Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year End Thoughts

Happy New Year to everyone. Here are some miscellaneous year end thoughts.

I think it was a shame that many of our elected leaders including President Bush, Senator Harry Reid, Representative Nancy Pelosi and literally hundreds of others did not attend the services for President Ford at the U.S. Capitol. He was a crucial figure at a time of turmoil in this country and he deserved the respect that should be afforded all former Presidents.

Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator and deserved to die but it does not change the situation in Iraq. Our soliders are still dying and Iraq is still in ruins.

We keep hearing about new plans for Iraq from the Bush Administration but nothing seems to materialize. I hope someone will come up with something in 2007 but I am not holding my breath. Iraq may be a problem the next President has to solve.

I hope the Democrats do not screw up when they take control of Congress in 2007.

The Hillary-Obama frenzy is quite interesting but I am concerned about their electability. It is too bad that people like Mark Warner and Evan Bayh have scuttled their plans to run for the Democratic nomination. It says something about them that they are scared off so easily. On the other hand, I am keeping my eye on Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa. He declared early stating that he did not need an exploratory committee and he is talking about energy security which I think is among the top 5 issues this country needs to address.

That's all for now. See you in 2007.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Time To Wake Up

My Mom and Dad are retired and receive retiree health care coverage through my Mom's former employer. Each December they are sent a package of information about coverage for the next year and the applicable premiums. Because my Dad is on Medicare, this year they were faced with some choices. They could either continue the current coverage for both my Mom and Dad or my Dad could join a Medicare Advantage Plan. My Dad sent me the information package which was 50 pages. I looked it over and really could not figure out what was the better deal. Joining the Medicare Advantage Plan would mean cheaper monthly premiums. My Mom's former employer would pick up the entire cost of my Dad's coverage. The skeptic in me wondered why. I subscribe to the old saying that you cannot get something for nothing. The big question is whether it would it actually cost them less per year for medical care? There are so many variables to be considered such as choice of doctors, type of drugs used, type of care needed that it seems impossible for for the average person to figure it out. Why aren't the forms and information in plain English instead of medical-legal mumbo jumbo? Why should our senior citizens be put through such stress at a time in their lives when medical care and health insurance, unfortunately, take on increasing importance as the years go by.

Don't even get me started on the fact there are tens of millions of people who do not even have health coverage. This should be unacceptable to us as a country. When are we going to wake up and say that health care is a basic human need that everyone should have fulfilled and that health care policy should not be driven by the greed of big business. In the long run we are not saving money by letting people without health insurance get sick. I think it is like the old Midas Muffler commercials: you can pay me now or pay me later.

New Democratic Congress: Are you listening?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lousy With Colors

I admit that I am not good with colors. I have an 8 Crayola box view of the world. My wife, on the other hand, is the 64 Crayola box with the sharpener. Before I got married I did not realize that I looked good in earth tones. My style was Washington, D.C boring: navy, black or gray suits with white shirts and some variation of red tie because it could easily go with either of the three colors of suits. My casual clothing consisted of either jeans or a light blue oxford with khaki pants (my wife called this the uniform). The fact that this wardrobe is probably worn by a majority of straight men in Washington, D.C. was not justification for its continued existence.

My wife usually picks out our 2 year old daughter's clothes for the day. This morning, however, she forgot. I, therefore, had to dress my daughter without adult supervision. I picked out pink pants with white flowers and a pink shirt which also had flowers of various colors on it. They were different shades of pink but it looked close enough to me. I am sure the trained eye will tell you the clothes were fuchsia, magenta or something like that. My brain does not compute such concepts. When my wife called me she realized she did not lay out my daughter's clothes and asked me what I dressed her in. I gave her the description of the clothes and then she asked me if I wanted to burn out people's retinas. Having memorized my daughter's entire wardrobe, she immediately told me to change the shirt to the white Lands End mock turtleneck in the second drawer on the right.

Clearly, I am not going to be writing for GQ or Vogue anytime soon.