Scott Walker, the battle-hardened governor of Wisconsin, is the candidate that the factional candidates should fear. Not only does he seem poised to run—he released a book last week—but he possesses the tools and positions necessary to unite the traditional Republican coalition and marginalize its discontents.
It literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens
3 theories for why the House GOP is about to totally crack up
The Republican National Committee didn’t wait for President Obama to give his big address today before rendering a verdict on it. “Same Speech, Different Day.” And, for a change, they had it exactly right.
ICYMI Tumblr fans, the October 25th issue of The New Republic is out, with pieces by Nicholas Lemann on the inscrutable Barack Obama, Cass Sunstein on law, economics, and psychology in consumer markets, Helen Vendler on the poems of Dante, and Jonathan Chait on the future of conservatism. Check it out and subscribe http://bit.ly/R9TWOZ
Are GOP governors overplaying their hands on the Medicaid expansion?
"Rick Perry wants Texas to reject Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, even though it’d bring health insurance to several million people. But plenty of Texans disagree. And some of that have a lot of influence.
As Jay Hancock reports today at Kaiser Health News, two groups of powerful interests are preparing to pressure Perry if, come next year, the state really does decide to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. One group is the hospitals that, absent the Medicaid expansion, will be bearing the cost of charity care even as they cope with declining revenue from other resources. The other group is private insurers, who see the growing Medicaid population as a huge profit opportunity and have been investing large amounts of money to prepare for it.”
Jonathan Cohn — "Gov. Perry, Your Health Care Lobbyists Are Calling"
Eric Andrew-Gee digs into the consequences of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law
THE VOTER ID law, which was passed by a Republican statehouse and will be enforced starting in September, requires voters to show valid photo ID every time they vote. The claim is that stringent rules will prevent voter fraud, particularly voter impersonation—basically, a voter pretending to be another voter.
But in a state where the last recorded case of voter impersonation happened ten years ago, what explains Republicans’ ardor for the cause? In late June, Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania’s Republican House Majority Leader, gaffed his way toward revealing the truth. In the course of listing his party’s recent achievements, Turzai said the voter ID law was “going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
He couldn’t have been clearer: fighting voter fraud is a fig leaf. The real goal is stealing Pennsylvania’s presidential contest from Barack Obama by suppressing the votes of his supporters. And the scary thing is, they might succeed.
— Eric Andrew-Gee, “Will Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Cost Obama the Election?”
Ed Kilgore on Louisiana’s foray into free-market education
We all got a good laugh at the recent befuddlement (reported at TNR by Amy Sullivan) of a conservative Republican legislator from Louisiana who withdrew her support from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program when she realized that its open door to public support for religious schools was not limited to those catering to Christians.
But the underlying principle of Jindal’s initiative—and arguably of Mitt Romney’s little-discussed proposal to convert the bulk of federal K-12 education dollars into vouchers—is no laughing matter. No-strings vouchers based on the idea that “the market” or the wishes of parents are an adequate or even ideal form of “educational accountability” could reflect a sharp U-turn in the standards-and-accountability trend in U.S. education that Republicans and conservatives until recently championed. Indeed, Jindal’s (and Romney’s?) agnosticism about the quality of schools receiving public funds represents an abandonment of the very idea of “public education” other than as a mechanism for subsidizing private choices.
Does Romney have it right on minimum wage?
"It’s well known that Mitt Romney is a shameless flip-flopper ready to shed any and all traces of his former moderation to win the GOP nomination. But this week we’ve seen an instance where Romney has been falsely accused of flip-flopping, yet Romney, hilariously, hasn’t protested, presumably because he has no particular interest in correcting the record."
- Timothy Noah, Psst. Romney Still Supports Minimum Wage
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