July 07, 2009

Marion Barry Loses Da Funk
12:00 AM

Ed Kilgore is managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and a frequent contributor to a variety of political journals.   As a follow-up to Jason's post on the sadly banal nature of Marion Barry's latest personal scandal as compared to his crack-smoking-on-camera classic, I would observe that Barry has also lost a step in his talent for outrageous official positions.  Back in the day, Barry was best known for his ill-disguised advocacy of the idea that municipal government should exist for the benefit of its employees rather than its citi

A New Direction For The Fed?
12:00 AM

Policymakers like to make particular kinds of statements at a "low attention" moment, e.g., right before a holiday weekend. This gets items onto the public record but ensures they do not get too much attention. And if you are asked about these substantive issues down the road, you can always say, "we told you this already, so it's not now news"--usually this keeps things off the front page. Released on July 3rd (a federal holiday), and buried inside the Washington Post on Saturday (p.A12): An important speech (from June 26th) by the New York Fed's controversial President, William C.

(palin) Quote Of The Day
12:00 AM

From ABC News: But as for whether another pursuit of national office, as she did less than a year ago when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House, would result in the same political blood sport, Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska.

Obama Hasn't Compromised On The Public Plan. Yet.
12:00 AM

The White House just put out a statement, making clear that President Obama still supports including a voluntary public option as part of health reform: I am pleased by the progress we're making on health care reform and still believe, as I've said before, that one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest.

July 06, 2009

The McNamara Papers
12:00 AM

Former Secretary of Defense and World Bank head Robert McNamara died today at age 93. To mark the occasion, we compiled our best pieces on him from over the years.  The Editors, December 26, 1960: “Kennedy’s Men”The Editors express doubts about McNamara’s readiness to serve as secretary of defense, wondering whether someone with so little foreign policy experience could lead such an important department.Raymond D.

There And Back Again
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This past Friday, Sarah Palin announced her resignation as governor of Alaska, effective July 26. Click through for a video history of Palin's career, from the Wasilla city council to her time in the national spotlight. Photo courtesy of Getty Images The Early Years As a teenager, Palin gained notoriety as a point guard on her high school's basketball team, winning the 1982 state championship. Here, she offers to play Barack Obama in a one-on-one game of HORSE: Palin also competed in beauty pageants, at age twenty placing third in the Miss Alaska competition.

Hot in Here
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- As President Obama confronts his testing time this summer, he holds major assets but faces deep tensions within his governing coalition.

Let's Make A Deal, Health Reform Edition
12:00 AM

On Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, three groups representing the U.S. hospital industry will announce their willingness to give up $155 billion in revenue over the next ten years--money that the government can then use to help finance universal coverage, or some approximation thereof. The deal, which the hospital groups are making with Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and the White House, has apparenlty been in the works for a while. Laurie McGinley and Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News first reported its emergence last week.

Ban Ki-moon Fails To Move Burma
12:00 AM

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement and a believer in non-violent resistance, is probably the world's most prominent political captive. She is probably also very brave and determined. She has spent 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest living in her own house with two maids. This means that Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi--there apparently is no other way of rendering her name--has not been condemned to a gulag. I guess that aristocracy still has authority in some dictatorships.

So Long, Sarah
12:00 AM

Sarah Palin will leave the Juneau gubernatorial mansion of Alaska on July 26.  Forever.  She will not miss the Russian mainland.  She could never have seen it from Juneau anyhow. God willing, it is Palin's adieu to the political life.  But maybe not.  In which case, the Republican Party will again be tested internally as to whether its penchant for nutcases will override its lingering instincts as a political institution.   The greatest mistake John McCain ever made was to choose Palin as his running mate.