Watchdog Blog

Archive for August, 2009

Myra MacPherson: The Kennedy Haters

As I was the lone passenger on an airport shuttle bus from Santa Fe to Albuquerque the day after Senator Edward Kennedy died, the loquacious bus driver naturally started talking to me. He had been listening to talk radio and the host was having trouble finding anyone to say a good word about Kennedy. When [...]

Barry Sussman: Ask Baucus, Grassley and Others Why They Should Be Trusted

I’ve seen reports many times showing that Democratic Senator Max Baucus has received enormous sums of money from the drug and insurance industries but I haven’t seen any explanation from him as to why it’s okay to take it. Has anyone been asking Baucus to explain what he did to deserve $1,500 a day from [...]

Morton Mintz: To Trim Health Care Costs, Why Not Start with Executive Pay?

“[W]e have to control the rate of increase in health care costs,” the chief executive officer of Aetna Inc., told Judy Woodruff the other evening on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Woodruff didn’t mention a glaringly obvious way for Ronald A. Williams and his counterparts in the health-insurance industry to slow the rise in those [...]

Dan Froomkin: Time for the Really Big Questions on Afghanistan

Andrew Exum, the widely respected counterinsurgency expert who goes by Abu Muqawama in the blogosphere, recently came back from a month in Afghanistan, where he had taken part in new Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 60-day review of strategy and operations. On his return, his number one conclusion was: Winning in Afghanistan will be really, [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Valerie Jarrett on Health Care, Poll Numbers, Town Halls and Barack Obama

On message and with a streak of steel, Barack Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett made it clear that the president is fighting back challenges to his agenda. It “takes a certain temperament, perseverance and stubbornness” to make changes in Washington, Jarrett said. She addressed poll numbers, town hall disruptions and what it will take to [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Who Speaks for the Patients?

Now that the battle over health care has moved to the halls of Congress, lobbyists will take center stage. Insurance companies, drug manufacturers, physicians, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes and nearly everyone else with a stake in the health-care system will make their pitches to lawmakers. Note that I didn’t mention patients. The system exists to [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Newspaper Publishers, This Is Not a Good Idea

Dear Valued Customer: Thank you for your submission to SWELL!!, our new reader-financed feature for letters, op-ed material and miscellaneous commentary. Your work will appear as soon as your credit-card payment is posted on our books. Remember, once you submit and pay for 10 items you will be issued, for a small fee to cover [...]