who are having difficulty transitioning from being warriors in a threat-filled combat zone to resuming their lives as workers, students, spouses, partners or parents. The transition from warrior to civilian isn’t easy, and can be made more difficult by financial stresses...

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