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Ezra Klein: October 4, 2009 - October 10, 2009

Tab Dump

1) France's politics are really weird. 2) It's really hard to tell whether Stephen Colbert is parodying Glenn Beck or Glenn Beck is parodying Stephen Colbert. 3) The American Prospect is a great institution, and I hope it thrives. 4)...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Tab Dump  
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Obama's Nobel Prize

I had a good time making fun of Barack Obama's Nobel prize this morning. It is undeserved. It is a bit ridiculous. But it's a laugh in the way that finding a $900 antique chair in the attic is a...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Humility in Afghanistan

Joe Klein's got a good column on Afghanistan this week that begins with an anecdote from a different part of Gen. McChrystal's now-famous speech: A few weeks ago, a well-known U.S. military expert gave a wise speech about the near...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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I Heart the Post Office

I had to mail a package today. I was late to do it, and busy, and there's a Fed-Ex/Kinkos storefront steps from my office. Compared to the post office, mailing my package was at least twice as expensive. But...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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What Good Are States?

Reihan Salam wants "a far broader rethinking of state and federal responsibilities.” Matt Yglesias gives him one: [I]t’s difficult to think of what kind of issues are actually well-suited to be dealt with at a state level. It’s easy to...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Government  
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The Congressional Budget Office and Malpractice Reform

The Congressional Budget Office has long estimated that malpractice reform won't save much money. Today, however, it reversed course and released an an updated analysis (pdf) saying that strong malpractice reform would save a bit of money: about 0.5 percent...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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What Happens When You Need a Loan but You Don't Have Any Credit?

"Visa announced this spring that spending on Visa debit cards in the United States surpassed credit for the first time in the company's history," reports Nancy Trejos. "In 2008, debit payment volume was $206 billion, compared with credit volume of...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Bipartisanship Lost

I give David Brooks a hard time sometimes, but I really do wish the conservative movement would follow his example. "If I were in Congress, I’d figure there’s an 80 percent chance of something like [the Baucus bill] passing anyway,"...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Caption Contest

The Washington Post captions this picture "The chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Thorbjoen Jagland, shows a picture of 2009 Nobel peace prize laureate, Barack Obama, after the announcement of the winner in Oslo." I bet you...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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A More Deserving Nominee

Didn't Hillary Clinton deserve the peace prize for this stunning act of diplomacy?...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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American Values

You hear a lot about whether it's consonant with American values for the government to make sure its citizens don't go medically bankrupt or find themselves unable to afford chemotherapy. That, after all, is communism, and we all know there's...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform , Polls  
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Deep Thought

Think conservatives are mad about Obama's peace prize now? Just wait till he donates his winnings to ACORN....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 9, 2009; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Tab Dump

1) Are debit cards replacing credit cards? 2) There are things America doesn't like to think about. 3) Rules for eating, from Michael Pollan. 4) Why does Tom Coburn hate political science?...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Utility of Primaries

I wonder when I'll cease being amazed at Arlen Specter's total capitulation in the face of Joe Sestak's primary challenge?...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Paying for Afghanistan

Matt Yglesias is right that it sounds weirdly radical to hear Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) saying this sort of thing about Afghanistan: As an Appropriator I must ask, what will that policy cost and how will we pay for it?...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 5:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Getting to a Vote

Paul Krugman is right about this, I think: Democrats who probably don’t really want reform have lost what they had in 1993: safety in numbers. It’s one thing to let health care die quietly; it’s another to be one of...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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How Do You Cook When You Can't Taste?

Alinea's Grant Achatz is arguably the most brilliant young chef in the country. But his story is inarguably one of the most remarkable. Achatz, after winning all sorts of renown and receiving all manner of awards, developed a cancerous tumor...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Are People Satisfied With Their Health Care?

