DEMOCRATS FOR REPUBLICANS? In his latest piece, Jacob Weisberg addresses the question of whether the party that loses the midterms will, as a result, actually win in the long run. Although I think he takes the silly proposition a little too seriously, he admits that the right answer to this is the "boring" one: "the real winner in the November election will be the winner."
WAL-MART...GOOD? Some of my right-wing readers may think this'll make my head explode, but Wal-Mart's embarking on a new initiative to use its size and weight to bargain down the prices on generic prescription medications. In other words, the company I always accuse of acting like a monopsony is now going to use their might to act as consumer advocates on health care -- which will be good for consumers and bad for Pharma. Hooray!
THERE MAY NOT BE ROOM, BUT THERE'S CERTAINLY MONEY. The Big Bossman and I had slightly different interpretations of Mark Warner's admonition that Democrats shouldn't alienate the wealthy by opposing their tax cuts the other day. I viewed the move as politically unhelpful anti-populism of the type favored by influential elites but harmful to the progressive project, while Mikesaw the effort as a substantively insignificant move that would project electability and centrism and allow Warner space to push the progressive line on other subjects. Maybe we're both wrong.
I.D., PLEASE. Much like how the PATRIOT Act included a host of provisions that had been on the right's wish list for years before 9/11, House Republicans are using the current uproar over immigration (which they themselves have stoked) as an excuse to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. From The Los Angeles Times:
MISLEADING POLLS. I tried to run through this data yesterday at The Blog I Shalt Not Name, but I did a really crappy, confusing job of it (and remember: donate to my awesomeness!). So let's try again. A fair amount of attention is going to the new NYT/CBS poll, which has pretty encouraging news for Democrats: Congressional approval is down, Bush's ratings are down, the proportion who want to reelect theirrepresentative is down, and so forth.
ALLEN AND HIS MOM. I believe the innocent possible explanation for this would be that Allen's mom thought he�d be mad because she had kept this a secret from him for so long, and he had been saying publicly what he thought was true -- that she wasn�t Jewish.
WHY WOULD A MAN STOP LOVING HIS MOTHER OVER SUCH A THING?George Allen's mother recalls the moment, last month, when she told her son that she was raised Jewish: "When I told Georgie, I said, 'Now you don't love me anymore.'" To his credit, Allen replied "Mom, I respect you more than ever." But is it not somewhat weird that Mrs. Allen would initially assume that her son would stop loving her over this? Makes you wonder.
POVERTY HEARTS NYC. All the way out there in New Yawk City, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is apparently getting serious about poverty. He's giving pay-for-responsibility policies a serious try, creating obvious and immediate financial incentives positive behavior among the poor. So folks will get paid for showing up to school, making medical appointments, getting good grades, and all the rest. It's an approach with pretty genuine promise and a long and successful track record. Richer folks, for instance, use it all the time. But they call it an allowance, and no one bats an eye.
"ARCANE." Ritual disclaimer: Keith Olbermann is a friend of mine, has been for years, ever since we were baby reporters in Boston and all the way through my ill-fated attempt to be hepcat enough to get hired by the embryonic ESPN 2.
ROTTEN EGGS. After those words of warning from Bossman Tomasky, Brother Pierce will no doubt take heart in an assessment of the president's speech delivered this afternoon at the very podium from which our commander-in-chief promised Bossman's neighbor to the people of Darfur.