September 10th, 2009

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Anticipation

When Obama signs that bill, wishy-washy as it will be, that’s going to be a glorious moment. And, contrary to screaming and shouting, this will have been one of the smoothest congressional processes ever to tackle a problem of this sort (and I’m not sure Obama was very helpful, either).

One reason, I imagine, is that the Republicans mostly got out of the way! (though I’ve read that Olympia Snowe may be cooperative).
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Jack Rice was ecstatic

I’m listening to the podcast, Jack Rice was ecstatic yesterday about the healthcare bill, after having been one of the nattering naybobs of negativism. I predict he’ll be even more ecstatic today. He’s come to where I have, seeing that actually this has gone pretty darn well, considering what is being moved forward.

I myself have little interest in this talk about ‘competition’ and ‘choice’, which I think is bogus; I’m interested in the regulation. Even the ‘public option’ isn’t really ‘competition’, the way it is said to be, but a threat: ‘We will put you out of business if we have to’. That’s why a strong ‘trigger’ would be particularly helpful; let’s hope we get it.
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A good sign

Being interviewed by Jack Rice, Dennis Kucinich offered only muted whining. He said to mark his words, we’d be back here again, but after possible temporary improvement – and he said it wasn’t ‘[his] way or the highway’ and that we were in a multiyear process.

Well, duhhhhh, Dennis. Now explain how your analogy to the Wall Street bailout works, given that the supposed recipients of this bailout have been working tooth and nail to prevent it from happening.

(What it looks like to me is that Obama and Congress want those recipients to keep making profits, but probably lower short-term profits than they have been. It was not an aim of the Wall Street bailout to lower profits, but to raise them.)
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Barack Obama's main rhetorical "trick"

Last night Air America’s Richard Greene was analyzing Barack Obama’s speaking style, noting the pauses, rising tones, lowering tones, whatnot. The idea was that other people should learn those same techniques, and apparently he is some kind of teacher. But Greene, noting that it probably came ‘naturally’ to Obama, also called Barack Obama’s style ‘conversational’. I say, yes, that’s the point: it comes ‘naturally’ to Obama to speak that way, because he’s saying what he’s actually thinking.

Even on the ‘public option’ this is true in a way – his weak language on the public option is a reflection of his inner thoughts. He doesn’t try to sound gung-ho for something he’s ready to drop. (Some people hear in gung-ho, however.)
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Dennis Kucinich's conference call

I'm listening live to a conference call Dennis Kucinich is holding calling for the formation of a movement for single-payer health care.

Has it occurred to Kucinich that he’s one of the lamest people to be doing this? I guess it’s like when he introduced two thousand three hundred eighty articles of impeachment instead of a couple of really good ones – he doesn’t know how lame he is as a leader. For this single-payer thing, if he really wants to form a movement, he should go search for someone to lead it, and only then go for the conference call.

The guy ought to watch himself on video sometime – he’s like a mixture of Hamlet and Gilligan. It’s not that he is small and funny-looking, but that he is so sour and melancholy.
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Something I don't fully understand

I do not understand how easily a person can become disappointed when the president they elect does what he said he would do, even if it isn’t what seems (to the disappointed person) not the right thing for the president to do.

I mean, honestly, isn’t this a guaranteed path to disappointment, and why would a person want to be disappointed?

I think Obama’s views on health care and ‘competition’ are mistaken. I feel that way about his views on education, as well. What he is doing in Afghanistan he doesn’t even explain, so there is nothing even to agree or disagree with. But these are not new disagreements and confusions; this is the guy I voted for. I’m not disappointed. Concerned, yes, though much more about Afghanistan than the wishy-washy health care proposal.