Rush Limbaugh v. the Volt
August 02, 2010
The Chevrolet Volt was supposed to symbolize the resurgence of America's car industry while fostering energy independence.
Finishing 'The Treatment'
April 11, 2010
A little less than ten years ago, inside a dark hotel restaurant in Utica, New York, Gary Rotzler told me the story of wife Betsy. They had been high school sweethearts and, by the early 1990s, had settled into their version of the American dream: Three young children and a home in Gilbertsville, a village of around 400 people nestled into the foothills of the Catskill mountains. When Gary lost his job at a defense contractor, he lost his health insurance. After piecing together part-time construction work, he got his old job back—but as an independent contractor without benefits.
On Massachusetts, Jon Gruber, and Related Matters
January 08, 2010
Marcy Wheeler, who has written a lot of smart things about health care at her blog Emptywheel, has a series of new posts today about the work of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. If you read my blog, you're certainly familiar with Gruber, as both a frequent source of analysis and occasional outside contributor of items. Wheeler's posts today raise questions about both some of Gruber's arguments and Gruber's intellectual independence. First I'll address the arguments--or one of them, anyway.
What Can Families Actually Afford?
December 29, 2009
Health care reform will succeed or fail based on how it affects people’s pocketbooks. But coverage of the health care debate has addressed this question too infrequently and too abstractly. That's why Marcy Wheeler's new post at FireDogLake is a genuine public service. In it, Wheeler breaks down, in simple and clear terms, how a family of four making around $66,000 a year (three times the poverty line) would fare under the bill that just passed the Senate. You can question some of her assumptions, as Nate Silver does over at Five-Thirty-Eight.
Taking Ideological Differences Seriously
December 16, 2009
The latest intra-progressive dustup over health care reform displays a couple of pretty important potential fault lines within the American center-left. One has to do with political strategy, and the role of the Democratic Party and the presidency in promoting progressive policy goals and social movements. Like others engaging in the traditional year-end essays, I'll be writing about that subject extensively in the coming days. But the other potential fault line is ideological, and is sometimes hard to discern because it extends across a variety of issues.