Archive: May, 2009

Ham Jordan: One Year Since

Hamilton Jordan, who died far too young about a year ago at the age of 63, was a political wunderkind who steered Jimmy Carter first to an up-from-the-bottom victory in the 1970 race for Governor of Georgia and then to a wholly improbable win in the 1976 presidential race. He became the youngest White House Chief of Staff in history, and was the ballast that kept Carter from capsizing our ship of state for four floundering years. But Jordan almost didn’t get the chance to direct the winning gubernatorial campaign that first pushed the former peanut farmer onto the national scene: Carter thought Jordan too young for the job at 26, caught Kennedy fever and picked someone as campaign director. (More)

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The Gnats: Private Profits, Public Funds

How is it the Washington Gnats have the worst record in major league baseball and the second-lowest fan attendance and yet will probably make a big profit again this year? When I tried to explain it last month, my friend David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, wrote me a well-deserved snippy note saying that if I’d read his book Free Lunch (Portfolio/The Penguin Group 2007) I’d understand how. So I read the book. And now I do. And it’s preposterous. (More)

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Just Don’t Ask CBO to Score It

“The White House is signaling that it will back health care reform legislation that does not contain stringent cost containment measures.”
Cross posted from www.gooznews.com/node/2915
By Merrill Goozner

I, too, join in praising the medical-industrial complex’s pledge to hold down costs. Today’s White House announcement — already carried in every major paper and telegraphed to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman with a personal phone call on Saturday — greatly increases the likelihood that some kind of health care reform bill will pass this year.

The groups that will gather around the president today include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (devices), the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Service Employees International Union (which represents more health sector workers than any other labor organization). Their pledge: holding health care spending to a growth rate that’s 1.5 percentage points less than the projected trend, which would save $2 trillion over ten years. (More)

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May 13, 2009

$25 Theatre Tickets In NYC?

Old Gus Bevona would have been turning over in his grave, only he ain’t dead yet. There we were, rocking out to Motown sounds in the auditorium he’d built as a tribute to himself and using it instead to honor a young Indian woman who’s organized 11,900 New York City cab drivers, and a businessman who thinks we should deny pension and health care benefits to members of Congress until they guarantee all of us the same. The Hitsville show was emceed by Paul Butler and delivered exquisitely by musicians Ivan Bodley, James Dower, and Joe Goretti, and vocalists Bobby Harden, Michael James Leslie, Sherryl Marshall and Alice Tan Ridely (got to give credits in this business). But the real superstars of the evening were Bhairavi Desai, Tom Mackell, Jr. and Working Theater, an organization with a mission to produce plays for and about working people and charge $25 a pop for admission. (More)

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May 4, 2009

Gandolfini on Broadway

We were squeegeeing ourselves down a jam-packed Broadway, on our way to see “God of Carnage” with James Gandolfini. Comedy club hucksters were out like locusts, street vendors lining the sidewalk, a real happening with all the Times Square lights and action. At 46th Street, a rickshaw driver had cleared a small circle so passers by could witness a one-pound rat break-dancing on a sewer grate (yes, break-dancing). It would be the most entertaining thing we would witness that evening. (More)

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