Health

‘He Hasn’t Lost Anything Yet’
November 02, 2009

It was Halloween 2001, and Kennesaw State freshman Nick Ayers was sitting anxiously in an Atlanta airplane hangar. A friend had recommended him for a campaign position with Republican state senator Sonny Perdue, who was mounting a long-shot gubernatorial run against Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes. The portly, middle-aged politician disembarked his Bellanca Super Viking and, as Ayers recounts the story, walked down the stairs holding a lid-less cup of coffee. Eager to make a good first impression, the nervous blonde teenager extended his hand for a firm shake.

Color Commentator
November 02, 2009

The saga of Rush Limbaugh and his failed attempt to acquire a piece of the St. Louis Rams may be the quintessential postmodern American racial incident. When word first leaked of Limbaugh's potential ownership, a couple of sportswriters, joined by a handful of cable news talking heads, repeated what turned out to be totally unsubstantiated quotes by Limbaugh praising slavery and James Earl Ray.

Product Roll-Out
November 02, 2009

WASHINGTON--The next health care fight has already started. It's the battle to define the bill that President Obama will eventually sign as a victory for consumers, taxpayers and the common good. You might say this view is premature. Legislation has yet to pass the House or the Senate, there are differences between the two bodies, and some moderates still have doubts. But barring astoundingly self-defeating behavior by Democrats, a decent bill will get to Obama's desk.

Weight Watchers
October 31, 2009

In New Jersey, any candidate for high office can count on getting smeared over taxes, corruption, the economy, or all of the above. But in this fall's hard-fought gubernatorial race, an unlikely issue has popped up amidst the usual mud-slinging: the portly physique of Republican challenger Chris Christie. Ever since Jon Corzine released his now-infamous attack ad, in which a disdainful voiceover claims Christie improperly "threw his weight around" as a U.S. Attorney, neither candidate has managed to entirely escape the politics of fat.

Today At TNR (October 31, 2009)
October 31, 2009

From Grover “Uncle Jumbo” Cleveland to Chris Christie, a History of Smearing Heavyweights in American Politics, by Dave Jamieson The Fork in J Street: Will the New Israel Lobby Disavow Its Extreme Left Flank? by James Kirchick Philadelphia Freedom: The Most Noxious Sports Fans in America Have Gone Soft, by Buzz Bissinger Why Gavin Newsom Dropped Out, by Joe Mathews A Health Care Proposal That Should Absolutely Be in the Final Bill, by Jonathan Cohn Who Came out of the Honduran Crisis Looking the Best? Hillary. by Francisco Toro and Juan Nagle What Does Joe Lieberman Really Want?

Organizing for America--Bonus Pack!
October 30, 2009

Organizing for America is a complicated beast, and my story yesterday couldn’t quite contain some of the interesting things about it. For all the activism geeks out there, here are some outtakes. About elections: OFA doesn’t just exist to push the administration’s agenda.  If all of its issue campaigns failed, OFA would still serve the purpose of keeping volunteers engaged so they’re ready to help in 2012. "In '04, if you opened your door, it was a paid staffer coming to your door,” OFA deputy director Jeremy Bird told me.

What Does Joe Lieberman Want?
October 30, 2009

From a Guardian column by Maura Keaney on Lieberman: Joe Lieberman has become the Balloon Boy dad of the Senate Democratic caucus, a fame-whore so addicted to media attention that he hatches ever-more-desperate and risky schemes that sell out his "family" to earn press attention. It's a catchy lead, but I think this misdiagnoses Lieberman's motivations for his filibuster threat on health care legislation that includes the public option.

Could A Boycott Bog Down The Senate Climate Bill?
October 30, 2009

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.

Update: Hillary Backpedals in Pakistan
October 30, 2009

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.

Where Is the Economic Recovery?
October 30, 2009

  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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