Politics

February 23, 2009

Liberals Vs. Centrists
12:00 AM

This is a pretty long, meta blog post. You've been warned. But try to stay with me here.

One More Time: The Budget Crisis Is A Health Care Crisis
12:00 AM

Still worried today's fiscal responsibility summit means there's a secret plan to cut Social Security? Then pay attention to Peter Orszag, Obama's budget director and bona fide fiscal conservative, who said this on CNN this morning: "Health care is clearly the key to our fiscal future, so we need to get health care costs under control and we want to do that this year." It's all about health care. And this administration knows it.  Update: Paul Krugman has a wonderfully simple explanation of why this is the case.  --Jonathan Cohn 

February 22, 2009

Obama's Truly Courageous Budget Move
12:00 AM

On Friday I argued that, while the president's push to make his budget honest and transparent was great public policy, it wasn't quite as courageous as the White House suggested. But there is one element of Obama's first budget that strikes me as genuinely courageous.

The Elusiveness Of Compromises
12:00 AM

Sunday's op-ed page in the New York Times includes two essays about how to end the culture wars. In one, Slate's William Saletan argues that liberals should seek to lower the number of abortions by strongly advocating the use of birth control. This is a splendid idea, and not only because it might lead to fewer abortions. It would also divide the religious right, pitting ultramontaine Catholics against (comparatively moderate) Protestant evangelicals who don't oppose the use of birth control.

Obama's Truly Courageous Budget Move
12:00 AM

On Friday I argued that, while the president's push to make his budget honest and transparent was great public policy, it wasn't quite as courageous as the White House suggested. But there is one element of Obama's first budget that strikes me as genuinely courageous.

American Delegation Silent As Durban Ii Embarks On Another Anti-democratic, Anti-liberal, Anti-semitic, Anti-israel, Holocaust-denying Witches' Sabbath
12:00 AM

Anne Bayefsky, who oversees EYE on the UN, a truly liberal NGO in Geneva, has been writing about the Durban II outrage for many months. This analysis appeared in Forbes today. I attach it here. The main reason I do this is that I gave the benefit of the doubt to the administration's motives in sending a delegation to the preparatory sessions in Geneva where some interventions proved just how weak we are and where also on other matters on which we should have intervened we skulked into the woodwork.

The Foush And The Furious
12:00 AM

Last week, Valleywag broke down Obama's team of web gurus, trying to ascertain what slice of the big win each is responsible for. From Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and CTO of Blue State Digital, it seems a lot of new media heavyweights played a big part in putting Obama in the White House.  But Valleywag seems to have forgotten Rahaf Harfoush--author, journalist, blogger, poet, lecturer, and "new media evangelist" at large. Who is Rahaf Harfoush, you ask? Exactly.

February 21, 2009

Sneak Peek: What Obama Budget Will Say On Health
12:00 AM

President Obama has said health care is the next major item on his domestic agenda and that it remains a “year one” priority. But just how big are his policy ambitions? And how, precisely, does he intend to pursue them? Answers to those questions will start to come this week, when Obama outlines his budget priorities in a speech and formal report to Congress.

February 20, 2009

The Politics of Pig
12:00 AM

Swine was a recurring image in the recent U.S. presidential election, ranging from diatribes against pork-barreling to the oft-repeated lipstick-on-a-pig metaphor. In Israel, however, actual pig meat may have cost Benjamin Netanyahu a chance to return to power.Just a week before the Israeli election, polls predicted a comfortable victory for Netanyahu and his secular rightist party, Likud.

Obama Introduces Win-win-win Budgeting
12:00 AM

The Times reports today that Obama and budget director Peter Orszag are experimenting with something fairly new in preparing their budget: honesty. For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller.

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