Obama's Push-Back On BP
June 03, 2010

Ridiculous as it may be that the press corps is going to spend every day demanding why President Obama hasn't plugged the oil spill in the Gulf, or demanding evidence that he is actually angry, that is the reality the White House faces. The only way out of the trap is to move the debate to a place where he can actually do something. Yesterday, Obama reiterated his call to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies, and to divert that money into clean energy.

Today's Must-Read
April 20, 2010

Noam has another terrific article loaded with great reporting on the state of financial reform. There's so much good stuff, I don't want to pick out one section, but I will anyway because this chunk was especially interesting: “I think right now, everyone sort of sees it as win-win-win,” says a senior administration official. “Frankly, Rahm’s hearing from friends in the financial industry that he should cut a deal before it goes to the floor--that probably makes him less likely to do that, work this out.

Meet Bob Rubin's PR Guy
April 09, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] The Times' Sewell Chan and Eric Dash have a great little piece about Bill Thomas, the volatile former Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, now vice chairman the the congressionally-chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC). In a nutshell, Thomas is--how to put it?--a preening, self-righteous bully* who seems more interested in scoring rhetorical points than figuring out what caused the crisis.

The Latest On Stupak (Updated)
March 20, 2010

Dej ja vu all over again: We're a day away from a House vote on health care reform and success, once again, may hinge on a deal with Democrats who oppose abortion rights. As you know, Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak has said he can't vote for the senate health care bill because, at least in his view, it doesn't sufficiently restrict abortion.

Diversion Tactics
March 17, 2010

I agree with Ezra Klein that the House Democrats are foolish to enact health care reform through this "deem and pass" method. And I agree with Ezra, again, that Republicans are being ridiculously hypocritical to attack it as unfair. But that's not why I recommend you read his post. It is, rather, his analysis of why the Republicans are focusing on these attacks: this need for a nuclear response is a sign of their weakness in the face of the reality of this bill. They're much more comfortable talking about process, or marginal deals, then about the legislation itself.

How to Stop the Bleeding
March 15, 2010

Obama needs to learn Reagan's lessons from 1982.

Senate Bipartisanship
February 22, 2010

Republicans Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Scott Brown voted to defeat a GOP filibuster of a $15 billion tax break for businesses that hire workers. Ben Nelson voted with the Republicans. What does this tell you? It tells you that these Senators recognized that the legislation is essentially symbolic, and therefore a good time to burnish their moderate credentials rather than spend political capital to advance their party's agenda.

The Great Unknowns (Updated)
February 19, 2010

If you read this blog, you probably want to know the true state of play in the health care reform debate. Well, join the club. After yet another a round of phone calls on Friday, I've become convinced that nobody really knows for sure. There's a lot of activity and discussion right now. But the key discussions involve a very small circle of people--smaller, in fact, than the circle of people you see quoted in the media, even anonymously.

Bubba Ho-Tep
February 15, 2010

WASHINGTON -- When word went out that Bill Clinton had been rushed to the hospital, the prospect that he was in danger made me wish that President Obama had spent more time learning lessons that only Clinton can teach. Yes, Clinton put his presidency at risk over a sex scandal, and his infuriating moments around the 2008 South Carolina primary disheartened even his most loyal supporters. But Clinton remains one of the most talented politicians in our history, and it's not simply because he feels people's pain or speaks so well that you sit in your driveway to hear the rest of his speech when

Why Don't Conservatives Understand Health Care Policy?
January 19, 2010

In my article about the health care bill I noted: the [Republican] party desperately lacks for genuine health care expertise. Being a member of a party long committed to defending American health care naturally makes one disinclined to study the horrifying reality of the system; likewise, a thorough understanding of the health care system makes one disinclined to support the party that has spent decades blocking its reform. Steve Bell's column at David Frum's FrumForum today offers some depressing confirmation of this view.