Paul Waldman

Senator Rand Paul has spent much of the August recess engaged in typical political activities—attending a roundtable on school reform, participating in a fundraiser for a fellow Republican, and speaking at a local ham breakfast. But Paul also set aside some time for one more unusual activity: Helping some people to see. Paul, an ophthalmologist, performed several eye surgeries.

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Paul Waldman says: I doubt anyone would deny that at the moment, the Republican Party takes a harsher view of apostasy than their Democratic counterparts.  You know, I think I might be tempted to deny it.  Now, I’ll agree in one set of cases: primary elections in inhospitable states or districts.

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Ever since it became apparent that Republicans had a decent chance to win control of the U.S. House, it's been equally apparent that real political power carried real political risks for this particular incarnation of the GOP.

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Paul Waldman, today, writing at the American Prospect: The only problem is that there is no tyranny to rebel against. President Barack Obama isn't rounding up his opponents. He isn't punishing them for their free speech. He hasn't even raised anyone's taxes, save for a boost in the federal cigarette tax (we await the event where the tea partiers dump cartons of Marlboros into the Chesapeake). So what are the outrageous crimes that have driven the right to shout "Enough!" until their faces turn red?

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Medicaid (Help) For All?

  Under heavy political fire from left and right for his so-called “Cornhusker Kickback,” Ben Nelson said Thursday that he has begun negotiating with the Senate leadership to expand his Medicaid funding deal to all states.

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Doctors, who didn't win repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate formula in Medicare (Jay Newton-Small, Time) The insurance industry, which has turned out to be its own worst enemy (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect) The Washington media, which has all too predictably failed to tell an accurate story about the politics of the public option (Timothy Noah, Slate) Oh, and if you're going to read one thing today, check out Austin Frakt's post about low-income people with chronic health conditions or disabilities. Why does this matter?

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Buffaloed

Paul Waldman has a terrific column on Tim Russert. This paragraph sums it up pretty well: The core -- if not the entirety -- of this persona can be summed up in the word Russert invokes at every opportunity, wielded like a talisman of authenticity: Buffalo. Buffalo, where the salt of the Earth trudge home from their exhausting blue-collar jobs, where the cheap beer is guzzled in corner bars, where the grime sits heavy on the walls of crumbling buildings, and the mills have all left town. Buffalo, where the young Russert got to know the real Americans on whose behalf he now speaks.

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