Skip to main content

Nearing the abyss

Friends, it's raining cats and dogs here in central Kentucky this morning.  Well, not really.  And who came up with that turn of phrase, anyway?

But it IS raining again this morning.  As someone who travels regionally for work, I tell myself how fortunate we are that this is rain and not snow, which tends to paralyze our area.  Easy to say that from inside the house, but when you get doused the first time you have to get out of your car and spend the rest of the day damp or worse, well, you get the idea.

Speaking of plans, it now appears that the Republican plan to "repeal and replace Obamacare" now looks more like a plan to change it to better fit the traditional Republican narrative of tax cuts for those who largely don't need them and making healthcare more difficult to obtain for those in need.  It's telling that the House of Representatives plans a vote a scant two days after the details of this bill were made public, which will not allow proper scoring by governmental agencies.

In the Senate, there are apparently four Republican senators who are already expressing reservations about this law.  I won't get into the specifics of this, but much of what Republicans have decried about  the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will still exist.  But what's gone and significant in its absence is the requirement that all citizens purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.  Without there being any "musts" for individuals to access the health insurance market, however they would do so, the number of insured people will decline dramatically--one set of estimates I read was between fifteen and twenty million people will be without coverage.

I've also read quite a few treatments on the number of regulations that are being set aside or revised in the current governmental setup.  It's a large number, made more significant by the fact that these regulations cut across so many aspects of American life or business.  The mentally ill will now be better able to purchase a gun.  Golf course operators will not bear any responsibility regarding the quality of bodies of water that flow through their property, and salaried workers who were routinely expected to work many extra hours each week for no additional compensation will again be expected to do exactly that.

There's a systematic effort to undo more regulations, and what's worse, it seems that most of the cabinet secretaries who were nominated and confirmed were selected to help ensure that these regulations went away and in some cases to benefit personally from these changes.

I don't even know what to say about the White House and what's emanating from there via Twitter or third-hand leaked stories, but we can likely be certain that much of it is not accurate.  But as we're seeing, that doesn't seem to matter anymore, at least not to a certain percentage of our fellow citizens.

I know, as you do, that this is far from a perfect country.  Our flaws are too numerous to mention here.  Perhaps we lack a common goal, as we had in working in unity to defeat the Germans and their allies in World War II.  Or the lofty expectation of working to put men on the moon and return them to Earth safely.

I'm naive enough to believe that things can get better.  I also believe that if enough of us want them to improve, they will.  I just hope that there are enough people of like mind that it will come to pass.


Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…