Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's fish fry

Nope, and certainly not with the American people. Today for example media sources suggest the Obama administration's plans for health care overhaul are in trouble. Why? Well...:
"President Obama's campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy. Top White House advisers, especially Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are still privately predicting massive changes to the health care system in 2009. But for the first time, Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the administration are expressing frank worries about stronger-than-expected opposition from moderate Democrats and worse-than-expected estimates for how much the plan could cost."
And why are they worried about the plan's cost? Because they know the American people won't stand for wild spending and even more massive deficits. Americans haven't become as liberal as many of my Democratic acquaintances were suggesting after the election...
UPDATE: there's more evidence for this from Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who finds that public opinion now is very similar to that of 1993--when the Clinton administration's plans to reform health care went down to defeat:
"Then and now, the country proclaimed its readiness for bold reform. In both instances, one-quarter say that the health care system "has so many problems that we need to completely rebuild it"; half the country sees "good things" in the current system but believes "some major changes are needed." Then and now, about 60 percent of the public feel dissatisfied with the current health insurance system. Yet three-quarters are satisfied with their own health insurance—once again eerily parallel numbers. The same holds when the public is asked to focus on reform. Yes, we're no longer living in the shadow of Ronald Reagan. But the country has maintained the same anxieties about government's ability to improve the system. The country divides evenly on whether the greater risk is an unchanged status quo or government reforms that "create new problems." And, finally, Obama might want to pay attention to how closely his situation echoes Clinton's. Then and now, more people favor the president's health care plan than oppose it, but the supporters make up less than a majority."

IRAN UPDATE: the chorus grows calling on Obama to speak out more. Victor Davis Hanson makes a good point today, on why Obama's realist instincts are wrong in this case:
"Obama's realist calculations are in fact sorely mistaken (e.g., if he doesn't show moral vertebrae soon and the protestors are crushed, we will regret a lost opportunity to show a shared humanity for a long time to come [and does anyone think Ahmadinejad will one day call Obama up and say, "Thanks, Barack for that silence, now let's talk about those nukes"?]); if the protestors prevail, they will have a long memory of how we forsook them in their hour of need; meanwhile, a theocratic elite will negotiate or not with us only on the basis of their selfish interests (do they shun Russian aid because Putin slaughtered Muslims in Grozny, or do they abhor the Chinese because of their oppression of Muslims?); the government, far more so than the dissidents, is fearful of U.S. public support for human rights."

ECONOMY UPDATE: many state governments are starved for cash and have big deficits.
In Michigan, they've resorted to giving many state employees and offices unpaid furlough days.
California has also used unpaid furloughs...
But then, things are tough in nearly every state:
"Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate increases in May, the government reported Friday. One state registered a rate decrease, and one state had no rate change."

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers finally scored more than 3 runs--and look at that, they beat St. Louis, 6-3. Kudos to Rick Porcello--the kid has now won 8 games. And to Gerald Laird, who's been struggling at the plate, but had a big double in the first inning (with 2 outs) that plated the Tigers' 4th run. Maybe that will get him going. It's been easy to rip on the Tigers, what with their offensive struggles and their recent 4-game losing streak. But we should remember--on a long, 11 game road trip they went 5-6; not horrible. And they remain in first place.
In other baseball about the Washington Nationals beating the Yankees for the second straight day--a 3-0 shutout, no less. I suppose the 5 hour plus rain delay had something to do with it...
The Cubs staged an improbable rally from 4 runs down to edge the White Sox, 6-5. Finally, some big hits from Derek Lee, Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano. Maybe this will get them on a good run...
Meanwhile, unfortunately the Texas Rangers let one slip away, blowing a 3-0 lead and losing to Houston, 5-3. Vincente Padilla walked too many, and made a misplay in the field in the crucial 6th inning, when Houston tied the game. And the Rangers still aren't hitting like they can...