The news of the day is that Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who makes up for his principle-free ideology with a complete lack of charisma, has decided not to run for re-election. The best immediate reaction came from our friend Ezra, who said that Bayh "wants to spend more time scolding his family for moving too far to the left."
If you're a Democrat, chances are that on more than a few occasions in the last few months, you've heard about the latest tactical maneuver from Republicans in Congress and said, "This time they've gone too far. Surely they'll pay a price for this latest outrage."
Leading up to the White House health-care "summit" on Feb. 25, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat -- trying hard to seem like a reasonable conservative -- offers a blueprint for bipartisanship:
The right seeks a functioning marketplace in health care, subsidized but not micromanaged by the government. However many small steps the Democratic legislation takes in that direction, its biggest step goes miles the other way — toward a world where consumers are required to buy a particular kind of health insurance, insurers are required to sell it to them, and the cost of health care gets held down, ultimately, by price controls and bureaucratic supervision.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll has some predictably bad news for Obama -- falling approval ratings, particularly on the economy -- and some remarkably good news. For instance, when they asked respondents who is more responsible for the budget deficit -- which has become the rallying cry of the GOP, not to mention the tea baggers warning about our descent into socialism -- 41 percent said it was primarily the fault of the Bush administration, 24 percent said it was primarily the fault of Congress, and only 7 percent said it was the fault of the Obama administration. So that's one Republican message that isn't getting through.
On Wednesday, Google announced that it would be experimenting with building an ultra-high-speed broadband network -- delivering up to 1 gigabyte of data per second, which is about 20 times as fast as what most broadband subscribers get today -- serving somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 lucky consumers in a small number of communities to be named later. "Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the Web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York," Google says. "Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes.