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  • How to Reduce Emergency-Room Wait Times

    The American health-care industry is often accused of placing profits over people’s care. But the profit motive may help alleviate at least one perennial issue: slow service in the emergency room. Patients sit for an average of 37 minutes—twice the federally recommended goal—before seeing a physician, according to a 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office. But while most industry experts predict longer delays as millions of newly insured people join the market, some hospitals are solving the problem—slashing wait times in an effort to win the new business.
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    Weisberg: Why John McCain Is So Angry

    I’ve stopped reading news about John McCain for the same reason I tune out the daily updates on Afghanistan and the BP oil spill: it’s too damned depressing. Well into the 2008 primary season, McCain showed glimmers of his old gutsy, independent spirit. Since losing to Barack Obama, however, he’s turned into the kind of party hack he once lived to mess with.
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    Ignore the Polls and Focus on Economic Stimulus

    It’s begun. With merely four months until the elections, we’re starting to see the articles outlining the angry divisions between the president’s counselors. The fight apparently pits the political team, which wants the president to turn his attention to the political problem of deficits, against the economic team, which wants him to keep focusing on economic stimulus.
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    Feds Growing Weary of BP's Promises

    With the approaching deadline to stop the oil gusher in the gulf, tensions between government officials and BP executives are increasing.
  • Campaign Ads So Good, They're Bad

    In campaign ads, there's a thin line between awesome and awful. The latest viral ad from a Florida state rep is catchy, but does it fall on the wrong side of the line?
  • Obama Taking Risk in Challenging the Arizona Law

    President Obama gets accused of a lot of things, but it would be tough to argue that his administration’s constitutional challenge of Arizona’s anti-illegal-immigration law was poll-driven. Because even though you might not know it from some of the media coverage, Arizona’s new law is really, really popular.
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    What Would Reagan Really Do?

    Some Republicans want to impose a Reaganite purity test on this fall’s candidates. Today, though, the 40th president himself wouldn’t pass it.
  • Inside the GOP, a Shadow Battle for Control

    The prospect of the November elections becoming a replay of 1994 has Democrats running scared everywhere except, apparently, at the White House, where the famous Obama cool keeps everyone’s emotions in check. Sure, losses are expected in the first midterm of a new president, but let’s not lose too much sleep over it.
  • Federal Judge Rules the Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional. Will it Stick?

    Yesterday, Massachusetts federal district Judge Joseph Tauro declared that gay men and women recognized as married by their individual states should have access to the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. In doing so, he declared Article III of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, unconstitutional. The controversial decision posits the question for both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage of how best to support their cases and what the rulings, now under review by the Obama administration, will bring in the long term.
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    Did Oil Kill the Animals Washing Up in the Gulf?

    Determining an oil spill’s toll on wildlife is never an easy feat—and the challenging conditions of the current gulf spill make it all the more complicated. While most of the animals collected alive have been visibly covered in oil, the majority of those that have been found dead have had no oil visible on their bodies, making the cause of death difficult to ascertain.
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    A Modest Proposal: the Pelosi-Boehner Speaker Debates

    With the 2010 congressional midterm elections looming, analysts say the House of Representatives could change hands. If so, Ohio Republican John Boehner would replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California as speaker of the House. The two lawmakers should face each other in a series of debates to discuss their positions on core issues. Because each is despised by the other party, these debates would be major partisan moments in the best sense—a chance to test their contrasting ideas for governing unfiltered.
  • Why Obama Is in a Hurry to Make History

    "Hardball" host Chris Matthews has a theory about Barack Obama: he is running his presidency as though there is no tomorrow—that is, no second term. So far in his presidency Obama has been tackling, even seeking out, sweeping, controversial challenges: the stimulus, the auto bailout, health-care reform, a new arms-control treaty with Russia. So, is he in a hurry because he figures there may be no second term?
  • The Politics of Obama's Arizona Lawsuit

    Whether the White House wins or loses its lawsuit against Arizona, the court action is a win for the Obama administration in at least one respect: it undermines criticism that the president has done nothing when it comes to immigration reform.
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    Obama Needs His Own Dick Cheney

    The Obama administration has consistently disguised victory as defeat—because it is as terrible at politics as it is effective at policy. Maybe the president needs some steel in his cabinet.
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    Nevada Senate Race Heats Up

    In the lead-up to the Nevada Senate race, Harry Reid is making sure voters don't forget his opponent's more eccentric views.
  • Kagan's Path to the Bench

    The White House was eager to proclaim this morning that Elena Kagan had passed her test. Late last week and over the weekend, at least 17 editorial boards around the country wrote glowingly of her credentials—excerpts of which administration officials sent around to reporters to drive the narrative in their favor.
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    Florida, Bureaucracy, and the Oil-Spill Cleanup

    BP and federal officials have conjured parts of their oil-spill response plan from scratch and changed them by the day, often failing to act with the speed and decisiveness an emergency demands. The shortfalls have left responders in the Florida Panhandle longing for a post-hurricane chain of command.
  • Obama's CEO Problem

    The American economy is sputtering, and we are running out of options. Interest rates can’t go any lower. Another burst of government spending—whether a good or bad idea—looks politically impossible. Is there anything that could protect us from the dangers of stagnation or a double dip?