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This Is Critical

With Sahil Kapur's piece today on Republican fears that Obamacare might actually succeed, I wanted to focus everyone's attention on the seminal 'Kristol Memo' from 1993, a document that shaped the successful effort to block health care reform in 1994 and, I believe, played a largely unheralded and pivotal role shaping the DC GOP in the last 20 years. You can read the actual memo here; and I strongly recommend that you do. The gist of Kristol's prescription was massive resistance: no haggling or negotiating, as might have been the Bob Dole approach. Just no. No negotiation, no bill, no acceptance that there was such a thing as a crisis in care.

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A Must-Read from the 'Brittle Grip' Series

I've been whittling away at this "brittle grip" series for a while now. And I confess it's the first contemporary or public issue that I've felt any urge to write about at length in many years. But since I'm not able to do that I've had to content myself with observation, anecdote and hypotheses. Social psychology, economics, extensive interviews and much more would be necessary to really grasp the issue in all its dimensions. That's why I was so charged to receive this reader email on the brittle grip theme from TPM Reader ML. It's really, really worth your time to read.

I am an MBA and, after working in the "private sector" for a good while am back in the public policy world. I am also a fellow Brown grad (and long time reader - since early 2000s).

Anyway, I was, at one point, a real free market believer. I did some Jeff Sachs goes to Bolivia type of stuff. It was a heady time - the 90s. The market could bring prosperity to peasants in Bolivia (if only they let us privatize retirement and force them to become investors somehow). The market was good for you and everyone.

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Ignoring The Evidence

Sarah Erdreich: It's actually a huge problem when Supreme Court justices like Antonin Scalia are spouting unscientific nonsense by calling contraceptive methods "abortifacients."

I Love New York

A charity hockey game between the NYPD and the NYFD degenerates (or perhaps ascends?) into an epic brawl between cops and firefighters. Watch.

One More Point

Thanks for all the reactions to yesterday's piece on the Brendan Eich saga. There is one point that has come up again and again in email exchanges and I wanted to address it clearly. It seems quite likely to me that the whole Eich story would have turned out very differently if Eich had simply said something to the effect of, "Yes, I did that in 2008. But like the rest of the country, my views have changed over the last 5 years. I was wrong and I'm sorry." If he'd said that - sincerely or not - I suspect the whole crisis would have subsided and he'd still be on the job.

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A View From the Inside

TPM Reader FL has a take from inside the tech industry which is sort of sitting right there in plain view but somehow has received not that much attention. In short, an industry and community already engulfed in a pervasive discrimination crisis simply couldn't afford Brendan Eich at the helm of one of its flagship organizations ...

I really enjoyed the piece but I believe that an important part of this story that is not being told is that the tech industry is having a huge discrimination crisis right now. We have brogrammer culture, we have Julie Horvaths reporting widespread discrimination (and then some) at GitHubs and ageism and discrimination against people with kids and we can barely a have single tech conference without somebody being sexually harassed or worse. The community is fighting back, hard.

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A Few Thoughts on Brendan Eich

A week ago I'd never heard the name Brendan Eich. If you've missed the story, he was recently appointed to be the CEO of Mozilla, the organization that creates the Firefox web browser, an organization he'd been a key part of since its inception. However, despite the fact that he'd apparently never given any particular sign of a position on the issue one way or another, it was discovered about a year ago that he'd donated $1000 to the Prop 8 campaign in California in 2008. That was the successful voter referendum, ruled unconstitutional in 2013, which overturned marriage equality in California. After holding on for a week or so in the face of a rising boycott, he gave in and resigned and quit the organization entirely.

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