Governor Cuomo’s big headache over the Moreland Commission, his shuttered anti-corruption panel, is not getting better. Following the New York Times’ giant front-page exposé about interference from the governor’s staff any time the commission got too close to Cuomo or his political allies, a few members of the panel have come forward to say — contra their own quotes in the Times’ detailed reporting — that actually, Cuomo’s office didn’t butt in at all. The potential problem, legally speaking, is that Cuomo may have asked them to say that.
"The U.S. didn't assign responsibility for the shelling," which the U.N. said was carried out by Israeli forces, when it condemned this morning's attack on a school housing 3,300 displaced Palestinians in Gaza, the AP reports. But the White House is "extremely concerned" that the shelters aren't safe. "All of these actions, and similar ones earlier in the conflict, are inconsistent with the U.N.'s neutrality," said a spokesperson. "This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible." Meanwhile, the U.S. is also sending more ammunition to the IDF.
Last week, the latest desperation lawsuit to stop Obamacare — which had previously been laughed out of court — got new life when two Republican-appointed justices sided with the plaintiff. At that point, events were still proceeding in more-or-less familiar ways. But over the last few days, events have taken a bizarre and unfathomable turn. The original question — How will the health-care law be affected? — has given way to deeper ones, like, Is there such a thing as truth? and Can the power of motivated reasoning make ideologues believe literally anything?
This week, House Republicans are moving forward with their plan to sue President Obama for executive overreach — specifically, the White House’s delaying of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. It’s a silly piece of political performance art designed to amp up the Republican base. But something much sillier has rapidly subsumed it — a political meme that is rallying conservatives and liberals alike, and that an idle media has amplified with gusto. Welcome to impeachment mania.
A half-dozen years ago, I attended the first conference of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel organization, to debate the meaning of the term pro-Israel itself. Pitted against Matthew Yglesias, I maintained that, while one certainly did not need to agree with everything Israel does to be pro-Israel, a meaningful definition required some form of sympathy more concrete than the sort one might extend to humanity writ large. I suggested two possible qualifications: a sympathy for the country’s history vis-à-vis its critics, or an ongoing support for its political stance in relation to its international foes. It has dawned on me that I am one of the liberal Jews who, by the second definition, if not the first, has grown less pro-Israel over the last decade.
I have spent years gently mocking Ross Douthat, who is actually one of my favorite opinion writers, for his fatal flaw of detecting signs of ideological moderation in a succession of Republican figures like Sarah Palin, Eric Cantor, Tim Pawlenty, and others. Now he has finally snapped. After my latest provocation, Douthat replies with a double-barreled post angrily accusing me of cherry-picking his posts. For good measure, Douthat also accuses me of committing the same crime against Reason’s Peter Suderman, about whom I wrote earlier this month. I’ll address both, beginning with Suderman.
The Sarah Palin Channel exists.
"Are you tired of the media filters? Well, I am. I always have been," says the former TLC reality star in her introductory message. "So, we're going to do something about it."
In the wake of the disastrous 2012 election, Paul Ryan recognized that he faced a central problem: He was beginning to be seen not as the bold paragon of fiscal rectitude that media accounts had relentlessly depicted when he first emerged as a Republican leader, but as an “Ayn Rand miser.” Over the last year he has moved to repair the damage, undertaking a putatively secret yet widely publicized poverty tour, and finally, last week, unveiling an actual plan to address poverty. The question looming over Ryan is whether he believes his policy profile was substantively flawed or merely misunderstood.
“Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.”
It’s a catchy headline from the Washington Post, and a common-sense reading of it would suggest that President Obama has managed to narrow the once-yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots. But here comes the tricky bit: President Obama has reduced inequality, but inequality has not fallen during his presidency.
This week a federal appeals court ruled that consumers are not be eligible for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act if they purchased insurance on the federally run exchange. On Thursday night, New York's Annie Lowrey appeared on All In With Chris Hayes to discuss the decision, and why it may hurt people in poorer states if it's upheld by the Supreme Court. States that opted out of the Medicaid expansion "are not getting the full benefits of the law, but they're still paying for it," Lowrey notes. Similarly, if people lose health insurance subsidies in the 36 states using the federal exchange, "you'd have a system where in states like New York and California that set up their own exchanges and accepted the Medicaid expansion, they're really benefiting," Lowrey says. "They could end up being pretty significantly subsidized by the poor red states where most of the residents who this law was intended to benefit are living."
Deep behind a tangle of denial and rebranding initiatives, a GOP resuscitation plan emerges.By Frank Rich
When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.By Jason Zengerle
Jon Favreau’s most enduring riffs.
Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013
For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.By Ezra Klein
Mother Jones Jan. 15, 2013
Our debt dysfunction began with the Constitution, funded Manifest Destiny, and makes the trillion dollar coin look tame.By Tim Murphy
Salon Jan. 15, 2012
Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.By Steve Kornacki
New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010
After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009
Obama drew progressive ire from day one.By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008
How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.By Jeff Coplon