Articles of Interest


The debate over the “public option” in health care has been dismaying in many ways. Perhaps the most depressing aspect for progressives, however, has been the extent to which opponents of greater choice in health care have gained traction — in Congress, if not with the broader public — simply by repeating, over and over again, that the public option would be, horrors, a government program.

Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism — by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always good.Read more »


On a summer visit back to the farm here where I grew up, I think I figured out the central problem with modern industrial agriculture. It’s not just that it produces unhealthy food, mishandles waste and overuses antibiotics in ways that harm us all.

More fundamentally, it has no soul.Read more »

By Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Nate Carlile, Zaid Jilani, and Brad JohnsonRead more »

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sen. Charles Grassley was grumping as usual on MSNBC on Monday morning ("the government is a predator, not a competitor") when journalist Chuck Todd interrupted his rap with a serious question. If the Senate Finance Committee's bipartisan Gang of Six comes up with a compromise that you think is a good deal, Todd asked Grassley, "are you willing to be one of just three or four Republicans" to support that deal?Read more »


According to news reports, the Obama administration — which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the “public option” for health insurance — is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.Read more »

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Try a thought experiment: What would conservatives have said if a group of loud, scruffy leftists had brought guns to the public events of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush?

How would our friends on the right have reacted to someone at a Reagan or a Bush speech carrying a sign that read: "It is time to water the tree of liberty"? That would be a reference to Thomas Jefferson's declaration that the tree "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."Read more »

By Jonathan Alter | NEWSWEEK
Published Aug 15, 2009. From the magazine issue dated Aug 31, 2009Read more »

By Robert Borosage

The editors of the Wall Street Journal say that the public option in health care reform has been "sent to the death panel." Obama "concedes" the public option, reports the Financial Times. Even liberals seem to agree. The public option is "all but gone," writes Bob Herbert of the New York Times. The American Prospect's Mark Schmitt mourns its "likely death."

Nonsense. There is no reason to exaggerate the strength of the small tong of conservative Democrats and claque of obstructionist Republicans standing in the way of reform. Here's the reality:Read more »

By Bill Scher

The NY Times lede today said the White House "willing to compromise and would consider a proposal for a nonprofit health cooperative being developed in the Senate."

Compromise with who?

What Republicans have said he or she will vote for health care reform if it includes cooperatives instead of a publicly-run insurance option?

The only people clamoring for more compromise are those Democrats like Max Baucus who believe a health care bill should garner a mega-super majority 70 votes, requiring substantial Republican support.Read more »


It’s never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest. So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.Read more »

By Tom Hamburger and David G. Savage

Newly released documents show Bush's top political aide focused on GOP calls to oust New Mexico's top U.S. prosecutor. Other Bush aides lobbied the Justice Dept. on other issues, the documents show.

Reporting from Washington -- Karl Rove and other officials in George W. Bush's White House played an active role in the firing of the top federal prosecutor in New Mexico, according to documents released Tuesday that also show Bush political aides tried to influence Justice Department officials on other matters.Read more »

By Joe Conason

When Republican politicians and right-wing talking heads bemoan the fictitious “death panels” that they claim would arise from health care reform, they are concealing a sinister reality from their followers. The ugly fact is that every year we fail to reform the existing system, that failure condemns tens of thousands of people to die—either because they have no insurance or because their insurance companies deny coverage or benefits when they become ill.Read more »