Bill Scher

Memories of Maria Leavey

Over at the Take Back America 2007 blog, I shared my experience being helped by the extraordinary Maria Leavey, as nominations are being accepted through May 6 for the new Maria Leavey Tribute Award. Hopefully it will inspire you to nominate someone you know doing unheralded yet critical work to take back America.

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Bill Scher

The Conservatives’ Secular Problem: Global Warming

Getting responsible about global warming is another way to speak to the concerns of secular voters (not to mention the religious voters who make up the Creation Care movement). And some conservatives are trying to shake their irresponsible, anti-green reputation (with varying degrees of sincerity). But there are plenty of conservatives who just can’t change.

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Bill Scher

The Conservatives’ Secular Problem: Lovin’ Low Wages

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol (part of Thursday’s Big Con Face-Off, RSVP now!) today published online this from Irwin Stelzer, warning fellow conservatives of horrible developments ahead: …part of the Democratic party’s tilt in favor of “the little guy,” [is] to raise the minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $7.25. That is designed to help directly the 5.6 million workers (4 percent of the workforce) now earning less than $7.25 per hour, and indirectly the 7.4 million (6 percent of the workforce) earning close to that wage whose pay would also go up. To them, the recent election has mattered. As it will for those whose jobs disappear because they are not profitable workers at the new, higher wages. This is more evidence the conservatives’ secular problem persists.

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Bill Scher

The Conservatives’ Secular Problem: Rudy’s Got It

Theoretically, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the sort of candidate that can help conservatives address their secular problem. With his record supporting reproductive freedom and equality for gays, he’d be hard to peg as trying to impose his religious beliefs on others. But last week, as Pam’s House Blend flagged, Giuliani has flip-flopped on civil unions, opposing New Hampshire’s new law.

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Bill Scher

The Conservatives’ Secular Problem: How’re They Doin’?

With our Failure of Conservatism Conference coming up on Thursday, it’s a good time to check in on the conservatives’ “Secular Problem.” You may recall that during this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, I set out to determine if conservatives understood that they lost the Congress because they lost the vote of those who don’t regularly attend religious services. They didn’t.

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Isaiah J. Poole

Betrayal Accomplished

Jonathan Powers remembers well President Bush’s infamous speech four years ago today in front of the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln. At the time, Powers was a captain in the 1st Armored Division and was preparing for a deployment to Baghdad. “I was a believer,” he told me during a brief conversation Monday. “I thought we were going there to defend a nation. I thought we were going there to free an oppressed people. And we had that opportunity in the summer in 2003. We had Baghdad secured. We drove around the streets without doors on our Humvees. We ate dinners in Iraqi homes.

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Isaiah J. Poole

Betrayal Accomplished

Jonathan Powers remembers well President Bush’s infamous speech four years ago today in front of the “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln. At the time, Powers was a captain in the 1st Armored Division and was preparing for a deployment to Baghdad. “I was a believer,” he told me during a brief conversation Monday.  “I thought we were going there to defend a nation. I thought we were going there to free an oppressed people. And we had that opportunity in the summer in 2003.  We had Baghdad secured. We drove around the streets without doors on our Humvees. We ate dinners in Iraqi homes.

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Isaiah J. Poole

How Free Choice Act Aids Workers

More than 3.5 million people will receive health insurance and 2.7 million people will receive pension benefits if Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act, according to a report released Monday by the Campaign for America’s Future. The study, which is also broken down by state, underscores the importance of the fight in the Senate for passage of the bill, which would level the playing field between employers and employees seeking to unionize. The bill (H.R. 800) passed the House in March, and is expected to be on the Senate floor soon. The estimates of the positive impact on workers are based on the work of a Canadian labor economics professor, Susan Johnson, who has studied differences in labor representation between Canadian provinces that allow a card-check system for union representation and those that do not.

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Isaiah J. Poole

How Free Choice Act Helps Workers

More than 3.5 million people will receive health insurance and 2.7 million people will receive pension benefits if Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act, according to a report released Monday by the Campaign for America’s Future. The study, which is also broken down by state, underscores the importance of the fight in the Senate for passage of the bill, which would level the playing field between employers and employees seeking to unionize. The bill (H.R. 800) passed the House in March, and is expected to be on the Senate floor soon.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Rice, McCain Spin

We were hoping to hear some tough questions asked of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on the Sunday talk shows. For Rice (CBS’ Face The Nation): You did not claim executive privilege when you were asked to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission. Isn’t it inconsistent to claim executive privilege now, when you’ve been subpoenaed to testify about the White House charge that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Niger? On ABC’s “This Week,” Rice pre-empted George Stephanopoulos. Without being asked, she delivered her talking point to justify her refusal to comply with a fresh House subpoena, when in 2004, the White House backed down from executive privilege claims and had her testify to the 9/11 Comisssion. I testified before the 9/11 Commission.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Rice, McCain Spin

