Howard Dean vs Barack Obama on Health Care

(previously posted to Daily Kos

Imagine a presidential candidate pushing this three-tiered national health care plan:

- States should be required to guarantee coverage for all children under age 23. In return, the federal government should assume responsibility for drug and acute medical care for Americans over age 65.

- Older Americans deserve a pharmacy benefit under Medicare (an unaffordable impossibility under Bush's current fiscal policies). This would cost $450 billion over 10 years, a little more than 1/4 of the value of Bush's tax cut. With a pharmaceutical package, Medicare becomes a decent insurance program.

- Finally, to cover those between the ages of 23 and 65, we should use the present employer-based system with refundable tax credits and federal subsidies to cover low- and moderate-income Americans who lack insurance.

Imagine this candidate's rivals for the Democratic nomination assailing his plan from the left as not comprehensive enough.

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What would a netroots-based think tank look like?

A lot of the netroots has been oriented toward activating the citizenry, fundraising, and getting out the vote, it seems like.  What I am more interested in, and what I feel is missing, is a netroots component to....whatever it is think tanks do, the intellectual and academic policy wonk stuff.

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Polls: Young People Are More Supportive of the War in Iraq

Gallup has a new poll out on age as factor in Iraq war support.  Read it quick, because these articles usually go up behind a pay firewall after a while.  The study yields this conclusion:

Here again, we find evidence for the persistence of the age factor in views of the war regardless of one's gender or political orientation. Within every subgroup of the American population created by the combination of age, gender, and party identification, those who are 50 and older are more likely than those under age 50 to say the war was a mistake.

All in all, perceptions that the war was a mistake range from a low of 20% among 18- to 49-year-old Republican women to a high of 89% among Democratic men and Democratic women aged 50 and older.

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The Rubicon That Must Be Crossed by the "Anyone But Hillary" Crowd

There exists on the left a certain sentiment of "Anyone But Hillary." In this era of party unity, it isn't talked about much, but it is obvious from the Daily Kos straw poll that she is not an exciting candidate for a good segment of the Democratic Party.

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Deconstructing the MySpace Controversy

Instead of exploring the "he said/she said" aspect of this, I want to look into why people might feel the way they do about this much-talked-about scenario.

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The States Most Ideologically Representative of America

I am delving into the recent huge Pew survey.  This is the first thing that caught my eye.

On page 10-11, there are charts profiling Democrats/Democratic leaners and Republican/Republican leaners by state, grouped by primary date.  Nationally, Democrats and Democratic leaners are divided into liberals (31%), moderates (44%), and conservatives (21%), while Republicans and Republicans leaners are divided into conservative white evangelical Protestants (26%), other conservatives (35%), and moderates/liberals (37%).

One simple measure of deviance from the national ideological breakdown is to sum up the differences between state figures and the national figures in each category.  For example, South Carolina is +9 in conservative white evangelical Republicans, -6 in other conservative Republicans, -8 in moderate/liberal Republicans, , -6 in liberal Democrats, even in moderate Democrats, and +4 in conservative Democrats for a total of 33 with a Republican deviation of 23 and a Democratic deviation of 10.  Some results after the flip.

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What about a MyDD Straw Caucus?

When he posted the most recent straw poll, Chris Bowers lamented that he couldn't restrict votes to people with user names.

While primaries are simple polls, caucuses (as far as I understand them) involve people actually meeting, so you can see who is voting for which candidate.

What if we ran an online "straw caucus" to see who is willing to put their name (fake online name in most cases) to an actual candidate?

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Why Catholic Voters Matter in 2006 and Beyond

[Cross-posted to Daily Kos, Street Prophets, and my unread, poorly-updated blog]

From a recent ABC poll (WARNING: PDF which I have had some problem opening in my browser, but can "save as" and open as a separate file):

More of a swing group is white Catholics. Their preference for Democrats has shifted from an 18-point margin in August to a mere two-point margin in September and back to a 22-point margin now. Where they end up is essential; along with independents, white Catholics historically have been a decisive group in election outcomes.

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Adwatch: Stacey Tallitsch LA-01

Stacey Tallitsch has conservatives online apoplectic about this very, very recent ad (which I serendipitously came across while searching for something else). He's running against Indian-American Bobby Jindal in the fairly conservative 1st Congressional District in Louisiana. It's supposed to be safe enough that it is off the political radar, but I am sure some of you will enjoy it.

Via YouTube because I can't seem to embed it properly.

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Polls on Parental Notification and Stem Cell Research

Since it has been in the news recently, Gallup put out articles on parental consent for abortions and stem cell research. These are two issues that invoke strong emotion in the left blogosphere.

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