Back with some random observations

I haven’t posted for a while for a number of reasons.  The two major reasons are first, I have been spending a lot of time on the computer at work and didn’t want to come home and do the same (rather watch the Red Sox) and, second, because the health care debate was beginning to depress me.  I’ve been kicked into starting to post again by what happened over the weekend  on the golf course in Lakeville, MA.

In case you haven’t heard the news, a swastika and Obama were carved into the 18th green.  This picture is from the Boston Globe.

lakeville_swastika_101309.jpg

President Obama is coming to Boston in a couple of weeks to support Deval Patrick.  The FBI, Secret Service, and Lakeville police are investigating.  The Globe reports

Lou Mincone, the public club’s assistant manager, said he was stunned by the vandals’ gall, and baffled by the senseless, hateful act.

“What would motivate anyone to do such a thing?” he asked incredulously. “To use the president’s name like that? It’s crazy.”

Mincone, who discovered the damage, said the vandals dug the message more than an inch into the turf, likely using a tool or sports cleats. He said the message, which was about 10 feet by 15 feet wide, was written sometime Sunday night or Monday morning

It took a while to do,” he said. “It wasn’t a five-minute deal.”

This is what the climate surrounding the election of a black man to be President has brought.  The tea baggers with the posters of the President as Hitler, the Rush Limbaugh’s, the Glenn Becks, and the Michelle Bachman’s.  I have been jolted out of my hiatus.

The Red Sox are all done.  And likely done is Jason Veritek.  We need to sign Jason Bay, figure out what ails Josh Beckett, hope Matsuzaka stays thin and strong over the winter, and that Papi finds his mojo.  Go Phillies!

The Senate Finance Committee compromised away real health care reform to court the insurance companies and the Republicans.  So the night before the vote the insurance companies issue a report that they will have to raise rates anyway and only Olympia Snowe voted for the bill.  To show what an Alice in Wonderland world this this, the President thought this was progress.  At this point he probably thinks, well, let’s pass something and fix it later which is the point I am rapidly reaching.

The insurance company report was issued by a group called America’s Health Insurance Plans.  According to the story in the New York Times

“The overall impact will be to increase the cost of private insurance coverage for individuals, families and businesses above what these costs would be in the absence of reform,” said Karen M. Ignagni, president of the trade association.

The report says that the cost of the average family coverage, now $12,300, will rise to $18,400 in 2016 under current law and to $21,300 if the Senate bill is adopted. Likewise, it said, the cost of individual coverage, now $4,600, will average $6,900 in 2016 under current law and $7,900 under the bill.

The study provides ammunition to Republicans attacking the legislation and might intensify the concerns of some Democrats who worry that the bill does not provide enough help to low- and middle-income people to enable them to buy insurance.

Scott Mulhauser, a spokesman for Democrats on the Finance Committee, said: “This report is untrue, disingenuous and bought and paid for by the same health insurance companies that have been gouging consumers for too long. Now that health care reform grows ever closer, these health insurers are breaking out the same tired playbook of deception. It’s a health insurance company hatchet job.”

I am becoming increasingly convinced that nothing can get done in this country because everyone is too worried about the effect on their profits.  Regulation of the finance industry, health care reform, tort reform.  In every instance those opposed worry about their own bottom line.  What ever happened to the idea of the common good?

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