October 01, 2009
When California's effort at health reform fell apart two years ago, Jordan Rau saw it first-hand, as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Now Rau is in Washington, following the reform debate for Kaiser Health News. And the plot line is starting to seem awfully familiar: In 2007, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed covering the state’s 6.5 million uninsured residents through a plan similar to the one Massachusetts had deployed the previous year.
Could California's Green Experiment Come To An End?
September 25, 2009
Do Republicans have to go green to have any prayer of winning a statewide race in California? For awhile, it sure looked that way. Back in 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to revive his gasping campaign by reinventing himself as an environmentalist. He scampered around the state in a lime-colored bus with a Yosemite National Park vista spray-painted on the side, scissored his way through all manners of ribbons on solar-paneled schools and the like, and signed A.B. 32, a bill that aimed to cut California's carbon-dioxide emissions 25 percent by 2020. He coasted to re-election that fall.
The Mini-Review: 'Extract'
September 03, 2009
What is the most boring job in the world? It’s a question that filmmakers have addressed, usually obliquely, countless times. Often, the dullness of a feigned career is offered in ironic counterpoint to the excitement of a real one--Tom Cruise’s cover identity working as a traffic analyst in Mission Impossible III (which actually sounded somewhat fascinating) or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sunlighting as a software salesman in True Lies (which decidedly did not).
September 02, 2009
Why has President Obama’s popularity slid over the last few months? One common explanation is that he’s governed in too liberal a fashion--too much big government, too fast. David Brooks makes this case in today’s New York Times. “By force of circumstances and by design, the president has promoted one policy after another that increases spending and centralizes power in Washington,” he writes. “The result is the Obama slide, the most important feature of the current moment.” Is Obama really sliding because of his liberal policies?
Can Crist Survive As A Green Republican?
August 18, 2009
In recent years, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been, along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Connecticut's Jodi Rell, one of the very few truly green Republicans on the national landscape. And I'm not even grading on a curve; Crist really does have a stellar track record. Back in 2007, he signed a series of executive orders to reduce Florida's greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, with even stronger targets for electric utilities and state agencies. He's also been instrumental in crafting a deal with U.S. Sugar to buy back and restore parts of the Everglades.
Beat The Clock
May 05, 2009
Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Blog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. During the fifth and last of the White House Regional Forums on Health Reform, held in Los Angeles several weeks ago, domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes didn't provide much detail about the substance of health reform. But she did provide a timeline.
'Silence is Suicide!'
February 23, 2009
Sacramento, California A 12-foot inflatable ATM machine sat outside the Sacramento Hyatt this past weekend, emblazoned with the words “California Taxpayers--Already Taxed To The Max!” The display was one of many illustrations of the anger of delegates here at the California Republican Convention, which met just days after a handful of Republicans in the state legislature broke party ranks to vote for a budget that included $12 billion in new taxes.
Sebelius, Romney, Arnold...yes, No, Maybe
February 03, 2009
Lots and lots and lots of speculation out there about who should succeed Tom Daschle. A few things to keep in mind. 1. It's not a given that Obama will appoint one person to oversee both the White House health reform office and the Department of Health and Human Services. Daschle was uniquely equipped to handle both jobs simultaneously (and was not, to be perfectly honest, necessarily ideal for HHS). As I wrote earlier today, it seems more likely to me that Obama will divide the job and appoint separate replacements for the separate posts. 2 .
Attack Of The Obama T-shirts
November 02, 2008
COLUMBUS, OHIO--Like many in DC, New York, and other big cities, I've been fascinated by the proliferation of Obama gear on the streets. T-shirts, hats, bags, scarves--you name it, and somebody's selling it. A friend working for the Obama team in Chicago said he and others have received loads of t-shirt design submissions--most of which were politely rejected for being a tad on the gaudy side. So it was no surprise today that as an expected 30,000-person crowd greeted the Obama family at Ohio's state house, dozens of vendors were hawking wares on the surrounding blocks.
The Fantastic Five
September 02, 2008
With Mitt Romney slated to speak at the Republican convention tonight, the question on (at least some) people’s minds is what a certain Romney quintet has been doing since Mitt’s White House hopes dimmed. During the race for the Republican presidential nomination, you’ll remember, Romney’s five sons--by descending age: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig--livened up the campaign trail with their gee-whiz antics, fraternal banter, and out-of-this-world bone structure. Their rise to fame began in early 2007, when they launched a blog, Five Brothers, on their dad’s campaign website.