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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Health Consensus, Short-Listers, Iraq Bailout, Midnight Rules…

Noam H. Levy reports in today’s L.A. Times on the emerging consensus for national health care reform. Levy says a ‘single-payer’ system is “off the table” for now, and, despite unresolved issues, there is growing agreement in Washington that the new system must preserve choice, contain costs, but not diminish existing coverage for anyone. He also cites growing support among Democratic members of congress for “a new system for those without insurance.”
AP’s Nedra Pickler has a preview report on President-elect Obama’s national security team, while MSNBC First Read has a comprehensive scorecard of Obama appointments and short-listers thus far, “The Obama Cabinet Speculation List.”
Politico‘s Roger Simon puts it all in perspective, noting that the big auto bailout is a bargain, compared to outlays for Iraq in his article, “$25 billion represents less than three months of the cost of the Iraq war.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune‘s ‘Politically Connected’ web page provides impressive coverage of the Franken-Coleman recount, with maps. Meanwhile the Princeton Election Consortium has a wonky post by a reader ‘RC’ explaining that the MN Senate race is “by any statistically reasonable standard, a perfect tie.”
As Georgia braces for the Sarah Palin show, James Oliphant of the Chicago Trib’s D.C. bureau has an update on the GA Senate run-off, “Ga. Election Holds Key to Democrats’ Senate Goals.” See also the McClatchy Newspapers’ report by David Lightman and Matt Barnwellon the Martin-Chambliss Senate race, “Battle for Georgia Senate Seat Waged on Two Levels.” Sean Quinn reports at fivethirtyeight.com that Martin may have an edge in on-the-ground organizers.
Don’t even think about running a political campaign in 2010 without checking out the New Tools Campaign web pages of The New Politics Institute.
Those interested in the challenges discussed in J.P. Green’s recent TDS post on ‘public diplomacy’ in the Obama era should also read a new Brookings Institution report, “Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century” by Kristin M. Lord, a Foreign Policy Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, specializing in U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.
How much damage could the lamest of lame ducks do in the interregnum? Quite a bit, as far as the environment is concerned, according to Mark Clayton’s Christian Science Monitor article ” Democrats brace for ‘midnight rules’ from Bush.” Clayton reviews environmentalists ‘worry list’ of Bush’s last minute initiatives to help polluters, and discusses how the Congressional Review Act of 1996 may enable Dems to prevent it.

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