In my chat this morning, a reader asked why I considered it a bad thing that health-care reform won't make much of a difference for most Americans. After all, most Americans report themselves satisfied with their health-care coverage. Shouldn't we...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Bad Public Plan Arguments

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy This morning, I was on MSNBC with Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who argued against the public plan by asserting that Medicare was too expensive and bankrupting the country....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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The Best Headline I've Read Today

Derek Thompson: Washington, DC, Leads Nation in Being Green, Hating Hitler The best part is, it's true....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lunch Break

I've been listening to a lot of Regina Spektor's new album lately. Good stuff....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Chat Transcript

Ezra Klein: Happy day-after-the-CBO-score day! Presumably, you're all suitably hungover from celebrating the arrival of estimations on health-care's impact on the 10-year budget window. Let's do some questions. _______________________ Ashland, Mo.: There have been a few articles contending that state...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Post Chat

Starting in 10 minutes or so. Submit questions or join in here....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The Economics of Movie Prices

Indie film producer Nicholas Tabarrok writes: One interesting thing that I've always found about the film business from an economic point of view is that unlike in any other business I can think of, the cost of manufacturing the product...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Movies  
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Meat Facts

From the New Scientist: A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home. As always, the issue isn't that people shouldn't eat...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Food  
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The End of the Man-Cession

With men accounting for three-quarters of recent layoffs, there's been some talk of a "Man-cession." Christopher Swann of Reuters has a great column explaining the phenomenon: [R]ecessions are almost always man-cessions. In 2001, the most recent downturn, women accounted...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Economy  
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Is Mitch McConnell Afraid of the Senate Finance Committee's Bill?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not sound eager to run against the Finance Committee's near-universal, deficit-reducing bill. Here's the statement his office released in response to the Congressional Budget Office's score: This partisan Finance Committee proposal will never...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Menu Labeling a Bust?

I've been a big proponent of affixing calorie counts to menus. There's substantial evidence suggesting that people wildly underestimate the calorie content of dishes at restaurants, and have a lot of trouble reliably guessing whether one dish is lighter...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Food  
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A Public Option Compromise That Might Actually Work?

Sam Stein reports that the Democratic leadership is considering a public option compromise that actually sounds pretty good: Senate Democrats have begun discussions on a compromise approach to health care reform that would establish a robust, national public option...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 8, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Meet the New Health-Care System, Not That Different From the Old Health-Care System

You probably can't see that table particularly well. Click on it, and it'll enlarge. It comes from one of the final pages of the Congressional Budget Office's score (pdf) of the Senate Finance Committee's bill, and it lays out...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Comparing the Finance Bills

Igor Volsky has a fantastic chart comparing the CBO estimate of Max Baucus's first draft and of the amended bill. The takeaway is that the final bill spends slightly less on subsidies, does somewhat more to reduce the deficit and...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Things to Worry About in the CBO's Score

The top-line numbers are very good for reformers. But there are certain things worth fretting over. The first is an amendment that the committee adopted that would require "the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) [to] certify...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Congressional Budget Office Gives Its Blessing to the Senate Finance Committee's Bill

The Congressional Budget Office rendered its verdict (pdf) on the Senate Finance Committee's bill this afternoon. In effect, the agency said the Senate Finance Committee can pass go, and can collect $200. The legislation is projected to cost $829 billion...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Another Stimulus Dissent

In Tuesday's tab dump, I offhandedly mentioned that I agreed with Robert Reich's idea to stimulate the economy by exempting the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes. In comments, ExGovGirl replied: You would never be able to end a...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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A Dissent on the New Jobs Tax Credit

Pete Davis worked on one of the last New Jobs Tax Credits to come through Congress. He's not happy to see it return: Washington likes quick fixes to big problems. Unfortunately, quick fixes rarely benefit the economy. In 1977, in...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Stimulus , Taxes  
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Will Cantor Continue Supporting a Third Stimulus?

The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib joins the calls for more stimulus in the form of a tax cut focused on job creation and more aid to state and local governments. As the New York Times did earlier today,...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Sullivan Disowns McCaughey

In the past, Andrew Sullivan and I have gone a few rounds on his decision to publish Betsy McCaughey's "No Exit" and then brag about the influence it had on the debate. Today, he published something that reads a lot...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 3:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Quantifying Obama's Narcisissm

In his column today, George Will accuses the Obamas of taking an "Olympic Ego Trip." He does this largely by a word count: "In the 41 sentences of her remarks," Will writes, "Michelle Obama used some form of the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Flip-Flopping on the Individual Mandate

You've seen a lot of conservatives attacking an individual mandate in health care. The attacks make sense: The mandate is unpopular. But the mandate originally came to prominence in the moderate Republican proposals offered in 1994 (Democrats wanted an employer...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch Break

Jon Stewart explains how to save Gourmet magazine. The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cPregnant Gourmet Bride Magazinewww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRon Paul Interview...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Question of Cost-Shifting

