The States Versus ObamaCare

Posted by , 5th January 2011

Pam Bondi
1/5/2011

As new state attorneys general take office in the coming weeks, Bondi expects an increase in the number of states challenging ObamaCare in court. No legislation in our history alters the balance of power between Washington and the states so much as ObamaCare does. The lawsuit brought by 19 states to challenge it is based on the notion that an individual’s decision not to purchase health insurance is not an act of “commerce” that can be regulated under Congress’s constitutionally enumerated powers. If the courts deem the federal health-care law to be constitutional, then there are no meaningful constitutional restraints on Congress’s power to regulate virtually every facet of our lives.

Bondi is the attorney general of Florida.

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General Petraeus’s Surge Map

Posted by , 22nd December 2010

General PetraeusMatthew Kaminski
12/22/2010

The surge in Afghanistan is a wager that we can make the country a less violent and more stable base for America. Kaminski notes that America’s forces aren’t leaving anytime soon and probably not in this lifetime. Where the US military has gone in robustly, the Taliban has folded. The Afghan government’s shortcomings feed the insurgency. President Karzai squandered nine years, but the Taliban is hated. Only a tenth of Afghans tell pollsters they prefer them, and their sympathy is often as much practical as ideological. Afghans want the state to protect and serve them. In the many places it fails, the Taliban steps into the gap. Kaminski argues that giving up prematurely on our Afghan surge could make the fantasy of failure real.

Kaminski is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

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Memo to board: we need to talk about BP

Posted by , 20th December 2010

BP oil spillMichael Skapinker
11/1/2010

Skapinker says that following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster, all companies should set aside time to discuss the implications of a catastrophe hitting their organization. A disaster can hit any firm so they should all take time to think what their potentially grave threats are and how they would deal with them. The Deepwater Horizon disaster highlighted the importance of having a well-rehearsed response ready for when things go wrong. Skapinker adds that there is little point in firms moaning about adverse media coverage should catastrophe hit. Round-the-clock news, blogs, and Twitter accounts are the way of the world now. The smart move is to prevent a disaster happening in the first place.

Michael Skapinker is an assistant editor of the Financial Times, a columnist and the editor of the FT’s special reports

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When Zombies Win

Posted by , 20th December 2010

MoneyPaul Krugman
12/20/2010

Even though free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about nearly everything, Krugman says they dominate political thought now more than ever. He points out that everything the right said about Obama’s economic policies was wrong, including warnings that interest rates would rise along with a hyper-inflation. They were also wrong about politics abroad, including idealizing Ireland as a shining example of sound economic policies. Krugman says it is one thing to stay true to your ideals and goals, but it is entirely another to open the door to what he calls zombie ideas because they could kill the economy.

Krugman is a New York Times columnist.

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When it comes to politics, Obama’s ego keeps getting in the way

Posted by , 17th December 2010

Michael Gerson
12/17/2010

Rather than celebrate a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation over the new tax deal, President Obama has gone on the offensive, skewering both Democrats and Republicans over the difficulty of getting the deal done. His actual governance has generally proven more effective than his politicking, but the president’s wont for saying the wrong thing is quickly exhausting his limited political capital.

Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post.

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Obama and the Pakistan Dilemma

Posted by , 16th December 2010

Pakistani FlagMatthew Kaminski
12/16/2010

Pakistan is becoming more like Afghanistan, only with a more advanced economy and nuclear weapons, writes Kaminski. The idea that Islamabad’s leaders can control the Taliban is probably a necessary fiction, but the reality is that many extremists have slipped their leash. Pakistan’s military has yet to show that it wants to–or that it can–control the Islamist wave. Gen. David Petraeus, the American commander in Afghanistan, certainly has contingency plans for Pakistan that go beyond extra doses of drones or diplomacy. Putting American boots in Waziristan is an obvious idea. But, Kaminski concludes, this is unappealing, as the fallout in Pakistan would be hard to predict. So for the moment America gets to pretend that Pakistan can do this on its own.

Kaminski is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

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Where the ‘No Labels’ movement falls short

Posted by , 16th December 2010

No Labels LogoE.J. Dionne Jr.
12/16/2010

A nascent “No Labels” movement to reclaim the political center is admirable in its intent but questionable in its pragmatic value. Active Republicans are almost entirely absent from its ranks, and it equates the far left and far right as equivalent dangers even though the socialist position of the 20th century far left has been entirely abandoned. If it cannot garner a broader coalition or take a more accurate view of the current state of American politics, the “No Labels” movement will be consigned to a benign obscurity.

Dionne is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing on national policy and politics.

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A progressive’s answer to Obama

Posted by , 16th December 2010

Obama-Clinton.jpgKatrina vanden Heuvel
12/15/2010

The recent tax cut deal is yet another example of how President Obama’s centrist focus has resulted in failure to define his principles and values (and, by extension, America’s). While the author concedes that compromising on policy is part of the political game, she disagrees with compromising one’s principles. Strong leadership, says vanden Heuvel, should not be defined by compromise but by a clear, defensible vision and the mobilization of popular support. If Obama’s pattern of compromise continues, he may leave behind few achievements and a disillusioned Democrat party.

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of The Nation magazine.

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Health reform will survive its legal fight

Posted by , 14th December 2010

HospitalEric Holder and Kathleen Sibelius
12/14/2010

Various suits are challenging the constitutionality of health care reform and particularly the provision that those who are able to afford coverage must purchase an insurance policy. Uninsured citizens currently add approximately $1000 per year to insured individuals’ rates through their burden on the health care system. Without mandating basic coverage, the other provisions, including those for persons with pre-existing conditions, will not be feasible.

Holder is the attorney general of the United States. Sebelius is secretary of health and human services.

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