The Wall Street Journal

Third Party Challenger = Stalinist?
November 02, 2009

Frank Rich really lit into the Republican Party yesterday: a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. a G.O.P.

Color Commentator
November 02, 2009

The saga of Rush Limbaugh and his failed attempt to acquire a piece of the St. Louis Rams may be the quintessential postmodern American racial incident. When word first leaked of Limbaugh's potential ownership, a couple of sportswriters, joined by a handful of cable news talking heads, repeated what turned out to be totally unsubstantiated quotes by Limbaugh praising slavery and James Earl Ray.

House Bill = Big Win for the Medical Device Lobby
October 30, 2009

While the House bill comes down much harder on Big Pharma than the Senate, it gives the medical device industry a big break. As The Wall Street Journal points out today, the House bill cuts the $40 billion tax on the device industry that’s in the Senate Finance Committee down to $20 million.

Is the Public Ready for Bold Action?
October 29, 2009

It’s a mistake to put too much weight on the results of any single public opinion survey. That said, Peter Hart and Bill McInturff are an unusually experienced and fair-minded bipartisan team, and I’m inclined to take their work for NBC and the Wall Street Journal seriously. Their latest results offer little encouragement for the president, either political party, or the political system as a whole. Let’s begin with the political system. Trust in government now stands at 23 percent—the lowest level in at least twelve years.

The Election Before the Election, Ctd.
October 19, 2009

In a piece largely about next month's congressional election in New York's 23rd district, The Wall Street Journal's Naftali Bendavid echoes and enlarges upon some of the points I made in a blog post about the electoral dangers the tea-party movement could present for the GOP: In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr.

How the Recession is Killing Private Social Insurance
October 19, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has a terrific piece today about how the recession is accelerating the fraying the post-World War II compact between workers and employers (which has, of course, been fraying for several decades now). Key nugget: Two-thirds of big companies that cut health-care benefits don't plan to restore them to pre-recession levels, they recently told consulting firm Watson Wyatt.

Energy Pork: Why the Green Future May Take a While
October 19, 2009

Stephen Power has a good story in the Wall Street Journal that explains a lot about why America’s clean energy future may be a while in coming.  Power notes that although Energy Secretary Steve Chu set out this year to begin reshaping America's energy future with a network of highly-focused, results-oriented research labs, lawmakers have been busy with business-as-usual. He reports that instead of fully funding Dr.

The Medical Device Lobby Ramps up the Pressure
October 09, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has the goods on the medical device industry’s “11th hour scramble” to hammer out a health care deal with the Baucus folks. In dispute is the $40 billion in fees that the Senate Finance bill would impose on the device industry—a proposal that isn’t in any of the other bills.

China as Consumer?
September 29, 2009

There’s a growing consensus that the U.S. needs to export more, and import less.  The basic argument here is that huge recent imbalances between the consumption-mad U.S. on the one side and exporting China, Japan, Germany, and the Persian Gulf on the other can’t go on and that we need to “rebalance” the global economy. And it sounds good, especially when Larry Summers says it. The only problem is, it’s not clear to whom we would do all this new exporting.

Where Are the Long-Term Unemployed?
September 28, 2009

The depth of this recession is prompting some scrutiny in the media, and soul-searching among policy wonks, on the plight of the long-term unemployed. Last week, the Wall Street Journal profiled several workers among the 5 million nationwide who have been out of work for at least half a year.