Sunday, March 22, 2015

Promises

On Tuesday I go to a better eye doctor, and I hope for a good outcome.  So much is happening in politics and internationally that it's frustrating to be sidelined now.

Please be patient. I shall return. Thank you all for your loyalty.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not Forgotten

I haven't forgotten you. I shall be back soon, for sure. My eye is progressing well.

How does one thank such a loyal readership?  In spite of my absence and there being no new posts in quite a while, this past month was one of the highest readerships since I began this blog.

Thank you. You make an old lady feel damn good!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Salute to Ukraine and an Apology to All of You

I salute the good people of Ukraine in their struggle. You are, and always have been, a brave people.

I apologize for the long hiatus. Had to have an eye procedure, sort of like cleaning the windshield. I'll be back soon. So much has happened.

Thanks to all of you who have been faithful through this long break. "I'll be back."

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Shall Return

Still recuperating from the evil illness but hope to be back in the next week or so with a few words or lots. Keep well!

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year

Thanks to you who have wished me a good recovery from the near-pneumonia that literally knocked me down on December 15.

I'm recovering well but still need to take it easy. Maybe in the interest of our health we should all turn our heads from the sight of the GOP taking over the Senate and installing an even larger majority in the House.

Let us hope they will do a better job of governance with the specter of 2016 staring at them. But nothing indicates that this is likely no matter how devoutly it is to be wished.

We can, however, rejoice in the excellent work Obama has done through executive orders and for how he handled Sony and North Korea. The  North Korea v. Sony contretemps was on balance a remarkable comedy show by the show biz company and the nutcase country.  If there is anybody who doesn't believe Obama pulled the plug on North Korea's internet connection, I have a bridge I'd be willing to sell.  Mr. President, you are so cool!

Just as 2015 opened its arms to us, one of the great liberals of the 20th Century left us:  Mario Cuomo. He spoke eloquently against Ronald Reagan's "shining city" that was really a heartless ice palace. Cuomo likened America to a wagon train headed into out mythic west, thunderously announcing that we would leave no one behind, not the weak nor the elderly, not the children nor the poor. That was our American creed.

I believe and hope it still is. Let us go forward, but always together.

So farewell to Mario Cuomo and all those who left us in 2014, especially dear old Pete Seeger, who was bard to the best in us.

To you all, a very good New Year.  Make it good for others and it will be good for you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good for you,Obama! And good for us!

I'm very sick but I want to say that this day I am extraordinarily proud of our president for tearing down the wall we built between us and Cuba.  Fifty years was a long and stupid mistake.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Riddle Me These: GOP Puzzlements

The GOP in the House yesterday filed a lawsuit against President Obama's health care plan.

Finally.

They have been threatening to do so for the past four years, ever since it passed.  Why has it taken so long? Because they don't have a case. They couldn't get any law firm to accept it for four years.  Two firms originally agreed to but then pulled out.  Finally some law professor has agreed to file the suit. Law professors can always find a case in any set of facts and do so to manufacture exam questions year after year.  I know because I used to be a law professor and even wrote an exam once that centered on Bigfoot.  Law professors get very desperate.

There are at least two odd things about this purported case. First, it argues that President Obama acted illegally by delaying the requirement that large companies provide employee health care coverage.

What?  Say that again.

If they hate the Affordable Care Act so much, why are the Republicans suing because part of it has been delayed?  What are these people eating for breakfast?

A second weird thing about the lawsuit is that it ignores an argument that has just been taken up by the US Supreme Court. That argument maintains that part of the law is being enforced illegally.  Through an apparent drafting error one part of the law limits premium subsidies to those who buy insurance on "state" exchanges.  Until now purchasers have been allowed federal subsidies for buying insurance on the federally created exchanges that were set up because some states refused to create their own. Obviously the intent of the law was to provide subsidies to people who need them.  No rational reason comes to mind for a federal program to be denied to beneficiaries the federal government intended to help by stepping in where the individuals' own states had refused to act.  A basic rule of determining legislative intent is that the result of your interpretation should not be crazy.  The federal government clearly wanted to help people so it's ridiculous to argue that they would deny them access to healthcare subsidies if those people had been forced to use a federal exchange.

If you think there's an argument the other way, I sure would like to hear what it is.

So why didn't the Republicans jump on this argument and use it in their lawsuit? After all, even though the argument is crazy, the US Supreme Court apparently thinks well enough of it to spend time addressing the case.

The House GOP won't use this argument in its suit because it makes the House look incredibly stupid, not just because it's a crazy argument but because it was the House's own drafting mistake that created the superficial confusion.  Yes, I admit it was the House under Democratic rule that made the drafting error but that won't stop the present House leadership from wanting to protect the institution from looking stupid no matter who was to blame.

The House GOP should have realized that it need not worry about a thing like shabby drafting errors.  It already looks so bad because of pushing a lawsuit that no law firm would touch.

But what does the House GOP care?  Their voters won't pay any attention to these matters. The Republican majority in Congress is chiefly there because redistricting has allowed the Republicans to represent a great deal of empty land.  And  -  last I heard  -  cactus and sagebrush, cornfields and cattle just don't give a damn about the law or how it is made.

Well, lots of luck to that law professor who took the case.  He's going to need it.