Politics

February 23, 2007

Intimidation Everywhere
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Next week, the House will vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow employees in a workplace to organize as soon as a majority signed cards saying they wanted to do so. (Currently, workers have to go through NLRB-supervised elections that are prone to employer manipulation.) Opponents of card-check argue that labor bosses will just coerce employees into signing the cards, although as Ezra Klein points out, research shows that union intimidation during card-check elections is far, far less common than undue management pressure under the current system.

February 19, 2007

Vouchsafe

Requiring people to buy health insurance as if it were a driver's license has become the health care policy initiative du jour. This "individual mandate" model got its first official embrace when former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, working with his Democratic state legislature, used such a scheme to cover all state residents. In January, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to implement a similar program.

On Dismissing Failed Executives
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by Sanford LevinsonGenerally, I am not taken by comparisons of government with business. That most leaders have never met payrolls usually is of no importance to me. That being said, I do find myself increasingly interested in the responses of businesses, in a variety of realms, when confronted with what is perceived (sometimes inaccurately, of course) as the failure of executives to take the company forward.

Strange Bedfellows
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This is... unexpected: Christopher Ruddy, who once worked full-time for Mr. [Richard Mellon] Scaife investigating the Clintons and now runs a conservative online publication he co-owns with Mr. Scaife, said, "Both of us have had a rethinking.""Clinton wasn't such a bad president," Mr. Ruddy said. "In fact, he was a pretty good president in a lot of ways, and Dick feels that way today." The guy who bankrolled the Arkansas Project and the reporter who peddled claims that the White House killed Vince Foster now think that Bill Clinton was a "pretty good president"? --Bradford Plumer

It's Not An Act
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Yesterday, John McCain told a group of South Carolina voters, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned." I'm curious if anyone out there still believes--as Jon Chait and Jacob Weisberg have argued in the past--that McCain is just mouthing these lines to curry favor with the Republican base, but doesn't really believe any of this and wouldn't act on it if elected to the White House. That seems unlikely.

February 18, 2007

In Today's Web Magazine
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Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs want to finance universal health care with vouchers; Jonathan Chait says that foreign policy is truly foreign to Rudy Giuliani; Benjamin Wittes doubts that John Roberts and Samuel Alito will be really be able to transform the Supreme Court; and Steven Hahn looks at the scholarship of Drew Gilpin Faust to see whether she'll be a good president for Harvard. --Adam B. Kushner

February 16, 2007

Quds Force Reconsidered
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What, exactly, is the Quds Force--the paramilitary wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)--doing in Iraq? The Bush administration maintains that the group is trying to destabilize the country, supplying explosives that are being used to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.

Lieberman: Crisis Coming
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Joe Lieberman is currently on the Senate floor warning that congressional attempts to meddle with the war could lead to "a constitutional crisis" that requires Supreme Court intervention. --Michael Crowley

February 15, 2007

Will You Be My Valentine?
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I'm sorry I did not get to this earlier, and there's way too much to riff on in just this single post, but please, please do yourself a favor and read National Review's Valentine's Day Symposium. Midge Decter swooning for Rudy! Andrew Breitbart sharing his "unrequited" love for lesbian Tammy Bruce! Mona Charen shows off by hearting some nineteenth-century Republican pol named Thomas Brackett Reed! But by far the best is Kathryn Jean-Lopez's tribute to B-1 Bob Dornan, who ranks next to Jim Traficant as the most amusing member in the history of the House of Representatives.

Selective Discrimination
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12:00 AM

Here is a little-noticed item (hat tip to reader J.R.): Earlier this month, a United Nations consultative committee on NGOs rejected the credentials of the Coalition of Gays and Lesbians of Quebec, as well as a similar group from Sweden. Over 2,000 groups have been bestowed such accreditation by the U.N, which allows them to attend conferences and offer their opinions on various matters. The rejection of the Canadian group was by a vote of 8-6. Voting against were, unsurprisingly, Russia, Burundi, Guinea, China, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar and Sudan.

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