February 04, 2008

Health Care Reformers -- Don't Despair!
12:00 AM

We're going to take a moment from the debate about individual mandates in health care reform -- a topic to which I shall return soon enough -- to bring you some unambiguously good news.  If, that is, you think universal health care is a good idea. Today the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced it would be launching a $75 million election-year campaign on behalf of universal coverage.

Least Surprising Nyt Column Ever
12:00 AM

From Paul Krugman today: But while it’s easy to see how the Clinton plan could end up being eviscerated, it’s hard to see how the hole in the Obama plan can be repaired. Why? Because Mr. Obama’s campaigning on the health care issue has sabotaged his own prospects. You see, the Obama campaign has demonized the idea of mandates — most recently in a scare-tactics mailer sent to voters that bears a striking resemblance to the “Harry and Louise” ads run by the insurance lobby in 1993, ads that helped undermine our last chance at getting universal health care. If Mr.

James Baker Demands Honest Elections
12:00 AM

Can you believe it? James Baker, of all people, has enlisted in a campaign to get the Supreme Court to approve as precedent both state and federal laws that guarantee both "ballot security and full access to voting."  In this effort, he is joined by Jimmy Carter who spends much of his time certifying that elections in select third world countries are fair, honest and democratic -- even when they are not.In 2005, Baker and Carter led a bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform that did tackle the problem and proposed a uniform voter photo ID.

February 01, 2008

New Jersey
12:00 AM

Sandwiched between New York City and Philadelphia, and lacking a statewide television news source, the Garden State is usually ignored by party candidates who would rather spend their time and money in the surrounding larger markets. But as a blue state run by a slick and powerful Democratic machine, New Jersey embodies both the strength and organization of the Clinton campaign and the challenge for Obama in states where he is running an insurgent campaign.

12:00 AM

Sick of the meaninglessness of its traditional June primary, Alabama was one of the first states to move its 2008 primary forward to February 5. Unfortunately, many of the larger states it was trying to leapfrog followed suit, and it finds itself in their shadows once again. This is unfortunate, since it is hosting two competitive races: Multiple candidates in both parties have good shots at victory. Delegates: Democrats, 60; Republican, 48. Formats: Both parties host open primaries.

12:00 AM

As the “buckle of the Bible Belt,” Tennessee is traditionally conservative and tends to support Republicans, going for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Though Mike Huckabee is relying on its strong evangelical community, the state has a history of being more economically and racially liberal than other southern states. Hillary Clinton is also hoping that, with its relatively small black population, Tennessee can be one of the few southern states she can win.

Who's Afraid Of The Methodist Church? Or The Presbyterians?
12:00 AM

The Methodist Church in the United States seems to have embarked on its annual foray into the murky waters where hostility to Zionism and Israel just barely averts anti-Semitism.  Or maybe not.The righteous Methodists are once again considering disinvesting from public companies which do business in Israel in general and with companies that somehow help sustain the occupation of the West Bank.  This might mean a farm machine company like International Harvester or John Deere or perhaps a seed company.  Of course, it depends in which companies Methodist endowment and pensions are invested.  But

Harry And Louise -- They're Back!
12:00 AM

A quick follow-up on last night's debate over health care reform -- and then a new development. 1.

Will Gore Endorse Obama?
12:00 AM

  Josh Green makes the case, with an interesting reportorial tidbit: "Obama and Gore have been speaking regularly, about every two weeks or so." Josh offers a list of reasons why Gore might choose Obama. I'll add a key point obvious to insiders but perhaps not to everyone: There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. I very much doubt they're talking every couple of weeks. (I have heard that Gore and Edwards spoke a few times, by the way.) But wait! What if Hillary gets elected?

January 31, 2008

The Olmert Omerta

The good news about Ehud Olmert is that he is not a willful murderer of Israeli soldiers.