October 30, 2009

Who'd a thunk it?

I don't know about you, but the struggle over health care reform seems to have gone on forever. Watching it and participating in it whenever I could has often reminded me of the Iliad as the tide of battle went first this way and that. At crucial points in Homer's epic, Zeus would bring out his golden scales and weigh the fate of mortals in its balance.

During August and September, it looked like the scales went against the public option and maybe the whole shebang. Those were strange days, with bizarre rumors of death panels and rampant paranoia and conspiracy theories. I attended a few of those contentious town hall meetings and they were as weird in person as they were on TV. It was all Whackadoodle all the time for a while.

I've mentioned this before, but my strangest memory of the fight is something that happened at a public meeting in southern West Virginia hosted by Congressman Nick Rahall. When a priest was giving the opening prayer and saying something obviously Bolshevik about caring for our brothers and sisters, a teabagger heckled, saying something like "How much are you getting paid?"

But the tide finally turned again. Across the country, people worked hard to push for real reform. Getting the public option back on the table has been a real victory, although anything could happen.

The House plan was revealed yesterday and votes are still being counted on the Senate's version. I guess the goal at this point is to getting something passed by Christmas.

There is going to be plenty more work to do to make this happen, but there is some motion in the right direction.


RECESSION AND RECOVERY. Here's Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com on the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and what remains to be done.

I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK. El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia ranks last for getting enough sleep.

THIS WOULD EXPLAIN A LOT. Is there a gene for bad driving?


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