The one surprise left to us in American politics is the rare appearance of good news—that really is a shock, the jewel at the bottom of Pandora's box (ἐλπίς, the spirit of Hope, ha ha). And a certain amount of good news has been wandering over the transom in recent weeks, courtesy of the Sanity Wing of the Republican party, of all places, which until late last year I had assumed to be an entirely theoretical phenomenon, like phlogiston.
Did you read it yet? Did you? Go read it. It's one of those bold, declarative stories that needed to be lodged in both the consciousness right now and also in the longer historical record, so that we all know exactly what's going on.
"A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance…. Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, [...]
Posted inside all the phonebank cubbies at Sharron Angle's Las Vegas headquarters, there’s a sheet that instructs her volunteers how to deal with anyone who has questions regarding Sharron Angle's relationship to the Mormon Church. This is because Angle's pastor has denounced the LDS Church—of which her opponent, Harry Reid, is a member—as a "cult." So concerned people are to be given the number of a "well known leader" and "Friend." I called to speak with this former bishop of the LDS church.
John's large belly gave his Jimi Hendrix shirt a 3D-like quality. When I asked for his age he said, “Somewhere between birth and death, that's all you need to know.” I'd guess probably around 48. I spoke to him at a bar and music venue on Hollywood Boulevard called Loaded.
I don't know much about the Affordable Care Act—what even the newspapers now call Obamacare—but I need to have an opinion, so I went to some bars in Hollywood to ask people to explain it to me. Maybe someone at the bars had tried to sign up. There’s been a lot of talk about the failure of the websites [...]
"Perhaps," Ezra Klein wrote last week, "the Supreme Court will surprise us on this one"—meaning the Court might not overturn the part of the Affordable Care Act that would require nearly all Americans to maintain at least some amount of healthcare insurance. "But if they don’t, I think the right question will be why so few in the legal academy saw it coming."
The list of constitutional law scholars who have stated publicly that the individual mandate is constitutional includes some of the most famous legal minds in the nation. Laurence Tribe. Kathleen Sullivan. Ronald Dworkin. Lawrence Lessig.
What a fascinating time. When you start staring at our government and its economy, you can start to feel an urge to put together a Carrie Mathison-style wall chart. Because on some level, it all starts to seem like it fits together, doesn't it?
• Here is an "explainer" about What The Federal Reserve Does. Spoiler: what the Fed has done for the last several years is literally give money for free to banks every day. Banks use that borrowed money to make money, including, even, sometimes, by loaning that money to customers. Exciting policy, am I right? "The campaign that gets all the publicity is called quantitative [...]
Gingrich: There is a lot of big government behind Romneycare, not as much as Obamacare, but a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.
Romney: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.
Gingrich: That's not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.
Romney: Yeah. We got it from you and the Heritage Foundation and from you.
Gingrich: What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.
That exchange, from the October 18th GOP presidential primary debate, likely caused a good number of clenched sphincters within the drop-ceilings of power at The Heritage Foundation. Until [...]