Peter Wehner, the former aide to Karl Rove and Minister of Propaganda for the Bush administration, likes a good feud as much as I do, and since I’ve been poking fun at him sporadically for months, I’ve been eagerly awaiting his response. It has finally arrived, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, another favorite punching bag of mine, has deemed the occasion sufficiently exciting to warrant an extended editorial page excerpt.
In early November we noted some atypically lousy reporting from the Washington Post concerning recovery programming. Unfortunately, it looks like the incredibly shrinking Washington Times also decided to get into the unbalanced reporting on ARRA game. Rather than unfairly characterizing programs, this time the reporting focused on… well, reporting itself. Using data from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the Times noted that $375 million in recovery dollars was delivered to nonexistent zip codes. Now, I’m not going to get into the business of defending reporting failures
Health care reform looks like it’s finally ready to pass the Senate, now that the Democrats have 60 votes in hand. But here on the left, not all of us are jumping for joy. Some think the Senate bill is just barely better than nothing. Others think it’s worse than even that. As this argument goes, health care reform won’t do all that much to help people who need it. Insurance will still be expensive and even people who have coverage will discover they owe significant out-of-pocket expenses once they get sick.
A plan for America’s greatest urban disaster
For much of the United States, Detroit has become shorthand for failure--not just because of the dilapidation of the town’s iconic industry, but because the entire metropolis seems like a dystopian disaster. It is the second-most-segregated metropolitan area in the country; the city’s population is 82 percent African American. No other American city has shed more people since 1950--Detroit is only half its former size.
Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. Democratic senators and staff are still crowing about the latest Congressional Budget Office scores. According to CBO, the Senate bill costs out at $848 billion, and is estimated to reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion by 2019. Mazol Tov to Senator Reid for the good numbers.
I never thought I'd write a blog post defending the existence of states--at least no more than I thought I'd write one defending the existence of, say, brunch or toilet paper. But Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein have the laboratories of democracy squarely in their crosshairs. In Ezra's words, "I just don't consider states to be a particularly useful political unit." And this, sadly, isn't an isolated sentiment among liberals these days. Look no further than the popularity of the mildly offensive "Tenther" label--as if states' rights are just a wacky conspiracy theory and people who believe i