If you want to see what a good communications strategy can get you, consider this Milliman report commissioned by the insurance industry trade group AHIP. The report found that Medicare and Medicaid used their bargaining power to negotiate prices far...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A Very Strange Argument From Israel's Ambassador to the United States

Michael Oren is upset that a U.N. fact-finding mission found Israel (and Hamas) guilty of war crimes during the Gaza confrontation. As Oren has often done during his long career as a writer, he took to The New Republic...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Israel/Palestine  
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Congress Warms to a Third Stimulus

As we learned last week, Christina Romer's calculation suggested that the stimulus bill should have been $1.2 trillion, rather than $800 billion. That calculation predicted a gap of $2.5 trillion between what the economy was producing and what it could...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Solutions , Taxes  
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The Radical in David Brooks

On Monday, David Brooks wrote about his friends Bentham and Hume. Bentham was sort of a Peter Orszag on steroids: Give him a policy problem and he'd return with a solution tailored to the realities of the political moment and...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Government  
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Rep. Tom Price's 'Empower Patients First' Act

Just spent a few minutes on Dylan Ratigan's program chatting with Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) about his "Empower Patients First" Act. Price's bill has a couple of good ideas in it: Automatic enrollment, for one thing. And extending the employer...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Fox Business Model

Michael Clemente, Fox's senior vice president for news, gave an unintentionally revealing quote to Time's Michael Scherer: The fact that our numbers are up 30 plus in the news arena on basic cable I'd like to think is a sign...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 7, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Tab Dump

1) The Institute of Medicine weighs in on health-care reform. 2) Robert Reich explains "specifically" what we should do for jobs. I support suggestion #2. 3) A primer on the cost of climate legislation. 4) Gerrymandering apparently does not make...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Condé and McKinsey

Condé Nast has long had a reputation for being more than just a company: They're a publisher. Some of their titles make money, of course. But many, like The New Yorker and Gourmet, don't. They protected them anyway. On Monday,...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Journalism  
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Party Like It's 1994

Ever wanted to read the Congressional Budget Office's evaluation of the 1994 health-care reform plan? Well, thanks to my colleague Lori Montgomery, you can. (Warning: it's a 10 megabyte download.) On page 28, you'll see something a little dispiriting. The...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Fake Health-Care Debate

On Monday night, Ben Smith moderated a debate between Betsy McCaughey and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Reflecting on the night, Smith said that McCaughey is "nowhere near the player she was in 1994 -- in part perhaps because she's...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Should America Copy the Dutch?

I wrote this a few months back for the Outlook section, but because of various scheduling issues, it never got published. But with Jon Cohn talking about the Dutch health-care system, and with risk adjustment and failed exchanges in the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Health Reform , Health of Nations  
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Gaming the Exchanges

In 1993, the state of Texas built an "Insurance Purchasing Alliance" that was very much like a health insurance exchange. A few years later, it was dead. Cappy McGarr, who ran the thing, explains what happened: [O]ur exchange failed not...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Dick Gephardt

I'd really like to better understand the psychology of a guy like Dick Gephardt, who spends most his life working with labor unions and advocating for liberal causes, and then as soon as his political career ends, sells himself to...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Learn Something New Every Day

Scientists have recognized a new kind of cloud. It's called the "asperatus," and it looks awesome....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Food and Finance

Economist Andy Samwick also found Sunday's New York Times expose on beef production to be reminiscent of the mortgage market. We once got our meat from slaughterhouses, and now we get our meat from something akin to livestock holding companies....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Food  
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Lunch Break

This is Matt Yglesias, whose blog you know, and Alyssa Rosenberg, whose blog you should know, talking pop culture on Blogging Heads....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Bobby Jindal Embraces the Democratic Plan for Health-Care Reform

Bobby Jindal is no stranger to health-care policy -- quite the opposite, in fact. Before resigning from his position as an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush, virtually his entire governmental experience was in...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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China Facts

From Steve Mufson's article suggesting that Chinese consumers might lead a global recovery: Morgan Stanley estimated that, using conservative projections, China's total consumer spending will surpass that of the United States by 2018. In the first seven months of the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  China  
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Republicans for Health-Care Reform

Democrat-cum-Republican-cum-Independent Mike Bloomberg is impressed with the health-care reform plan winding its way through Congress. The health reform proposal that Congress will shortly consider is shaping up to merit broad, bipartisan support, incorporating Republican ideas and earning deserved support...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Financial Crisis Survivors

Andrew Ross Sorkin offers some unsettling insight into the psychology of the finance CEOs left standing: The one thing I would say is, to the extent that some of these companies have come out the other side and exist today,...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Where's the Beef (Coming From)?

