Non-profit Private-run Health Plan Must Never Deny Coverage

Democrats in the United States Senate, in hopes of reaching a compromise on health reform legislation, are reported to be considering a plan that would scrap the so-called “public option” for low-cost, full-coverage health insurance, in favor of a non-profit plan that would be run by the private insurers themselves, but regulated through the Office of Personnel Management. Calls to Sen. Reid and Sen.

Lieberman’s offices suggest the plan is little more than a framework proposal and is not yet written into any specific legislative language. Sen. Reid (D-NV) offers no comment on whether he favors this plan, and Sen. Lieberman (I-CT) continues to refuse to say whether he will support healthcare reform legislation, even with this compromise included. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is said to be considering the plan, her support being necessary to get at least one Republican vote.

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In Defense of Essay-length Online Writing

Brevity is the soul of wit. True enough. But, information that brings us to a more enlightened approach to understanding the world often needs to “play out” in a substantial interaction of ideas, a “testing” of logical thought-processes as relating to concept and interpretation, an essay. There has long been a presumption that online writing must be brief, due to the “above the fold” bias of attention-span deficient online readers, but I would argue that the medium is actually ideally suited to something very different.

The traditional newspaper or magazine has a limited amount of space, as well as the physical constraints of materials used, weight, shipping, cost, etc., that necessarily interfere with the length and scope of materials contained within. And yet, one can often find far longer profile or investigative pieces printed in the pages of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, than one tends to find on even probing, serious investigative online publications.

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The Worldwide Empathy Deficit

How fear keeps us from manifesting the best in ourselves

Politics is informed with some of our best intentions, with much of our lust for ‘improvement’ and with all of our fears, petty and grandiose, paranoid and consequential. We have seen a great and resonant turning toward better instincts in the US, with an election that for good reasons inspires hope and may allow us to manifest more than ever those “better angels of our nature”, but we must recongize that in order to manifest the best in ourselves, we must start by overcoming our own habits of fear and division.

It is still commonplace, all too much so, to hear the phrase “human nature” used to excuse or explain unspeakable betrayals. It is still commonplace for people on the street, or in grocery-store checkout lines, or at airports, to mutter under their breaths about the types of people they fear or would like to be rid of. We are still caught up, in some way, in ever corner of our global civilization, with the need to know who it is that we should dislike, ostracize or fear.

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Clintonistas, Busheviks & Obamaphiles: Beyond Labeling :: The media are ablaze with speculation about whether President-elect Obama will be able to “control the Clintons”, whether his stature is so monumental and secure, after an admittedly meteoric rise, that the vanquished senator from New York will devotedly voice his foreign policy and look good doing it, whether the White House will be infiltrated by “re-treads” from the Clinton years, whether the socialist bailouts of George W. Bush’s own red October are enough to give Obama a pass on the anti-supply-side dictates of a potentially necessary “new New Deal”.

We hear at a constant clip the talk of “Clintonistas” coming “back to power”, of “Bushies” and “Busheviks” leaving a scorched earth behind them in Washington, with the entire potential for cross-party negotiation having to be restructured from scratch, of “Obamaphiles” calling down prophetic hopes from a blue sky vision of national renaissance, a 21st century reshaping of the messianic strain of Western thought. We are asked to believe that major policy initiatives are as easy to formulate or predict as a seating chart, as judged by résumés, for the first Obama cabinet meeting.

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