Whether they are actually paying attention or not is another matter entirely. After I looked for a job and ran and did the 100 little things that make up the life of an ordinary man I watched the health care summit. Or most of it. I did miss chunks of it. I went out to run a little after 11 am EDT time and got back about an hour later. If you want to read about my running, click the “Running Commentary” tab. I also missed short bits and pieces, but caught a great deal of it. A short aside about the coverage of it.
When the President had a little summit a month or so ago, with the Congressional Republican caucus, The MSNBC coverage that night complained loudly that FOX news went away from the meeting to speak to other people when the President was talking. What did MSNBC do today? When Republican Rep. Boustany from Louisiana spoke, they went to a commentator to talk about what was happening. Annoyed, I turned on C-Span and decided to keep it there.
This is a VERY long Video. Almost 3 hours in length. Watch at your peril. 🙂
There was a lot of debate. If you read the news they’ll tell you little got done. I’ve seen at least 5 headlines on google that say just that. I am not so sure that is the case. The work that got done was not so much congressional, but philosophical. It showed that on some very crucial points, these two sides really are not all that far apart. Ideologically, they are on different planets revolving around different stars, but on some very important details, they are close. Both sides want to save Americans money, though both sides are locked into their ideas of how to get it done. Surprising how close some are.
Marsha Blackburn and President Obama sounded like they were reading from the same Que cards at one point, and only differed in wording. Six of one, half a dozen of the other and such statements. Her contention that Californians(The 39% increase in Health insurance costs for Californians was used as an example by many) should be able to get insurance from companies in Oregon was a mirror image of The Presidents contention that Companies from Oregon should have the opportunity to sell insurance to Californians. Exactly the same thing, and this is something that the Republicans claim Democrats don’t want, and it is clear from today that they do.
There were several instances like that, where the wording was all that was different between the two sides. There were deep divides in a few spots, though. Particularly interesting was the exchange between two representatives, Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Xavier Becerra. They sparred over Paul Ryan’s contention that the CBO was working with and using vague and misleading numbers, with Rep. Becerra saying that it was wrong to point any fingers at the CBO (implying the numbers were fine, and the problem was with Ryan’s contention) While Ryan said he did not mean any such thing (backing up his statement that the numbers the CBO had to work with were vague and in some cases misleading) This went back and forth for several minutes.
There was a large amount of talk from both sides, and both sides got their points in. The point Republicans made time and time again is that America wants this bill scrapped and started over, then pointed at polls that say America doesn’t want this, and that it is just too damned expensive and adds too much in the way of bureaucracy. Democrats kept reminding them that it would save hundreds of billons of dollars, and drive costs down for everyone, and that polls are out there that say that Americans want everything that is in this bill, and have said so in polls.
Harry Reid said there was much talk about Reconciliation being this rarely used thing, and a negative thing at that, a point made only a few minutes prior by Lamar Alexander, and then pointed out that it has been used 22 times, 16 times by Republicans. That particular talking point was dropped after that.
Some may read all that and come to the conclusion that little got done. Again, I disagree. This long winded (and for me, the long winded one, to say that means something) discussion put out, once and for all, the entirety of the debate and talking points of both sides in one place at one time so the people can really look at them with a critical eye and compare them. THAT is a big thing for this particular debate, something that has been sorely missing from day one. Rhetoric on one side has rarely been seen along side the rhetoric of the other, like each side has locked itself away from the other. It’s good to see both sides talking. T
This is a step in the right direction.
BTW, I had no idea that I had any significant international audience until I put the international flag counter on my page 36 hours ago. I thought the bulk of my readers, or viewers were Americans, 90% or more, and most of those from 2 states, New York and California. I had no idea, none whatsoever that 45 percent of my readers were outside of the United States, or that I have readers in at least 60 nations! Iam happy that this third generation American, with family living in both Ireland and Poland, has such a diverse audience. Thank you one and all, Americans and everyone else, for dropping by. Drop me a line and say hello!
Today’s Nuggets, Via wikiquote: Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all. Adam Smith
A properly functioning free market system does not spring spontaneously from society’s soil as crabgrass springs from suburban lawns. Rather, it is a complex creation of laws and mores… Capitalism is a government program. George Will