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Showing posts from February, 2010

Health Care Summit: Conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy

By now most of us know that the invitation (pdf) has gone out for Democrats and Republicans to join President Obama at a health care reform conference on February 25th. While many in the media and the blogs are caught up in seeing this as some type of effort towards bipartisanship, some are seeing the strategy on a bit deeper level. To set the stage, from the invitation we know that the White House has invited the leadership of both the House and Senate, chairs of the key healthcare reform committees, and asked each party to invite 4 additional members. We also know that the agenda will be focused on four topics: insurance reforms, cost containment, expanding coverage, and the impact heath reform legislation will have on deficit reduction. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all from the invitation was the statement that prior to February 25th, the White House will post online the text of a proposed health insurance reform package. The Republicans have been asked to do the same. On

Having an impact on electoral politics

For most of us who consider ourselves activists, electoral politics can be a frustrating business. That's because too often we go into the voting both having to decide whether to vote for the lesser of two evils and know that, no matter how informed we are...the wingers, teabaggers, and idjit voters (video) get just as much of a voice in the process as we do. Of course, on that last one, those of us in Minnesota got a wake-up call this past year when 312 of the over 2.8 million votes cast meant the different between another term for Norm Coleman and freshman Senator Al Franken. Boy, am I glad that I didn't sit that one out! But today, I'm riding pretty high on the impact my one little vote had last night. Let me give you a little background about what's happening so you'll understand why. As many of you are aware, MN has no incumbent running for re-election as Governor. As we speak, there are 12 Democrats running and 7 Republicans. This state likes to make pol