Open Thread

By NB Staff | December 22, 2009 | 10:43 AM EST
Starter topic: Ford offers all of its unionized employees buyouts. Will most workers accept knowing that the UAW's greed and mismanagement is what caused GM and Chrysler to go belly-up, or will most decline not being able to see who the real problem in the auto industry is?
By NB Staff | December 21, 2009 | 9:44 AM EST

Last night, on a party-line vote, the Senate moved toward passage of Democrats' latest version of a health insurance overhaul. Question: Will their reckless defiance of public opinion help or harm them in the longer term? Yes, argues Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson:

[T]he finished product will fall far short of Obama's extravagant promises. It will not cover everyone. It will not control costs. It will worsen the budget outlook. It will lead to higher taxes. It will disrupt how, or whether, companies provide insurance for their workers. As the real-life (as opposed to rhetorical) consequences unfold, they will rebut Obama's claim that he has "solved" the health-care problem. His reputation will suffer.  

Blogger Instapunk, however, sees it differently:

Yes, the Dems will experience huge losses at the polls in 2010, but even the rosiest of all possible electoral scenarios is nowhere near rosy enough to undo the damage the bill would cause. The Republicans could retake the House, but not by the majority the Democrats presently hold. It's less likely, though remotely possible, that Republicans could retake the Senate. However, there's no way on earth the Republicans could command the 60-40 majority that has made possible the currently imminent hijacking of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. [...]

That's why Democrats in the House and Senate are prepared to commit political suicide to pass this bill in the first place. If any bill passes, the federal bureaucracy will permanently control a huge new chunk of our lives and liberties.

Who's right?

By NB Staff | December 20, 2009 | 11:22 AM EST

New Orleans is no longer undefeated. What will today's surprises be?

By NB Staff | December 20, 2009 | 10:53 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: ObamaCare is coming to town.With Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) selling his soul Saturday, it looks like healthcare reform is imminent. Is there anything the GOP can do to stop it, or is this ship getting ready to sail?Will the passage of this bill help or hurt Democrats in next year's elections?Finally, Louisiana's Democrat Senator will forever be known as Mary "Louisiana Purchase" Landrieu.

By NB Staff | December 19, 2009 | 11:14 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Epic snowstorm to hit Washington, D.C., as President Obama returns from the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.Coincidence, or is Mother Nature saying something to the folks that actually believe in the global warming myth?

By NB Staff | December 18, 2009 | 9:20 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: House approves $290 billion increase in debt limit.

By NB Staff | December 17, 2009 | 9:23 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: the permanent Democratic majority may not be so permanent.

By NB Staff | December 16, 2009 | 9:14 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: what ever happened to the Obamacons?

By NB Staff | December 15, 2009 | 9:34 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Gore gets his hand caught in the climate jar.

By NB Staff | December 14, 2009 | 9:43 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: has the Medicare buy-in road to single payer been the plan all along?

Thankfully, Lieberman may have seen through this ploy. Will others?

By NB Staff | December 13, 2009 | 1:06 PM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: you tell us.

By NB Staff | December 12, 2009 | 10:40 AM EST

For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: government employees getting raises during a recession.