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Fawn Johnson

Panelist Bios

Fawn Johnson is a correspondent for National Journal, covering a range of issues including immigration, transportation and education.

Florida Governor's Embrace of Medicaid Money Undercuts GOP Attacks on 'Obamacare'

Essential Reads

Bashing “Obamacare” just isn’t what it used to be.

Just over two years ago, the rallying cry against President Obama’s health care overhaul unified Republicans and hoisted the party to historic electoral gains in state capitals and in Washington.

Beth Reinhard

Panelist Bios

The New Normal

On The Radar

Mitt Romney was so chipper on the eve of Florida’s Republican primary that instead of reciting a few verses of “America the Beautiful” as he frequently does on the stump, he let down his guard and sang. The presidential candidate was contemplating his first big-state win and a favorable forecast for February, with contests scheduled in a number of friendly states and three weeks without any nationally televised debates in which he might be upstaged. Warbling, albeit off-key, was in order.

Living Wage

On The Radar

What’s the value of a human life? That would be $9.1 million, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA uses that figure, derived from a hefty body of economic research, to weigh the costs and benefits of new pollution rules slashing coal-plant emissions of mercury, soot, arsenic, and other toxins. Those regulations, of course, are now the target of an all-out assault by Republicans and the coal industries.

Hey, Remember the ’80s?

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich’s economic plan is not Reaganesque. It is not, as so many of his Republican presidential rivals’ claim their plans to be, inspired by Reaganomics. It is Reaganomics, cryogenically frozen in 1981, thawed 30 years later, and pumped full of Newt-style steroids in order to save the American people from slow growth. The plan features massive tax cuts (which would largely benefit businesses and the wealthy), less government spending (through the privatization of entitlement programs), interest-rate hikes, and rampant deregulation.

Watching TV in Iowa

On The Radar

For an interesting study in contrasts, compare the television advertising broadcast by the leading Republican presidential candidates ads in Iowa. The most distinctive quality of Newt Gingrich's first ad is its speed: slow motion. Going for the heartstrings, the spot showcases amber waves of grain to purple mountain majesties, joining the scores of homages to Ronald Reagan's beloved "It's morning again in America'' ad. Gingrich says, "Some people say the America we know and love is a thing of the past. I don't believe that.

What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility?

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich has a lot of problems, but a healthy ego isn't one of them. "I'm going to be the nominee," the former House Speaker told ABC News. "It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee." In contrast, the candidate who's got the most money and the most consistently high poll numbers, Mitt Romney, always bends over backwards not to be presumptuous.

Justice League

On The Radar

The Arab League, an unwieldy 22-nation conglomerate of autocrats and monarchs, has long been the object of scorn. Established in Cairo in 1945 by a half-dozen Arab countries, it was known—if known at all—for its incompetence and hostility toward Israel. The league declared war on the Jewish state in 1948, froze out companies that did business with Israel, and expelled Egypt after it signed the Camp David peace accords.

Contagion Catastrophe

On The Radar

This is the worst-case scenario from Europe, and it just might come true: Italy defaults on its debts. Every major Italian bank collapses. Recession grips the eurozone. Sovereign defaults and bank failures ripple across the Continent. Saddled with bad loans to nations and lenders in Europe, American banks hemorrhage cash. Credit freezes in the United States. Multinational companies, unable to raise money, curb U.S. investment and hiring. Wall Street demands, but fails to get, new bailouts. The entire developed world plummets into recession and, quite possibly, depression.