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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The WaPo 5
I rarely get the opportunity to read the paper every morning as much as I would like. For one thing, mornings are hectic with 3 kids, 3 different schools, breakfasts, lunches, the search for missing shoes (truth be told, I am a big fan of sleeping until the last possible second, so I miss the majority of hectic...OK, I miss all of it). Yesterday, I did read the paper in the morning. I am glad I did. It expanded my thinking while confirming my underlying opinions. Exactly what I want out of a newspaper.
We have considered cancelling our Washington Post subscription. We could read it on the Internet for free. So far, we have decided to continue our subscription, for several reasons. First, we like that our kids read the news. We like that when their eyes on in the newspaper, their eyes are NOT on a screen. We encourage the quiet of family reading.
I personally view my monthly subscription payment as my contribution to a vibrant 4th Estate. I support our tireless journalist class, at least who practice actual journalism (i.e. confirm facts first). It is healthy for our nation to have a thriving, professional press corps to question, challenge, and investigate. It builds public accountability - not as often as I'd like, however.
Now that I have made my case for newsprint fingerprints all over your kitchen, I will direct your attention to the 5 links below. Click and read, or better yet, buy a copy of the Tuesday, Nov. 9th Washington Post. While it is rare that I get to read the paper, it is even more rare that every A17 editorial reflects my own opinions with such clarity.
Here are the links, and my brief summaries. Choose wisely, but choose:
A succinct summary of all of the sad facts surrounding health care in our country compared to the world, and it leaves me wondering, "If not the ACA, then what?" It helps that Cohen quotes my favorite health care author, T.R. Reid (see my blog entry dated June 12, 2010). "Repeal" is unrealistic at best, absurd at worst, and while that debate rages, our nation will continue to spend more health dollars chasing inadequate health outcomes.
Serwer's op-ed spells out the Kobayashi Maru (the No Win situation) faced by Congressional Democrats. All tax cuts made permanent? GOP wins. All tax cuts allowed to expire? GOP wins - because "Obama raised your taxes." This article reminds me of the tactical stupidity of the Democrats. I still don't know why they didn't force this vote before election day, and I still don't know why Obama continues to offer concessions before negotiations begin...on everything.
Alaska, the land of the rugged libertarian-leaning individualist myth, owes one-third of its jobs to federal dollars. Given a choice between unbalanced outsider, Joe Miller and establishment career politician, Lisa Murkowski, it looks like they chose federal largess. Applebaum uses this example to illustrate new Speaker Boehner's upcoming conundrum - feed the enthusiasm of the Miller-ites while attempting to govern with the Murkowski-ites. Which side will rule the day in Washington when it is time to make decisions on the record, and not on the stump?
Why won't Obama lead? Why did he outsource health care to Pelosi and Reid? I've said this, and I've heard it said. He could use some of GW Bush's stubbornness and Reagan's belief in himself. If he has doubts sometimes or feels discouraged, too bad. You wanted the job. Tell me all about it in your memoir in 2017, but not now.
The re-ascendency of the GOP and the emergence of the Tea Party sympathizers could have a lasting impact on the world stage, depending on whether the isolationist or interventionist wings win the debate. Obama cannot allow foreign policy to get caught in the swirling currents of the recent domestic political tidal wave. He'll need a philosophy, and pragmatism, while understandable on paper, leaves a void for a compelling vision narrative. The GOP could fill that void, but look what they did for world affairs from 2000-2008. Uh oh.