Jonathan Cohn

Senior Editor

Good Mitt, Bad Mitt

Manchester, New Hampshire--The early conventional wisdom is that Thursday’s tragedy in Pakistan will help the Republican candidate with the most foreign policy experience (John McCain) and the one most associated with 9/11 (Rudy Giuliani). For all I know about the dynamics of Republican primary politics, that’s correct.

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I'm not going to offer an opinion on who "won" the Democratic debate because the question seems pointless to me. (What does it mean to "win" anyway?) But I can pinpoint a winner from today's report on steroids in baseball. It's Barry Bonds. The report, which culminates a twenty-month-long investigation by former Senator George Mitchell, details just how pervasive steroid use in baseball was starting in late 1980s.  It implicates everybody -- owners, general managers, the players union.

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With the Iowa caucuses less than a month away, it's important to scrutinize the health care reform plans of the leading Democratic presidential candidates.  But it's also important to keep these differences in perspective.  Hillary Clinton and John Edwards would require everybody to obtain insurance, Barack Obama wouldn't.  But they're all talking about the same goal: Covering every single American though some sort of government action.  And their plans still have a great deal in common.  That's a good thing. You almost never hear that kind of talk on the other side of the aisle.  With a few i

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Mandate Overboard

After all three Democratic presidential candidates released their health care proposals this year, a general consensus emerged on who was going to do what. Barack Obama had put forward a substantial plan that would reach a lot of people; Hillary Clinton and John Edwards had put forward even more ambitious plans that would reach even more people.

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For those who aren't yet convinced Barack Obama is on the wrong side of the health care debate—like, for example, whoever wrote this piece for the Concord Monitor—my latest take on the issue is now up here. Quick and dirty version: Mandates good, Obama wrong. Of course, you'll have to read the article to see why.

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By now, almost everybody in Iowa and quite a few people beyond it have heard Hillary Clinton or John Edwards attack Barack Obama over his health care plan.Edwards and Clinton would both require every American to obtain insurance, a proposal known to policy wonks as an “individual mandate.” Obama would require all children to have insurance, but not all adults. Citing that difference, Edwards and Clinton have said that Obama's plan could leave as many as 15 million people without insurance. Curious where they that number came from? Well, it seems to come from me.

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I agree with a lot of what Jason writes below. The experience issue should be tricky for Hillary Clinton—and it's best we see now whether she can deal with it. But I disagree with him—and, more importantly, with Barack Obama—that she's constantly trying to take credit for her husband's successes and avoid blame for his failures. The reason? Health care. Even before she ran for president, she was talking constantly about the mistakes she made and the flaws of that plan.   This is despite the fact that Paul Starr, who was there, has suggested her critics overstate her influence.

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More than a decade ago, Michael Kinsley, the journalist and former editor of this magazine, developed Parkinson's disease-- a degenerative condition that impairs motor and speech control, producing tremors, rigidity, and eventually severe disability. While the standard regimen of medications helped, he knew that his symptoms were bound to get steadily worse with time. He needed something better--something innovative--before the disease really progressed. In 2006, he got it at the famed Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.The treatment Mike received is called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS for short.

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Creative Destruction

The best case against universal health care.

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More than a decade ago, Michael Kinsley, the journalist and former editor of this magazine, developed Parkinson's disease--a degenerative condition that impairs motor and speech control, producing tremors, rigidity, and eventually severe disability. While the standard regimen of medications helped, he knew that his symptoms were bound to get steadily worse with time. He needed something better--something innovative--before the disease really progressed. In 2006, he got it at the famed Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The treatment Mike received is called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS for short.

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