The Supreme Court on Monday struck down most parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, leaving in place the most controversial element but in a way that suggests it may not last for long. The Court announced no decision on health care reform, delaying that until a final session to be held on Thursday. Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post summarized the immigration decision: Monday’s decision on “papers please” rested on the more technical issue of whether the law unconstitutionally invaded the federal government's exclusive prerogative to set immigration policy.
Mark Blumenthal of The Huffington Post, perhaps the best public resource on the intricacies of polling, has taken an inside look into the nitty-gritty details of Gallup's polling. The piece is a must read for polling junkies, but the short story is that defensible methodological choices lead Gallup to under sample non-white voters and produce marginally more GOP-friendly results than other pollsters.
“He speaks English, and he has a hot wife.” —Andrew Tabler, Washington Institute For Near East Policy, explaining to the New York Times how the bloody Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad managed to get fawned over by Vogue, Paris Match, French Elle, the Huffington Post, and Barbara Walters.
Most experts expect the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the Affordable Care Act in the last full week of June. Few seem certain of what that ruling will say. The Court could uphold the law its entirety. It could strike down the law in its entirety. Or it could strike down part while leaving the rest in place. One very real possibility is that the Supreme Court invalidates the law's most controversial element, the individual mandate, but nothing else. Most of the commentary I've seen suggests such an outcome would be just as devastating as a decision to invalidate the law entirely.
Wisconsin by the Numbers Scott Walker cruised to a 53-46 win in the Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall, stunning Democrats expecting a tight race after early exit polls. Walker's victory was built on a GOP-friendly electorate, even whiter, older, richer, and less Democratic than the 2010 midterms, let alone 2008. Seniors represented 18% of the electorate, up from 16% in 2010 and 14% in 2008. The non-white share of the electorate fell from 11% in 2008 to 10% in 2010, to 9% in 2012. 20% of voters made more than $100,000/year, up from 16% in 2010 and 19% in 2008.
You’ve probably heard about the radical reduction in federal spending that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the Republican Party leadership has endorsed. But what would those cuts actually mean? How would they affect real people?
[Guest Post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported that a collection of Head Start agencies from ten different states have sued the Obama Administration, claiming a set of new regulations has unfairly jeopardized their federal funding. Roughly speaking, they're filing a lawsuit against their boss. As I wrote last week, the new rules state that Head Start providers that fail to meet certain criteria will have to compete for funding against other applicants.
Everybody calm down. And when I say everybody, I include myself. Tuesday’s oral argument at the Supreme Court was not the finest hour for health care reform, for the philosophy of activist government, or for Solicitor General Don Verrilli. But oral arguments don’t typically change the outcome of cases. They are important primarily for the signals they send about the justices’ thinking.
When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act two years ago, the law's proponents (including me) were confident of two things: That it would become more popular with time and that it would make our health care system more humane and efficient. History has not been kind to the first prediction. Most of the law’s components command broad support: Overwhelming majorities still support the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, for example. But overall the Affordable Care Act is unpopular.
[Guest post by Molly Redden] Today, I wrote about Rick Santorum’s college years, during which he was much less the conservative ideologue than he is today.