Pin the Tail
0 comment Tuesday, July 15, 2014 |
While I've been whiling away the hours, conferring with the flowers (e.g., the February jobless numbers soon to be announced) I found a few interesting reads and a new and exciting game we can all play.
First, the reads:
* George Will wrote an excellent article on how parents vicariously derive self esteem from their children via fatuous praising; here's an excerpt:
Memo to that Massachusetts school where children in physical education classes jump rope without using ropes: Get some ropes. And you � you are about 85 percent of all parents � who are constantly telling your children how intelligent they are: Do your children a favor and pipe down.
These are nuggets from "NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It is another book to torment modern parents who are determined to bring to bear on their offspring the accumulated science of child-rearing.
Those Massachusetts children are jumping rope without ropes because of a self-esteem obsession.
The assumption is that thinking highly of oneself is a prerequisite for high achievement. That is why some children's soccer teams stopped counting goals (think of the damaged psyches of children who rarely scored) and shower trophies on everyone. No child at that Massachusetts school suffers damaged self-esteem by tripping on the jump rope.
But the theory that praise, self-esteem and accomplishment increase in tandem is false. Children incessantly praised for their intelligence (often by parents who are really praising themselves) often underrate the importance of effort.
Children who open their lunchboxes and find mothers' handwritten notes telling them how amazingly bright they are tend to falter when they encounter academic difficulties.* Obama just nominated Senator Jim Matheson's brother Scott to a federal bench. A federal judge, as you probably know, gets lifetime tenure. It's one hell of a plum job. Scott Matheson, who has no judicial experience whatsoever but impressive credentials nonetheless, signaled President Obama in June of last year that he was interested in the bench which would be vacated in August of 2009.
But Obama kept a few arrows in his quiver it appears, and waited, oh, some six months or more before deciding, just this week, to nominate the undecided senator's brother to the federal bench. Could it be, could it be . . . because of health care and the senator's teetering vote?
Sorry, sports fans, I know nobody likes a cynic. But this Obamaneuver just doesn't pass the smell test.
Next up, a current events game suitable for the entire family. Let's call it "Name that Speaker." In this first iteration, I'll give you some quotes and a few hints, via my scrambled photo line-up (including some red herrings). Be the first one to pin the quote on the donkey and whammo! You'll be the mom, man.
Oh, right. What's the prize? Umm, well, a link to your blog, of course, so I can drive my five loyal readers (and once my mom's a fan, you'll never lose her) to your site. And, err, surely something else, something else "to be determined." I'm thinking a ten-day cruise on the ship that was just quarantined outside of Brazil -- I could book your tickets and charge no commission -- would be a mighty fine prize.
But before we set off for the races, and I know you're champing (chomping?) at the bit, let me gently remind my competitive readers that we're on the honor system here. No clicking on the links until you've made your guesses, Mom.
C, D & G are my favorite quotes, especially knowing who said them. And God bless our hearts, I know these are some pretty wonky snippets. But health care is an important topic about which all of us need to be educated; our children will be paying for it for years to come.
Alrighty then. Let's start with the first prevarication quote:
(A) "No one has talked about reconciliation!"
(B) "Barack Obama has been working hard to push his healthcare proposal. Obama still wants the bill to be bipartisan, but he's a realist, and given the near unanimous Republican opposition he's facing, now says he'd be satisfied if the bill was just bicurious."
(C) "Under the rules, the reconciliation process does not permit that debate. Reconciliation is therefore the wrong place for policy changes. In short, the reconciliation process appears to have lost its proper meaning: A vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked."(D) "The Senate Budget Committee chairman [Kent Conrad] said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Now, when you take a look at the Medicare cuts, what this bill essentially does [is treat] Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program.
. . . [A]ccording to the chief actuary of Medicare . . . as much as 20 percent of Medicare's providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors . . . who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy.
You can't say that you're using this money to either extend Medicare solvency and also offset the cost of this new program. That's double counting."(E) "Republican Congressman Joe Wilson apologized for calling President Obama a liar during his speech on health care. Obama accepted Wilson's apology, and then invited him to appear before a death panel."
(F) "At best it was a waste of history's time, a struggle that will not in the end yield something big and helpful but will in fact make future progress more difficult. At worst it may prove to have fatally undermined a new presidency at a time when America desperately needs a successful one."
(G) "And the Postal Service announced last week the Post Office lost $3.8 billion last year. I've got a good idea. Let's put the government in charge of healthcare! Fantastic idea!"(H) "This has been a long and wrenching debate. It has stoked great passions among the American people and their representatives. And that's because health care is a difficult issue. It is a complicated issue. If it was easy, it would have been solved long ago. As all of you know from experience, health care can literally be an issue of life or death. And as a result, it easily lends itself to demagoguery and political gamesmanship, and misrepresentation and misunderstanding."
(I) "But that�s not an excuse for those of us who were sent here to lead. That's not an excuse for us to walk away. We can�t just give up because the politics are hard."
Onward health care soldiers . . . marching as to war. With the deaths of constituents, going on before . . . .
(J) "Everything there is to say about health care has been said--and just about everybody has said it."
Alrighty then. Enough said. We'll be quiet.
(K) "It looks like Democrats have their 60 votes for healthcare. Harry Reid said the bill will save us hundreds of millions of dollars. Well, it would have, except for the hundreds of millions of dollars we had to pay to buy the 60 votes."
(L) "In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, can do to make things right."So now then. Who said what?
Go on. Give it a gander.

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