Health

There are all sorts of lingering questions about the timing of the Senate climate bill. It's not just a matter of whether something will pass. What are the odds something will pass before the Copenhagen talks? Earlier this week, John Kerry told a group of activists that he was "confident" his bill could win a floor vote before international negotiations pick up again in mid-December, but that seems awfully ambitious.

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So much for getting tough. No sooner had I finished praising her tough talk in Pakistan than she began walking it back. Clinton carefully scaled back her comments from a day earlier suggesting that some Pakistani officials knew where al-Qaida's upper echelon has been hiding and have done little to target them. When the U.S.

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  After four quarters of decline, GDP finally grew, and at a pace--3.5 percent annually--not seen since the summer of 2007. As my colleagues Alan Berube and Bill Galston point out, and as I argued last month, signs of economic growth don’t necessarily mean a rapid recovery, a sustained recovery, or even a recovery that feels meaningful to the vast majority of Americans. But that’s not the horse I want to ride today.

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Good Choice

Senator Ron Wyden has been promoting a universal health care plan for almost three years. And in the last few months, as it's become apparent that his plan wouldn't be the basis for final legislation, he's narrowed his cause to promoting one of its chief elements: "choice." The idea works this way: Under the proposals moving through Congress, most people with access to employer-sponsored insurance would have to take it.

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Philadelphia Freedom: The Most Noxious Sports Fans in America Have Gone Soft, by Buzz Bissinger Beyond the Danish Cartoon Controversy: Are Images of the Prophet Really Prohibited by Islam? by Oleg Grabar Don’t Get Too Excited About the New GDP Number--The Recovery Is Still Very Shaky, by Noam Scheiber The Public Isn't as Ready for Bold Action as Obama Needs It to Be, by William Galston Congress Finally Stands Up to Big Pharma, by Jonathan Cohn DISPUTATIONS: What Would Obama’s Presidency Look Like If He Didn’t Need to Get 60 Votes?

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Richard Yeselson is a research coordinator for the labor federation, Change to Win. The opinions he expresses are his own. Bill Galston thinks Democrats are in trouble because there's a non-trivial percentage of Americans who, because they are economically illiterate, wish to see rapid reductions of debt and deficits. He suggests that the Obama administration should seek to oblige them.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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