Good morning. It's Thursday, March 6, and Chris Christie is still toast (for President; he still gets to be Governor).
A new poll shows that while Gov. Chris Christie's overall job rating among New Jersey voters has stabilized, his marks on a defining issue of his governorship — the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort — have fallen.NY Times:
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll, released this morning, shows that 54 percent of voters approve of how the Republican governor has handled the state's rebuilding after the 2012 storm. That's a 15-point drop from a January survey and a 26-point slide from November.
When scientists made the stunning announcement last year that a baby born with H.I.V. had apparently been cured through aggressive drug treatment just 30 hours after birth, there was immediate skepticism that the child had been infected in the first place.More politics and policy below the fold.
But on Wednesday, the existence of a second such baby was revealed at an AIDS conference here, leaving little doubt that the treatment works. A leading researcher said there might be five more such cases in Canada and three in South Africa.
Seeking the kind of perspective that [Scoop] Jackson offered back in 1980, I spoke Tuesday with one of America’s longest-serving national security veterans, former defense secretary Bob Gates. In addition to having run the Pentagon under Republican and Democratic administrations, Gates worked at the CIA for 26 years and was one of its leading Soviet analysts. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Kremlin decision-making.The foreign policy establishment is not happy with these Republicans. Then again, who is?
What does Gates think about the Ukraine crisis? Distilled to its essence, his message would be the same as Jackson’s: Cool it, especially when it comes to public comments.
Not only that, Gates told Ignatius that Putin “holds most of the high cards” and that “considerable care needs to be taken in terms of what is said, so that the rhetoric doesn’t threaten what policy can’t deliver.” Ah, such reasonableness from the GOP. Pity Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary, isn’t in the Senate.Via Greg Sargent, this is Larry Levitt from Kaiser Family Foundation on the delay in getting rid of junk plans under ACA:
In the end, even he shared my lament. “It seems to me that trying to speak with one voice — one American voice — seems to have become a quaint thing of the past,” Gates told Ignatius. “I regret that enormously.” At least I’m in good company.
This affects a small and dwindling number of people who still have old insurance policies that they bought on their own, but it give those people the option of keeping those old policies or switching to new coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It’s the best of all possible worlds for a small but vocal group of consumers, avoids a potential political landmine, and probably has only a minimal effect on the insurance market.On average, these folks turn their insurance over every 28 months or so. That's the baseline, and this move helps politically and does no harm policy wise. So why not?
We’re talking about a small number of people to begin with, and it’s likely to get even smaller as people transition out of these old insurance plans. So, even though these people are probably healthier than average and in a separate insurance pool, it probably doesn’t affect the stability of the Affordable Care Act plans much at all.
Jonathan Cohn on Obama's budget:
The stakes in the fall may not be nearly as big as they were in 2008, when Obama was promising to reform health care and stop climate change—or in 2010, when Republicans were vowing to roll back Obama’s accomplishments and, then, roll back parts of the Great Society and New Deal. But those were unusually grandiose times. The difference between Democratic and Republican visions of government are still large—and in 2015, when the current spending agreement runs out, lawmakers will have to reconcile them. Obama’s budget is one vision for how to do that, which makes it worth taking seriously.