A fine day out in Washington for hip-hop rem­i­nis­cences

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story News -

Mitt Rom­ney has con­sid­er­able skin in the game through his sup­port for gov­ern­ment-run health care when he was gov­er­nor of Mas­sachusetts.

The Re­pub­li­can is not the only one en­joy­ing a fine day out in Washington, with sup­port­ers and op­po­nents of the bill com­pet­ing for the at­ten­tion of the many mi­cro­phones and cam­eras in at­ten­dance. Both sides have much in com­mon when it comes to a fren­zied re­ac­tion to the is­sue. Apart from the slo­gans on the plac­ards, both Tea Party fans and lib­eral pro­po­nents are in shrill high dud­geon about what’s go­ing

When Chilton died last year in New Or­leans, he was unin­sured and, as a re­sult, didn’t go look­ing for med­i­cal at­ten­tion when he got sick. Like­wise, it was re­ported that DJ Kool Herc, the man who in­vented hip-hop’s mu­si­cal back­bone at a se­ries of par­ties hosted by his lit­tle sis­ter in the south Bronx in the late 1970s, was un­able to af­ford hospi­tal treat­ment when he be­came se­ri­ously ill due to a lack of health in­sur­ance. They’re just two of mil­lions of sto­ries about health care and in­sur­ance that don’t quite get much space in the cur­rent nar­ra­tive.

In Washington, it’s the po­lit­i­cal not the per­sonal that pro­duces the most noise. A hell of a town for po­lit­i­cal junkies, it’s a place pow­ered by the cease­less buzz and en­ergy of deals and lob­by­ing. If you have busi­ness to do and you’ve the money to pay a fancy K Street firm to do the wheel­ing and deal­ing on your be­half, you’ve come to the right place. Just make sure you’ve the right uni­form on your back – a smart busi­ness suit with a stars’n’ stripes pin on the lapel seems to be the at­tire of choice – and away you go.

Pol­i­tics puts on a good show in DC be­cause the back­ground is per­fect for it. From Capi­tol Hill down the sweep­ing mall of mon­u­ments and mu­se­ums to the White House, it’s a stage set for dra­mas and grand­stand­ing.

No won­der Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing re­mains such a time­less TV hit. You could eas­ily imag­ine a re­run about the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion. It could even fea­ture Josh Ly­nam, Toby Ziegler and co us­ing the fan­tas­tic Washington bike-share scheme to get to and from meet­ings. And when it comes to the re­vamped sound­track? Well, there’s al­ways Moves Like Jag­ger.

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