4:30 PM, July 9th, 2012
One day in the spring of 1989, Barack Obama and I found ourselves discussing a case whose relevance to the Supreme Court’s 2012 health-care decision neither of us could conceivably have anticipated at the time. I had recently hired Barack—I’ll call him that here because that’s what I called him then—as my principal research assistant, and he was helping me with a complicated law-review article about what lawyers can learn from modern physics. I can still recall him sitting on the floor of my law-school office on that particular day, a lanky kid in jeans and leather jacket, the sun streaming in through my windows, as we went back and forth discussing a Supreme Court decision that had been handed down several months earlier.
12:02 PM, June 28th, 2012


Around And Around It Goes.  Where It Stops Nobody Knows.

Reblogged from Newsweek Archivist
11:48 AM, March 29th, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday Mar 29th

  1. Mitt Laughs About Layoffs: During a conference call Wednesday, Mitt Romney told Wisconsin voters a hilarious story his father being led in a parade while running for governor of Michigan. The marching band only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan one, which was super awkward because Romney Sr., then the head of American Motors, didn’t want to remind Michigan voters that he was moving his company’s factory to Wisconsin. LOL indeed.
  2. Zimmerman Video Shows No Injuries: Zimmerman’s attorney had claimed in recent days that Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old his client shot and killed last month, attacked him before the fatal incident, breaking the neighborhood watch captain’s nose and bloodying his head and face. But a police video released Wednesday showed police frisking a handcuffed Zimmerman with no discernible facial injuries. 
  3. Family Health-Care Costs to Top $20K: The average health-care costs for a family of four will top $20,000 in 2012, according to an independent research group—a seven percent increase from 2011.  It’s the fifth year in a row that health-care costs have increased between seven and eight percent. 
  4. Rubio Endorses Romney: Another win for Mitt. Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio endorsed Mitt Romney in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Rubio said that Romney is a “very clear alternative” to Obama’s plan for the country. As for the current Republican race, the first-term senator said that it’s a “recipe for delivery four more years of Obama.” 
  5. Murdoch Ready to ‘Hit Back Hard’News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch posted an ominous warning on Twitter Thursday: “Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels. So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing.” The tycoon has been under renewed fire lately over reports from an Australian newspaper that his media empire had promoted piracy in a bid to top its pay-TV rivals.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

12:26 PM, March 28th, 2012

Frontpage: Wednesday, Mar 28th

  1. Few Alternatives for MandateThe Supreme Court heads into its final day Wednesday of arguments about the constitutionality of a mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance. If that portion of the law is struck down, it’s unclear how much of the 2010 health-care bill will survive. The justices will be examining the bill to find how much of it can survive without the mandate, which some lower courts have ruled cannot be separated from the bill as a whole—including politically popular portions.
  2. Pope to Meet with Raul Castro: According to a government website, Raul Castro said that he will be happy to meet with Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as the pontiff prepares to celebrate an outdoor mass in Havana. 
  3. Iran Agrees to Nuke Talks: It’s time to sit down at the table, Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday. With the international community concerned about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, Iranian officials said that the country will reopen talks about its program April 13.
  4. Gingrich to Cut StaffBig changes abound in the Gingrich camp: a third of the staff will be laid off, Newt’s campaign schedule is shrinking, and his manager has been replaced. The presidential campaign has become so strapped for cash that it started charging supporters $50 for a photo. 
  5. NY Maid Launches Suit Against DSKA New York maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault last year launched a civil lawsuit against him on Wednesday. Prosecutors dropped the charges last year against Strauss-Kahn after they said they had serious questions about the credibility of the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI says Mass in Cuba. More photos from the Pope’s trip

12:05 PM, March 28th, 2012

Do you have a question about the Supreme Court & the fate of Obama’s Health-care Act?


We’ve got MIT economist Jonathan Gruber stopping by for a live chat on the site today at 1 pm ET. He’s the guy who helped Mitt Romney draft Romneycare in Massachusetts, so should be a pretty good opportunity to figure out what the heck has been going on at the high court these last two days. Chat here at 1pm ET.

Excited! Here’s some pre-reading for your lunch hour: Jonathan Cohn’s story of how the legislation was passed, which cites Gruber. 

Reblogged from Newsweek
12:44 PM, March 27th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, Mar 27th

  1. Syria Accepts U.N. Peace PlanInternational envoy Kofi Annan said Tuesday that Syria has accepted a U.N. ceasefire proposal, but that much remains to be done to implement the plan. “I indicated that I had received a response from the Syrian government and will be making it public today, which is positive, and we hope to work with them to translate it into action,” Annan told reporters in Beijing.
  2. Kennedy: Gov’t Has ‘Heavy Burden’: In the second day of oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s Obamacare case, Justice Anthony Kennedy told lawyers defending the law that the government as a “heavy burden of justification” to prove that the government can require citizens to purchase a service. 
  3. Al Jazeera Has Video of ShootingsAl Jazeera said on Monday that it had received video footage that appears to be of last week’s deadly attacks on a military base and a Jewish school in Toulouse. 
  4. North Korea Still Plans Missile Test: North Korea plans to roll the dice with its missile launch next month, despite stern warnings from President Obama and the international community to abandon the idea.
  5. Photo: Protesters demonstrating against the Affordable Care Act outside the Supreme Court on Monday, as the court begins hearing arguments against the law’s constitutionality. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo) 

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4:24 PM, February 3rd, 2012
All those times you told us about how everything you did—the back-breaking work, going without fancy clothes and cars, etc.—was so we could have a better future? Well, turns out the future’s going to suck. Thanks for that.

David Frum quotes from a HuffPo Canada article “Stop Whining, Grandpa and Get Back to Work.” Frum’s response

There’s actually a serious and true argument here, and oldsters (those of us who are soon-to-be-oldsters) will soon be hearing it more and more often. Better get used to it early.

3:00 PM, June 23rd, 2011
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