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Member since: Wed Jan 30, 2008, 03:33 PM
Number of posts: 10,157

About Me

I'm a lawyer representing workers and consumers and a longtime Democratic activist. Nothing I say on here, including any comments about legal topics, should be construed as legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship.

Journal Archives

Politico: Republicans Feud Over Obamacare

Republicans have been fighting Democrats for years over Obamacare. Now, theyíre fighting each other.

In red-state capitols in places like Idaho, Tennessee and Mississippi, Republicans are clashing over whether to participate in a Democratic presidentís signature legislative achievement.

At issue are the state-based health care exchanges, set to start in 2014, which will create new marketplaces for people who canít get insurance elsewhere. If states donít declare their plans to set one up by Dec. 14, the Department of Health and Human Services will begin doing it for them. So Republicans face a choice: Create their own and appear to endorse a federal government health care takeover, or allow Washington to take control.

Nowhere is the fight playing out more publicly among Republicans than in Mississippi.


It will be interesting to see what these states end up deciding. My professor thinks most states will end up accepting the Medicaid expansion, because it's too good of a deal not to.
Posted by democrattotheend | Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:35 PM (0 replies)

I support John Kerry for Secretary of State

The more that is coming out about Susan Rice, the more I don't like. She was apparently a vocal supporter of the Iraq war.

Yes, I know Kerry voted for it, and he made a huge mistake doing that that probably cost him the presidency. But he was never a vocal cheerleader for the war, and he has a long history of opposition to war and of leadership on foreign policy. He said long ago that he regretted his vote and he took the lead, along with Feingold, in pushing for withdrawal before it really became popular. I don't think his whole career should be discounted because of one really bad vote.

I think he is the best candidate for the job, and it's crazy not to give it to him because we are scared about being able to win a Senate seat in Massachusetts. There are plenty of good Democrats in MA who could run for that seat.

Kerry has been a leader on foreign policy issues in the Senate for a long time, he has had a distinguished career, and he has been a staunch supporter of the president since 2008, when he took a chance and endorsed him early on, the day after the New Hampshire primary.

Here is a great article about how the administration has been dispatching Kerry all over the world to put out fires as sort of an ex-officio member of the administration: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/magazine/john-kerry-our-man-in-kabul.html?pagewanted=all

I don't want to give in to Republicans, but I have always thought Kerry was the better pick for the job, and their criticism of Susan Rice doesn't change that for me.
Posted by democrattotheend | Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:00 AM (29 replies)

Obama to have lunch with Romney at the White House tomorrow


A lot has happened since Obama made clear after his lopsided electoral win - and three-point popular vote win - that he would reach out to Romney in the hopes of working together going forward, such as the Republican candidate's call with donors detailing how the president won the race by promising "gifts" to consituencies like African-Americans, Hispanics, younger voters and women.

The Romneys, by all accounts, have had a hard time in the last few weeks with the fact of the loss, but the lunch may be a step toward moving past it - and toward the former candidate moving toward the next phase of his life.

I read on Twitter that apparently this is a tradition that goes back to 1960, when Kennedy had lunch with Nixon and they joked that they didn't know who really won. I know Obama met with McCain after the 2008 election, but I don't remember if Clinton or Bush did this.

Apparently the president also plans to meet with Ryan at some point in the near future.
Posted by democrattotheend | Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:25 AM (40 replies)

Lawsuit targets women's exclusion from direct combat jobs

Source: Los Angeles Times

Yet since 1994, the Defense Department has formally excluded women from most direct ground combat positions, creating a growing disconnect with the realities of warfare.

Bedell said she left active duty last year because the policy limited her potential for promotion by failing to officially recognize her combat leadership experience. (In military parlance, the female teams that played a critical role in communicating with Afghan women were "attached," not "assigned," to infantry units.)

On Tuesday, she joined a federal lawsuit challenging the blanket exclusion.