We were hoping to hear some tough questions asked of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on the Sunday talk shows. For Rice (CBS’ Face The Nation): You did not claim executive privilege when you were asked to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission. Isn’t it inconsistent to claim executive privilege now, when you’ve been subpoenaed to testify about the White House charge that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Niger? On ABC’s “This Week,” Rice pre-empted George Stephanopoulos. Without being asked, she delivered her talking point to justify her refusal to comply with a fresh House subpoena, when in 2004, the White House backed down from executive privilege claims and had her testify to the 9/11 Comisssion. I testified before the 9/11 Commission.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog: Rice, McCain Spin

We were hoping to hear some tough questions asked of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on the Sunday talk shows. For Rice (CBS’ Face The Nation): You did not claim executive privilege when you were asked to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission. Isn’t it inconsistent to claim executive privilege now, when you’ve been subpoenaed to testify about the White House charge that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Niger? On ABC’s “This Week,” Rice pre-empted George Stephanopoulos. Without being asked, she delivered her talking point to justify her refusal to comply with a fresh House subpoena, when in 2004, the White House backed down from executive privilege claims and had her testify to the 9/11 Comisssion. I testified before the 9/11 Commission.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog:Rice, McCain Spin

We were hoping to hear some tough questions asked of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain on the Sunday talk shows. For Rice (CBS’ Face The Nation): You did not claim executive privilege when you were asked to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission. Isn’t it inconsistent to claim executive privilege now, when you’ve been subpoenaed to testify about the White House charge that Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Niger? On ABC’s “This Week,” Rice pre-empted George Stephanopoulos. Without being asked, she delivered her talking point to justify her refusal to comply with a fresh House subpoena, when in 2004, the White House backed down from executive privilege claims and had her testify to the 9/11 Comisssion. I testified before the 9/11 Commission.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog Wrap-up

Did the Sunday talk show hosts pose our Weekend Watchdog questions? Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice pre-empted ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Without being asked, she delivered her talking point to justify her refusal to comply with a fresh House subpoena, when in 2004, the White House backed down from executive privilege claims and had her testify to the 9/11 Comisssion. I testified before the 9/11 Commission. At the time, the President made clear that he did not consider that a precedent, but that the overwhelming concerns about 9/11 did make it necessary. Well, there you have it. It’s not a precedent because Bush said so. Besides, there’s no “overwhelming concerns” about how intelligence was manipulated anyway. Regarding Sen.

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Bill Scher

What Global Warming Split?

The New York Times analyzes its own environmental poll, and concludes, “Public Remains Split on Response to Warming.” But on the poll questions (PDF file) that relate to actual proposals in Congress, the public isn’t split at all.

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Bill Scher

Weekend Watchdog

Every Friday in our Weekend Watchdog feature, we post suggested questions for scheduled Sunday guests. You can add your own questions in the comment thread. We’ll also include contact information for the shows, so we can let them know what their viewers want asked. Then on Monday, we’ll circle back and see if our questions were asked and answered. Let’s take back our media! For Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (CBS’ Face The Nation): You did not claim executive privilege when you were asked to testify under oath to the 9/11 Commission.

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Bill Scher

Public NOT Split On Response To Global Warming

The New York Times analyzes its own environmental poll, and concludes, “Public Remains Split on Response to Warming.” But on the poll questions (PDF file) that relate to actual proposals in Congress, the public isn’t split at all.

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Bill Scher

Blogger Reaction to the Dem Debate

The most entertaining liveblog goes to Minnesota Monitor by a mile. D-Day laments: “the country suffers when the questions and the format are seemingly the opposite of what would generate anything informative. I have no idea who won. I don’t even know or remember anything I saw. It was like watching some inoffensive teen sex comedy and laughing the whole time and walking out of the theater and immediately wondering what anybody’s name was or what the movie was about.” Frameshop also doesn’t care for the moderation: “the frame for the debate has been scattered due to Williams’ constant ‘gotcha’ questions. Every question is a challenge to past problems of the candidates.

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Bill Scher

Anyone Care About Global Warming?

Surprisingly little questioning in the presidential debate about what needs to be done to combat global warming, though both former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Joe Biden were able to work in their support for caps on carbon emissions.

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Bill Scher

Your Liberal Media

For the health care portion of the presidential debate, moderator Brian Williams did not ask any candidate what they would do to provide universal health insurance. He only asked either “What taxes would you raise?” or “How would you pay for it?” It’s not an unimportant question, but it’s certainly not the only question. Except that is, for the media, which doesn’t seem interested in informing the public what health care proposals they have to choose from. UPDATE: One substantive question on health care did come up, but from a South Carolina citizen over email, picked by the local journalist serving as Williams’ co-moderator.

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