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Senator Kennedy’s Letter to President Obama

Below is the text of the letter from Senator Edward M. Kennedy referenced by the President in tonight’s address to a Joint Session of Congress. May 12, 2009 Dear Mr. President, I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to ...

Warming Up for Obama

Senators: Support Public Option, Kennedy’s HELP Committee Plan Tonight President Obama gives a rather important speech to a joint session of Congress. To say we wish him well would be an understatement. We spent most of the day warming up his audience by faxing and mailing letters to the ...

Does Believing in Social Contract Make Us Socialists? Then So Be It.

Learning What We’re Up Against, and How to Carry On If we’re learning anything from the messy struggles for health care reform and the passage of the stimulus bill back in February (how long ago that feels!)—and it’s far from clear whether anyone is learning anything—it could be that anyone ...

Senator Kennedy’s Gulf Coast Rebuilding Plan

“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” While others have gone quickly online with some very affectionate and stirring tributes to Senator Kennedy, we wanted to take a little time to reflect ...

Feingold Asks Obama for Timetable on Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Think Progress calls attention to a report by ABC News that Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is calling on President Obama for a timetable for when the U.S. will withdraw forces from Afghanistan. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the attacks of September 11, but attention and ...

RT4: Sinking to New Heights

Just a quick word to say hello to our friends gathering in New Orleans this weekend for the fourth annual Rising Tide bloggers’ conference on the recovery and future of the Sunken City. Can’t be there this time—profound regrets—but we’ll be there in spirit and hope to see everyone again ...

Obama, Keep Public Option

“The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of healthcare reform. This is just one sliver of it . . .” —President Obama in Grand Junction, Colo., Aug. 15, 2009 An Open Letter to President Obama Dear President Obama: I campaigned for you and ...

Reform Healthcare Now with a Public Option: An Open Letter to the Senate Finance Committee

The following letter has been faxed and mailed to every Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee, beginning with Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the committee chairman. See below the fold for a list of committee members’ phone and fax numbers. “I mean, people have access to health ...

Let’s Get Congress, Obama, on Board with the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act

On June 1, Times-Picayune Washington correspondent Jonathan Tilove reported on the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (H.R. 2269), a bill reintroduced in Congress on May 5 by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and supported by Louisiana congressmen Charlie Melancon, Anh “Joseph” Cao, and Rodney Alexander, among about a dozen others.

Throw Us Somethin’, Mister President

It was good to see the president on Hurricane Season’s eve being briefed by new FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Homeland Security Council president John Brennan on preparations for the upcoming season. We are relieved that the president has appointed serious professionals in these critical positions, as we are encouraged by his nomination of Jo-Ellen Darcy to oversee the Army Corps of Engineers.

Hurricane Season Is Here, Now

We’re marking the first day of hurricane season by calling attention to two pieces of legislation in Congress that could, with popular support, become enacted and result in jobs and new infrastructure along the Gulf Coast. We’re also wondering when our busy president is going to turn his attention to New Orleans and other communities along the Gulf Coast stricken by hurricanes and endangered by coastal erosion and weakened flood protection systems. We know he’s had his hands full, but we’ve been waiting . . .

National Train Day: All Aboard for a Retro- and Pre-Celebration

Usually we call attention to events before they happen, but today we’re retro-celebrating National Train Day that somehow sped past us like a high-speed Amtrak Acela and was gone before we even knew it was coming. On May 9 the second annual Train Day celebrated “140 years of connecting travelers from coast to coast.” (Cool fact: It was on May 10, 1869, that the ceremonial Golden Spike joined the rails of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit, Utah, thus completing the Transcontinental Railroad.) So, we’re celebrating a few weeks after the fact, and more than 11 months in advance of the third annual National Train Day.