"The modern battlefield means there are no front lines or safe areas," Bedell, 27 and now a Marine Corps reservist, said during a news conference at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. The ACLU is representing her, three female members of the Marines, the California Air National Guard and the Army Reserve, and the nonprofit Service Women's Action Network.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-women-in-combat-20121128,0,3989656.story

We just discussed this issue in con law the other day. I have kind of mixed feelings. I think women should be able to voluntarily serve in combat, but should not be drafted into combat positions. Actually, I don't think women should be drafted at all until they pass the ERA. One of the biggest arguments against it was that women could be drafted if it was passed. They can't give us the responsibilities without the rights.

But this lawsuit challenges the exclusion of women who want to serve in combat, and I think it's an important step forward. A lot of women effectively serve in combat but get paid less because their positions are not classified as such.
Posted by democrattotheend | Wed Nov 28, 2012, 01:35 AM (6 replies)

CNN Poll: 54% of Americans say no cover-up on Benghazi

Washington (CNN) - Americans are giving the White House low marks for how it's handled the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a new national survey.

But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday, a majority of the public doesn't believe the Obama administration intentionally tried to mislead Americans on the September attack that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead....

...On Libya, 54% of the country is dissatisfied with the administration's response to the Benghazi attack, with only four in ten saying they're satisfied with the way the White House handled the matter.

"But that dissatisfaction is not because Americans see a cover-up," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only 40% believe that the inaccurate statements that administration officials initially made about the Benghazi attack were an attempt to deliberately mislead the public. Fifty-four percent think those inaccurate statements reflected what the White House believed to be true at the time."


Posted by democrattotheend | Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:59 PM (4 replies)

Wasserman: Romney drops to 47.49%

From Twitter:

And with that, the moment many have been waiting for has arrived. @MittRomney drops to 47.49% of the popular vote: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AjYj9mXElO_QdHpla01oWE1jOFZRbnhJZkZpVFNKeVE&toomany=true#gid=19

Obama's lead over Romney in the popular vote now stands at 4.2 million votes. Not too shabby.
Posted by democrattotheend | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:20 AM (5 replies)

WashPost: Republicans Face Unexpected Challenges in Coastal South

Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi ó despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states.

Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the demographic crisis facing Republicans among Hispanic voters, particularly in Texas. But the results across other parts of the South, where Latinos remain a single-digit minority, point to separate trends among blacks and whites that may also have big implications for the GOPís future.

The results show a region cleaving apart along new electoral fault lines. In the regionís center, clustered along the Mississippi River ó where Bill Clinton polled most strongly ó the GOP remains largely unchallenged and the voting divide between blacks and whites is deepening. Nearly nine of 10 of white voters in Mississippi, for instance, went for Republican nominee Mitt Romney this year, according to exit polls. About 96 percent of black voters in the state supported Obama.

The pattern is markedly different in the five states that hug the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Florida, which together hold82 of the Southís 160 electoral votes. A combination of a growing black population, urban expansion, oceanfront development and in-migration from other regions has opened up increasing opportunities for Democrats in those states.


This article is encouraging, although I do question whether the "deepening divide" between black and white voters is going to keep growing or even stay where it is. I think that while there has always been a big racial divide in voting, the divide is probably amplified because of Obama, and won't necessarily be quite as divided in the next election, depending on who the candidates are. Especially in the deep south, there are probably still some white voters who would otherwise vote Democratic but won't vote for a black candidate, and Obama probably got a slightly higher share of the black vote than a white Democrat would get.
Posted by democrattotheend | Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:14 PM (8 replies)

Reappraising Obama

Pretty good article...don't agree with everything but it's mostly favorable to the president, and I think pretty accurate on a lot of things.


In the last one hundred years, only four Democrats have twice been elected president: Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Obama's reelection was doubly remarkable considering the sluggish economy, the $1 billion plus spent to defeat him, and the fact that at the beginning of his campaign many Democrats were unenthusiastic. Obviously voters reappraised the president.

