Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

I Need Glasses. Or A Bigger Tv.
January 28, 2009

I just glanced over at the television, which is tuned to MSNBC and carrying a press conference by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. It's on the other side of the room and, from a distance, it looked for a moment like Phil Gramm. Seeing Gramm's face at the White House press office made for a disturbing, if blessedly fleeting, moment. So be aware: It's an easy mistake to make. --Jonathan Cohn 

Republican Whining On S-chip, Cont'd
January 28, 2009

The Republican Senate leadership is trying to hold up extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), arguing that Democrats added new, more expansive provisions to the bipartisan compromise they passed previously. And, as I note below, there are good reasons for that. More people need help getting health insurance, because the economy is in such trouble. And the Democrats just won the presidency and extra Senate seats, after an election in which they ran on promises to expand expand programs like S-CHIP.

Elections Have Consequences, S-chip Edition
January 27, 2009

Via Congressional Quarterly, it seems that Senate Republicans are angry over the bill to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) now coming to the floor for a vote.

The Early Betting Line On Universal Coverage
January 26, 2009

Ezra Klein and I discuss the prospects for health care reform on Bloggingheads. We tried to disagree. Really, we did.     --Jonathan Cohn 

Will The House Kill Health Care Reform?
January 26, 2009

Historians will tell you that the Senate is where health care reform, like most sweeping pieces of liberal legislation, goes to die. But will this year's health care graveyard be in the House?

Your Hospital Shouldn't Make You Sick
January 22, 2009

When you go into the hospital, you probably worry most about whether your treatment is going to work. Will the medicine cure my disease? Will the surgery repair my broken body? But few people ever consider another kind of threat--the threat of hospital-born infection. According to some estimates, about two million people get preventable hospital infections every year. That's not only costly. It's also tragic, since nearly half of those people die. But there's now some good news to report.

Obama, Just As Advertised
January 21, 2009

Did you know President Obama's advisers seriously proposed establishing a national sales tax holiday to boost the economy--and that Obama rejected it, thinking it was a feel-good move that wouldn't make a long-term difference in the economy? Here's the full story, via Joe Klein's terrific new Time article about the transition, the Inauguration, and what lies ahead: In the midst of the transition, President Obama was faced with a telling policy choice: whether to declare a temporary sales-tax holiday. His economic advisers loved the idea.

Wsj: Health Care Reform Is On Deck
January 21, 2009

Amid the hoopla over the Inauguration Tuesday, a lot of people probably missed the Wall Street Journal story about Barack Obama's presidency and the fiscal challenges he'll face. And, in many ways, it was a fairly straightforward primer on the challenges of fulfilling Obama's ambitious spending proposals at a time of rising deficits. But the article also included this genuinely newsworthy item: The incoming administration plans to move fast on his proposal to overhaul the health-care system, with a major event at the White House, likely in March, two Obama officials said.

Non-believers Are Americans, Too.
January 20, 2009

Using inclusive language about religion is pretty much ritual now. If you're a politician giving a speech and you're going to cite one faith, you have to cite many--i.e., not just Christians, but Jews, Muslims, and Hindus as well. And that's a good thing. But if the standards of polite political discourse now require accepting people who pray to god in different ways, it doesn't require recognizing those who choose not to pray at all. At least not yet.

A Striking Rebuke Of Bush Foreign Policy
January 20, 2009

Reponsibility was the theme of President Obama's address--and I hope to unpack its meaning a little later. But, for me, the most striking part of the speech was the direct rebuke of former President Bush's foreign policy. Note, in particular, the initial passage (which I've bolded) about the need to live by the rule of law, even in matters of national security: As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.