Social Issues

Today At TNR (November 12, 2009)
and
November 12, 2009

Inside the Obamacare Laboratory: Have Democrats Learned the Right Lessons from Massachusetts? by Jonathan Cohn Previewing Obama’s Asia Visit: Why He Has a Rare Chance to Improve U.S.-Japan Relations, by R. Taggart Murphy TNRtv: The Jew-Hating, Gay-Bashing Westboro Baptist Church Comes to New York. Oh Boy. by Benjamin Birnbaum and Ben Eisler Should We Be Worried About the Changing Demographics of Unions? by John B. Judis Don’t Let Abortion Destroy Health Reform--Millions of Americans Will Be Far Better Off Than They Are Now, by E.J. Dionne Jr. Are People Flocking to ‘Dirty’ Cities?

Before Sunrise
November 12, 2009

When President Obama arrives in Tokyo on Friday, he will confront a country that seeks to be an ally of the United States. For Japan has never been an American ally. It was first a rival, then an enemy, and finally, after it lost the war it foolishly started with the U.S., it became a protectorate, not an ally.   The distinction matters. An alliance is an institution negotiated between two sovereign governments in which each agrees to a series of reciprocal obligations that have the force of law.

Mass Appeal
November 12, 2009

Polls show that Americans are confused about what health care reform means. And, if you listen to members of Congress on television, you get the impression that some of them aren’t certain, either. But figuring out what health care reform entails isn’t hard. All you have to do is look at Massachusetts. Almost three years ago, the state introduced an ambitious initiative designed to make sure nearly all residents have health insurance. Under this scheme, the state requires employers to contribute toward the cost of covering workers, while requiring individuals to get insurance.

Health Care Reform: Will It Work?
and
November 11, 2009

Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 1   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 2   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 3   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 4   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 5   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 6   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 7   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 8   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 9   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 10   Health Care Reform: Will It Work? Part 11   Health Care Reform: Will It Work?

Mike Capuano's Profile in Courage
November 11, 2009

A day after blasting Martha Coakley, the frontrunner for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, for saying she would have voted against the health care bill because of the abortion amendment, Mike Capuano, who voted for the bill, now says he did so only "to keep the health care debate alive"--and that he'll vote against a final bill that includes the abortion funding provision. The interesting question here, I suppose, is how would Kennedy have voted? Did he want health care reform badly enough to swallow the restrictions on abortion funding?

Republicans Would Never Exaggerate A Bill's Cost, Would They?
November 11, 2009

Ezra Klein persuasively argues that the Democrats erred by wandering into a $900 billion ceiling on the cost of health care legislation.

Response to My Anti-Statism Article
November 11, 2009

I got an email from an old friend, Joel Parker, who is an international vice president of the Transportation Communications Union, and one of the smartest people I know. It's a response to my article  on anti-Statism in America that has been on the site today. I am reproducing it for its criticisms rather than its compliments, which bear not only on what I wrote but also on our continuing discussion of the health care bill. Just read your latest TNR piece on anti-government sentiment. I thought it was excellent, and agreed with its central point.

Today at TNR (November 11, 2009)
and
November 11, 2009

Why Americans Hate to Love the Government, by John B. Judis How Drug Companies Plan to Make a Killing Off of Health Care Reform, by Jonathan Cohn The ‘Should We Stay or Should We Go’ Matrix: Where Our Top Opinion-Makers Stand on the Afghanistan Question, by Barron YoungSmith, Ben Bernstein, Noah Kristula-Green, and Julie Sobel Seven Reasons Why We Probably Won’t Have a Health Care Bill Before Christmas, by Suzy Khimm Which Important Federal Agency Is Being Run by People Who Have Overstayed Their Term by Three Years?

New Evidence of Pharma's Sweetheart Deal
November 10, 2009

Critics have complained that a drug industry got a sweetheart deal when it struck a bargain with the White House and Senate Finance Committee over health care reform. There’s new reason to think those critics were right. It comes from an October forecast by IMS Health, a respected global research and consulting firm. The report, which IMS distributed to clients and which a source provided, projects that the drug industry will see average annual growth of 3.5 percent between 2008 and 2013. Back in March, IMS had projected no growth at all during that same five-year stretch.

Board to Death
November 10, 2009

To the frustration of many a cabinet secretary, the Obama administration is a little behind on its appointments. At this point—with only five weeks to go before the Senate breaks for recess—a little over half of the 514 positions that need filling have been filled. Some jobs are really important: The nominee for the Office of Legal Counsel has been held up for months. Obama’s choice for a USAID director came down just today. U.S. attorney nominations have slowed to a crawl. Other jobs?

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