Step by step...
As a kid I used to torment adult drivers with that question on long trips. As a parent, I used to torment my kids when they were little by telling them that our still distant destination was just around the next bend.
I keep asking that question myself lately about health care reform. It has been a long strange trip, from unknown years of talking about it in the abstract to a long hard year of pushing for it in the concrete.
I guess we'll know what's up by the end of the weekend, but this item from the Washington Monthly website puts it in context:
THREADING AN IMPOSSIBLE NEEDLE.... It's probably an esoteric point, but it's worth pausing to appreciate just how ridiculously challenging it was to craft this health care reform proposal. There's a very good reason this legislation has never passed up until now, and why presidents who've tried have failed, and it goes beyond just right-wing hysterics and corporate pushback.
Think about the scope of the task -- Democrats were told they needed a health care reform bill that spends a lot of money on covering the uninsured, lowers the deficit, strengthens Medicare, helps businesses, eases government budgets, protects consumers, and controls costs, all at the same time. It would also need to earn the blessing of Congressional Budget Office, the American Medical Association, the AARP, and the nation's largest labor unions.
Democrats were also told they needed to do all of this in the face of unanimous and apoplectic Republican opposition, far-right manipulation of gullible conservative activists, and media coverage that largely ignores the substance of the bill while pretending every right-wing attack deserves attention.
Oh well...I'd hate to think we spent all this time and effort trying to do something easy.
AND HERE ARE SOME MORE REASONS to get it done.
SPEAKING OF HEALTH, this is no surprise, but the coalfield counties of southern WV have the worst in the state.
A LITTLE GOOD NEWS. The budget for El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia included some additional Medicaid funding for in home care for elderly people with disabilities.
YOU GO, JOE. Congratulations to Governor Manchin, who is considering vetoing a bill that would create a gun sales tax holiday during a time of serious budget problems. Manchin was quoted as saying,
I can't look at children in the eye, and struggling families in the eye, and all these people in the eye and say, "I'm sorry we couldn't help you, but, by God, if you want to buy a gun, we can really take care of you.
Don't get me wrong. There are fire sticks in the closet at Goat Rope Farm and I have been known to hunt (without a great deal of success lately, let it be noted) but this was a silly bill.
PRISONS. The population warehoused in state prisons nationwide declined in 2009 for the first time since 1972.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED