Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Paul

I am happy for Paul Krugman today. And he appears happy for himself - and for us.

3/21 - 11:48 AM - Krugman: Throwing Around Epitaphs

David Plouffe and Karl Rove, this morning on This Week:

Rove: “This thing is paid for with Bernie-Madoff-style accounting. … It’s a gigantic disaster.”

Plouffe: “Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that.”

Rove: “You will bankrupt the country if this bill passes. … For God’s sake, will you stop throwing around epitaphs [sic] and deal with the facts for once, David? … We will fight the election on this,. and the Democrats will have significant losses in the House and Senate as a result of this bill.”

Plouffe: “If Karl and a lot of Republicans want to call the election already, they ought to break out that ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner.”

Rove: “That’s cheesy, David. … You should not denigrate the mission of the USS Abraham Lincoln.”

It sounds as if Rove expects heath reform to pass — and strangely, he doesn’t seem as delighted as he should be if he really believes it will be a political disaster for Democrats.

3/21 9:40 PM - Krugman: The Fascist Octopus Has Sung Its Swan Song

And, according to Rep. Devin Nunes, Democrats

will finally lay the cornerstone of their Socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.

That sounds really, really uncomfortable.

3/21 -10:26 pm -Krugman: Must-See TV

Oh, wow. I was watching John Boehner doing his Glenn Beck imitation, demanding a one-by-one vote to delay reform by an hour or two, and considering bailing out — but then … a standing ovation as Nancy Pelosi walks in.

History as we watch.

Her speech started off a little awkward — but it’s getting more and more passionate. Anyway, the world will little note nor long remember what they say tonight. What matters is what they do tonight.

We’ve seen this stone get rolled up the hill, then slide back down, so many times. I almost expect lightning to hit the Capitol.

But it’s really happening.

3/21 - 10:45 PM - Krugman: 216

And the Senate version of health care reform has passed. I assume President Obama will sign it tonight.

3/22 - 10:06 AM - Krugman: Five-Year Plan

It turns out to be almost exactly five years since I began crusading for health reform. At the time, all the buzz was about privatizing Social Security, and many people still thought it would happen; meanwhile, I wrote that

serious health care reform isn’t on the table, and in the current political climate it probably can’t be. You see, the health care crisis is ideologically inconvenient.

And here we are: Social Security still stands, and health reform — imperfect, compromised, but real — has happened.

Update: The title of this post, with its evocation of the Soviet Union, was what is known in the trade as a “joke.”

3/22 - 1:34 PM - Krugman: The Market Yawns

Andrew Leonard has a good point: if Obamacare is such a disaster for the economy, where’s the market reaction?

More broadly: the perceived probability of passage, as indicated by Intrade, was only around 30 percent a month ago (which is why I’m still rubbing my eyes). So the expectations of what we’re told would be a great disaster have risen dramatically. And the market has yawned.

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