The Note: Cash and Carry

This New York Times graph on the Massachusetts health care bill can be cut and pasted into Gov. Romney's next prospecting spiel in Manhattan and Florida living rooms: "The bill does what health experts say no other state has been able to do: provide a mechanism for all of its citizens to obtain health insurance. It accomplishes that in a way that experts say combines methods and proposals from across the political spectrum, apportioning the cost among businesses, individuals and the government." LINK

The recently-passed Massachusetts health care bill makes it above-the-fold on the front page of the Washington Post. LINK

"'We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance,' Romney said in an interview. 'And cars are a lot less expensive than people.'"

If this thing is embraced by Howard Dean and Newt Gingrich, say, what does that mean for Romney's future?

Kerry sets a deadline for extricating US troops from Iraq:

John Kerry takes to the op-ed page of the New York Times to set some deadlines for Iraq. LINK

"So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines -- a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections."

"Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet."

"Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave."

"If Iraq's leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year's end."

In a letter, former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO) advocates Sen. Kerry's time-table and indicates that both the Bush administration and Democratic leaders must respond to the plan.

Feingold endorses same-sex marriage:

The Washington Post's Dan Balz reports that Sen. Russ Feingold said yesterday that he thinks bans on same-sex marriages have no place in the nation's laws. LINK

"Feingold said in an interview that he was motivated to state his position on one of the most divisive social issues in the country after being asked at a town hall meeting Sunday about a pending amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution to ban same-sex marriages."

"Feingold called the amendment 'a mean-spirited attempt' to single out gay men and lesbians for discrimination and said he would vote against it. But he went further, announcing that he favors legalizing same-sex marriages."

The Washington Times has Sen. Feingold saying: "As I said at the Kenosha County listening session, gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy."

"Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue." LINK

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