Here’s a handy guide for the rest of the summer. Bookmark it!
Thom Hartmann interviews Frank Schaffer, whose father founded the Moral Majority:
One of my pet peeves. I rarely go to the theater anymore; I have really long legs and it’s like torture to sit with my knees crammed like that.
Now, this might just be theater: Mr. Obama may be pulling an anti-Corleone, making Republicans an offer they can’t accept. The reports say that the Obama plan also involves significant new revenues, a notion that remains anathema to the Republican base. So the goal may be to paint the G.O.P. into a corner, making Republicans look like intransigent extremists — which they are.
But let’s be frank. It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth.
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This article reminds me that I got into an argument with my shrink yesterday about health insurance. I told him he didn’t understand the sheer terror of having a strange symptom when you’re uninsured and not knowing if it’s something really important — like the black floater I’ve had in my eye for the past two weeks.
“So you just go to the doctor!” he says.
“No, you don’t just ‘go to the doctor,’” I said. “You have to see an opthalmologist, and that’s $175 just to walk in the door. Then if he doesn’t find anything, he tells you to see a neurologist. So even without any testing, I could be looking at $400.”
I tell him he’s just too young and financially stable to understand. “I’m not incapable of empathy,” he says.
“No, but you’re young and you will always be able to go to the doctor. So you can imagine my predicament — without ever really understanding it on a gut level.”
And as I tell him almost every session, I certainly agree in theory that my perspective can influence how well I roll with life’s punches, yet people don’t live in a bubble. We’re at the mercy of political and economic forces, too.
It really is, and the fact that he was there with his kid is even worse. But I keep thinking that for a baseball fan, it’s not such a bad way to go.