May 15, 2009
I agree with most of Jeffrey Rosen’s commentary on how to proceed with a potential torture investigation (“Truth or Dare”; May 20, 2009), but take issue with some of his conclusions. Yes, indeed: In order to successfully prosecute the authors of the “torture memos”--Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury--a prosecutor would have the burden of proving conspiracy to torture and to contort the law to the authors’ ultimate illegal goals. Yes, a prosecutor would have to prove that they were acting in bad faith. And, yes, this would require “smoking gun evidence” that may well be hard to come by.
Today's NYT has some funny WH message confusion: After meeting with six major health care organizations, Mr. Obama hailed their cost-cutting promise as historic. “These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,” Mr. Obama said.
Updated: Cbo's Preliminary Estimates
How much will health care reform cost? At this point, it's arguably the single most important question of the debate. And now, for the first time, we're getting some real answers. Or, at least, what counts for real answers in Washington. They come from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). As I explain in a new article for the print magazine: When Congress writes a bill, the CBO is the agency that determines how much implementing it will likely cost. And that's no small matter.
Jonathan Oberlander, one of the nation's leading experts on health care policy, is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Political Life of Medicare. He is an occasional contributor to The Treatment. That didn’t take long.
Today At Tnr (may 15, 2009)
Let's Make A Deal: Why Obama Should Appoint A Politician To The Supreme Court, by Gordon Silverstein Cannibalization Watch: The Sad Fate Of A Conservative Heretic, by Christopher Orr To Prosecute Or Not To Prosecute? Obama Wimps Out On Torture, by Jeffrey Rosen In ‘Angels & Demons,' Rome Finds Itself In Mortal Peril, And Tom Hanks Finds Himself Without A Mullet. Run! by Christopher Orr TNRtv: How Republicans Should Deal With ‘Cranky Uncle Dick,' by Michelle Cottle Too Much To Handle? Why I Expect Obama's Poll Numbers To Plummet Soon, by John B.
May 14, 2009
A Dangerous Dance
There are many downsides to Israel’s tendency to recycle its leaders--its perpetual inability to find new leaders instead of the already-tested-and-weren’t-impressive-enough ones. But this habit has some benefits as well: The recycled leaders tend to learn from their own mistakes.
Governor Crist and the Rubio-con
WASHINGTON--When Charlie Crist, Florida's popular governor, announced this week that he would run for the U.S. Senate, it was the best news the Republican Party has had in an otherwise unpleasant year. The problem for the GOP is that its right wing quickly decided that the good news was very bad news indeed. The elation and the desolation had the same source.
Back to Basics
The Obama administration’s strategy to address the economic crisis may be making the problem worse. Its plan--bailing out one financial institution after another and rebuilding the old system pretty much as was--treats the symptoms, not the disease, and will leave us fiscally and financially weaker. The disease is letting financial companies borrow in order to gamble, resting easy that Uncle Sam will cover their losses.
Too Much To Handle?
Almost four months after his inauguration, President Barack Obama is still riding high in the polls. According to Gallup, 66 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing. But I expect that Obama’s popularity will begin to fall, even plummet, as the leaves turn brown.
The Making Of A Conservative Heretic
A few days ago, Jon tweaked Jerry Taylor, a poster at the Corner, for refering to Rush Limbaugh and his conservative TV and radio brethren as figures who are "thought to be relatively unpopular with non-movement Americans." Jon imagined that this was a characteristic example of low-grade conservative disingenuousness, a unwillingness to acknowlege that Limbaugh is, in fact, demonstrably unpopular. Taylor replied, essentially saying that he wasn't being disingenuous; he simply hadn't seen the polls in question.