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How to Beat the Blues
February 15, 2010

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. As President Obama has said, the rate hikes and practices of Anthem Blue Cross of California are the “coming attractions” of our health system without reform.

Against Common Sense
November 30, 2009

Conservatives would have us believe that they hold a monopoly on common sense. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and many other right-wing rabble-rousers regularly portray themselves as defenders of the good, old-fashioned common sense of average Americans against an out-of-touch liberal elite.

Epic Fail
November 05, 2008

As investors all around the world ran scared this past month, their panic was about the only thing easy to understand. The global financial system was collapsing and almost nobody could say--in plain English--what exactly was fueling such a gigantic crisis. Not the president, who offered insipid generalities; nor the presidential candidates, who stuck to old themes like earmarks, taxes, and deregulation.

Daddy Dearest
October 30, 2006

Most parents feel a twinge of anxiety at the thought of leaving their teenagers unsupervised for any length of time. It’s not that the kids are bad; it’s just that, set free from parental oversight, the urge to run wild can prove irresistible. The 1983 Tom Cruise hit Risky Business provided a worst- case template for how quickly things can spiral out of control: One minute, your super-responsible son is lip-synching Bob Seger tunes in his underpants.

Error Message
January 23, 2006

When the Jack Abramoff scandal first broke, the main Republican line of defense was to construe the problem as narrowly as possible.

Pick and Lose
August 22, 2005

Has any word done more to cloak the modern conservative agenda than "choice"? As President Bush and Republican congressional leaders regularly remind us, Social Security privatization would give workers investment choices, school vouchers would give parents education choices, and Medicare privatization would give retirees health care choices. All of this is technically true: Social Security privatization, for example, really would present new opportunities for investing retirement savings.

Crisis of Faith
May 02, 2005

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."--Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 "We have a responsibility that, when somebody hurts, government has got to move."--George W. Bush, September 1, 2003   Conservatism isn't over. But it has rarely been as confused. Today's conservatives support limited government. But they believe the federal government can intervene in a state court's decisions in a single family's struggle over life and death. They believe in restraining government spending.

Lincoln v. Lincoln
May 10, 2004

by Jeffrey Rosen

Happy days
November 11, 1996

Popular opinion may still support him as against the outrageous Republican alternative, and may yet conceal ... a growing and substantial dissatisfaction because of the meager results that have followed his magnificent promises, and because of the confusion and lack of direction that his rapidly shifting and self-contradictory program embodies. --"Is Roosevelt Slipping?" TNR, August 14, 1935. As President Clinton prepares to become the first two-term Democrat since FDR, commentators on the left and the right are busy expressing skepticism about his achievement.

Affirmative Action: A Solution
May 08, 1995

Is there a middle ground on affirmative action, an oasis between radical color-blindness on the right and racial quota-mongering on the left? As President Clinton prepares to unveil his conclusions on the subject, it's hard not to sympathize with his political predicament, but hard also not to anticipate his speech with a sense of dread. Having raised expectations so dramatically, he no longer has the luxury of embracing contradictory positions, or retreating into euphemisms. But is his task impossible?

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