About that “Fuck the UAW” Tax

By: Thursday September 2, 2010 3:30 pm

In honor of Steve Rattner’s revelation that Rahm Emanuel wandered around during the auto bailout saying “fuck the UAW,” I’ve renamed the “Cadillac tax” the “Fuck the UAW” tax.

 

Revolt of the Wonks: Former Obama Advisors Want To Know What’s Happening on His Deficit Commission

By: Friday May 21, 2010 9:30 am

This is class war, pure and simple. The rich against the poor. Hedge fund billionaires and defense contractors against senior citizens struggling to get by. Just in time to jam it through a lame duck Congress before the Christmas break, something both John Conyers and John Boehner have warned about — a repeat of what Erskine Bowles planned to do in the 90s.

What Matt Yglesias Leaves Out of His Analysis: Himself

By: Thursday March 18, 2010 2:00 pm

I’ve said many times that it’s impossible to expect progressive members of Congress to hold together if they don’t have the backing of their natural fiscal constituencies — the liberal interest groups and the unions. Without that support, they’re left to raise money from PACS and other corporate sources to sufficiently fund their campaigns. That’s why they take turns championing progressive bills that ultimately fail so they can pretend they do something, and then voting for bad bills that ultimately pass so someone else can be the failed hero. When Tammy Baldwin votes for one PhRMA-friendly bill after another, progressives can say “hey, but she’s so good on LGBT issues!” Which never actually pass either, but the kabuki keeps activists sufficiently docile and donating to large organizations who fundraise off amping up outrage.

But it’s also worthy to note that it’s hard for them to withstand the assault of liberal “pundits” who sneeringly derided their efforts as naive, futile and “purist.” They should be proudly taking credit for their role in delegitimizing progressive opposition to the bill in liberal intellectual circles, much the same role that the same people played during the Iraq war.

Former Obama Aide David Cutler Ignores Proven Cost Control Ideas to Inflate Grade on President’s Health Care Plan

By: Wednesday March 10, 2010 8:01 am

It seems that President Obama’s former senior health-care adviser, David Cutler, is following in the proud tradition of Jonathan Gruber by conveniently ignoring potentially huge cost-saving ideas to make Obama’s health care proposal sound better than it really is.

On Gruber: I Don’t Want Apologies; I Want Independent Analysis

By: Monday January 18, 2010 6:50 am

Defenders of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber are still falsely claiming I accused him of tainting his analysis for pay, suggesting that I’m ignoring Gruber’s qualification for the HHS contract, while able commentators demand apologies for these claims. I don’t want apologies; what I want is independent analysis.

NY Times Admits Gruber Problem, Fails to Mention Krugman Problem

By: Sunday January 17, 2010 1:30 pm

In a full throated mea culpa by the New York Times Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, appearing in the Sunday edition, the Times officially describes the critical and material implications which arise when readers are misled by undisclosed interests of sources and authors like Jonathan Gruber in their paper of record. Unfortunately, Hoyt and the Times did not have the decency to apologize to Marcy Wheeler for previously inferring otherwise.

Gruber and Selective Disclosure

By: Sunday January 17, 2010 6:30 am

I barely even know what Paul Krugman is arguing here. In both of his posts attacking anyone calling into question the lack of disclosure on the part of Jonathan Gruber, he acknowledges that Gruber should have disclosed his relationship. That’s really the end of the game here. Nobody is really saying that Gruber didn’t come to his conclusions honestly (though I’ll return to this in a moment) or isn’t saying now what he wouldn’t have said if he was not under contract. The problem is that the White House repeatedly used Gruber as an “objective source” while he was under contract, and neither the White House nor Gruber bothered to disclose that fact for months.

White House Used Gruber’s Work to Create Appearance of Broad Consensus

By: Wednesday January 13, 2010 6:19 am

The White House is placing a giant collective bet on Gruber’s “assumptions” to justify key portions of the Senate bill, which they allowed people to believe was independent verification. Now that we know that Gruber’s work was not that of an independent analyst but rather work performed as a contractor to the White House and paid for by taxpayers, it should be made publicly available so others can judge its merits.

Grassley Sends Letter to Sebelius; Seeks Explanation, Transparency on Gruber

By: Tuesday January 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in reference to Jonathan Gruber’s failure to disclose his financial relationship with the Obama administration when he was testifying before the Senate Finance Committee. It appears that, at the time, Sen. Grassley was unaware Gruber had been given a lucrative, sole source contract by the HHS to do analysis of the “President’s health reform proposal.”

Jonathan Gruber, “Paid Consultant to the Obama Administration”

By: Tuesday January 12, 2010 7:57 am

It’s understandable Krugman would be defensive of Gruber. He’s cited him many times. And when Rahm Emanuel touted “progressive” support for the Senate bill in the Wall Street Journal, noting that “what you’re seeing is the progressive backlash against the progressive backlash,” he pointed to a Krugman column as well as “another coming from National Journal writer Ronald Brownstein pressing for passage of the Senate health bill.”

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