The Times titled this article with the humdrum "E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection," but the mundane head belies some great journalism -- a transfixingly grotesque look at America's beef production complex and its many problems and...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 6, 2009; 9:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Food  
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Tab Dump

1) Bobby Jindal's 10 ideas for Republicans who want to lead on health-care reform. I'll have more to say on this tomorrow. The quick point is that a solid nine of them are in the Democratic plans. 2) Health economist...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Tab Dump  
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The Wisdom of Not Nationalizing

Back when everyone was arguing over nationalization, it was pretty common to hear people invoke Sweden's example. Sweden had survived a financial crisis a few years before, and done so by nationalizing the country's major banks. This was pretty...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 5:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Economic Policy , Solutions  
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How the Obama Administration Developed the Stimulus

From Ryan Lizza's profile of Larry Summers. The most important question facing Obama that day was how large the stimulus should be. Since the election, as the economy continued to worsen, the consensus among economists kept rising. A hundred-billion-dollar stimulus...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Solutions  
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Larry Summers's Unified View of Recessions

From Ryan Lizza's profile: In the fall of 2007, [Summers's] Financial Times columns took on a more urgent tone, starting with a piece on November 25th, titled “Wake Up to the Dangers of a Deepening Crisis.” There had been at...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 4:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Phil Schiliro

Given his influence, and his apparent presence at every important meeting relating to health-care reform (or anything else that travels through Congress), you know who does a really good job staying out of the public eye? Phil Schiliro, who...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Obama administration  
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Doing Government Well

Felix Salmon reads Ryan Lizza's profile of Larry Summers and the Clinton economic team and comes away impressed. On the big things, like nationalization, Salmon thinks they got it right. And not only did they get it right, but the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Obama administration  
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Nationalize Medicaid (Even More!)

Shailagh Murray reports that governors range from concerned to outraged that health-care reform will include a hefty Medicaid expansion that's going to further strain their already strapped budgets. Mitigating the situation is the fact that the bill won't go into...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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A Very Sad Lunch Break

I've been meaning to subscribe to Gourmet magazine. The photos are famously gorgeous. The recipes are great. But I've increasingly come to respect their journalism. Some of the best food-related pieces of the past few years -- David Foster Wallace's...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Food  
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Listen to the Voice of Experience

"Ten years from now," writes Jon Cohn, "if health care reform is a boondoggle, you might be able to trace that failure back to a decision in the wee hours of last week's Senate Finance Committee hearings." The decision...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Count the Votes

Jordan Rau's effort to draw some useful lessons from the collapse of health-care reform in California is worth a read, but it elides one of the biggest differences. The politics might seem similar, but the relevant vote threshold is very...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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What Betsy McCaughey Knows

Michelle Cottle's take down of professional health-care policy liar Betsy McCaughey is deservedly vicious and unabashedly welcome. In particular, there's something sweet about the profile appearing in the New Republic, the magazine which first published McCaughey's deceptions in 1993 and...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Jewish?

The London Telegraph thinks so. Descends from a long line of tallit weavers, apparently. Joe Klein comments. I'm sort of tired of these stories, frankly. Everyone from Madeleine Albright to Wesley Clark to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to be a secret...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Be Informed

Everybody -- and by everybody, I mean a very small percentage of the population, but one that is disproportionately represented in the blogosphere -- is going to be reading Ryan Lizza's lengthy profile of Larry Summers today. You should too....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Handicapping Tomorrow's Finance Committee Vote

The Finance Committee will vote on health-care reform tomorrow.* Jon Cohn runs down the five senators his sources tell him could swing: Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Jay Rockefeller, Ron Wyden and Olympia Snowe. Ceci Connolly, in a nice overview...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Is the Jobs Picture Worse Than We Thought?

That graph is from Calculated Risk. Most of it is familiar. The different lines track the job losses from different recessions. The plunging red line is the current recession. But the dotted red line -- the one plunging faster...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 5, 2009; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Economy  
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