The Spectacle Blog

Mass Care Not Working Out—Part V

By on 8.29.06 | 5:29PM

Turns out that there is another problem with the Romney-Care, namely how it will treat Christian Scientists. The Christian Scientists' insurance policy... offered directly through the church and covers faith healing. It pays 90 percent of the cost of treatment by faith healers, who pray for patients in an effort to heal them of physical and spiritual ailments. The plan also features 90 percent coverage for home care by Christian Science nurses, who provide practical help such as changing bandages, but do not administer medication or any other type of medical care. Annual out-of-pocket expenses for participants in the Christian Science plan are capped at $1,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families.

If the officials in Massachusetts define the regulations refer to "medical services," then the Christian Scientist policy won't count as health insurance in satisfying the mandate. So, the Christian Scientists only want the regulations to refer to "health care."

Andre the Giant

By on 8.29.06 | 4:10PM

Anybody who wasn't obsessed enough to stay up until 12:30 last night to watch US Open tennis missed an increasingly rare joy in today's sports world: a truly admirable athlete showing what real champions are made of.

Most people are by now aware that this is Andre Agassi's last tournament. Most people are aware of how he has evolved from punk to sportsman and even statesman, how he is now the model of decorum on the court and the model of a charitable, public-spirited citizen off the court, complete with a mostly self-financed, incredibly successful charter school that he founded and oversees.

And many, if not most, are aware of how he has struggled with back problems and sciatic nerve problems all year; how he has not been healthy enough to play enough tennis to get his game sharp.

South Park Democrats

By on 8.29.06 | 3:25PM

In a column in today's NY Times (subscription required), John Tierney, reporting on Reason's libertarian shindig in Amsterdam/>/>, warns that a libertarian defection could harm Republicans this November:

The G.O.P. used to have a sizable libertarian bloc, but I couldn’t see any sign of it at the conference. (South/> Park/>/> creators) Stone and Parker said they were rooting for Hillary Clinton in 2008 simply because it would be weird to have her as president. The prevailing sentiment among the rest of the libertarians was that the best outcome this November would be a Democratic majority in the House, because then at least there’d be gridlock.

Religious Conservatives and Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 2:47PM

Giuliani is certainly vulnerable to an attack from the right. There's no doubt about that, but he is extraordinarily likeable and an outstanding speaker. I fall into the religious conservative category, myself, but I enjoyed his convention speech immensely and recognize within him outstanding qualities of leadership. If he were to make the nod toward originalists/textualists on the Supreme Court, I think he could have my support.

It is impossible to underestimate how frustrated people are with the inarticulateness of Bush and how much they would like to see a GOP candidate who is actually capable of defending himself and advancing a point of view. The War on Terror should have been an easier sell than it has been with Bush. His terrible communication skills are part of the problem. I supported the man whole-heartedly, but I'd rather watch a bunch of guys dig a ditch (or really, anything) than catch one of his speeches with those three and four word salvos followed by weird shoulder shrugs.

Re: Conservative Case Against Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 2:29PM

David, I wouldn't ignore social issues, I would just say that they won't play as dominant of a role in 2008. Yes, social issues will still be very important, but they will just be relatively less important than they have been in the past. For all the praise that is heaped on Mitt Romney (his boosters call him brilliant, attractive, charismatic, a business man, a problem solver, a good guy) I haven't seen many people praise him on the basis of his capabilities as a wartime leader. To me, his lack of credentials on terrorism and national security should be seen as a huge liability, one that cannot easily be made up by simply saying the right things. Yes, he may now be on the right side of the abortion issue, but his total about-face on the issue once his political ambitions moved beyond the state of Massachusetts just makes me think of him as a typical flip-flopping politician, which in my view, further undermines his credibility as a wartime leader.  

Re: Conservative Case Against Giuliani

By on 8.29.06 | 1:52PM

Philip, you are absolutely correct to highlight the importance of 9/11, terrorism in general, and national security in the 2008 vote. We haven't had a Republican presidential primary since 9/11, so this one is hard to call. But anyone who ignores that does so at his own peril.

That said, anyone who ignores social issues is similarly foolish. Hawkins's case didn't need anything new about Giuliani's record. His record in public office ended more than four years ago. So there are not many new things to say there or point out. But a lack of new material does not negate the old stuff.

And boy, is there a lot of it. Kate O'Beirne's recent comment, that the Mormon is the only candidate in the race who has only had one wife, comes to mind. I was surprised that Mr. Murdoch failed to mention Mr. Giuliani's problems in this area, especially seeing as one of the headings in his article was "Family Affairs." The whole business with a judge barring his girlfriend from the Gracie Mansion -- where his wife and kids were living -- won't pass quietly.

No Tabloid TAS

By on 8.29.06 | 1:40PM

You may have noticed the welcome lack of coverage TAS has devoted to the John Karr arrest. (Even Fox succumbed to the Jon Benet frenzy. They actually had a man on the plane with Karr coming back from Thailand). And we have also resisted so far any comment on the (yawn) arrest of Warren Jeffs who, though alleged a polygamist and rapist, managed to get on to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Ah, gone are the days of Baby Face Nelson and Dillinger. Bin Laden was probably insulted by sharing post office wall space with the likes of Jeffs.

The point of all this is that while the broadcast media and much of the punditry is consumed by these things, we are on hotter trails.

Another Death Tax

By on 8.29.06 | 12:14PM

Looking through the comment thread trailing this article on the virtues of Canadian single-payer health care, I found the following:

The Bushies love our current system of care because it kills off poor "worthless" people faster than rich folks. That is why they so fervently push no change in our current health care system and no withdrawal from mass murder in Iraq. Another reason they love our current "health" system is that it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer which is the major push of the Cheney presidency (for he really calls all the important shots in their path toward doomsday).

Wait, wait. I thought the whole point of the Bush Adminstration's economic policies was to transfer the tax burden from "wealth" to "work"? How are they going to do that if the "poor 'worthless' people" are all dead? How much taxable income comes out of the sick or near-dead? Or is this a proletariat-chicken-or-the-golden-egg type conundrum? Is a itsy bitsy bit of consistency too much to ask for these days?

Radio Appearance And…

By on 8.29.06 | 11:47AM

Just a reminder, I will be on the "Organization Watch" internet radio program, run by my old employer at CRC, tomorrow to discuss my (and Sarah Haney's) recent piece on the political giving of the Fortune 100 (go here for an abbreviated version). You can hear the program on Rightalk Radio, from 3-4pm EST.

While I am on the subject, Matt Vadum of CRC sent this link at Philanthropybeat, where an An anonymous author criticizes. I wish I could say that once you get through the ad hominem attacks there are actually quite a few legitimate points. However, I can't.