Mojo - February 2009

The Real Problem With Tom Daschle

| Mon Feb. 2, 2009 2:24 PM EST

President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Sen. Tom Daschle, ran into a bit of trouble over the weekend over $128,203 in tax problems. But as Glenn Greenwald notes, unpaid taxes aren't the only thing that should make you think twice about Tom Daschle. In 2002, our own Stephanie Mencimer, then an editor at the Washington Monthly, wrote about the relationship between Daschle and his lobbyist wife, Linda:

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Steele, Diversity, and the GOP

| Mon Feb. 2, 2009 1:45 PM EST

I like Ta-Nehisi's thoughts on Michael Steele. Yes, Steele is a token pick who will fail to bring African-Americans into the GOP fold. And yes, Steele succeeds in the GOP despite his record of failures because the Republican Party finds it useful to have a black man around now and again. But the GOP is taking its first baby steps toward diversity and inclusion, and one can't expect those baby steps to be perfect; it requires a couple generations of incubating minority talent before you get an Obama. Anyway, here are Ta-Nehisi's comments:

France Giving 18-Year-Olds Free Newspaper Subscriptions

| Mon Feb. 2, 2009 1:15 PM EST

Sarkozy is giving French teens free newspaper subscriptions starting on their 18th birthdays. I like it. Getting more kids interested in current affairs, boosting reading as a pastime, and bailing out the newspaper industry — all at the same time! Why can't we do something like this?

Have Thoughts on SCHIP? The White House is Listening, Kind Of

| Mon Feb. 2, 2009 11:44 AM EST

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If you have an opinion on the expansion of children's health insurance, hop on over the White House website, where the SCHIP bill is open for comments. If Obama's campaign promise is followed, commenting will last for five days, at which point the President will sign the bill.

While the move is an admirable nod to openness, it's more of a presidential party trick than anything else. Here's why: