GOODBYE, HELLO. To say a bit more than the shadowy "Editors" did, we learned today that Mike is stepping down. The Big Bossman, Supreme Leader, Creator of Light and Bringer of Fire wants to get back to writing. So, for all of us at The Prospect, there is little joy in Mudville today.
BOSSMAN, WE SALUTE YOU. Speaking for myself, I just wanted to say it's been a great couple of years working for Mike and, while he'll certainly continue to be a part of the enterprise, I'll miss having him around the office every day; he's been a supportive editor and friend. But Harold's great, too, so it's all okay. Meanwhile, to put on my web editor hat for a moment, I'll just say the website's going strong (I hope readers agree) and the only changes you might expect looking forward are further expansions and new folks coming on board. At any rate, regularly scheduled Tappeding shall resume soon!
The Washington Postreports this morning that the I.M.F. is telling Argentina�s president, Nestor Kirchner, that he must change his ways, if Argentina is to maintain its 9 percent GDP growth. Regardless of the specifics, the idea of the IMF giving advice to Argentina at this point is almost the dictionary definition of Chutzpah.
TOMASKY STEPPING DOWN. After three years, Michael Tomasky is stepping down as editor of The Prospect. He will pursue writing projects and will stay with the magazine as editor-at-large. Harold Meyerson will become acting executive editor. The press release is here.
IT WAS WAL-MART, IN ARKANSAS, WITH THE CORPORATE MEMO. That's that, then. Wal-Mart, the largest employer in America, has decided to cease offering traditional health care plans and move entirely to high-deductible, HSA-style offerings. Wake-Up Wal-Mart got their hands on some internal benefit memos, and here's what they showed:
DOG-WHISTLE POLITICS. One almost -- almost -- feels sorry for social conservative leaders who, like true Pavlovian devotees, believe that they can keep ringing the bell and the dogs will come running even though the politicians have stopped delivering the treats. As Noam Levey in The Los Angeles Timesreports, House Republicans are desperately trying to pass another restrictive abortion bill to dupe their base into believing that somehow the most wasteful-spending Congress in American history is still run by conservatives:
In his weekly column, David Leonhardt tells readers that the problem with the U.S. health care system is not waste, rather we are getting what we pay for. I'll leave it to others to assess the value of good health and longer life expectancies, I'll simply point out that everyone else seems to get much more for what they pay. As I've noted before, every other wealthy country enjoys longer life expectancies than the United States and they pay on average less than half as much per person.
LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. I always find it helpful to exit the world of progressive electoral prognosticators and head over to John McIntyre's RealClearPolitics which, while right-leaning, offers a rather dispassionate aggregation of poll information and political predictions. This week's forecast is particularly interesting: