Person Career

Cruise Control
November 05, 2009

When conservatives scream about socialized medicine and death panels, you should tune them out. But lately conservatives have been making an argument you should hear. It's about whether we can believe Congress when it promises to raise taxes or cut spending--and, as such, whether we can believe that health care reform can actually be fiscally responsible. As you may know, many promoters of health care reform say that the proposals in Congress will pay for themselves and, over the long run, actually reduce what we spend, as taxpayers and as a society.

Two Out Of Five Ain't Good
November 04, 2009

Every once in a while I like to fact check the Wall Street Journal editorial page just to see how unbelievably low the intellectual standards on that page are. On today’s page, John Steele Gordon argues that "the liberal paradigm [does] not even come close to agreeing with the social and economic reality on the ground today." What is that reality? Gordon offers up a handful of facts: [T]he rich are still looked upon by liberals as enemies of the poor and disadvantaged, even though Mr.

Happy 40th, Sesame Street
November 04, 2009

The revolutionary children's show hits the big four-oh this month, having launched on November 10, 1969, just in time for my two-and-a-half-year-old self to get in on the ground floor. To celebrate the occasion, Movieline has gathered clips of ten songs from the show, including abiding classics ("Sing") as well as pop satires such as the Beatlemanic "Letter B" and Madonnawannabe "Cereal Girl." Somehow, though, the editors left out what is for me, and I think many, the defining song of the show, and perhaps Jim Henson's career.

Get This Guy a Committee Assignment
November 04, 2009

Most of you know John Garamendi (if you know him at all) as the former California state official who won a special election for Ellen Tauscher's old seat in Congress. But those of us in the business of health wonkery know him as one of our own. In the early 1990s, he developed the "Garamendi plan" for California, which later became a model for the Clinton health care plan of 1993-94.

Are Yesterday's Election Results Boosting the Market?
November 04, 2009

Apparently there’s a rumor making the rounds in some corners of Wall Street that yesterday’s election results are driving today’s stock market rally—the theory being that the results are a blow to Obama’s agenda, and stopping Obama is good for the market. (I just got a call from a producer at CNBC asking me what I thought about this). The reasons why this theory is utterly ludicrous are almost too numerous to catalogue, but let me give it a quick shot: First, as I write this (around 1:30 pm), the Dow is up about 100 points, or just over 1 percent.

Electric Cars And The Green Economy
November 04, 2009

Bernard Avishai, the author of two excellent, but sometimes misunderstood, books on Israel and on Zionism,  is a professor of business at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and on top of the transformation of the older industrial into a new cyber-industrial economy. Avishai has written a very important article on the electric car for Inc.

Rumblings of a Coup in Pakistan?
November 04, 2009

The Boston Globe's Farah Stockman reports that Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, could be in physical danger were he to return to Islamabad, where he hasn't been for 8 months, due to the charge that he's too "pro-American." Making that charge? The Pakistani military: Samina Ahmed, an Islamabad-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said the attacks on Haqqani were carefully orchestrated by the military to weaken the government he represents. She predicted more will come. “These are the first rumblings of the storm,’’ she said.

Feds Pony Up Toward Great Lakes Water ‘Magic’
November 04, 2009

If your image of Milwaukee is largely derived from Laverne and Shirley re-runs, think again.

V: Tea Party TV
November 04, 2009

I didn’t watch much television as a kid. But when the miniseries “V” came out in 1983, when I was eleven years old, it was event television for the entire family. The sci-fi series used an alien invasion of Earth under friendly guise as a metaphor for fascism. Rather than Jews, the aliens targeted scientists (whose knowledge made them dangerous) as scapegoats. By the standards of early 1980s television, which were quite low, “V” was gripping drama. Last night, ABC aired the pilot episode of a remake of “V.” I had to watch. The episode was so-so.

How Bad Can They Make the Oscars, Ctd.
November 04, 2009

When word broke last week that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was planning to have multiple hosts for the Oscars this year and that they'd be chosen in part on the basis of having "different strengths and a different generational appeal," it was easy to envision televisual disaster.