Saturday, December 10, 2011
Inside Newt's Stunning Comeback
Newt wants you!
by Peter J. Boyer, The Daily Beast, Newsweek | December 12, 2011
Just a few months ago, among those who believed that Newt Gingrich’s presidential quest was doomed was the campaign’s own best political thinker, Gingrich himself. After a botched start and mass desertion by his top staff, Gingrich spent the summer struggling for money, organization, and, worse, for a man like him, relevance. “It was really hard,” he says now. “I got fairly tired of doing radio shows with people who would say, ‘Well, so since you’re dead …’”
By the end of summer, his campaign deeply in the red, Gingrich decided to quit—but was talked out of it by his wife, Callista. Entering the debate season, Gingrich focused on his advantages, and he began to see his near implosion as a gift. Among other things, the departure of the political professionals left Gingrich to become his own strategist. “Just as Clinton was,” Gingrich says.
Click here to read more about Newt.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Reeve Carney, center, star of “Spider-Man,” with fellow Spider-Men on 42nd Street on Thanksgiving. After a dramatic path to Broadway, the show makes more than its operating costs weekly.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Obama’s economic speech shifts the focus from deficits
By Fareed Zakaria, The Washington Post
December 7, 2011
With his speech in Kansas, President Obama has begun a national conversation about the economy and the role of government. In presenting his view, Obama shifted the economic conversation from deficits to the crucial issue of growth. After all, deficits matter because they could have a harmful effect on growth. The question we should all ask is: What would make this economy grow?
One theory heard a lot these days is that the economy is burdened by excessive government regulation, interference and taxes. All these pressures on business, especially small business, are keeping the economy down. Cut them, the Republican candidates all say, and the economy will be unleashed. It’s a compelling picture, but the data simply do not support it.
A World Economic Forum survey that ranks countries on their overall economic competitiveness puts the United States fifth; the countries ahead of it, including Singapore and Finland, are tiny, with populations around 5 percent that of the United States. The World Bank publishes a report that looks at “Doing Business” across the globe. The United States ranks No. 4, again behind a handful of tiny countries. As is the case with the World Economic Forum, that ranking has not changed much over the years.
Click here to read more Zakaria.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
December 5, 2011
Dr. Berwick’s Pink Slip
By JOE NOCERA, Op Ed, The New York Times
Dr. Donald Berwick was already in Massachusetts when I spoke to him Sunday afternoon. He was back in the Newton home where he’d lived for 30 years, being pleasantly interrupted during our conversation by his 2-year-old grandson. His last day in Washington as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had been Thursday. Friday was packing day. Saturday was moving day. And, by Sunday, he was already talking about his too-short, 17-month tenure as the nation’s top Medicare official in the past tense. Which, alas, it was.
Dr. Berwick, I’m here to tell you, was the most qualified person in the country to run Medicare at this critical juncture, and the fact that he is no longer in the job is the country’s loss. Berwick started out as a pediatrician and health care researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and eventually became vice president of the Harvard Community Health Plan (now known as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care). There, he became enamored with the ideas being promulgated by management gurus like W. Edwards Deming and companies like Toyota, which believed that companies could create processes — and a mind-set — that would allow for both continuous improvement and continuous cost reduction. Indeed, they believed that the two went hand in hand.
Click here to read more.
Monday, December 5, 2011
A GOP Reality-Show Race, Thanks to the Tea Party
By E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post
The contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination has been described as a reality show and a circus. But what’s happening inside the GOP is quite rational and easily explained.
The obvious Republican nominee was Texas Gov. Rick Perry — obvious because his government-bashing, ideology-mongering, secessionist-flirting persona was a perfect fit for a Republican primary electorate that has shifted far to the right of Ronald Reagan.
Click here to read more.