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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This evening, it's because I'm watching Miami Vice...

... the movie. Not the old show.

Tomorrow, the munchkin has a dental procedure. I say that not to raise alarm. It's relatively simple, but Kyla, who is with her mom, is as stubborn as me and doesn't take too well to weird things drilling and what not, so she's undergoing some sedation dentistry. It's safe. It's necessary. It's not 100 percent covered by insurance, but whatever.

My kid will feel no pain. Period.

At any rate, I told her this would happen if she skimped on brushing her teeth - especially the back ones.

She skimped. She wanted nummies and ice cream. Too many times, I relented, and I'd bet so did her mom.

She won't be relenting anymore.

It stinks, and I wish I were going to be there, but it is what it is. My Southwest flight cost will instead make sure she gets the best care, the best treatment, and the best outcomes that, well, honestly, money can buy, in this situation.

So many don't have it this lucky.

It's for them I'm writing right now.

Today, the Senate Finance committee said to our country - with the help of this Olympia Snow - that we are going to have the conversation about our national health care crisis. Today, they said that in this, the bastion of freedom and the example of enlightenment to the world, we will start to fix this chronic national condition we're afflicted with. Tonight, they said, while some might have it better than others... ALL will have basic human rights...

Among them being the right to quality health care.

Michael Moore might be a lot of things to a lot of people. But - two years after his movie, Sicko, he's been proven right. It's a national tragedy that terrorists at Gitmo get better health care than US veterans who are living under the metro bridge over the beltway here in DC. It's a tragedy that people who work go without and risk catastrophic illness so they can buy some breakfast foods for their families.

It's a shame that people have teeth that rot out. Who have wounds that won't heal. Who have diseases that can't find a cure. Just because they're forced to make a choice that could ultimately be between life and death.

I worry about Kyla. But I'm heartbroken for some of her friends - whom I know - who are on assistance and still don't have what they need to have a fighting chance if God forbid things go wrong.

And I can't accept that as a reality in our country.

Today, for a bit, I saw Randi Rhodes at the office. We spoke briefly about where we've been as a nation and where we just might be going. And, in this on-demand "i-want-it-now" world we're in, some are frustrated that President Obama hasn't delivered on a million journeys that have been started a scant few months ago. But where those see pessimism, I see the real possibility of where we're going. Nine months after our economy was left for dead, it's making a comeback. Nine months after the sick who were told they had no hope at any idea of healthcare, we're looking at a new future that might just - if we're not careful - bring about a revolution in our national well being that might be unlike anything we've ever seen in our time. Nine months after the romantic idea of America was dismissed, we've been told by our friends, our allies, our 'trust but verify' colleagues and even our enemies that "the idea of America is indeed alive and well..."

And the world is having a conversation again.

Where our dialogue a a nation is going is as unscripted as is the day that is before us all. But it's so much better now than where it was. And where it's going is full again of the promise, that, as Reagan once said "our best days are just ahead..."

Tomorrow, my little one will have an amazing day. She'll end it better than she started it. She won't feel anymore pain from her teeth. She'll also be very aware that she's got a responsibility to take care of them as she goes forward.

Just as we have a responsibility to take care of this gift called America that has been entrusted to us.

To take care of her gifts, Kyla will have to do a few things.

To take care of our responsibility to America, we'll need to do a few things.

She's five, but she'll make sure she uses her toothbrush. She'll keep things clean with an abandon.

As we get things like healthcare taken care of, get the economy fixed and working for the people and as we tackle the other issues before us, we'll need to use the toothbrush called responsibility to make sure we take care of our American gifts and treasures...

... the greatest of which are it's people.

Let's get our Crest or Colgate out. We've got some cleaning to attend too.

Goodnight from DC.

-t.