Change is coming: Yesterday, we had the pleasure of taking part in a strictly top-secret training session for fourteen impressive federal managers. Our topic? Influence of the Media on the Policy Process. After spending three hours (minus breaks) with these managers, we will only tell you this: We suspect that major change will soon be visible all through the federal government.
We only learned upon arrival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia that our affable host, David Ost, had once been a philosophy professor! Sure, we could have walked off the site right then. But we thought we heard a little voice say: We could do itbut it would be wrong!
Coming MondayChris Matthews on Snuff-care: On Monday, well start a series of posts about the ongoing health care wars. Well start with Chris Matthews groaning treatment of the claim that the House bill sets up what is, in effect, a form of National Snuff-care.
Returning from our travels, we were struck by divergent treatments of this ongoing matter in the Washington Post.
In Fridays Post, Steven Pearlstein described this general claim as a lie, a falsehoodas an example of wacko-logic. Pearlstein started with a disclaimer. As a columnist who regularly dishes out sharp criticism, I try not to question the motives of people with whom I don't agree, he wrote. Today, I'm going to step over that line.
In this mornings Post, Chuck Lane takes a vastly different approach. We tend to be negative about Lane, going back to his deeply unfortunate work (and lack of same) in the late 1990s. We think Lanes column today is quite striking. In particular, note how finely the gentleman reasons:
The consultations at issue in the House bill arent voluntary, Lane judges. Well nothey arent purely voluntary. Actually nohe cuts it just a bit finer than that! These consultations at issue here arent quite purely voluntary, Lane opines. More specifically, the consultations arent quite purely voluntarygiven what the phrase purely voluntary means to me, Lane says.
We were struck by the gentlemans feathered reasoningand by the balance of concerns he puts on display. (He doesnt seem to be real concerned by examples of what he calls rubbish.) But we plan to wait before we opine! If you want to sharpen your analytical skills, well suggest that you wrestle a bit with this gentlemans fine feathered column.
Simple story: Pearlstein is angryand Lane just isnt. Its the greatest division in all world affairs. For ourselves, we liked our high lords closing paragraph best. Consultations like these are so much fineras done by our upper class!