May 11, 2009

Why How Obama Talks Is More Interesting Than How Michael Steele Tries To
12:00 AM

Interesting moment the other night at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner when Barack Obama teased Republican National Party Chairman Michael Steele for his famous inclination towards slightly studious mouthings of hip hop slang. "Michael Steele is in the house. Or as he would say, "in the heezy ... " ...

Too Important To Compromise

One of President Obama's major priorities is making college more affordable, and he now has an historic chance to do that by reforming the way the federal government delivers student loans. Under the current student-loan program, the government essentially bribes banks to lend to students by offering them generous subsidies and promising to take on 97 percent of the risk. As Jon Chait and Kim Clark have written, the program is purely a sop to banking interests--absorbing money that could be used to increase the number and size of Pell Grants.

The Most (unintenionally) Hilarious Story Of The Year
12:00 AM

In an online article written with (let's say) healthy amounts of seriousness and gravity, Kathryn Jean Lopez blasts the president for his performance at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner Saturday night. I urge everyone to go and read her piece because it is admittedly much funnier than the comedy routines at the dinner itself. Here is just a taste: But even the children were not left out of the jokes. President Obama used his daughters to make light of Air Force One’s Lower Manhattan flyover.

Tnrtv: How A Stimulus Could Torpedo Health Care Reform
12:00 AM

Simon Johnson, professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of BaselineScenario.com, argues that if Obama continues to prioritize fiscal stimulus over recapitalizing the banks, he will put health care and other costly reforms at risk. --Ben Eisler Check out the latest on TNRtv: Cohn: A New Game Show--Why Republicans Can't Be Trusted On Health Care! Halevi: How to Stop Iran--"It's Now or Never" Scheiber: Why Inflation Fear Mongerers Don't Scare Me

Who Will Tell The Childen That Limbaugh Isn't Widely Admired?
12:00 AM

Cato Institute Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor has a post on the Corner that's another great window into the style of conservative movement thought: There's nothing strange or mysterious, Victor, about President Obama's political assualts on Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and other radio voices on the Right. The administration hopes that it can convince the public that these guys are the leaders of the GOP at the moment.

12:00 AM

 Ah, the Weekly Standard parody, quintessence of comedy: President Barack Obama has announced that June will be officially designated Gay Awareness Month in the White House....

Hey, Why Are Those Lobbyists At The White House?
12:00 AM

You may have read or heard that some health care lobbyists went to the White House today, pledging their assistance in controlling the cost of medical care. Why are they doing it? What does it mean for the reform debate? You can read my answers (along with a few outside dissents) over at The Treatment, here and here and here.  --Jonathan Cohn

The Stakeholders Letter On Cost Control
12:00 AM

For those who want to read the actual text, here it is:  May 11, 2009  The President  The White House  Washington, D.C. 20500   Dear Mr. President:    We believe that all Americans should have access to affordable, high quality health care services. Thus, we applaud your strong commitment to reforming our nation’s health care system.

Want To Fuel Your Car With Corn? Try Burning It.
12:00 AM

Corn-based ethanol has suffered a few whacks in recent months. First, new studies suggested that when you took indirect land-use effects into account, corn-based ethanol could produce more greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.

The Zardari Show, Cont'd
12:00 AM

Like Isaac, I don't find Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari very impressive or reassuring. I did think this was a snappy comeback to his questioning yesterday by David Gregory: MR. GREGORY:  Is there a view, however, in Pakistan that the Taliban should be kept around for a rainy day, as it's been said, as a bulwark against Indian influence in neighboring Afghanistan? MR. ZARDARI:  I don't think so.  I don't think so. MR.