Some Politically Pertinent Questions About the Oil Spill

President Obama, touring the Gulf region today, was due to speak publicly at 1:30 p.m. He’s running late, no doubt still crafting his comments and conferring with local officials. While we wait, here are some questions on the political implications of this disaster we’re sure to come back to in the weeks and months ahead.

In the

The White House Memo on Sestak

Is here.

In the memo, White House chief counsel Bob Bauer says that Sestak was approached (via Bill Clinton) in June and July 2009 about an unpaid position in the Obama Administration, “which would avoid a divisive Senate primary.” (Arlen Specter switched from the Republican to Democratic parties in April 2009.) The White House memo …

Pawlenty Tells Feds to Keep Their Medicaid Money

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is feeling pretty good today. After using his political power as the state’s Republican leader and his veto power as governor, Pawlenty has notched a massive state budget victory that Politico’s Ben Smith says lays the groundwork for the governor’s assumed 2012 presidential run.

Refusing to compromise …

“Rationing” is Back!

If you’re still mourning the loss of the health care debate’s heated rhetoric, don’t despair. It’s about to get another lease on life thanks to the upcoming confirmation hearing for Donald Berwick, Obama pick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This is a powerful position within the Department of Health and …

Under Pressure

The final leg in the health reform debate marathon may seem like a distant memory. The media has been focused on financial reform, immigration reform and most recently, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the man who tried to bomb Times Square.

But some recent health care news provides good reason to look back on what pushed …

The GOP Campaign to Scare House Dems

Is anyone else feeling a bit of déjà vu?

This stage in the health care legislative battle feels, to me at least, a lot like the period just before Christmas. Remember the constant threats from Republicans that they would use all the parliamentary tools available to indefinitely stall a final vote on the Senate health care bill? …

Obama Asks for “Up or Down Vote”

Today’s speech by President Obama was not the first in which he’s urged passage of comprehensive health care reform, but he’s hoping it will be his last. We’ll see.

Flanked by health care workers and wearing a bipartisan purple tie – a rarity for him – President Obama delivered remarks that carried a theme of finality. …

Today’s Health Care Checkup

Here’s the latest on the health care front:

* Speaking at a fundraiser last night, President Obama made another strong pitch for health care reform, this time with some more details on his preferred pathway and timeline.

* But at least one observer thinks the big news is that Obama acknowledged the possibility that health reform …

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