Entertainment

Rahm Taking Direct Interest in Reg Reform
October 29, 2009

Earlier today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was up at the House Financial Services Committee testifying on the administration's proposal for dealing with threats to the financial system ("Too Big To Fail," etc.). One day earlier, he and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel held a closed-door meeting with Democrats on the committee to field questions about the proposal and urge them to hang together. For Rahm, it was at least the second time this week he'd participated in an event with top Treasury officials.

Daily Treatment, Revelations Edition
October 29, 2009

The business community is afraid of the public plan. David Williams says it shouldn't be. You'll never guess whose insurance policy pays for abortion services. Read Amy Sullivan to find out. The graphic truth about House versus Senate coverage provisions. Via the office of Rep. Jim Cooper, via Ezra Klein. That ridiculous claim of $700 billion in waste? Not so ridiculous after all. Christopher Weaver explains. And must-read of the day: Brian Beutler has reconstructed the deliberations about the public plan between the White House and Senate Democratic leadership.

Is Bayh Backing Off His Threat?
October 29, 2009

Could Evan Bayh be backing off his threat to join the Republican filibuster of the health care reform bill?

House to PhRMA: No Deal
October 29, 2009

Among the other important distinctions between the new House bill and what the Senate Finance Committee produced is the treatment of the pharmaceutical industry. The Senate Finance bill was true to the deal the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America struck with the White House and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, as first revealed by the New York Times and Huffington Post. PhRMA vowed to endorse reform and advertise on its behalf.

The Big Dig’s Legacy (cont.)
October 29, 2009

 Last week I wrote about how the mammoth cost overruns in Boston’s Big Dig project, among other things, continue to resonate when government proposes large scale public works projects.

Obama Drills Down on Afghanistan
October 29, 2009

Obama wants a study of the country at a micro-level. That seems reasonable enough in the abstract--but it's also coming a bit late. This, too, wasn't done during that January-March review? It also signals something less than a vote of total confidence in the judgment of the top U.S. commander on the ground, Stanley McChrystal. Moreover, it further indicates that we won't see a decision on troop levels in the next several days.

The Obama Factor
October 29, 2009

WASHINGTON--Memo to Democrats: You will be defined by President Obama whether you like it or not, so you might as well embrace him for the benefits he can bring you. Memo to Republicans: Talk a right-wing game in your ideological magazines and at your tea parties if that makes you happy. But to win elections, your candidates had better look like middle-of-the-road problem-solvers. Those are the two outstanding lessons from the campaigns for next Tuesday's governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia. Both parties would be smart to apply them in 2010. In Virginia, Democrat R.

Obama and the Veil
October 28, 2009

Let me be clear: I don't doubt for a moment that Barack Obama genuinely believes that he can calm the roils that trouble the United States in its relationship with the Muslim world and the Arab orbit within it. The problem is, alas, that he hasn't a clue. Moreover, he hasn't had the chance to learn. And maybe--just maybe--he is not inclined to learn because in his generation wisdom doesn't come from study but from ideological narrative. George W. Bush had his own favorite narrative.

About that New Plan for Afghanistan
October 28, 2009

I spoke to someone with military ties today who disdained the NYT's report this morning about a forming White House Afghanistan plan that would amount to  "McChrystal for the cities, Biden for the countryside." This person argued the story is misleading because McChrystal is already headed in this direction. Check out, for instance, this recent press release from the NATO forces in Afghanistan announcing a U.S.

Effigy Burning: Cheaper Than Prozac!
October 28, 2009

Randall Terry is clearly full of it when he says his ghastly "Burn In Hell" contest, which invites Halloween revelers to submit videos of themselves burning effigies of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, aims to help frustrated Americans "peacefully vent their rage." Terry's goal has always been to pour gasoline on the frustrations of the pro-life populace until it is hot enough to burn down the entire nation in God's name. He needs their rage like Fox News needs GOP press releases.

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