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O'Rourke (View From the Couch): Teachable Moments

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The teachable moment has come and gone and I'm not sure what's been learned. Somehow Vice President Biden horned into the under the trees beer session and since no one knew he was coming the Secret Service had to ask what kind of beer he wanted and the Vice said, "I'll have what the white guy is having," indicating Sgt. Crowley. Or not. Biden did seem to laugh a lot. President Obama kept scarfing down a lot of peanuts, brushing his salty fingers on his pants. Can't the Obama White House afford napkins? Is that part of the cut-backs to pay for Heath Care? What I learned from the teachable moment is that you get invited to the White House if you're a famous black professor at Harvard and are arrested by a white policeman. Obama reinforced the power of elitism regardless of the circumstance.

In any case, Health Care reform continues to get beat up by that other minority, the dead enders of the Republican Right. It doesn't matter they are a small percentage of the interested parties, but since they have the backing of Big Medicine, they have legs and commercials and a loud mouthpiece (Fox News) and spokespeople on all the other media, since our press wants to be fair and balanced, just like Fox. It's truly depressing, about as depressing as a blue dog, if you ever happen to see one wandering around.

One of the Senate mainstays, a guy holding most of the power, is Max Baucus, the "Democratic" Senator from that sparsely populated state of Montana. Baucus could take all the money he's gotten over the years from Big Medicine and be able to personally pay for all the uninsured of his state. Baucus is one of those Senators who gets most of his campaign donations from out of state interests. Which, of course, is not that strange, given that the number of rich people in Montana does not beat the number of poor people. In early 2000 the folk in the Big Sky state had an average income of some $24,000, which was 79% of the national average and ranked the state 46th in the nation. But Baucus, almost inexplicably, holds the reins on Health Care. Maybe Obama should sit under the trees with him and have a beer.

The prez will be returning once again to Northern Indiana this Wednesday. Perhaps our junior Senator will show up with him this time and pledge his support for the public option. Bayh got a half million from Big Medicine in 2008. So, what are the odds? In an AP article in the South Bend Tribune that pointed out the millions Mrs. Bayh was bringing into the Bayh household, the Senator was quoted saying, "Her activities have had zero influence on me in my official capacity." Just what a wife likes to hear and one the public should, and, with any luck, take with a grain of salt. The grains of salt President Obama was wiping off on his pant leg during that all-important teachable moment on the White House lawn.

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