Archive

  • P4P PASSES. ...

    P4P PASSES. In politics, the battle lines over health care are drawn atop access. The quality of our care is granted, the only question is how more folk can reap the benefits. In academia, however, the question is as often care. Our surgeons may be on the cutting edge (thanks folks, I'll be here all week), but stepping back a bit from the frontier, the vast majority of care is either inefficiently delivered or simply forgotten. Studies show that we receive only about 55 percent of the recommended treatments for most serious complaints -- and we're not talking CAT scans here, but easy lifesavers, like aspirin and beta blockers after a heart attack. America offers the world's best care for the most exotic and complicated problems, but if you're unlucky enough to suffer something more mundane, you're better off in a host of other hamlets. The policy response here is something called pay For Performance medicine, or P4P. At base, the incentives in our system are to offer treatments,...
  • KOS/ARMSTRONG/ZENGERLE FOLLOWUP. All...

    KOS/ARMSTRONG/ZENGERLE FOLLOWUP. All right, a brief comment on this. The folks out there in the 'sphere alleging that Jason Zengerle deliberately fabricated the now-infamous Gilliard email ought to knock it off. There's no basis for saying that, it would be a ridiculous thing to do, and it's irresponsible to be running around making those kind of charges. To step back a bit, insofar as all that's being alleged by Markos ' detractors, here is something along the lines of "Markos' affections for candidates seems idiosyncratic and not driven by a consistent ideological worldview" that I heartily agree with and I think is a problem. TAPPED , like Max Sawicky , has generally taken the position that, contrary to the C.W., the trouble with the netroots is insufficient dogmatism and strident leftwingery. This is why I now and again have occasion to disagree with something he writes, at which point I genuinely express said disagreement in a blog post. On the other hand, it's hardly as if he's...
  • THE REAL ISSUES....

    THE REAL ISSUES. Jason Zengerle concedes that, as rumored in the blogofascistsphere over the weekend, the email he attributed to Steve Gilliard was inauthentic. He then pleads that we not "use this minor error to distract people from much larger issues," namely: Armstrong's troubles with the SEC; Armstrong's relationship with Moulitsas and Moulitsas's pattern of supporting politicians who hire Armstrong as a consultant; Moulitsas's attempts to silence liberal bloggers from commenting on these matters; the seeming acquiescence of so many of these liberal bloggers (including Greenwald) to Moulitsas's demands; and now, strangely, stuff like this . I have to say that I don't understand this at all . Frankly, I think Markos' views on Mark Warner are wrongheaded and I've said so in the past. That said, I have yet to see Zengerle or anyone else adduce a shred of evidence that Markos took money from the Warner campaign, that Markos took money from Jerome Armstrong , or that Markos threatened...
  • JUST POSTED ON...

    JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: THE BLOGOFASCISTAS. What is the nature of the blogofascist threat, and can liberals summon the will and the courage to face it down? Matt makes the case for putting anti-blogofascism at the center of a new liberalism for the age. --The Editors
  • BUSH AND ROOSEVELT,...

    BUSH AND ROOSEVELT, EMPIRE AND HISTORY. Karl Rove , it seems, thinks Bush 's foreign policy is modeled on Teddy Roosevelt 's. Ross Douthat sees irony : It's funny, because so far the military conflict that the Iraq War most resembles isn't Vietnam or World War II, but the TR-boosted Spanish-American War - a quick and painless military victory over a second-rate power, driven by a mix of idealism, jingoism, and power politics, that segued into a long and grueling counter-insurgency campaign . This is quite right, which is why everyone should read John Judis 's book . Speaking of which, I have some serious doubts about the Supreme Leader's thinking below. The upshot of all this analogizing is that, just as we were in Cuba and Puerto Rico, I think the current administration is really quite deeply committed to an enduring military presence in Iraq and to exercising considerable influence over the Iraqi government. If that can be accomplished in a manner consistent with drawing down 75...
  • OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION....

