Pennsylvania

What An Eight Percent Advantage In The Battlegrounds Entails
June 27, 2012

So, you think Obama leads by 8 percentage points in the swing states, as suggested by last night’s NBC/WSJ survey? Before you jump on the bandwagon, understand what that entails: a blowout.   In 2008, Obama carried NBC/WSJ’s twelve swing states by 7.7 percentage points.  A result like last night’s poll would require a repeat performance, even as most polls show Obama’s standing substantially worse than four years ago. Obama’s big 7.7 percent advantage was driven by decisive victories in several states, including big states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The Network
June 22, 2012

THERE WAS A TIME when it was no fun to be a Mormon in Washington. In 1903, Utah sent a Mormon named Reed Smoot to the U.S. Senate, prompting a series of hearings the following year to decide whether a Mormon should be even permitted to serve in the chamber. The trial had nothing to do with Smoot’s qualifications and everything to do with his strange-seeming faith, in particular its association with polygamy. “It is the Mormon Church that we intend to investigate,” thundered Senator Julius C.

How Lucky is Obama in His Opponent?
June 20, 2012

The new Bloomberg poll showing Barack Obama up 13 points over Mitt Romney is an obvious outlier. But it is prodding me again to a question that has been nagging at me the past few weeks: how is that Obama is not in truly serious trouble? All the talk recently has been of Obama’s prospects slipping, with him now only a couple points ahead of Romney, at best, in most polls. But he should be slipping! The economy, after showing signs of a solid recovery just a few months ago, is gasping for air again, and there may be worse on the way. This should be disastrous for the incumbent.

Yes, Pennsylvania Is Still a Swing State
June 18, 2012

The past month has seen the momentum of the 2012 presidential election shift significantly. The national race is now in a virtual dead heat, and most key swing states are within the margin of error. And most important, it appears that Mitt Romney has expanded the playing field to include some states previously thought to be securely in President Obama’s column—including, in my view, Pennsylvania. I base these conclusions on an analysis of surveys conducted since the beginning of June. Here’s what they show.

Just in Case: How Reform Might Survive Without the Mandate
June 08, 2012

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.

Elizabeth Warren's Counterfeit Scandal
June 01, 2012

The hoariest cliché in Washington, “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” has never been true. It wasn’t even true during Watergate, which bequeathed this dubious homily. The only reason people said it then was because while it could be proved that Richard Nixon participated in the Watergate cover-up (it was on tape), it couldn’t be proved that Nixon ordered the initial break-in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Nixon’s role in the cover-up was certainly enough to justify Congress’s pressuring him to resign, as he eventually did. The cover-up was very, very bad.

The New Jobs Report: Ooof
June 01, 2012

The new jobs report is out and it’s not good at all. It may not suggest the economy is slowing down, at least according to the economists I’ve consulted and read. But it certainly suggests the economy wasn’t growing as fast as we thought. And it’s not like anybody thought it was growing that fast in the first place. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday morning that the economy created just 69,000 jobs last month. It also revised its estimate for April, down to 77,000 from 115,000. Unemployment has gone up a tenth of a percentage point, to 8.2 percent.

Elizabeth Warren's Counterfeit Scandal
June 01, 2012

 The hoariest cliché in Washington, “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” has never been true. It wasn’t even true during Watergate, which bequeathed this dubious homily. The only reason people said it then was because while it could be proved that Richard Nixon participated in the Watergate cover-up (it was on tape), it couldn’t be proved that Nixon ordered the initial break-in to the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Nixon’s role in the cover-up was certainly enough to justify Congress’s pressuring him to resign, as he eventually did. The cover-up was very, very bad.

Meet a Leading Evangelist in the Movement to Introduce Modern Art to America
May 23, 2012

The worst time to see a museum is in the weeks when it’s just opening. That’s why, for the moment, I’ve opted to stay away from the Barnes Foundation’s new building in downtown Philadelphia, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. In the days before the public arrives, critics experience a totally artificial environment—a museum without museumgoers. When the doors are finally opened to the public, the mood in the galleries is likely to be so keyed up that it’s impossible to have a sense of what the place will feel like six months—or two years—later.

Ties That Bind
May 18, 2012

On April 19, Republican Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a policy breakfast in Washington. The ostensible topic was his proposal for a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, but it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted to vice presidential talk. Since the start of the Republican primary, Rubio has been named at the top of nearly every short list of likely running mates—and for good reason. He is young, charismatic, and popular with both the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. He has a reputation for being serious about policy.

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