September 13, 2009
We Have Met the Enemy and Once Again, He Is…

These variations on a theme are all excerpted from today’s New York Times:

‘Athens’ on the Net

During the transition, the administration created an online “Citizen’s Briefing Book” for people to submit ideas to the president. “The best-rated ones will rise to the top, and after the Inauguration, we’ll print them out and gather them into a binder like the ones the president receives every day from experts and advisors,” Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, wrote to supporters.

They received 44,000 proposals and 1.4 million votes for those proposals. The results were quietly published, but they were embarrassing — not so much to the administration as to us, the ones we’ve been waiting for.

In the middle of two wars and an economic meltdown, the highest-ranking idea was to legalize marijuana, an idea nearly twice as popular as repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy.

Politics and the Age Gap

The latest CBS News poll found that 51 percent of those over 64 said health care reform would hurt senior citizens, compared with 36 percent of all adults surveyed. Just 31 percent of respondents over 64 said they approved of Mr. Obama’s handling of health care, compared with 40 percent over all.

The Recession’s Racial Divide

What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt. An article on the Fox News Web site has put forth the theory that health reform is a stealth version of reparations for slavery: whites will foot the bill and, by some undisclosed mechanism, blacks will get all the care. President Obama, in such fantasies, is a dictator and, in one image circulated among the anti-tax, anti-health reform “tea parties,” he is depicted as a befeathered African witch doctor with little tusks coming out of his nostrils. When you’re going down, as the white middle class has been doing for several years now, it’s all too easy to imagine that it’s because someone else is climbing up over your back.

Boy, Oh, Boy

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

The Body Count at Home

As Mr. Reid recounts, Nikki tried everything to get medical care, but no insurance company would accept someone with her pre-existing condition…

“When Nikki showed up at the emergency room, she received the best of care, and the hospital spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her,” her step-father, Tony Deal, told me. “But that’s not when she needed the care.”

By then it was too late. In 2006, Nikki White died at age 32. “Nikki didn’t die from lupus,” her doctor, Amylyn Crawford, told Mr. Reid. “Nikki died from complications of the failing American health care system.”

Complex arguments are being batted around in this health care debate, but the central issue isn’t technical but moral. The first question is simply this: Do we wish to be the only rich nation in the world that lets a 32-year-old woman die because she can’t get health insurance? Is that really us?

Actually, yes. It really is.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 13, 2009 04:53 PM
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Middle-aged fat white guys.

Or is it fat middle-aged white guys?

Or white middle-aged fat guys?

Or aliens?

Posted by: Ten Bears on September 13, 2009 6:50 PM

We as a country made up of citizens who work, have families, get along day by day on the paychecks provided by our EMPLOYERS, have to compete for legislation and laws bent to favor the corporations and business' that provide us with the paychecks we rely on. I do not blame the companies, I blame the rules that govern our country. These corporations hold more sway due to their size than a single vote and it shows. The robber barons were very successful in the past and must be reigned in once more. The more things change, the more they are the same.

Posted by: Russell LaHart on September 13, 2009 7:27 PM

Why "fat," Ten? The picture I saw showed him with men of average weight on either side. Both appeared to be pretending they'd never met the man.

And Russell, the first rule to change is enacting single-payer universal health insurance. Then the citizen need not work directly for a large, rich corporate employer to avoid dying due to the American system of health care.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on September 13, 2009 9:31 PM

It has long been my contention that these behaviors are manifestation of these pink-skinned, bald-headed, pot-bellied, bad-backed, flat-footed creatures sub-conscious realization that they are in fact a dying breed.

Posted by: Ten Bears on September 14, 2009 10:24 AM
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