• Clinton Care in 1,000 Words or Less

    Jon Cohn's post on Clinton's health care plan is essential.  I can't think of any lesson so misremembered, warped, opportunistically used, and wrongly interpreted as the one Democrats have drawn from that battle.  In it, the special interests whom the plan was designed to win over (big business and the insurance industry) sat out and the Democratic constituencies (labor, liberals) who needed to play ball walked off the field.  But this isn't, as many Democrats seem to think, an inevitable outcome of health care reform, it's a lesson on what happens if you assume good intentions where none exist. 

  • Book Club

    Over at TPM Cafe, Josh has had some cool threads with readers suggesting favorite books in a genre.  I'm going to copy him.  This week, finals end.  When they end, I'm going on a week of vacation (but, if all goes well, you folks will have some sweet guest bloggers keeping you entertained) that, if I have my way, will be about as unpolitical as possible.  With that in mind, what're your favorite nonpolitical nonfiction books?  I'm talking quirky history books (though not epic, governments-and-wars history), sociology studies, biographies (nonpolitical ones, though), and so forth. 

  • Medicare For All

    I've been trying to decide whether or not to link to Krugman's column today.  On the one hand, it's a nice restatement of the liberal position on health care.  On the other, it's pretty simplistic -- you guys have heard this before.  But it does inadvertently make a point that needs to be said louder.  Some single payer advocates think the very idea is simple enough, that just bringing it out into the world will give us a comprehensible and broadly supportable strategy.  Not so -- single payer is actually quite odd  The idea of a government takeover in health care turns folks off, at which point we have to explain that no, the government isn't taking over health care

  • Hillary Haters

    In one of the weirdest stories I've ever read, Matt Drudge is reporting that Ed Klein's upcoming, hatchet-job-to-end-all-hatchet-jobs alleges that Bill Clinton raped Hillary to conceive Chelsea.


    Putting aside the fact that Hillary was one of the most liberated women of her generation and would be about as likely to accept forcible assault as step out of a moving plane sans-parachute, this story is still weird.  After all that's been written on Bill, on Hillary, on Billary, on their relationship, on their lack of a one has found this?  I've got my doubts.

  • Pointer

    You guys should all check out Mnemosyne's Playground.  She was one of the best commentors at Pandagon, and her blog is shaping up just as good. 

  • Parochial Concerns

    I couldn't disagree more with Matt's casual acceptance of voucher schools as a way to increase funding for parochial schools.  He seems to present it as an issue of choice -- this lets parents choose what sort of school to send their children to.  But that's not exactly true, it's the subsidization of certain choices over others.  How many Buddhist voucher schools are there?  Jewish?  Hindu?  Muslim?   

  • Repeal McCain-Feingold!

    I have to agree with James Hamilton: it's time to repeal McCain-Feingold.  I'd much rather have parties absorbing unlimited contributions than watch the funding get sucked up by unaccountable, unknowable 527's.  Parties and campaigns can, at the least, be held accountable.  527's, on the other hand, are just hatchet men, called in for the dirty work and disavowed for the cameras.  And while it's certainly true that legislation can correct this specifically (and indeed, similar bills have been introduced), what, then, happens to 501(c)6's?  What happens to online sp

  • More on Clinton Hating

    In response to yesterday's post on Clinton hatred, Tim Lee writes in with a possible explanation:

    Clinton hatred started during the campaign. By the end of 1992, it
    was clear that Clinton was a draft dodging, pot smoking, womanizing,
    shameless liar. To conservatives, this a big deal, and Clinton made no
    particular attempt to hide or apologize for it. Now, liberals rightly
    point out that Bush is a draft dodging, coke-consuming liar as well.
    And they're right.

  • The Chairman

    Matt makes a good point on Dean:

    Obviously, anyone in politics needs to pay some attention to what
    kind of press they get. Even the importance of this can be overstated,
    but the trap you really don't want to fall into is of caring whether or
    not this segment of media figures likes or respects you. Some
    Republicans (Chuck Hagel) play this game, but most quite wisely do not.
    Democrats are hampered in this respect because reporters and Democratic
    operatives tend to come from the same social class. But you don't want
    to treat reporters like their your friends, or the in-crowd from high
    school that might let you sit at the cool table.

  • Miniblog

    I'm getting back into using the miniblog, so make sure to take a look at it now and again.  Lots of interesting stuff that I've no angle to comment on but should nevertheless be widely read.