I think I like this format, so I’m going to stick with it for a while.
-Let’s start with Obamacare, or the ACA, or Nixon-Care, whatever you want to call it. Turns out it is working. How do we know? For starters, only 9.2 percent of Americans are without health insurance coverage, which is down from 15.1 percent in 2011. Also, as David Lauter of the Los Angeles Times points out, Texas is the ONLY state in the country that now has an uninsured population of over 20 percent. Also, for the millionth time, Obamacare is not killing full time jobs. We will probably see a debate going forward on the ACA’s “Cadillac Tax”, but so far that seems to be a nothing-burger.
–Max Boot at Commentary Magazine provides an actual fair analysis of the Republican talking point that Hillary Clinton “created ISIS”. Boot concludes that while he believes that Clinton is guilty of “not doing enough to keep US forces in Iraq and then not doing enough to help the moderates in the Syrian civil war”, he also acknowledges that ISIS today emanated from Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which developed a strong presence in Iraq during the years of 2005-2007/’08. Boot is also right that Clinton opposed the Iraq “surge”. But, as Peter Beinart pointed out yesterday, there is an legitimate argument that while the surge attenuated the level of violence in the country (temporarily), “[r]educing violence was a means to a larger goal: political reconciliation. Only when Iraq’s Sunni and Shia Arabs and its Kurds all felt represented by the government would the country be safe from civil war.” Beinart rightly points out that the political reconciliation never formulated. This is also obvious to anyone looking at the current Sunni-Shia strife going in Iraq right now.
-Republican frontrunner Donald Trump (that never gets old, I swear) has now potentially landed in some hot water. Trump is now on the record saying that he would not completely defund Planned Parenthood, just the stuff that doesn’t fall under “the good aspects” of what the women’s health organization does. As Sophia Tesfaye points out at Salon, Trump is now facing criticism from Breitbart, the Weekly Standard and someone nobody knows at Town Hall. Fresh off of her excellent “kids table” debate performance, Carly Fiorina is attacking Trump like a vulture for his middle-of-the-road response to the recent Planned Parenthood “undercover” videos. Rand Paul is attacking Trump for other things, but that’s only because Senator Paul’s campaign is flailing and he’s clearly desperate. I still believe that the only way Trump can lose his status as frontrunner (before GOP voters figure out that he’s a charlatan) is if he endorses gun control or a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but this may evaporate his lead as well.
-Unrelated to politics, I would highly recommend everybody read this article about future millenial births from the Wall Street Journal by Josh Zumbrun. In the article, Zumbrun goes over a projection that in the year 2025, nearly 80 percent of millenials will give birth to children while married. Currently, there are forecasts that predict that 59 percent of births today will be from millenials who are married. Zumbrun gets his analysis from a study conducted by the research firm Demographic Intelligence, which predicted that not only will millenials get married at a higher frequency (despite stereotypes that indicate the opposite), but millenials will also give birth to children in a marriage. A significant portion of millenial births will be from college-educated women, who are likely to finish their education by age 31 (who are also likely to have more financial security and be more selective in their choice for a mate).