Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When Political Aides Attack!

The fall of John Edwards has been an interesting story to follow. I tend to be quite disinterested when it comes to news of political infidelities. If there is hypocrisy involved, I pay a little more attention but still don't really care that much. However, the John Edwards story just keeps getting more interesting.

The part I find most interesting is that John Edwards still ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 despite knowing that if he got the nomination and news of his affair with Rielle Hunter became public, it would do long-term damage to the Democratic party. If I was an Edwards donor, I would have been so pissed. I've also been curious about the strange book tour Elizabeth Edwards went on, but that's another story.

As much as I like to think that I'm above following stories that sound like they are straight out of a tabloid, sometimes I succumb. Guilty pleasure of the week: reading about Former Edwards Aide Andrew Young allegations in a proposal for a rare tell-all book.

  • Edwards made a sex tape with Hunter
  • "Hunter and Edwards talked of marriage should Elizabeth, who suffers from incurable cancer, die and that the former North Carolina senator was promised by Barack Obama the Attorney General's office"
  • Elizabeth Edwards accuses Young of stealing her late son's baseball card collection
  • Edwards convinced Young to claim responsibility for being the father of Edwards illegitimate son with Hunter
  • Obama promised to make Edwards Attorney General if he wasn't picked as his running mate

Monday, June 29, 2009

Energy & Health Care: Use Less

One thing I've been working on lately is trying to figure out which public policy issues I am most passionate about. It's impossible to be an expert on all issues, and it would be easier for me to have a successful career if I dive into only one or two issues (and leave the rest for extra-curricular enjoyment).

Crime, international relations, national security, and transportation are just some of the issues that I've been passionate about at one time (not sure if I've actually stopped with any of them actually). Two more recent issues I've been researching are environmental policy and health care reform. I just came across an article by TIME attempting to link the two. It's so simple, but I just really liked the headline: "The Key to Fixing Health Care and Energy: Use Less"

A key passage:

"In medicine, the idea would be to reward quality rather than quantity, to give providers incentives to keep us healthy and reduce unnecessary treatments, to encourage doctors and hospitals to promote a culture of low-cost, high-quality care. One reason the Mayo Clinic already provides low-cost, high-quality care is that it keeps its doctors on salary, insulating them from fee-for-service inducements to overserve; unfortunately, Mayo is hemorrhaging cash on its Medicare patients, because the current system penalizes responsibly conservative care.

Doctors don't get paid for thinking about a case or returning a phone call or explaining why an MRI isn't necessary; hospitals don't get paid when their discharged patients don't have to go back to the hospital. Our goal for our health-care system is not more tests or more doctor's visits or longer stays in the hospital — it's better health. But that's not what gets paid for, so that's not what we get."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For Pete's Sake!

I just want to recommend you check out this great new blog that sprung up following GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra's tweet comparing the use of Twitter following the Iranian government's violent suppression of protesters to Nancy Pelosi's rule in the House.

"Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House."

This blog features people using images to demonstrate a Hoekestra: "To Hoekstra is to whine using grandiose exaggerations and comparisons."