I don’t know for certain whether the Affordable Care Act will save money, cost money, or roughly break even. Nobody does. And if conservatives want to argue it's more likely to cost money--because, say, the subsidies are going to grow faster than the official projections suggest--that's a reasonable point to make. I think the evidence for that claim is pretty weak, but I can see how somebody could believe it and make a good faith argument along those lines. But I'm positively baffled by this argument that Democrats gamed the congressional budgeting system.
Charles Krauthammer writes: Suppose someone - say, the president of United States - proposed the following: We are drowning in debt. More than $14 trillion right now. I've got a great idea for deficit reduction. It will yield a savings of $230 billion over the next 10 years: We increase spending by $540 billion while we increase taxes by $770 billion. He'd be laughed out of town. Uh... why?
The other day I was pointing out the trickiness of conservatives following Charles Krauthammer and opposing the tax deal because it will improve economic growth in 2012: [N]either Romney nor Krauthammer quite say that the growth-boosting effects of the deal are a reason to oppose it. Rather they argue that the higher growth isn't worth the budgetary cost, making it surely the first time either one of them has rejected a debnt-financed tax cut on the basis of its effects on the national debt.
The award for Most Hilariously Propagandistic Election Interpretation, at least in the non-elected official category, goes to Charles Krauthammer. Here's the Fox News All-Star and Washington Post columnist explaining the 2010 result: Our two most recent swing cycles were triggered by unusually jarring historical events. The 2006 Republican "thumpin'" (to quote George W. Bush) was largely a reflection of the disillusionment and near-despair of a wearying war that appeared to be lost.
On the right, Charles Krauthammer says that the Republican gains in the midterm elections are a pure reflection of the fact that President Obama is more liberal than the country: No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country -- a country that is 80 percent non-liberal -- you get a massive backlash. ... The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic.
Nobody is asking this question. And I'm not asking it because I'm not sure it is a mistake. But that's far short of knowing it's a good and justified war, let alone a winnable one. My friend John Kerry, who once asked this question about Vietnam (and knows a lot about Afghanistan), isn't asking it either. But Bob Woodward is asking it very pointedly in his new book, Obama's Wars. The fact is that I'm maybe half-way through the book.
Synangogues were banned in New Amsterdam, and even after the signing of the Constitution, First Amendment protections didn't stop cities from preventing the construction of Jewish housesof worship, writes Jonathan Sarna in The Forward: In Connecticut, for example, statutes limited the right of religious incorporation to Christians long after the Bill of Rights mandated religious liberty for all on the federal level.
It's been an article of faith for several years now that the neoconservatives controlled George W. Bush. I've always considered that notion pretty exaggerated, and this bit from Jeffrey Goldberg's new Atlantic piece is pretty amusing: Bush would sometimes mock those aides and commentators who advocated an attack on Iran, even referring to the conservative columnists Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol as “the bomber boys,” according to two people I spoke with who overheard this. I'm starting to think I was too hard on the guy.
Is the “Ground Zero Imam,” Feisal Abd ar-Rauf, a moderate Muslim? I do not know. I have yet to read his books or peruse his speeches and sermons in all the languages that Mr. Rauf uses. Some of his short essays and interviews in English suggest that he is a preacher of moderate disposition and views.
It's become extremely common for conservatives to assert that the crash of the financial system in 2008 almost single-handedly enabled Barack Obama to win the presidential election. See, for instance, this: “We were crushed by circumstance,” communications director Jill Hazelbaker said after McCain’s speech. “The economic crisis was a pivotal point in this race.” Or this (from Charles Krauthammer): “It was rejection of the Bush administration, a weariness of war, and the rejection of an administration at a time of economic collapse.