Delusion Watch: Ezra Klein thinks the good news is that Obama "hasn't given a speech on health-care reform ..." You could have fooled me. The problem, Klein reports, is that
the media reported on his news conferences and town hall meetings as if they were the White House's failed attempts to set the agenda.
You mean they weren't attempts to set the agenda? That explains it! ... [ via Faughnan | ... P.S.: Klein's post does raise a disturbing possibility: Maybe the White House is proceeding ploddingly according to a plan laid out months ago, in which Obama's formal address to Congress was going to be a dramatic, fresh, deal-clinching intervention as opposed to three more cubic yards of the same ineffective rhetoric the public is already sick of. . . .They haven't adjusted at all in the WH, according to this theory. We're still on Plan A. ...
P.S.: "Our CBS News tally shows that Mr. Obama has given 27 speeches specifically on his health care objectives. Add in other remarks, events and statements in which he mentioned health care and the number soars to 119." [link and emphasis added] ... 8:30 P.M.
Suppose Obama's 'inside' deal-cutting strategy works, and a health care reform along current lines passes. Would anything then actually happen that would come back and bite the Democrats before the next couple of elections? If so, what? Bob Wright asked this question on bloggingheads yesterday . His answer: The individual mandate could be to health care what the 55 m.p.h. speed limit was to Jimmy Carter's energy policy. I had a different answer, perhaps prompted by my recent, not uncommon, experience with rising credit card rates. ... A mandate will only impinge on those who don't have insurance already. A rise in insurance premiums will impact nearly everyone, no? .... 8:31 P.M.
That 'Loving Thing' You Do: Alec MacGillis on the La Crosse, Wisconsin hospitals that push end-of-life directives :
"The [directive] itself doesn't really matter very much -- it's the clearly expressed belief and shared understanding that it represents," Hammes said. "The family members have to believe that what they do is not only legally right, but personally right. If Mom said, 'Don't do this or do do this,' it's much easier for them to say, 'I'm doing a loving thing,' and it's a decision you can live with."
The obvious question MacGillis ducks: What if you write a directive that says you want aggressive and expensive death-delaying measures to be taken? "I'd like to die hooked up to machines." Do the hospitals of LaCrosse just automatically follow your wishes and spend $100,000 in your final weeks, telling themselves that it's a "shared understanding" and "a loving thing." Or is ... subtle pressure exerted to have a further "conversation"? ... 9:02 P.M.