Silver shows that Obama's approval among whites has dropped significantly, but it was very inflated at Inauguration Day. He's back to roughly 40 percent, which is basically the best a Democratic nominee ever gets from whites on election day.
What a difference a day makes - polling shows the new HCR law is unsurprisingly more popular now that it's passed. Check out some of the good early analysis from The Monkey Cage. Also, The Bounce is covered with more background by Nate Silver.
She said it could be done when the White House was tempted to retreat with smaller, piecemeal reform. This was her victory.
For Every Winner, There is a Loser
"Health care now becomes a policy story rather than a legislative sausage-grinding story. Tales of death panels and warnings about losing your doctor can now be falsified. (That's what happened to the early scare stories about Social Security and Medicare.) And Republicans who denounce the program and promise to repeal it will no longer be bashing an abstraction. They will be proposing to take away existing, tangible benefits." - William Saletan, Slate
Signing the bill into law doesn't get Democrats out of midterm trouble. They will lose seats in 2010, there is no way around it. Without Obama himself on the ballot, the Democratic coalition is not going to show up at the polls as they would need to hold every seat. This is not just because the incumbent president's party has a history of midterm disadvantages. The very few people who regularly vote in midterms are older, whiter, and more affluent than the general population and likely voters in presidential election years. The exact opposite demographics of the coalition that elected President Obama. For the best predictions, I recommend following Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato for numbers.
No Child Left Behind is not beyond fixing. Obama is proposing changes that make sense and free schools from unrealistic goals:
"The president's proposal to Congress, released Saturday, would place more importance on academic growth than the current pass-fail approach to judging schools. If a student were to start class work three grade levels behind and move up two by the end of the school year, that would count as a victory. Now, it is rated a failure because the student is still behind."
- The Washington Post
Video of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressing the proposal and concern from teachers' unions.
Among other historical improvements made by the Texas Board of Education, Thomas Jefferson is expunged like Trotsky for believing in the separation of church and state. Why does this matter? The huge buying power of the Texas influences textbooks nationwide. More on how they did it.