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No deep moral today, except that those of us who pay close attention to "the issues" can forget how vague it all is to those who don't. And, as Dave Barry was wont to say, remember that in our system these people have the right to vote.
Glimpse #1: Orange, a guest blogger at Bitch Ph.D., tells a story from her first-day-of-school morning, somewhere not far from here:
"A Polish mom asked if I could recommend a dentist for her son, David. I warned her that Ben's dentists . . . like to be paid up front, letting the patient's family do the waiting for insurance reimbursement. Not a problem, she said—they probably take Medicaid, and her son is covered through Illinois's universal health insurance for children.
"'David gets $600 a month of medications for his asthma, and Medicaid pays for that. He can see the doctor, he can go to the dentist. I don't know what I would do without that. Thank you, President Bush,' she said.
"'Don't thank Bush—he'd get rid of Medicaid if he could. Thank the Democrats,' I said.
"(The All Kids program was an initiative from Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He may be corrupt in terms of hiring practices, but he's our corrupt politician. He also ordered pharmacists in the state to dispense Plan B, and is working on universal preschool. I expect I'll be voting for him again, because I care more about issues like those than about cleaning up the state's pandemic corruption. Let's get some more progressive legislation and executive orders on the books, and then we can clean house.)"
No wonder Blago repeats his bread-and-butter initiatives every time journalists ask him about corruption, or how he plans to pay for them.
Glimpse #2: Saul Levmore at the University of Chicago law school's faculty blog:
"I was entertained last night by my 8th grader's homework assignment, to write a letter to Mayor Daley about what he ought to do [regarding the big-box minimum-wage ordinance]. The assignment was preceded by one in which students had calculated the cost of supporting a family of four in 'their community,' so that they were pushed to think that a job 'must' pay a living wage. Still, not unaware of the problem of discouraging stores from coming in to Chicago, a letter was produced in which the Mayor was encouraged to accept the minimum wage but exempt stores from the high minimum wage if they opened in areas that needed jobs or lower prices."
Hopefully the teacher wasn't depending on each kid having an economically literate parent to point out that trying to do good sometimes has bad side effects.