THE NEW YEAR IS A TIME for new beginnings, and one of the most important new beginnings we could have in America is a return to a democratic (small-d) Senate.
Tomorrow is the only day of the year that a simple majority in the Senate can change the rules, so that a majority can pass a law.
Until recently, the filibuster—originally just a loophole in the Senate rules—has been an occasional tool for the minority to force more debate on a bill, or, much less frequently, to actually try to block one.
THERE ARE MANY differences between liberals and conservatives, but I think the most striking lies in their respective definitions of freedom.
I've posted on this topic before, tracing the distinction through various issues, but the bottom line is something like this:
At Festivus, that time of year
YEARS AGO, WHEN I was still a devout Christian, earning a degree in theology at a local seminary, I had a rather unpleasant exchange with an atheist.
It's just one more attempt to divide America by dividing Americans.
We had known his fiancé a long time, and when she announced her engagement we had invited them to dinner.
He arrived first.
I brought him into our living room, and began the sort of small talk strangers make on first meeting.
THIS IS THE FINAL post in a series on fixing the deficit and getting us out of this Republican recession.
You are going to be told a lot of lies before all this is over.
You are going to be told that the deficit is so big that it can't be cured by tax cuts alone.
You are going to be told that the middle class has to take the hit, because that's the only way out.
It's all nonsense.
I PROMISE TO SHUT UP for a while about taxes, after next Monday's post, which will complete the series on how to eliminate the deficit.
There are other important issues in the world—Christmas, spirituality, Wikileaks, how we think about morality, etc.
But the tax issue is important—more important than most Americans realize.
So today, just before finishing up that series, I'm taking the time to make clear what the Republicans, with an assist from the President, just did to the deficit, the economy, and the American Dream.
Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
THIS IS GOING TO BE a short post.
The House is going to consider the "best deal we could get" today, and I just want to ask why the best deal we could get is the one the Republicans wanted?
It's time that the "best deal we can get" is really a deal, really a half-way point between two sides, not just a rubber stamp on the position of an ideological minority.
It's a rhetorical question.
A READER POINTED OUT the Times puzzle on fixing the deficit to me, a week or two ago, and since then I've been exploring the choices before us.
It's rather discouraging that the problem seems so simple to fix, even while addressing the recession at the same time, and that the politicians seem intent on keeping the system broken anyway.
Here are the next nine recommendations, in a plan which would not only eliminate the deficit and create a surplus, but which would strengthen our economy and the middle class at the same time: