Friday, April 13, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Al Green, 66.

Getting right to the good stuff:

1. Fred Kaplan on Iran, Israel, and the US elections. Not cheerful.

2. 2016 alert: GOP state senators in New York blocked the creation of that state's ACA health insurance Governor Andrew Cuomo created one by executive order. Reporting by Thomas Kaplan.

3. Tea Party-friendly new Senator Ron Johnson is about to sack his legislative staff, according to reporting from Meredith Shiner, mainly because he's more interested in being a showhorse than a workhorse. I'd love to see evidence of how these sorts of Member-staff problems predicts, or doesn't predict, other long-run problems. Has anyone ever collected these data?

4. And a couple of baseball links. Giants (and Orioles) fans who missed this on Sunday should read the NYT column by Emilie Miller, Jon's daughter; and Ben Jacobs interviews, Rick Santorum, baseball fan.


  1. Johnson, IIRC, sold his complete inexperience and lack of knowledge about policy as an asset in 2010. I can't imagine that he won't be a top Democratic target in 2016. And I suspect that incumbents with staff problems are also incumbents who aren't good at all of the other stuff one needs to do to get re-elected.

  2. As a former Senate legislative staffer, I can tell you that there's a well-developed staff grapevine. You learn very quickly which Members to avoid seeking a job with if you want to keep your sanity & self-respect.

  3. I definitely agree about the grapevine, and it probably does matter a bit as far as staff quality...but I also know that I interviewed with and would have taken jobs with a couple of Members who had lousy reputations, because I needed the job. Not that I'm saying I was "quality" staff, but just that Member reputation is only one factor.

    I can think of one Senator who was there back when I was a Senate staffer and who is still there and who has a terrible reputation, but AFAIK has had pretty good staff work over the years, and certainly has had a successful legislative career. Would it have been better if more people were eager to work for that Senator? Perhaps, but it's hard to prove these things.

  4. For truly conservative legislators, there is little reason to worry about new legislation. Slowing down progressives is the best that they can hope to do. Who needs to worry about nailing some new policy when con. leadership will set the table and staying in office is more important than new "programs?"

  5. You may have posted this but this could be huge:

    FCC mandating broadcast stations publish their ad rates. Very interesting.


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