Above: President Barack Obama jokingly puts his toe on the scale as Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, unaware to the President’s action, weighs himself as the presidential entourage passed through the volleyball locker room at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, Aug. 9, 2010.
Above: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s hands rest on the railing of a boat during their tour of St. Andrews Bay in Panama City Beach, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010.
First, this morning, President Obama signed the health care bill into law. Here’s the video of his pre-signing address:
And on to the links and information. I’ve been saturating Facebook with links because there’s a lot to know and get informed on–anything as substantial as health care reform is going to be complicated. Here’s a mini-compendium of links from the last day or so:
Ezra Klein gets Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt’s thoughts. (I actually quoted Reinhardt in a paper I wrote at Fuller a year ago, entitled “Initiating a Christian Conversation About Health Care Reform.” I may put it up for download–for posterity’s sake–soon.)
And a note left by Patrick Kennedy at his late father Ted’s gravesite: “Dad, the unfinished business is done.”
We’ll finish with a couple quotes. First, from James Fallows, writing in The Atlantic:
For now, the significance of the vote is moving the United States FROM a system in which people can assume they will have health coverage IF they are old enough (Medicare), poor enough (Medicaid), fortunate enough (working for an employer that offers coverage, or able themselves to bear expenses), or in some other way specially positioned (veterans; elected officials)… TOWARD a system in which people can assume they will have health-care coverage. Period.
And second, thanks from President Obama to all of you–to all of us–who kept the faith:
It is because of you that we did not quit. It’s because of you that Congress did not quit. It’s because of you that I did not quit. It’s because of you.
A lot has been made of a number of still-unfilled posts in the Administration. And a lot of the flak has been directed at the President for not moving quick enough. But not so fast.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary “blanket hold” on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.