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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Lillis’

DC Pubs Disagree: Are Democrats ‘Spiking the Football’?

Obamacare enrollments reached 7.1 million last month, but Democrats and Republicans are still bickering over whether or not that’s a good thing. Dems are obviously pleased, while Republicans are warning Obamacare supporters not to celebrate too early. Disagreements over whether healthcare reform is working won’t be resolved anytime soon. But there is another, more pressing question vexing the political media this week as well: are the President and his allies “spiking the ball” over the enrollment numbers?

The Hill says it isn’t so. In his article, “Democrats don’t spike ball on ObamaCare,” Mike Lillis contends that Dems are showing caution in the aftermath of this major milestone. And Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard agrees. In “Why Didn’t Vulnerable Senate Dems Spike the Football Yesterday?“, he points out that the party is eager to stop talking about the law altogether.

But National Journal‘s James Oliphant and Commentary‘s Jonathan Tobin act as if the ball-spiking were obvious.

“The president couldn’t resist spiking the football over the Affordable Care Act,” wrote Oliphant yesterday.

“The administration felt it had good reason to spike the ball,” said Tobin. ”And that’s exactly what the president did.”

And according to the WaPo editorial board, while there was definitely some modest spiking of the ball, it was clearly within the bounds of proper decorum. ”You can forgive a little football-spiking,” they wrote yesterday. “Even if Obamacare is far from the end zone.”

Hm, isn’t spiking a football outside of the end zone usually referred to as a fumble? Oh well. Sports metaphors, gotta love em!

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The Hill’s New Hire and Staff Shuffle

An internal memo from The Hill‘s Editor Hugo Gurdon to staff Wednesday evening reports a new hire, Andrew Villegas, a blogger at Kaiser Health News. In addition, there has been a small staff shuffle since the departure of House reporter Jared Allen. The moves will ensure that the Healthwatch blog doesn’t “miss a beat” – get it?

The memo:

There are a couple of staff changes coming next month.

Mike Lillis will shift from the Healthwatch blog to the slot vacated by Jared Allen covering the House Democrats. Mike has done an excellent job on Healthwatch with Julian Pacquet, and moving him to a new beat was not an easy decision. But he is a very good, adaptable reporter with a taste and flair for political stories of wider scope.

Taking Mike’s place on Healthwatch will be Andrew Villegas, who is currently a reporter/blogger at Kaiser Health News and before that was a political reporter in Colorado. Andrew, who will join the newsroom on October 27, knows the health beat inside out and I am confident that Healthwatch will not miss a beat.

The Hill Nabs Reporters From NJ and the Washington Independent

An internal memo from The Hill’s Editor Hugo Gurdon:

I’m pleased to be able to tell you of two more hires that will continue the growth of our newsroom.

Sara Jerome is joining us from National Journal, where she is a technology reporter. She arrives next Monday, May 24, and will become the third staff writer working on the Hillicon Valley blog.

Then, on June 7, we will be joined by Mike Lillis, who will be our second healthcare reporter/blogger. Mike is currently a reporter at the Washington Independent and before that was at Inside CMS.

These hires, and others still to come, result from our highly successful expansion into untapped areas of news coverage using innovative online platforms.

Thanks, Hugo

Washington Independent: An Update

Yesterday, we reported that “We hear that the Center for Independent Media (including its flagship publication, the Washington Independent) is not renewing the contracts of many of its staff writers, as a cost cutting measure. Instead, writers can continue to write for the publications on a freelance basis.”

We heard from both CIM brass and staffers following that post and their feedback fell along (expected) staffers-think-things-aren’t-going-well-while-the-higher-ups-maintain-that-everything-is-rosy lines.

So, some updates…

Brass says…It’s not hard times for CIM and that they are in the process of hiring two more editors and four more reporters in DC. “We’re actually reorganizing, which means some people are going and some people are coming,” CIM CEO David Bennahum told FishbowlDC.

Staff says…It is hard times for the Washington Independent and that cuts are being made on all of the state sites. But Bennahum said that, when all is said and done, their budget will remain what it was: $4 million.

Alas, it remains a “wait and see” situation.

Spencer Ackerman will remain at the Washington Independent on a full-time basis. Staffers Mary Kane, Mike Lillis and Daphne Eviatar will likely contribute to the site on a freelance basis.

Sridhar Pappu is not expected to continue with the Washington Independent and the statuses of Suemedha Sood and Matthew Blake are unknown.