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PostPartisan: January 24, 2010 - January 30, 2010

Now let's Have an Obama-Palin Debate

President Obama’s decision to televise his Q&A with House Republicans was one of his shrewdest political moves since he transformed the 2008 controversy around his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, into an occasion to discuss race in American life. The hour-long...

By E.J. Dionne  | January 30, 2010; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
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Bin Laden on climate change

We have failed to find Osama bin Laden after eight years, and now he is opining on our climate-change policies and calling for an economic boycott. I’m waiting for the right wing to go ballistic. For one, bin Laden...

By Kevin Huffman  | January 30, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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A conversation with NAACP President Ben Jealous

NAACP President Ben Jealous was a guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at President Obama's first State of the Union address. While he stopped by to talk about the speech, the most interesting part of our talk was when...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 30, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Listen to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly warning on KSM trial

When the Justice Department announced that the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed would take place at federal court in lower Manhattan, I didn't think much of it. Surely it was my "bring it on" Manhattanite attitude. Other terrorists have...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 29, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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No KSM trial in Manhattan, after all?

So, Khalid Sheik Mohammed may not be going to the Big Apple after all. After initially supporting the decision to prosecute the 9/11 mastermind in Manhattan's federal court -- located in the heart of Wall Street, just blocks from...

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 29, 2010; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
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Obama didn't mention Israel-Palestine in the State of the Union

Sometimes a president sends a message by what he doesn't say. Some in the Middle East have concluded that President Obama did just that in his State of the Union speech earlier this week -- in which he failed...

By Jackson Diehl  | January 29, 2010; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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On Alito's State of the Union head wag, you're all wrong

You're all wrong. And I mean those of you who claim that Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s "not true" during the State of the Union Wednesday night constitutes a "Joe Wilson moment." And I'm also talking about those of...

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 28, 2010; 1:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
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At State of the Union, a chastened Obama

Chastened is not an adjective normally associated with Barack Obama. But that was the underlying theme of his State of the Union address: that a rocky first year in office had left Americans unsure about whether he can produce...

By Ruth Marcus  | January 28, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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Praise for Michael Steele. No, really.

RNC chairman Michael Steele, speaking to reporters at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner) Y'all know how much I like smacking around (rhetorically speaking) Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. He...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 28, 2010; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
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State of the Union: What are the next 10 words?

“I do not accept second-place for America . . . it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth. . . I want a job bills on my desk without delay . . ....

By Jo-Ann Armao  | January 28, 2010; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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The Edwardses' split

The news that Elizabeth Edwards has separated from her husband, the two-time presidential candidate and full-time scoundrel John Edwards, makes me sad. I know what most people are thinking: It's about time! Part of me agrees, actually, but I...

By Jo-Ann Armao  | January 28, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Obama's message was jumbled, but his pitch was perfect

Thematically, President Obama’s State of the Union address Wednesday night was a bit of a jumbled pudding, with left, right and centrist ideas all packed together. Tonally, however, it was a masterpiece. Obama made clear he understood the gravity...

By Harold Meyerson  | January 28, 2010; 12:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
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GOP pulls out all the stops after the State of the Union

The GOP really pulled out the stops in its State of the Union response tonight. Not in the content of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s speech -- there’s hardly a chance that will make much of a difference. Rather, the...

By Stephen Stromberg  | January 28, 2010; 12:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
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What was said about don't ask don't tell

It was supposed to be just one line in the remarks prepared for delivery. "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 27, 2010; 11:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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State of the Union: Obama plays grown-up

A speech is words. A State of the Union speech is a performance. President Obama had more than an hour’s worth of words Wednesday night, much of them moderate in tone, moderate in ideology and proposing programs -- tax...

By Richard Cohen  | January 27, 2010; 11:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
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State of the Union: Obama's reality problem

President Obama’s primary problem is not rhetorical -- though, about an hour into the State of the Union address, I gave up hoping that it might eventually build toward something remotely interesting. (For much of the speech Obama sounded...

By Michael Gerson  | January 27, 2010; 11:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
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What Obama can't bring himself to say -- we won in Iraq

President Obama says he is "not interested in re-litigating the past." Well, I am -- at least to this extent: Would it have been too much for the president of the United States to have acknowledged and paid tribute...

By William Kristol  | January 27, 2010; 11:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (197)
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The punditocracy was wrong about Obama's speech

The conventional wisdom was wrong, as usual. Some in the punditocracy expected President Obama to tack toward the center, others expected him to run to the bosom of the Democratic Party’s liberal base. He did neither. By the end...

