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PostPartisan: February 21, 2010 - February 27, 2010

After right-wing smears, Van Jones gets a second chance

By Katrina vanden Heuvel Van Jones, who resigned from the White House Council on Environmental Quality last fall in the face of a coordinated smear campaign by conservative activists, has reemerged from his self-imposed exile. He'll be teaching at Princeton...

By Katrina vanden Heuvel  | February 26, 2010; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
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Rapping Rangel

It's unseemly when members of Congress throw their staffs under the bus when they get into trouble. That Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the latest offender is no surprise. But the embattled chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 26, 2010; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
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The real story on health-care 'reconciliation'

Chuck Todd of NBC made a superb point on "Hardball" last night that everyone should pay attention to. He noted that absolutely no one is proposing to pass a health-care bill under the "reconciliation process," that is, with a...

By E.J. Dionne  | February 26, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
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Bipartisanship breaks out in Washington

By Marc Thiessen Yesterday saw a remarkable display of bipartisan cooperation break out in Washington – but it wasn’t at the Blair House health-care summit. The bipartisanship took place on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, where Congressional Republicans and...

By Marc Thiessen  | February 26, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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The Democrats' health-care ambush failed

The White House health-care summit has broadcast the policy debate, but it is difficult to see how it has changed the policy debate. Both sides generally made their cases in a civil and serious fashion. But Democrats carried a...

By Michael Gerson  | February 25, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (348)
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Obama defends regulation at the health-care summit

One of the chief substantive disputes of the White House’s health-care summit concerned, not surprisingly, regulation -- whether the federal government should set minimum standards for the policies that would be available on health exchanges. Republicans, in their more...

By Harold Meyerson  | February 25, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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What the health-care summit taught us

The Republicans simply don’t want to pass comprehensive health-care reform. That is the main lesson of today’s health-care summit. It started, as Steve Stromberg pointed out earlier, with the Republicans wanting to talk more about process than about the...

By E.J. Dionne  | February 25, 2010; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (170)
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Snap! Obama: 1, McCain: 0

Here's a pretty easy prediction: the most played clip from the Blair House Summit on the network news and the primetime cable shows tonight will be this exchange between President Obama and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). About an hour...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
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To Obama and lawmakers at health summit: stay longer!

Round 1 of the Blair House Summit on health care was interesting, testy, combative and clouded with talking points from both sides. As a result of all the speechifying, the lawmakers are running behind schedule. President Obama said he...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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A 'suspicious package' that raises no suspicion

It's become usual for portions of Washington to get shut down because of a “suspicious package.” Generally it turns out (thankfully) to be nothing; some hapless tourist forgot a backpack or some such. We put up with the inconveniences...

By Jo-Ann Armao  | February 25, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Reconciliation: what the GOP wants to debate at health summit

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) offered the GOP’s first rebuttal to President Obama and the Democrats at this morning’s health-care summit, and as he spoke it quickly became clear that debate Republicans want to have this morning isn’t about substance,...

By Stephen Stromberg  | February 25, 2010; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
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Obama loses the crutch

Did anyone else notice something about President Obama's opening remarks? He spoke without a TelePrompTer. He did so clearly and with a depth of knowledge that escapes most people in a plain-old staff meeting. Imagine doing that with lights,...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Livin' large with Michael Steele

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is livin' large on donor cash. Just how this is part of the Republican resurgence everyone keeps talking about escapes me. According to a story in Politico, he "is spending twice as much...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Gov. David Paterson's (D-N.Y.) really ugly week

New York Gov. David Paterson's week has gone from bad to worse. A Siena Poll released Monday showed that his political prospects were on life support. But a New York Times story today detailing the horrific domestic violence case...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 8:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Same-sex marriage is coming to the District

You probably didn't hear this late last week, but a motion was denied to block Washington's same-sex marriage law from going into effect at the conclusion of Congress's 30-day legislative review period. That means in six days -- March...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 25, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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What today’s health-care summit can accomplish [updated]

The real value of today’s White House health-care summit came clear to me during a conversation with my friend Steve Luxenberg. Steve, who was editor of The Post’s Outlook section for many years, was speaking generally about what he...

By E.J. Dionne  | February 25, 2010; 12:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
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About not getting that swine flu vaccine...

So, remember last year when I said that I wasn't going to get the swine-flu vaccine? Remember the angst, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that ensued on my Facebook page? My college classmate, Ingrid, wrote, "You don't...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 24, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Do you have the stones to curl?

Ok, I'm taking a break from watching Toyota's reputation go off a cliff like "Thelma and Louise" to focus some attention on my new favorite Olympic sport: curling. The Post's Rachel Dry recently declared the sport to be "awesome."...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 24, 2010; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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People America needs apologies from

By Katrina vanden Heuvel It’s the season of Lent in the Christian tradition, the forty days of penitence that precede Easter. Given that it’s a time for reflection and contrition, I offer the following list of people from whom I’d...

By Katrina vanden Heuvel  | February 24, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
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The inevitable backlash on 'don't ask, don't tell'

Boy, you had to see that one coming. It was a pivotal moment earlier this month when Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Pivotal, but not enough....

By Ruth Marcus  | February 24, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
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Obama's Karzai problem

President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan is starting to show some encouraging signs of momentum. One big problem, however, remains: the Obama administration’s relationship with President Hamid Karzai. Though he endorsed the Marja operation, Karzai has continued to work against...

By Jackson Diehl  | February 24, 2010; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Another jobs-killer that needs repeal

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Rather than tinkering with the tax code and calling it a “jobs bill,” Congress and the Obama administration might try scouring the U.S. Code in search of job-killing laws to repeal....

By Charles Lane  | February 23, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
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Toyota's lobbying blitz

The Post reported Monday that Toyota has been spending a little money around the edges to better communicate with our elected officials. A million bucks in donations, a million bucks to charities preferred by key members of Congress, a...

By Kevin Huffman  | February 22, 2010; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Grown-ups of the GOP

After a weekend of listening to the right wing of the Republican Party wish failure upon President Obama as he struggles to solve the nation's monster challenges, it was refreshing to hear two grown-ups from the GOP's rational wing...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 22, 2010; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
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Obama is the real obstructionist at his health-care summit

By Marc Thiessen Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) says of this week’s bipartisan health-care summit: “Sounds like the Democrats spell summit: S-E-T-U-P.” He’s right -- the Blair House summit is a trap. If the objective really was to produce bipartisan compromise,...

By Marc Thiessen  | February 22, 2010; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (186)
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Marco Rubio, life of the party

Hard to argue with Glenn Beck's assessment of the Republican Party when he proclaimed at the Conservative Political Action Conference, "I don't even know what they stand for anymore. And they've got to realize that they have a problem:...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 22, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Empowerment in D.C.'s Ward 8

I wrote in Saturday's column about the different takes that President Obama and DC's Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) had on the word empowerment. To no surprise, I was critical of Barry. At noon on Saturday, I fulfilled a longstanding...

By Colbert King  | February 22, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
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They said it

Despite fending off conservative detractors in a manner that made me feel like Neo in the Matrix (start the video at 3:00 to get my drift), I had time to ponder what was said or written over the past...

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 21, 2010; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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