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Unreconciled: The Dangers of the Growing Demand for Using Reconciliation To Enact Health Reform

The long-running campaign to make inclusion of a "public option" a progressive litmus test for Democrats on health care reform has entered a new and potentially dangerous phase: growing demands that congressional Democrats use the budget "reconciliation" procedure to avoid a Senate filibuster and lower the effective threshold for enactment of a bill to 50…

Building a Clean Economy on an Old Tobacco Plant

It’s hard to imagine many new uses for a shuttered tobacco factory. Thirty-foot tall cranes designed for moving bales, a paper factory, heavy equipment including backhoes, fork-lifts and tractors, and old cement floors stained by tobacco juice made sense for tobacco. But the odds that this plant, situated on 140 acres of land and given…

Missile Shield Debate Brings Out the Worst in Conservatives

Conservatives absolutely love European missile defense. Why? My theory is that it brings them to a happy place, one full of stuffed dolls of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and plastic Millennium Falcons. Yup, the European missile defense program was a vestige of the Cold War, when conservatives' grip on national security strategy was tightest.…

The Dean-Lieberman Fallback Position?

Suzy Khimm's post at The Treatment about Howard Dean's latest remarks on health care reform strategy shows the perils of the obsession with the public option on both sides of the barricades. After a fiery demand that progressives refuse to relent on the public option, the good Doctor allowed as how if we can't get…

Baucus Delivers Finance Bill

After a long and difficult gestation, the Senate Finance Committee has finally given birth to its plan for overhauling the nation’s health care system. Like many newborns, it may not be particularly pretty, but it has potential. Although it’s the last entry into the health reform sweepstakes, the plan fashioned by Committee Chair Max Baucus…

Remember the Costs of 9/11

A new Washington Post/ABC poll finds that 51 percent of Americans believe that the costs of fighting in Afghanistan outweigh the benefits. It's a staggering number. Once you account for statical error, it's safe to say that about half of this country has forgotten the reverberating costs of September 11, 2001. First, it is vital…