The situations aren't comparable, of course. President Clinton was inclined to find common ground with Gingrich. Gingrich had a united party. Pelosi is trying to block a president's foreign policy, and events on the ground haven't been going her way lately. Gingrich was (is?) an infantile megalomaniac who was easily manipulated and overplayed his hand. Still. The achievements aren't comparable either. At least not yet. ... 5:42 P.M. link
Sometimes an NPR show can upend your expectations and convince you that ordinary Americans can be brilliant observers and even entertainers. StoryCorpsis not that show, I think. Every story I've heard on it has been lame. When do the grants run out? ... 2:51 A.M.
Giuliani, the New Ideas Candidate? Sara Mosle recently reminded everyone of a key, overlooked moment in Giuliani's career: after his prostate cancer diagnosis, he decided to employ New York City's trademark Comp Stat policing technique to "aggressively recruit greater numbers of uninsured children for coverage under two existing government-run programs: Medicaid and Child Health Plus." Mosle--and later Sara Kershaw of the NYT--used this incident to paint Giuliani as a hypocritical candidate. It seems to me it shows why he's a formidable candidate.
1) It's a great idea, and great politics--combining a liberal desire to insure children with the conservative insight that the reason many kids aren't signed up isn't lack of funding but parental screwup. The benefits are there for the taking, they're just not being taken. So Giuliani will track down the parents using the same computerized maps he uses to hunt down criminals! It's compassionate. It's conservative. And it's innovative.
2) Giuliani's now in the GOP primaries. He doesn't talk about his children's insurance initiative. When it comes to health care, as Mosle notes, he's "tried to change the subject." He attacks "socialized medicine." But does that preclude him returning to the "Health Stat" idea in the general election--and winning over swing voters with it? I don't think so.. Medicaid and Child Health Plus are programs for those who can't afford regular health insurance. That's not "socialized medicine." Giuliani can say he supports signing up those who are poor enough for existing programs but he doesn't want to expand eligibility further up the income ladder.
3) Giuliani's Health Stat initiative, originating in his May 2000 news conference, gives the lie to the widely held notion that he was a politically dead before 9/11 revived him. It humanized him, and it seems likes the sort of fresh initiative that can win you a third term (if you're not term-limited).
2:19 A.M. link
Monday, November 19, 2007
About that AT&T ad (sometimes at the top of this page): If home is in Kansas, and fun takes you to California, but work leads to Kentucky, then don't you live in Kanifucky? AT&T says "Kanifky." Weak! ... 12:48 P.M.