Mark Souder, You Broke My Heart
May 22, 2010

Washington—A fall from grace of the sort experienced recently by Indiana's Mark Souder typically brings smiles to the faces of liberals weary of moralistic religious types who preach one thing and do another.  But I took no pleasure in Souder's resignation from Congress last week after it was revealed that the conservative evangelical Republican had an affair with a part-time staff member. I always thought he was the real deal, both serious and thoughtful in his approach to religious and political questions.

Financial Excess Still Claiming Car Country Casualties
May 21, 2010

In Michael Lewis’ disturbing but illuminating book unearthing the machinations behind the global financial crisis, The Big Short, one of the Wall Street investors enmeshed in creating the web of sub-prime mortgage-backed securities and related derivatives reports on how he knew the bubble was going to burst.

The Son Also Rises
May 19, 2010

In a night of big political developments, the one that will echo for some time is the victory by Rand Paul in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary. Why? Well, for one thing, it’s not often that someone leapfrogs a still-active and very famous congressional father to get a short track to the U.S. Senate.

Industry Groups Love The Senate Climate Bill. But Why?
April 23, 2010

According to Kate Sheppard, John Kerry has been telling people that he's lined up some serious industry support for his climate bill, which will be released on Monday. The Edison Electric Institute, which represents private electric utilities, will reportedly back the legislation, and the American Petroleum Institute will at least refrain from attacking it too bitterly. Meanwhile, the Post reports that Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips will likely back the bill, too.

Contract With America Redux
April 15, 2010

Politico reports that Republicans can't agree on their new Contract With America: Republicans are salivating over the prospect of winning back the House in November, and they’re planning to produce a new “Contract With America” in the hopes of sealing the deal.  The catch: They don’t agree yet on what should be in it.  House Minority Whip Eric Cantor wants a document, akin to Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract With America, that identifies specific pieces of legislation Republicans could pass if they win back the House.

The Obama Basketball Cover-Up
April 06, 2010

I honestly can't tell if this, from the Weekly Standard, is a parody: I can't resist asking a few questions about the president's "shooting competition" versus Clark Kellogg: 1. Why wear shorts on Air Force One in Europe -- and regularly not wear ties at events of a somewhat formal nature -- and then wear a tie to play hoops? 2.

Is There a Doctor in the House? Or Anywhere Else?
April 02, 2010

My former TNR colleague Suzy Khimm had a nice piece yesterday about a familiar but hugely important issue: poor Medicaid reimbursement rates that lead primary care doctors and specialists to avoid treating poor people. This issue was only partly addressed in health care reform. No one doubts it will fester, becoming a sore point between providers and policymakers and between the states and the federal government. By chance, the electronic version of Pediatrics also arrived yesterday.

Why the House's Swing Dems Must Vote Yes
March 18, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] I try to explain the political imperative of voting for health care reform if you're a moderate Dem in this recent Bloggingheads appearance. (Apologies to Rep. Mike Arcuri, whom I referred to as Mike "Acuri" in my discussion.)  Also, my sparring partner, The American Prospect's Mark Schmitt, makes a great point about the way transparency and media scrutiny have deprived us of the legislative giants we pine for in moments like this.

Ex-Village People
March 05, 2010

However Americans feel about the federal government, they are generally happy with their local governments.  Last month, a CNN poll quantified this disparity: 26 percent of people trust the feds all or most of the time, about a third feel that way about their states, and 52 percent trust their localities. But those warm feelings have a downside: throughout the Northeast and Midwest, there is a profusion of overlapping, duplicative, general and special purpose governments that impose a staggering array of costs. Ohio has 3,800 local government jurisdictions, including 250 cities, 695 villages,

The Republican Civil War
March 02, 2010

All across the country, Republicans are fantasizing about a gigantic electoral tide that will sweep out deeply entrenched Democratic incumbents this November. In their telling, this deep-red surge will be so forceful as to dislodge even legislators who don’t look vulnerable now, securing GOP control of both houses of Congress. But could this scenario really come to pass? That will depend, in part, on what type of Republican Party the Democrats are running against in the fall. Hence the importance of this year's Republican civil war.