Archive

  • BOSSMAN, WE SALUTE YOU.

    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! --Sam Rosenfeld
  • Does the I.M.F. Really Warn Argentina? With a Straight Face?

    The Washington Post reports 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. Let�s take a quick trip down memory lane.
  • TOMASKY STEPPING DOWN.

    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 . --The Editors
  • IT WAS WAL-MART,...

    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: Among the most striking findings outlined in Wal-Mart�s 2007 benefits booklet is the substantial health care cost a low-paid Wal-Mart worker would be forced to pay under the so-called �Value� plan. A typical individual Wal-Mart worker who enrolls in the Value Plan will face high upfront costs because of a series of high deductibles, including a minimum $1,000 deductible for individual coverage, a $1,000 in-patient deductible per visit, a $500 out-patient surgical deductible per visit, a $300 pharmacy deductible, and a maximum out of pocket expense of $5,000 for an individual per year. In total, when factoring the maximum out-of-pocket expense and the cost of...
  • JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: WHO RIDES THE ELEPHANT?

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: WHO RIDES THE ELEPHANT? Tom reviews Ryan Sager 's new book, The Elephant in the Room , a libertarian lament of the modern GOP. --The Editors
  • DOG-WHISTLE POLITICS.

    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 Times reports , 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: Scrambling to pass anti-abortion legislation before they recess for fall congressional elections, House Republicans on Tuesday won passage of a bill that would make it a federal crime to evade one state's parental consent laws by taking a minor to another state for an abortion. But in a mark of the majority party's struggles with its "values" agenda, Senate Republicans may run out of time to vote on the measure before lawmakers leave town at the end of the week...
  • PHONY MODERATES. ...

    PHONY MODERATES. The Prospect 's own Harold Meyerson earns his pay today with a Washington Post column excoriating the notion that moderate Republicans are, in fact, moderates: Chafee and his moderate band are an ever weaker force in a party whose very essence is extreme, whose electoral strategy is solely to mobilize its base, whose legislative strategy is never to seek votes across party lines. And unless these moderates boldly go where they have not gone before and cast their vote for majority leader (and I don't mean in caucus, I mean on the Senate floor) for someone other than the nominee of their party caucus, they are not moderates at all. They are loyal and indispensable foot soldiers in the Republicans' continuing campaign to drag the nation rightward and backward. And guess what. The moderates will vote for the extremist. "Moderate," after all, is only an adjective; "Republican" is a noun. Chafee, Snowe, the whole lot of them, are moderate enablers of an extremist party...
  • NYT Threatens Readers on Health Care Costs

    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. We can also say the same thing about the change in spending over the last 35 years, with the increase in spending in the United States vastly exceeding the increase in spending in other countries, with no corresponding gains in outcomes. For example, while life expectancy incrased by 5.9 years between 1970 and 2000 in the United States, it increased by 6.4 years in Canada. Over roughly the same period, Canada's per person health care spending went from 85 percent of the U.S. level in 1970 to 52 percent...
  • LOOKING FORWARD TO...

    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: while the national numbers have improved for the GOP over the last month, on balance the state polling has not. Looking at the RCP Averages in the contested Senate races, the Democrats are poised to pick up seats in Pennsylvania, Montana, Ohio and Rhode Island, while the Republicans look likely to win in New Jersey. That gives the Democrats a three-seat pick up with the need to pick up another three seats to win control. The problem for the GOP is Tennessee and Virginia have moved into toss up status, along with Missouri. The Democrats' odds of capturing the Senate have actually improved the last two months at the same time their national numbers vis-�-vis the...
  • DEWINE LOOKING FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION?

    DEWINE LOOKING FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION? Mike DeWine may be able to distance himself from his fellow Ohio Republicans' ethical scandals, from Ken Blackwell 's God-centered politicking, and even, just maybe, from Bush , but will he distance himself from the Armageddon hunters ? In this photo, circulated by Rod Parsley , DeWine is shown meeting with Parsley and Ohio delegates of John Hagee 's Christians United for Israel (CUFI) this summer, discussing "his support for the nation of Israel." But for Hagee, Parsley, and their CUFI followers, "supporting Israel" has meant lobbying against the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah and clamoring for military intervention against Iran. Their motives do not stem from a love of the nation of Israel, as Israel-supporting Jews in Ohio might expect. Rather, they seek a world-ending conflagration leading to the Second Coming of Christ. As Parsley put it in his newsletter with the photo of DeWine, CUFI is "an organization that supports Israel in...

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