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Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 07:23 AM PDT

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

by Marshall

Hardly breaking news at this point, but I ask we take a moment to recognize the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a great man who will, I trust, be a hero to us. He has an excellent record in government delivering a dynamic and surprisingly equitable economy (certainly by comparison to the US), and though I am not in agreement with all of his accomplishments as Chancellor, I am nonetheless pleased to have someone I trust succeed the higher office. We know that on the core issues of government to serve the people, and particularly the least well off, Brown's convictions are in the right place since his days as a student leader in Edinburgh right through to work on behalf of African development.

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I saw the movie "the Good Shepherd" the other day, and I wanted to pose a couple of questions about it since I didn't understand a good deal of it and certainly didn't grasp all of the motifs. Please forgive me if you find this diary inappropriate to the forum.

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Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:03 PM PST

DISASTER

by Marshall

Congratulations to the Senate Democrats. Congratulations to the big liberal interest groups in Washington. Congratulations to myopic cheerleaders in the blogosphere. The Democrats have fought a five year battle over judicial nominations, and within the next few days, we will lose. Congratulations.

For the last week, it has been painful to be a Democrat. And those are not words I use lightly in this time of so many fairweather friends who wish us ill and wield their stilettos under the protective canopy of "CNN" and "DLC". I have found strength in this beleaguered minority through the angry days of Bush, and I have never once apologized for the Democratic label that I wear. So allow me to stray off the reservation for one evening.

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Tue May 17, 2005 at 03:20 AM PDT

Why I Don't Care About Newsweek

by Marshall

Yet again, the Falange is accusing the media of pre-meditated sabotage of US foreign policy. Never mind the shameless reversion to post hoc ergo propter hoc, never mind the obvious culpability of Newsweek's fallible sources (though that was deemed a sufficient excuse for Colin Powell's reputation-destroying display at the UN), never mind the layer-on-layer racism of the right blogosphere's innumerable insults, threats, and disparagements directed at Islam and the Muslim world that render the false disgust at a beflushed Koran transparent and characteristically dishonest. Newsweek is the public enemy of the day; Newsweek must be destroyed, coopted, incorporated, and utterly castrated as it is subsumed into the Republican (PF) ruling regime.
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Tue Apr 26, 2005 at 01:36 PM PDT

An Essay on Social Insurance

by Marshall

I just wrote a one-hour timed practice essay for my final in Public Economics, which is in a couple of weeks. It touches on common Daily Kos themes, and what's more, I need comments, so I hope you don't mind my posting it here for some response.

I should say, first, that in going over my own practice essays I'm always a little embarassed by the know-it-all, matter-of-fact tone of voice. I apologize if you find that annoying and/or inappropriate to the format.

The question was this:

"Why and how should the welfare state provide insurance? What are the implications of changes in household composition for the provision of social insurance?" [Asked in the 2003 Exam]

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How's this essay?

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Noam Scheiber at TNR reports, admirably, on a sickening development. The House New Democrats Coalition sent out the following email.

Washington, D.C.--With consumer debt reaching record highs of more than $2 trillion, members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) sent a letter today to Speaker Dennis Hastert, urging him to schedule House action on the bankruptcy reform legislation as soon as the Senate completes its consideration of the bill. The letter, signed by twenty NDC members, including the four NDC leaders, reiterates New Democrats' long-standing support for common-sense bankruptcy legislation and states an intention to work across the aisle to pass bankruptcy reform into law

...

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This column on Campus Progress is pretty good, despite the fact that it calls for Democrats to propose a counter-FMA that would make the Defense of Marriage Act part of the constitution! The good points that the column makes are two:

I. Democrats know what they stand for and so does the electorate. They know we deal with corporate cronyism and regulate the environment. They know we'll improve schools. They know we'll balance the budget.

What they don't know is what we stand against. The Right Wing Media like to shout about our Bush-hating and alienation from the mainstream, but the fact is that no one knows who and what makes us angry. Which aspect of society is inimical to our idea of America?

I, for one, am happy to take a stand against creationists and everyone else who hates knowledge. Those people are not consistent with my America. Neither are rapacious CEOs who loot their employees' pensions. We should take advantage of the symbolic strength of opposition--it's a shortcut to a clear-cut position that doesn't require years of think tank position papers.
 

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Ezra Klein provides an example of the wonders of Republican government.

A review of fines levied by other federal agencies suggests that the government may be taking swear words a bit too seriously. If the bill passes the Senate, Bono saying "fucking brilliant" on the air would carry the exact same penalty as illegally testing pesticides on human subjects. And for the price of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors. (Actually, you might be able to afford four "nuke malfunctions": The biggest fine levied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year was only $60,000.)

 If Bush has his way, Howard Stern may soon have a tough choice to make: Tell a sex joke on the air, or dump toxic waste in New York's drinking water while willfully placing an employee at risk of injury or death? No wonder the foul-mouthed host is moving to satellite radio, which falls outside the authority of the FCC.

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Which would you choose?

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Today's "In the Loop" column brings back the beautiful Lieberman-Bush tonsil hockey just in time for Valentines Day, speculating that The Kiss is more than just thanks for Lieberman's beyond-the-call-of-duty habit of kissing the President's Ass. Washington rumor has it that Lieberman will replace Rumsfeld before the indignity of having to run for reelection with the blood of ten thousand American soldiers on his hands.
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Are we witnessing the Fall of Lieberman?

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Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:58 PM PST

Death of a Forty-eighter

by Marshall

I just wanted to acknowledge the death of a great playwright, Arthur Miller.

As well as writing one great play and a few very good plays, Miller is

  1. A member of the select group of people whose greatest accomplishments came in 1948. Now two are dead: Strom Thurmond and Miller (though Death of a Salesman was first staged in 1949, I count him because he wrote the play in 1948). The two remaining are Paul Samuelson and George Kennan.

  2. A member of the non-select group of people who slept with Marilyn Monroe.
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Which is better?

61%8 votes
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Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 03:58 PM PST

How to Destroy Lieberman

by Marshall

Today Joe Lieberman told us that he doesn't believe the Bill of Rights prevents the torture of American citizens. Yesterday he kissed George Bush.

Joe Lieberman had our support for the Vice Presidency in 2000. He ran for President against George W. Bush in 2003 and 2004. Now he is not fit to represent our party or the people of Connecticut in the US Senate.

Here's how to beat him.

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Can we beat Joe Lieberman?

84%60 votes
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Goodness knows I'm not one to praise the Washington Post editorial board, but they did a good thing today.

"Despite a poor performance at his confirmation hearing, Alberto R. Gonzales appears almost certain to be confirmed by the Senate as attorney general. Senators of both parties declared themselves dissatisfied with Mr. Gonzales's lack of responsiveness to questions about his judgments as White House counsel on the detention of foreign prisoners. Some expressed dismay at his reluctance to state that it is illegal for American personnel to use torture, or for the president to order it. A number of senators clearly believe, as we do, that Mr. Gonzales bears partial responsibility for decisions that have led to shocking, systematic and ongoing violations of human rights by the United States. Most apparently intend to vote for him anyway. At a time when nominees for the Cabinet can be disqualified because of their failure to pay taxes on a nanny's salary, this reluctance to hold Mr. Gonzales accountable is shameful. He does not deserve to be confirmed as attorney general...
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