Sorry, Obamacare Denialists, You’re Insane

Conservative writer Philip Klein, who seems very nice, complains that liberals are being far too mean about the latest conservative attempt to gut Obamacare. “Liberal critics of this legal theory have portrayed it as absurd, ridiculous, nutty, stupid, and even criminal,” he writes. “Recently, I’ve been likened to the health policy equivalent of a World Trade Center attack conspiracy theorist merely for sympathetically reporting the legal case of the challengers.”

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George W. Bush Loves His Dad So Much He’s Writing a Book About Him

Because getting his act together to become president and starting a war with an old foe wasn't enough, America's favorite never-good-enough son is writing a 300-page book about his dear old dad. "George H.W. Bush is a great servant, statesman, and father," said George W. Bush in a statement. "I loved writing the story of his life, and I hope others enjoy reading it." The president-on-president biography is due out November 11 via Crown.

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Andrew Cuomo Got a Sternly Worded Warning From U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Governor Cuomo’s big headache over the Moreland Commission, his shuttered anti-corruption panel, is not getting better. Following the New York Times’ giant front-page exposé about interference from the governor’s staff any time the commission got too close to Cuomo or his political allies, a few members of the panel have come forward to say — contra their own quotes in the Times’ detailed reporting — that actually, Cuomo’s office didn’t butt in at all. The potential problem, legally speaking, is that Cuomo may have asked them to say that.

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U.S. Condemns Israel’s Attack on U.N. Shelter, But Doesn’t Blame Israel

"The U.S. didn't assign responsibility for the shelling," which the U.N. said was carried out by Israeli forces, when it condemned this morning's attack on a school housing 3,300 displaced Palestinians in Gaza, the AP reports. But the White House is "extremely concerned" that the shelters aren't safe. "All of these actions, and similar ones earlier in the conflict, are inconsistent with the U.N.'s neutrality," said a spokesperson. "This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible." Meanwhile, the U.S. is also sending more ammunition to the IDF.

The New Secret History of the Obamacare Deniers

Last week, the latest desperation lawsuit to stop Obamacare — which had previously been laughed out of court — got new life when two Republican-appointed justices sided with the plaintiff. At that point, events were still proceeding in more-or-less familiar ways. But over the last few days, events have taken a bizarre and unfathomable turn. The original question — How will the health-care law be affected? — has given way to deeper ones, like, Is there such a thing as truth? and Can the power of motivated reasoning make ideologues believe literally anything?

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Impeachment Mania Is Sweeping Both Parties

This week, House Republicans are moving forward with their plan to sue President Obama for executive overreach — specifically, the White House’s delaying of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. It’s a silly piece of political performance art designed to amp up the Republican base. But something much sillier has rapidly subsumed it — a political meme that is rallying conservatives and liberals alike, and that an idle media has amplified with gusto. Welcome to impeachment mania.

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Israel Is Making It Hard To Be Pro-Israel

A half-dozen years ago, I attended the first conference of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel organization, to debate the meaning of the term pro-Israel itself. Pitted against Matthew Yglesias, I maintained that, while one certainly did not need to agree with everything Israel does to be pro-Israel, a meaningful definition required some form of sympathy more concrete than the sort one might extend to humanity writ large. I suggested two possible qualifications: a sympathy for the country’s history vis-à-vis its critics, or an ongoing support for its political stance in relation to its international foes. It has dawned on me that I am one of the liberal Jews who, by the second definition, if not the first, has grown less pro-Israel over the last decade.

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I Have Mocked Ross Douthat One Time Too Many

I have spent years gently mocking Ross Douthat, who is actually one of my favorite opinion writers, for his fatal flaw of detecting signs of ideological moderation in a succession of Republican figures like Sarah Palin, Eric Cantor, Tim Pawlenty, and others. Now he has finally snapped. After my latest provocation, Douthat replies with a double-barreled post angrily accusing me of cherry-picking his posts. For good measure, Douthat also accuses me of committing the same crime against Reason’s Peter Suderman, about whom I wrote earlier this month. I’ll address both, beginning with Suderman.

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Video of the day

Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

Congressman Joe Garcia Picks Ear, Eats It on Live TV

Sarah Palin Thinks Chelsea’s Baby May Make Hillary ‘Open Her Eyes’ About Abortion

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In The Mag

Back on the Trail

When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.

By Jason Zengerle

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon