Rich Frum, Poor Frum
September 08, 2008

I highly recommend reading David Frum’s sharp and provocative analysis in the New York Times, on the “Vanishing Republican Voter,” who is, despite other ideological underpinnings, falling prey to the siren call of Democratic economic policies.

Don't Believe The Hype: Mccain Is Still A Bush Republican
September 05, 2008

How did it play politically? Will it energize the base? Will it make swing voters swoon? As usual, your guess is as good as mine--or any of the pundits you see yapping on the television right now. Until the focus groups and polls come in, we're all just speculating. But I can register a verdict on substance. If this was McCain's answer to voter anxiety about the economy, it wasn't too impressive. As you've been reading--or, perhaps, as you've noticed on your own--economic policy has not been a big theme this week in Minneapolis.

Too Good To Check
August 21, 2008

  You've probably heard of Walt and Mearsheimer, the rabidly anti-Israel loons embraced by the left. But did you know there's a rabidly pro-Israel right-wing loon and his name is: Walton Mearsheimer. I kid you not. (Unless this is some kind of hoax.) Bizarro-world Mearsheimer has a new book entitled "Obamanable!

Crippling Medical Bills--coming To A Person Near You
August 20, 2008

One reason this country has never mustered the will to enact universal health care is that most Americans have felt their own insurance arrangements were adequate. They sympathized with the plight of people who couldn't pay their medical bills, but couldn't imagine themselves in that situation. A new report released Wednesday suggests that may be changing. The report, called "Losing Ground," comes from the Commonwealth Fund (which has underwritten some of my own research) and is based upon survey data the Fund has collected over the last few years.

Samantha Power's Special Pleading
August 20, 2008

Some 38, maybe 39 years ago, I received a phone call from someone I had vaguely known.  She was frantic. "Biafra," she cried, with reason enough, I agreed, to be frantic.  "Poets, poets, we must save the poets of Biafra," she went on. Which is where she lost me.   After the birth of our son in 1968 I had become involved in what was loosely called the Biafra movement. The provoking moment for me was very simple: we were on our bed with three-day old Jesse and there on the tube were three, four, five year olds, gaunt in face, bloated in belly, starving.

Obama's Batting Average Just Went Up
August 19, 2008

It's a typical summer night in the Cohn household, which means the Red Sox are on television. McCain has been advertising pretty heavily on the New England Sports Network (NESN) for the last few weeks, usually with some version of his "celebrity" ad, presumably to reach the heavy New Hampshire audience. Obama, meanwhile, has run far fewer spots--and what I've seen has been relatively tepid. (It's an unscientific sample, yes, but I catch most of the games, so I have at least some basis for making this judgment.) Tonight, though, the NESN broadcast included an Obama contrast ad.

War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, Ignorance Is Strength
August 15, 2008

At least the ignorance of others is strength. The ignorance of the West, or its disinterest in other peoples' lives, is the strength of...oops, I almost typed "the Soviet Union." No, it is old imperial Russia, quite vulnerable actually, like the Czar's Russia.

A School's Place In The Community
August 03, 2008

In the August/September issue of Policy Review, Stanley Fish has a long essay explaining why teachers should not strive to "fashion moral character or produce citizens of a certain temper." Instead, the goal of educators should be to "equip those same students with the analytical skills — of argument, statistical modeling, laboratory procedure — that will enable them to move confidently within those traditions and to engage in independent research after a course is over." Fish is much more concerned by classroom advocacy than seems warranted (although admittedly he probably has his ear pretty

Dear Barack Obama
July 19, 2008

Dear Senator Obama, Welcome to Israel. When you arrive here on July 22, you will encounter a people intrigued by your candidacy and, given the current crisis of Israeli leadership, envious of your capacity to inspire. Issues that have worried some Americans about your background have scarcely been noted here. The whispering campaign labeling you a Muslim wasn't taken seriously by mainstream Israelis. Nor are we fazed by your middle name: Half of Israel's Jewish population has origins in Muslim cultures.

Battle Of The Budgetary Nerds
July 09, 2008

As the presidential campaign wears on--particularly if it continues to look like Barack Obama is headed for victory--it will be interesting to see whether the tension between centrist deficit hawks and more liberal fiscal types that bubbled up in the wake of Jason Furman's hiring becomes more pronounced.