The Gop Debate (i.e., The Bubble Bath In Boca)
January 24, 2008

A couple of quick thoughts about tonight's debate: 1.) You'd probably expect it from a notorious Romney symp, but I thought the former Massachusetts governor had a very strong night. He was sharp out of the gate with a fluent answer about the recent stimulus compromise, solid again on Social Security, extremely well-informed in response to a gotcha question from Rudy Giuliani about federal hurricane insurance.

Some History--and Hope--on Health Care
January 23, 2008

If Americans decide to elect not just a Democratic president but also an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate this year, then universal health insurance will happen. But since the latter remains an unlikely possibility, at least for now, many very smart people assume that the short-term prospects for passing universal coverage are slim to none.

It Takes One To Know One
January 22, 2008

According to Newsweek, Clintonista and Ilinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel is telling Bill Clinton to turn the temper down a notch (hat tip: Matt Continetti): Prominent Democrats are upset with the aggressive role that Bill Clinton is playing in the 2008 campaign, a role they believe is inappropriate for a former president and the titular head of the Democratic Party. In recent weeks, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, both currently neutral in the Democratic contest, have told their old friend heatedly on the phone that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Sen.

A Key Newspaper Endorsement For Obama
January 22, 2008

Whatever you think of Obama's performance in last night's debate, his just-announced endorsement by The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper, could end up being just as influential if not more so in Saturday's primary. You can read the whole thing here. This passage is particularly interesting: On positions from Iraq to health care, the policy differences between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama are minute. Much of the debate between them has involved making these molehills look mountainous or clashing over who-shifted-when.

One War Mccain Wouldn't Fight...
January 22, 2008

The University of Michigan's Rebecca Blank recently wrote a thoughtful piece (pdf) grading the various presidential candidates on their plans to tackle poverty. Here's her bottom line on the Dem front-runners: Obama, Edwards, and Clinton all have multifaceted and serious anti-poverty plans. Anyone concerned with poverty issues could happily vote for any of them.

Bill's "calculated" Anger?
January 22, 2008

  There's been much talk lately about whether Bill Clinton is staging public outbursts for maximum media effect. (See Ben Smith's excellent piece on Bill's role.) One thing we know is that while in the past Clinton has generally suppressed his temper in the public eye, this side of the man hardly surprises who know him well.

Will Huck's Shtick Doom Him?
January 19, 2008

Spartanburg to Columbia, SCIf Huckabee loses tonight, you might be able to trace his fall here to the moment he decided to invite two young men named Matt Robins and Jared Shelton to travel with his campaign. Matt and Jared contribute acoustic Huck-themed cover songs like "Huck! I Need Somebody" and "Breakfast at Huckabee's"; they started at a Thursday rally at Clemson University.

Waxman: Administration Illegally Failed To Preserve Emails
January 18, 2008

For all of you folks worried that Henry Waxman's dogged campaign to make Major League Baseball shape up might distract him from his real mission in life--unearthing egregious instances of misconduct by the Bush administration--today's Washington Post story should set your minds at ease.

Is That Hillary Clinton Talking? Or Grover Norquist?
January 17, 2008

Barack Obama has taken a lot of grief for appropriating right-wing talking points.  And rightly so.  Consider health care.  When he has argued against "forcing" people to buy insurance, as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have proposed to do, he undermined the case for an individual mandate -- something virtually every expert agrees is necessary to achieve truly universal coverage.  But look who's talking like a conservative now.

Edwards Dropped The "a-bomb" Last Night
January 16, 2008

One more point about the Democratic debate in Las Vegas last night, specifically relating to the discussion of plans to turn Nevada's Yucca Mountain into a nuclear waste repository. Obama, Clinton, and Edwards each stated their unequivocal opposition to this plan, arguing that science has already shown it to be unsafe. While even this point is highly contentious, what followed was even more problematic. Edwards took time to clarify that he was the only one of the three to outright oppose nuclear energy.