How They Did It
May 21, 2010
When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it. Unemployment was on the march, and all this talk about preexisting conditions and insurance exchanges barely registered above the Fox News pundits screaming, “Death panel!” Suddenly, health care reform was under attack everywhere—even in the West Wing. All week, the group had debated whether to scale back the reform effort.
How They Did It (Part One)
May 20, 2010
This is the first of a five-part series explaining, in remarkable detail, how Obama and the Democrats came to pass health care reform. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part, which reveals how Ted Kennedy wooed Max Baucus and what Rahm Emanuel promised the drug industry. When the president and his closest advisers huddled in the Oval Office last August, they had every reason to panic. Their signature piece of legislation, comprehensive health care reform, was mired in the Senate Finance Committee and the public was souring on it.
April 28, 2010
Last week, the tech blog Gizmodo scored a major scoop by publishing images and video of the brand new iPhone 4G, blasting the website's traffic into the stratosphere, embarassing the notoriously secretive Apple company, and prompting a police raid on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house. How did Gizmodo find the phone? A careless Apple engineer left the prototype in a bar. The story has dominated media conversations ever since, so we thought we'd put together some other tales of infamous items lost, stolen, or simply misplaced. Item: The U.S.
Why Are We Listening To Newt Gingrich?
April 09, 2010
R.L.G. at The Economist makes a nice catch: I'm not sure I've ever seen academic credentials put to such hackish ends as Newt Gingrich did today: The president of the United States—the most radical president in American history—has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people. He has said "I run a machine, I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it." Now that's where we are. But I want to remind you as a historian that there are two rules.
Defending Supreme Paranoia
March 20, 2010
Jonathan Bernstein dismisses my fears that the Supreme Court might overturn health care reform: Accepting for the sake of argument that Bush v.
Obama's Rage and the Palestinians' 'Days of Rage'
March 18, 2010
They are not unconnected. They are not unconnected at all. Now, presumably the president didn't want to provoke the rage of the Palestinians. (Although, then again, he might just have anticipated it.) But Palestinian rage is very easy to provoke. Snap your fingers and, there, you have it. You don't even have to rent a mob. It comes free will, so to speak. The fact is that Obama did more than snap his fingers. He sent out very top members of his administration to beat up on Israel and they did.
Revisiting The 2004 Democratic Presidential Field
March 10, 2010
My post from a couple days ago, about how my instincts about Howard Dean from 2004 have been vindicated, made me think of something: Just how awful was the 2004 Democratic primary field?
March 02, 2010
One casino has betting odds of various figures winning the 2012 presidential election. Hillary Clinton seems strangely high at 10-1 -- that line might be bait for those who still attribute supernatural powers to the Clintons. Sarah Palin is also 10-1, which I find plausible but uncomfortably high for a potentially cataclysmic event. Dick Cheney is very low, at 150-1, below Ron Paul (50-1), John Edwards (65-1) and even the Constitutionally ineligible Arnold Schwarzenegger (100-1.)
January 13, 2010
As readers may have discerned, if only from the Harry Reid "Negro Dialect" furor the big whoop in Washington during the last few days has revolved around Game Change, a 2008 campaign chronicle by DC press veterans John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The people flacking this book have done a brilliant job of trickling out "juicy" insider anecdotes in which major campaign figures do and say deeply embarrassing things.
January 12, 2010
Since I'm already reopening old wounds from the Democratic primary, I might as well reopen another. In December of 2007, Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, went on television and seemed to go out of his way to use the word "cocaine" as often as possible. Some Obama supporters objected to the tactic. This objection, in turn, became one of the Clinton defenders' favorite examples of the baseless suspicions to which her campaign was being subjected.