    OCCAM�S RAZOR EXPLANATION. I think, Ezra , it�s all simpler than that. They invaded Iraq. They didn�t expect a problem. They got a problem. Now they want out. But they want out provided two conditions are met in the process: 1. They can do it in such a way to make the Democrats look weak; 2. They can time it so as to maximize electoral benefit from announcement of withdrawal. Ezra and Matt are making the mistake of discussing substantive factors. You�ve surely learned by now that there is no substance with these people. There is only politics. We will start to get out of Iraq, bit by bit, this September and October. By the end of 2007, a plan will be announced to ensure we�re substantially out (i.e., a 75 percent draw down or some such) by October 2008. You can set your watch by it. Yardsticks of civic stability will be manipulated, just as intelligence was manipulated three and four years ago, to �prove� that Iraq is becoming a stable society at whatever moment the administration...
  • BFF. ...

    BFF. To follow-up on Matt 's point that the Bush administration not only missed, but actively subverted our opportunity to withdraw from Iraq, it's really worth stating the implications of this clearly. For years, the sector of the left concerned with the appearance or existence of imperalist tendencies was mocked and pilloried -- remember Zell Miller foaming over hearing our troops called "occupiers" rather than "liberators"? But they were right. The Bush administration is actively working against the wishes of the elected Iraqi government and the expressed preferences of the American public to pursue an indefinite occupation of Iraq. This is a perpetual deployment on behalf of no stated goals, no wish-list of accomplishments, and no obvious purpose. I can't say whether we want the military bases, the oil, the regional foothold, or anything else; but invading a country, overthrowing their government, and then remaining against the wishes of the elected successors is the very...
  • EVANGELICALS FOR MITT?...

    EVANGELICALS FOR MITT? After noticing an incoming link yesterday from Evangelicals For Mitt , I headed over to the advocacy site to take a look for myself. Unfortunately, the place is barred and shuttered, password protected and closed to the masses. Yet it has been built -- Feedster picked up plenty of text behind the wall, including active links. In my experience, few personal web pages are locked until they're ready, but most all official political organizations keep their door tightly shut until the last possible moment. So I'd guess -- though on the basis of rather flimsy evidence -- that this is a professional site, either sponsored by the campaign or operatives near to it. The "WhoIs" information on the domain name backs up my suspicions; the information is hidden, a Utah-based hosting company being the closest thing you get to a name. Given all the talk that Mitt Romney will find his Mormonism a huge barrier in collecting evangelical votes, it's perhaps not surprising that the...
  • A DESERT WIND...

    A DESERT WIND AND A PERVERSE DESIRE TO WIN. For a while over the weekend, it looked like the Bush administration stumbled into a golden ticket out of Iraq -- a draft national reconciliation plan written by Iraq's prime minister that, among other things, called on the United States to develop a timetable for withdrawal. Rather than embrace this opportunity, however, the administration worked to water down the reconciliation proposals, including the requests for the United States to withdraw. That little saga tells you what you need to know about the vague noise about troop draw-downs emanating from the White House and the Pentagon. As I said last week , the administration doesn't have a real plan to leave Iraq because it doesn't want to leave Iraq . Duncan Black (pseudonyms are a sign of blogofascism) reminds us that we've been here before. Rather than whining that -- shockingly! -- the other political party is being mean to them in an effort to win elections, Democrats need to keep...
  • ASSYMETRICAL WARFARE. I...

    ASSYMETRICAL WARFARE. I wanted to highlight something Ezra passed along from the breakfast with Grover Norquist : "The left, he argued, shouldn't seek to simply mimeograph the right's structure -- CAP for Heritage, Media Matters for Media Research Council, etc. 'You don't have to have the same weapons in politics because both aren't structured the same.'" When you think about it, this seems both obvious, important, and unduly neglected. And it goes beyond institutions -- the progressive and conservative coalitions in America simply aren't mirror images of one another, and so while there are obviously lessons to be learned from looking at the right's rise, you can't simply imitate things that worked for conservatives and hope they work for liberals. In his Los Angeles Times column yesterday , Jon Chait dealt with an important example: "Conservatives venerate the free market and see smaller government as an end in itself. Liberals do not venerate government in the same way, and we do...

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