Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Only Nixon Can Go To China

Announced the day before April Fool's for a reason:
Obama plans to "drill, baby, drill" off the GOP's own energy platform. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why I Wish I Was a Political Scientist...

...I would be able to prove things I had been suspecting just as Nate Silver just did for me on FiveThirtyEight.

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. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Is the Receipt Itemized? Let's Hope Not.

An elephant never pay cash at the S&M lunch? Guess not. 

Republican safe words? I'd add "shock & awe", "tax cut", and "family values" to the list. (Thanks, Nick.)

UPDATE 3/31/10: Pete Sessions also spared no expense when entertaining donors with nude women.

The Empire Strikes Back

Everyone hates Duke Vader...except Dick Vitale, baby. 

Nate Silver has an interesting look at Michigan State under Tom Izzo beating the odds to make a 6th Final Four in 15 years. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tea Party Patriot Dreams

(If Sarah "Hitlist" Palin produced a remake of "The Patriot".)

The legislative fight may be over, but the cowardly brick tossing and threats of violence are just beginning.

Frank Rich calls it like it is in his excellent op-ed "The Rage is Not About Health Care".

3/30 UPDATE: Eugene Robinson reacts to Hutaree militia.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pauly D Might Protest "The Situation"

It is going to cost MTV a lot more to produce the next season of "Jersey Shore" with the tanning tax from health care reform.

UPDATE 3/30/10: Is it the tax racist? Would you be surprised to hear on Glenn Beck's show that it is?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Right Medicine for Joe

Yes, Joe, this bill is a big bleeping deal and that mic was bleeping hot. Can't get enough Veep gaffes? Slate keeps track of them just like they did for Bush

3/24/10 UPDATE: 
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.

4/1/20 UPDATE: 
Embracing the gaffe and cashing in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Give Credit Where Due

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. 

3/23/10 UPDATE:
Diane Sawyer asks Pelosi if she sees herself as the "the most powerful woman in American history".

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reforming the Reform

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.

Obama can improve the legacy of their partnership

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Texas: The Leader in Alternative History

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.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can we profile "crazy"?

You don't need a international organization sponsoring you to be a terrorist.

Check out this great cartoon from Jim Morin of The Miami Herald:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010