2)Â Call your Member of Congress.Â Tell him or her that you voted for them to pass health care reform, not to turn into jello.Â Tell them this especially if your Congressmember is Barney Frank or Anthony Weiner.
3)Â Any Democrat who does not vote for the Senate bill should be subject to a primary challenge.
4)Â It would be really helpful if Barack Obama had decided not to have a frontal lobotomy today.Â The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal kinda sorta almost suggest he has.
Here’s the NYT’s headline:
Obama Weighs Shift in Health Plan, Seeking G.O.P. Backing
That must be a joke.Â As a friend of mine wrote:
Flabbergasted. What possible incentive would any Republican have to bail the Democrats out? Is it really not obvious that they intend to spend 10 months ratf**king him on every bill while whining that he won’t support deep, “bipartisan” tax cuts? He needs to beat them.Â Christ, I hope there’s a game going on to throw up distractions as the House votes get wrangled.
A careful reading of the two stories does not indicate that Obama is reaching out to the GOP.Â He is talking about “core elements,” which may be about passing the Senate bill.Â I sure as hell hope so.
5)Â To Democratic House members.Â Legendary trial attorney Gerry Spence closes all of his trials with a final plea that has now becomeÂ famous:
Before I leave you I want to share with you a story I tell in nearly every case. . . It’s a story of a wise old man and a smart-aleck boy who wanted to show up the wise old man as a fool.
One day this boy caught a small bird in the forest. The boy had a plan. He brought the bird, cupped between his hands, to the old man. His plan was to say, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?” to which the old man would answer, “You have a bird, my son.” Then the boy would say, “Old man, is the bird alive or is it dead?” If the old man said the bird was dead, the boy would open his hands and the bird would fly freely back to the forest. But if the old man said the bird was alive, then the boy would crush the little bird, and crush it, and crush it until it was dead.
So the smart-aleck boy sauntered up to the old man and said, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?” And the old man said, “You have a bird, my son.” Then the boy said with a malevolent grin, “Old man, is the bird alive or is it dead?”
And the old man, with sad eyes, said, “The bird is in your hands, my son.”
And so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the bird is in your hands.
Ladies and gentlemen of the House Democrats: the bird is in your hands.
Author: Jonathan Zasloff
Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees.
Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses.
Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.
View all posts by Jonathan Zasloff
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