Monday, 31 January 2011

The Mandate Game Goes into Overtime

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.’” 

Judge Roger Vinson (a footnote at the end of his 78-page ruling)

As Judge Vinson took down the federal law on health care today...he probably embarrassed the President a fair bit.  This comment by then-Senator Obama during his campaign...came back to be a major issue.

Is the health care law done?  Well....it'll still go to the Supreme Court, but a major part of what the Supreme Court might say....is laid out by Judge Vinson.

My perception....as I wrote months ago....is that this was all anticipated and part of the eventual goal.  Once the Supreme Court knocks the law down....it becomes the number one topic of the 2012 political election.  You can't avoid that.  The deal is to get enough votes to ensure President Obama wins, and enough Democratic Senators stay on. Then you wait for a potential right-leaning Supreme Court Justice to retire from ill health.  If it doesn't happen over that four-year period.....ok, no big deal.

I realize some folks are upset about this being tossed down, but if they had good intentions....they would have done something about malpractice insurance and allowed health policies could cross state borders.  Neither is mentioned in 2,000 pages of text within the law.  Both would have likely taken the cost of healthcare down by thirty percent.

The bottom line here?   Nothing.  We simply go onto round two, then round three, and then round four.  That's the wonderful thing about America today.....we can't fix anything, and we really don't care.

2011 Pro Bowl

The NFL runs a all-star game called the Pro Bowl.  To be honest, it's almost worthless to watch because everyone tries hard to avoid major contact or injuries.  It's held at the end of the season typically, but this time around, it was held the week prior to the Super Bowl.  I suspect that the NFL was trying hard to entice and keep viewers stuck on their product.

I sat and watched about thirty minutes of it last night.  It was a curious thing.  The commentator would say that it was sold-out, then they'd scan the stadium and you could see thousands of empty seats.  After a while, I began to notice that they avoided as much as possible...showing angles of play where the empty seats could be noticed.  The camera guys were using odd angles that you'd never see in a regular NFL game....thus avoiding noting empty seats.

How many people were actually in the stadium?  I'd be guessing it was around 60 percent full.  Who bought all the extra tickets?  I'm guessing the Hawaii Tourist Bureau or the NFL.

The problem with having a game in Hawaii is that there aren't alot of folks who just drive up to watch.  This is a game traditionally held in Hawaii, and I suspect they'd do better if they held this in New Orleans.  But I doubt that the NFL wants to admit that.

Just something of an observation.

If I Were....

A couple of weeks ago....the folks in Tunisia got upset and started a downfall of their government.  This past week....Egypt.

If I were Saudi Arabia, Syria, or Libya....I'd probably start to review emergency plans and try to ensure things stayed quiet for six months.  All three in a situation where folks haven't seen much change in democracy, and this mess in Egypt and Tunisia might overflow into their countries.

And Turkey?  Well, yeah....I might just review my emergency plans there as well.