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Today I wrote about why legal challenges to the health-care reform bill are unlikely to work and wouldn't much matter even if they did, looked at whether the Republican strategy of opposition to health-care reform served them well, and watched as the GOP's strategies to derail reconciliation fell apart.

Here's what I didn't get to:

1) The White House releases a year of photos chronicling their internal deliberations.

2) The allegations that Christiane Amanpour doesn't have an inside-the-beltway perspective and has angered people by taking reasoned stands on important issues makes me think she's a good choice to host ABC's Sunday program “This Week.”

3) Remembering a road trip with David Foster Wallace.

4) The administration doesn't have much of a Fannie and Freddie strategy.

5) I'll be on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann tonight (though I think Lawrence O'Donnell is still guest hosting).

Recipe of the day: Romesco potatoes.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 23, 2010; 7:25 PM ET
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--"I'll be on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann tonight "--

I could be wrong, but I think the Cartoon Network has higher ratings.

Posted by: msoja | March 23, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

good. you're on with Lawrence O'Donnell. Make sure you ask him about his remarks on cost and the excise tax from his time on Morning Joe last week.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

a beautiful night for all of us!

Posted by: jkaren | March 23, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It's Olbermann.

Posted by: elt28 | March 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

NVM lol

Posted by: elt28 | March 23, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"I could be wrong, but I think the Cartoon Network has higher ratings."

...and I think you are almost certainly one of its most loyal viewers, msoja.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Olbermann hosted last night. So, Ezra doesn't watch Countdown, we've learned?

Posted by: gocowboys | March 23, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"Olbermann hosted last night. So, Ezra doesn't watch Countdown, we've learned?"

...and, just as Ezra anticipated, it was Laurence O'Donnell guest-hosting tonight.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 23, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse


Are you a left-wing stooge . . or are you a left-wing stooge?

Posted by: mitchflorida | March 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Ezra is not a left wing stooge. He's a thoughtful liberal. Christiane Amanpour, on the other hand . . . Inside the Beltway? Try inside the politburo. Sheesh.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 23, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@Patrick_M haha alright I'll take a draw?

Posted by: gocowboys | March 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why people come on here to troll. It's a waste of time, doesn't add to the discussion..what's the point?
In response to the post though, I have to say, as a fellow food geek, the mere idea of those potatoes is making my "gobuytheingredientstothatdishNOW" alarm go off.

Posted by: SashaAriane | March 24, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

""Christiane Amanpour, on the other hand . . . Inside the Beltway? Try inside the politburo. ""

Wow Kevin. Wasting no time heading out to repeat the talking points you've been faxed. Impressive.

Posted by: tyromania | March 24, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how the supreme court could declare the health care bill unconstitutional without also declaring programs such as SS, medicare, medicaid, the Draft, and even federal income taxes unconstitutional.

Republicans failed in earlier attempts to declare SS and medicare unconstitutional, and here they are trying again.

I think Republicans are playing with pandora's box on this one, especially now that we have an ultra-conservative court demonstratively willing to overturn long-standing legal precedents that sour in the mouths of neocons.

The US gvmt has constitutional mandates to provide for the common defense and general welfare.

A properly functioning health care system and a strong national defense are the two most important things the fed gvmt can do to save American lives and financial security and to secure the blessings of liberty as well as the pursuit of happiness (i.e. common defense and general welfare).

If the current activist court, in addition to interfering with Bush V Gore in 2000 and overturning local gun laws and overturning campaign limits on corporations, also decides to act in an ideological manner to throw out the meat in this health bill, then I think programs such as SS, medicare and medicaid will be the next targets by the neocons in their ongoing culture war.

All the opinions of constitutional scholars and legal precedents matter naught right now.

It is obvious that Republican Attorney Generals or Governors across the country are making a play to get their case heard by the USSC so culture war generals like Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, can overturn health care in its entirety (not just the mandate). These people don't care about the constitutional or legal precedents. Rather, they have been working overtime to put their libertarian stamp on the country. Many of their recent decisions since 2000 prove it.

I predict that if this case makes it way to the SC, the culture war generals leading and sitting on the bench will spay and neuter the health care reform bill, and that in turn will embolden further erosions on SS and medicare and similar programs in the near future.

The GOP has discovered they don't need to control Congress or the White house to transform the USA into a libertarian society. All they need is a stacked judicial system, and that's exactly what they now have.

If your goals are to build or create, you need control of Congress or the White House. If your goals are to destroy or tear down, all you need is a stacked judicial system willing to do your dirty work.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 24, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

don't worry Lomillalor they're not going to take away your access to healthcare. I'm confident it won't happen.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Medicare IS insurance that the government forces, mandates, us to “buy” via FICA. Even though we may never want to use Medicare - we are still forced to “buy” Medicare via FICA.

IF: any person refuses to pay their share of FICA
THEN: The IRS does, in deed, impose a penalty & interest on the person.
... and .. IF: the person still refuses

THEREFORE: The government already has legal precedent to mandate we buy insurance.

Personally, I'd rather we be able to enroll in Medicare since we already are buying it.

Posted by: cynprof | March 24, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse


weren't you "confident" HCR would not pass?


Posted by: Lomillialor | March 24, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, I think you're right about Amanpour but I'd love to see a full post on her

Posted by: imherefortheezra | March 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse


I honestly thought it ranged from 50/50 at the outset to lows of 30/70 around the town hall days and then through Senator Brown's election. I give Ms Nancy credit. She could have bailed but she stuck to her guns.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

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