October 16, 2012

Posted by orrinj at 7:09 PM


Study Shows Higher Costs for Seniors with Premium Support (MERRILL GOOZNER, 10/16/12, The Fiscal Times)

Nearly six out of ten seniors on Medicare would have paid higher out-of-pocket costs for insurance had the government adopted the premium support plan offered last year by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and endorsed by Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a new study shows.

The Kaiser Family Foundation used the third and most generous premium-support proposal offered by the Republican Party's vice presidential candidate, which was co-authored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Under premium support, the government gives seniors a fixed amount of cash to buy insurance policies on the private market.

Making consumers pay out of pocket is the whole point.

Posted by orrinj at 3:56 PM


How Obama bungled the Syrian revolution (Jackson Diehl, 10/14/12, Washington Post)

[H]is serial miscalculations have had the consistent if unintended effect of enabling Syria's Bashar al-Assad -- first to avoid international isolation, then to go on slaughtering his own population with impunity.

Obama's Syria policy began in 2009 with the misguided idea of reaching out to the dictator. Within a month of his inauguration, Obama reversed the Bush administration's approach of isolating Assad. He later reopened the U.S. Embassy and dispatched senior envoys, such as George Mitchell.

The problem with this policy was not just the distasteful courting of a rogue regime but the willful disregard of the lessons absorbed by George W. Bush, who also tried reaching out to Assad, only to learn the hard way that he was an irredeemable thug. Yet Obama insisted on reversing Bush's policy of distancing the United States from strongmen like Assad and Hosni Mubarak -- a monumental miscalculation.

Posted by orrinj at 3:49 PM


Moderate Mitt's Rise and Conservatives' Cognitive Dissonance (John Avlon, Oct 16, 2012, Daily Beast)

It's a conundrum for conservatives--Mitt Romney couldn't get traction while he was playing to the base with his vice-presidential selection or his convention speech.  But once he broke out the big Etch A Sketch in his first debate against President Obama, Mitt started soaring in the polls.

Of course, the reaction is not really a mystery--it's a tried-and-true lesson of American politics: a more centrist candidate moves swing voters into his column, while a more extreme candidate alienates them. Mitt's gains among moderates, the middle class, and women voters since the first debate are a direct result of this self-conscious re-centering of his presidential campaign.

Republicans are the grown up party, which is why we always nominate moderates instead of ideologues.  The governors win.  The Senators, whose records can call their moderation into doubt, lose.