Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrity Encounters

by Pa Rock

I am making these posts from the Internet Cafe on the top level of the Eurodam. The computers are maddeningly slow at sea, a condition made all the more stressful by the fact that the service is provided at a cost per minute. As I finished my last post, I stood up and happened to glance at the fellow who was typing in the cubicle next to me. It was E.L. Doctorow, and although I had nothing witty or insightful to say, I did manage to stammer out my name, tell him that I was a fan, and shake his hand.

I just came from two workshops. The first was a one-hour (far too brief) discussion on health care reform with Patricia Williams (columnist for Diary of a Mad Law Professor), Howard Dean, and Betsey Reed, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and William Greider - all of The Nation. Dr. Dean began the session by telling the group that faux Democrat, Joe Lieberman, is now saying that he will also block lowering the Medicare age to fifty-five. Joe is serving his insurance masters well!

Howard Dean said that the health care debate needs to be framed in terms of choice rather than as a left versus right issue. He pointed out that the concept of individuals having a choice would even appeal to Libertarians. He was thunderous and eloquent in his defense of the right of all Americans to be able to choose the type of health care that they receive - and in his condemnation of the insurance companies purchasing legislation that works to their advantage.

The second workshop was a discussion on the power of caricature and illustrations. It discussed examples such as the trouble in Denmark over the depictions of Muhammad, and The New Yorker cover that showed the Barack and Michelle as terrorists in the Oval Office giving each other a fist bump.

After the workshops I went to the Piano Bar where Howard Dean was signing copies of his book. My question for the good doctor today: When is Harry Reid going to stand up and knock Joe Lieberman down. His answer: "That day may be coming sooner rather than later." I hope that he is right about that.

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