Thomas the Tank Engine and Imperialist indocrination

I consider myself fortunate that none of my kids were ever particularly big fans of Thomas the Tank Engine.  Just don’t find it as entertaining as most pre-school kids’ shows.  I have watched enough episodes, though, to find this deconstruction of the political lessons of the show to be spot-on and absolutely fascinating.

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Photo of the day

Very cool set of photos from the Atlantic of recent synchonized swimming and diving championships.  If you appreciate cool photography, check these out:

Obama the negotiator

I used to be fairly persuaded that Obama was playing the long game while Republicans were only focused on short-term payoffs.  That may still be true, to an extent, but I think he can still be playing the long game and simultaneously be a very poor negotiator.  I’d love to see a solid argument that Obama is actually a good negotiator.  Maybe I’m missing something, but it sure seems to me that this is not a man you won’t negotiating on behalf of your priorities.  From Chait:

Obama clearly faces a perception problem. Republicans may complain that he’s walked away from deals, but they really think he’s a pushover who will cede more and more ground the harder and longer they push [emphasis mine]. That’s a dangerous position to be in on the verge of a high stakes game of chicken. It encourages the Republicans to push the envelope farther and farther — even to walk away from a deal they regard as a win in search of an even better win.

Yep.  Again, maybe I’m wrong, but it strikes me that Republicans think Obama is a pushover because he keeps being a pushover.

My latest pay cut

I signed up for my latest health care coverage in May (I’m on 80/20, by the way).  The Republicans in the NC legislature got a hold of it this summer, though, and raised the costs for everything.  The differences are not catastrophic, but the most honest way to describe this is a pay cut.  That $3210 coinsurance max is gonna hurt!  We’ll feel it, but we can get by.  For some families (and a huge percentage of the people on this plan are getting by on teacher salaries), the very significant out-of-pocket fees means they will probably need to forego necessary health care.  Presumably, I’ll be a wiser health care consumer now that I have more “skin in the game.”  Or, more realistically, I’ll just have less discretionary income to spend elsewhere more productively.

 

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