With health care victory, Democrats gain upper hand
After 18 months of handwringing negotiations between House and Senate Democrats and the White House, President Obama's health care overhaul has finally become the law of the land. Of the more than 20 votes procedural and otherwise, only one member of the Republican caucus voted in favor of health care: Republican Representative Anh Cao (LA), who represents the historically Democratic seat outside New Orleans once held by William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson (who was indicted on federal corruption charges shortly before losing reelection to Representative Cao). Whatever political cover Representative Cao received by voting "yes" on the original House health care bill, he's surely lost it now; his seat will almost certainly return to Democratic hands in 2010.
Health care reform must pass if Democrats are to survive midterms
Appearing Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by medical professionals in white lab coats, President Barack Obama laid out his plan for passing health care reform in Congress. It came two days short of the one-year anniversary since the president kicked off his health care reform effort with a summit of medical professionals, insurance heads and other health care industry leaders. Pressing ahead on health care reform, the President announced, will require a final "up-or-down vote," which top administration strategists have said means using the budget reconciliation process in the Senate to force a simple majority vote on health care. But this is likely to be only one of a few stages of the process.
Alcohol hosting: A responsibility not for the faint of heart
Everyone and their grandmother seems to have an opinion on how to fix the alcohol problem at Bowdoin. In light of the recent spate of intoxicated underclassmen being sent to the hospital and the $12,000 grant the Brunswick Police Department received to combat underage drinking, Bowdoin's alcohol policy has been the "buzz of the bubble."
The president is down, but not out
There have been two pivotal political upheavals over the past few weeks, one that first spelled doom for the Democratic majority, followed by another that could reinvigorate a party bogged down by health care reform. First, Massachusetts elected its first Republican Senator since 1979 in Scott Brown. And second, President Barack Obama delivered a thoughtful, if somewhat colloquial, State of the Union Address before striking a more combative tone with House Republicans during their retreat in Baltimore this past weekend. As is true with almost all presidential decision-making, there is far more at work than meets the eye.
Joe Lieberman’s gamble on health care reform is rather risky
The House of Representatives recently passed their own bill aimed at overhauling the health care system in this country, including a robust public option. The ball now moves over to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has spent the past few months crafting a bill he hopes will be able to navigate both the conflicting interests and the procedural hurdles of the Senate. It won't be easy, and it's not going to be pretty.
Election results paint unclear picture of national mood
Tuesday night saw a number of electoral battles that could have serious consequences for the nation at large, let alone our current president. There were two governor races, one in New Jersey and one in Virginia, in which Democrats were defeated, but for different reasons.