Tag Archive: Politics

Health care reform

March 22, 2010 8:46 am Published by 2 Comments

As everyone who cares already knows, the health care reform bill passed the House late last night. From a policy point of view, it’s a really great thing. The individual insurance mandate combined with the ban of dropping insurees or excluding care for “pre-existing conditions” will be big. In fact, the individual changes that the reform puts in place are widely supported.

But there are a lot of mitigating circumstances that are keeping me from celebrating today. The accounting hand-wave tricks that are in the bill to make it look like a budgetary winner are disgusting. The complete inability for the Democrats to get any moderate Republicans on board with what is a very centrist bill (not to mention the couple dozen moderate Democrats that voted against it) is a real shame. And as a pro-choice liberal, I can’t help but feel disappointed that anti-choice conservatives get to keep any of us from helping poor women get abortions, but I couldn’t keep my money from being used to invade Iraq.

In the end, I simply hope the administration learned a couple of important lessons. Most importantly, if Obama wants something to happen, he needs to be more engaged from day one. I also hope that this reform’s passage helps conservatives realize that the Tea Party’s scorched earth methods aren’t going to work for them and compromise really is a better idea.

Unanimous Justices

September 30, 2005 8:10 am Published by

Did you know that 4 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices now serving were confirmed by unanimous votes? And another 3 had fewer than ten opposing votes each. Only Clarence Thomas’s confirmation was even close.

Justice Appointed by Vote
John Paul Stevens Ford 98-0
Sandra Day O’Connor Reagan 99-0
Antonin Scalia Reagan 98-0
Anthony Kennedy Reagan 97-0
David Souter G.H.W. Bush 90-9
Clarence Thomas G.H.W. Bush 52-48
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Clinton 97-3
Stephen Breyer Clinton 87-9
John Roberts G. W. Bush 78-22

John Roberts

July 20, 2005 8:02 am Published by

I’m not entirely sure I’d vote to confirm John Roberts, Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. I definitely disagree strongly with his ideological views. On the Court of Appeals, he upheld secret military tribunals for terror suspects. As an attorney, he argued that Roe v. Wade “was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” He’s also argued against environmental regulation a number of times.

On the other hand, this might be the wisest thing I’ve ever heard a judicial nominee say: “Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land… There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.” How strongly should political views influence Congress’ decision to confirm a nominee? The Left has only a certain amount of power in the current administration, but if Roberts was denied or filibustered, could a different nominee really be any better? I can’t see Bush nominating someone centrist, but there’s always the chance he’ll nominate someone more activist.

Update: More selected opinions.