Environment

When I read today's Politico piece about Liz Cheney's new "Keep America Safe," a foreign-policy focused group aimed at saving this nation from the "radical" Obama White House, two things immediately sprang to mind: 1. With every passing week, Bill Kristol sounds more like an overcaffeinated Ann Coulter: "The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys needs some help too." What an appalling jackass. 2.

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Mike Allen's "Playbook" helpfully anticipated the conventional wisdom in response to Olympia Snowe's "yes" vote today:  —SNOWE VOTES “YES”: Clearly the outcome Baucus is rooting for, as he made a lot of concessions to bring her onboard. The bipartisan nod Snowe brings to the bill strengthens Baucus’s hand as he, Reid and Dodd merge the Health and Finance committee bills. Snowe’s buy-in makes it easier for Baucus and Reid to sell reform to moderate Democrats — think Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Bayh — who are arguably more conservative than Snowe.

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Activists on the left have long insisted that insurance companies aren’t to be trusted. But up until now, it's been hard to make the charge stick, since the insurance lobby--a.k.a., America's Health Insurance Plans--has been cooperating with the White House and its allies.  AHIP's new paper, though, may have changed things.

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On Friday morning, Diana Farrell--a senior White House official--made a significant statement on NPR’s Morning Edition, with regard to whether our largest banks are too big and should be broken up. “Ms. DIANA FARRELL (Deputy Assistant for Economy Policy): We understand Simon Johnson’s views on this, and I guess the response is the following….   “Ms.

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For the last twenty-four hours or so, analysts and experts have been poking holes in the new study, commissioned by and for the insurance industry, purporting to show that health care reform would raise insurance premiums. But now one of the experts everybody (myself included) has quoted has put together a quick memo showing that, at least for people trying to buy coverage through the new exchanges, premiums would actually come down. Way down. The expert is MIT economist Jonathan Gruber.

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That seems to be the takeaway from her interview this morning with NBC's Ann Curry, which contained this back and forth, as transcribed by the WaPo's Garance Franke-Ruta (under the hed Hillary Clinton Bids Presidential Hopes Adieu): "Will you ever run for president again? Yes or no," Curry asked. "No," replied Clinton. "No?" Curry followed up. "No. No," Clinton emphasized. "I mean, this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job. And I'm looking forward to retirement at some point." Seems fairly Sherman-esque. Then again, there's that "I mean," which suggests a certain hesitation on Clinton's part.

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I was a little disconcerted a few weeks ago when I read that Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee was weakening the proposed consumer financial regulator. As the Journal reported: Mr.

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I am back again to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo. And here's what I wrote about it in early summer. Among other topics, the president focused for a long moment on the hijab (and, in case you want to buy one, here is a link to Hijab Girl, a salacious hook, if you don't mind me saying so.)  And here is what Obama said on the topic word for word: “[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders.

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The Wall Street Journal has the goods on the medical device industry’s “11th hour scramble” to hammer out a health care deal with the Baucus folks. In dispute is the $40 billion in fees that the Senate Finance bill would impose on the device industry—a proposal that isn’t in any of the other bills.

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Potential Problems

If Obama's Nobel peace prize does nothing else, it at least has briefly united Michael Steele and the Taliban. And, I have to confess, my initial reaction was the same as theirs, and pretty much everyone's outside the White House: What has Obama done to deserve this? But if you think about it for a second, desert is almost irrelevant here.

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