At the beginning of 2012, many Democratic stalwarts were less than thrilled by the prospect of a second Obama term. While their reasons varied, there was a common theme, "Obama hasn't kept his promises to my constituency." There were lingering complaints that 2009's stimulus package should have been bigger and a communal whine, "Obama should have listened to us." Nonetheless, by the end of the Democratic convention on September 6th most Dems had come around. They gave money, made phone calls, and traveled to swing states. As a result Obama got a higher percentage of Democratic votes than he did in 2008.
Posted by democrattotheend | Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:22 AM (2 replies)

What I am thankful for: my grandma's legacy, and a day in April 2008


As expected, it was a bittersweet Thanksgiving this year, as it was the first since my grandmother passed away last January after a long battle with endometrial cancer.

My grandmother was a lifelong activist, and a bleeding heart liberal in the truest sense of the term. She couldn't stand to see anyone get hurt (she couldn't stand to watch violent movies, or even football), and she was the warmest, most caring person I ever knew. She was a liberal because she cared about people, detested suffering, and believed that everyone deserved a fair chance in life.

Her political activism began when she was in college at UCLA, when she volunteered as a tester for a fair housing organization to help expose illegal discrimination. If a black family inquired about an apartment or house and was told it was taken, my grandmother, who was white, would then go to inquire if it was still available to see if she got a different response. Earl Warren was the Republican governor of California at the time, and her organization protested some of his policies. Later, after he turned out to be such a great Supreme Court justice, my grandfather liked to tease that she had protested Earl Warren.

I don't know all of the details, but I know that she was active in other ways in the civil rights movement, including attending the 1963 March on Washington. She was also very active with the anti-war movements, participating in anti-Iraq War demonstrations well into her 70's.

In April of 2008, I drove up to Philadelphia from DC most weekends to campaign for Obama in the PA primary. One day, my grandmother joined me, and we went to see Obama speak at a train station in the Philly suburbs and then went canvassing for him in a nearby neighborhood.

She had just been diagnosed with cancer at the time, and I remember thinking that no matter what happened, I was glad to have the chance to spend that day with her. Until then, I had never really thought about spending time with her that way. Even though she was 78, she and Grandpa had taken such good care of themselves that I thought they both had a long time ahead of them.

I noticed that she was walking slower and had less stamina than she had had four years earlier when we campaigned for Howard Dean together. But she was still as committed to the progressive cause as ever, and at one point, she got teary-eyed, saying that she never thought she would see a serious African American candidate for president in her lifetime.

I have been missing her a lot since she died, but since the election I have felt her loss even more. But I am so grateful that she lived long enough to see President Obama's first election in 2008. In a way, it feels like she got to see the fruition of her labor in the civil rights movement, more than she ever anticipated could happen in her lifetime.

I'm grateful for all the time I spent with her in my life, but I am especially grateful for that day in April 2008, when I felt like I was joining the next phase of the long battle for civil rights that she had been part of since she was my age. I believe I got my activist spirit from her, and now that she is no longer with us, it's up to me to carry on the good fight.

Posted by democrattotheend | Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:12 AM (7 replies)

NYT: How to Fix a Broken Election System


While President Obama was delivering his victory speech in the early hours of Wednesday, Nov. 7, people were still standing in line in Florida to vote. Thousands had waited hours to vote in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, some in the cold, some giving up wages to do so. In a spontaneous aside ó ďby the way, we have to fix thatĒ ó the president acknowledged the unnecessary hardship of casting a vote in the United States and established a goal that he now has an obligation to address.

The long lines can be shortened with commitments from Washington, as well as state and local governments, but they are just the most glaring symptom of a deeply broken democratic process. In too many states, itís also needlessly difficult to register to vote. States controlled by Republicans continue to erect partisan impediments to participation. And the process for choosing a candidate remains bound to unlimited and often secret campaign donations that are bound to lead to corruption.
Posted by democrattotheend | Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:48 AM (9 replies)
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