Friday, July 31, 2009

Statements in Tension?

Obama on Wednesday:

[Time Magazine] Can I ask you, if you go to the polling, which I'm sure you never do, but if you ever did —
[Obama] No, actually, on this — I will confess: I don't spend a lot of time looking at my polls. I do look at the polling on health care, partly because I think that there is a terrific case to be made to the American public. But it is — this is complicated, it's difficult.

Obama Today:

President Obama has framed the health-care debate in Washington as a campaign against insurance companies whose irresponsible actions, he repeatedly says, must be reined in to control costs and improve patient care. . . .

The message is no accident, as the president's chief pollster made clear in a rare public speech last month. Joel Benenson told the Economic Club of Canada that extensive polling revealed to the White House what many there had guessed: People hate insurance companies.[Emphasis added].

When I started this post, I thought I'd caught Obama in a contradiction. Where as only two days ago Obama said he didn't look at his polls extensively, two days later his polling guys are bragging about how much they rely on the polls.

But now that I've read the first statement a couple times, I actually have no idea what it means. What is he confessing? I thought he was admitting he didn't look at the polls. Or is he confessing he does look at the polls, but not a lot? or is he saying he doesn't look at polls a lot in general, but he does look at the health care polls a lot? I have no idea what this means.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Total Transparency

Obama promised to have the most transparent administraction ever. Now some people are crying foul because Obama refuses to release his long form birth certificate--including some people who firmly believe Obama was born in the U.S.

I wonder, though, if refusing to release the record isn't just a cleaver way to raise the profile of the birthers. They could be useful straw men.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Starting Over

Welcome to my latest blog.

This is the third time I've started a blog. I usually post faithfully for a few months, but then give up blogging for one reason or another. The two big reasons are that no one reads the blog and I start to feel like my posts are just a recapitulation of what others have already said.

And yet I'm going to start one more blog. Here is my plan to stay interest in this blog. First, this time I'm going to try and cast a wider net and blog about more than politics. I plan on blogging about religion and the law. Maybe I'll blog about culture, tv and movies too. Basically I'll blog about whatever I want.

Second, I'm thinking about inviting others to blog here too. Not sure who that will be. If you are reading this it might be you.

Third, I'm going to try and embrace the past. The more time passes, the more I find I'm embarrassed by my old blog posts and I don't want to think about them. The easy way to do that is to stop blogging. But I've decided there's no need to be embarrassed. With this blog I've incorporated all my old blog posts from my previous blogs. I know I've changed my mind about a few things in those old blog posts, but I think most of them hold up ok, and if they don't represent my current opinion at least they show my evolution.

Despite these changes, some things will stay the same. This blog is still mostly going be about ideas and debate; it's not a diary. To the exent that something autobiographical triggers an idea, then I might share it. However, this will not be a blog about what I had for lunch.

So, here goes attempt No. 3. If you're reading this, I invite you to join the conversation.