By Eugene Robinson  | January 27, 2010; 10:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (142)
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Obama corners the GOP

One thing I always forget about the State of the Union is that it really is a venue where the president is the stage manager, in control of the theatrics. At the beginning of tonight’s speech, President Obama used...

By Eugene Robinson  | January 27, 2010; 9:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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What will President Obama say on don't ask don't tell?

White House senior adviser David Axelrod (Photo-AP/M. Spencer Green) White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod broke the news on CNN a little while ago: President Obama will call on Congress to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 27, 2010; 7:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Nancy Pelosi's health-care strategy

Hours before she was to host President Obama's State of the Union address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid out a road map for winning final approval of comprehensive health-care reform. Her message: "We need to get this done. Process,...

By Eugene Robinson  | January 27, 2010; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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What would O'Connor say to the Supreme Court?

“Gosh, I step away for a couple of years and there’s no telling what's going to happen,” former justice Sandra Day O'Connor exclaimed at a Georgetown symposium on campaign finance and judicial elections on Tuesday. She went on to...

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 27, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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They don’t make them like Mathias anymore

Charles McC. (“Mac”) Mathias, who died on Monday at the age of 87, was one of my heroes when I was a teenager. He was a liberal Republican in a party that was then only in the early stages...

By E.J. Dionne  | January 27, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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What to watch for in McDonnell's response to Obama

By Lee Hockstader Mild-mannered Bob McDonnell, the newly installed GOP governor of Virginia who went out of his way to praise President Obama during his successful campaign last fall, has been cast in the role of Republican superstar, a savior...

By Lee Hockstader  | January 27, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
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Tim Tebow rushes into the abortion debate

Abortion rights groups are angry that CBS will run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl from the rabidly homophobic and anti-abortion group Focus on the Family. Few have actually seen the 30-second spot. But we know that it...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 27, 2010; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
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Mourning 'Mac' Mathias

When I received word that former Maryland senator Charles McC. Mathias Jr. took his final breath on Monday, a part of me died, too. My four years with the senator were precious life experiences, but too dear to treat...

By Colbert King  | January 26, 2010; 6:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R-S.C.) breeds contempt

Of late, my affection for South Carolina has grown, but I just don't get the Palmetto State's politicians. We tittered at Gov. Mark "Gone Hiking" Sanford (R). We gasped at Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R). And now we...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 26, 2010; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
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A moratorium on McDonalds?

Almost 40 percent of children in Price George’s County, Maryland are overweight. So state Sen. David C. Harrington wants to impose a moratorium on the permitting of new fast food restaurants in the area. Cutting obesity and its attendant...

By Stephen Stromberg  | January 26, 2010; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
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Get out, Mr. President!

If tradition holds, during his State of the Union address, President Obama will point to people seated with the first lady who put a human face on the policies he's trying to rally the public around. But I want...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 26, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Still wondering who President Obama is

Something's not right. Back on Oct. 6, I marveled at four opinion pieces on President Obama's character that essentially asked, "Who is this guy?" Four months later -- one year into his presidency and on the eve of his...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 26, 2010; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
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Why doesn't O'Malley clear death row?

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley staunchly opposes the death penalty: Given its flaws -- the lack of deterrent impact, the risk of a wrongful execution, high costs -- capital punishment can be neither morally nor practically justified, he argues. The...

By Charles Lane  | January 25, 2010; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Sweet home Delaware for Beau Biden

So much for the family heirloom. Beau Biden, the putative heir to the U.S. Senate seat his father held for 36 years before becoming vice president of the United States, decided to forgo the formality of an election this...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 25, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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On behalf of the Tea Party

I am the official columnist of the Tea Party. Of course, the Tea Party being the Tea Party, it will deny that I am its official columnist, which is proof enough, if you think about it, that I am...

By Richard Cohen  | January 25, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
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Not exactly celebration time for the GOP in Post poll of Massachusetts voters

Republican giddiness over the election of Scott Brown to the senate seat held for 46 years by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) is understandable. But a poll released over the weekend is more evidence that the GOP is...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 25, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
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The flaw in David Plouffe's November strategy

The "no bed-wetting" mantra of David Plouffe, President Obama's campaign manager who has been recruited to help thwart disaster in the looming midterm elections, should buck up the confidence of some wavering Democrats. But there’s a flaw in the...

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 25, 2010; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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