January 5, 2012
I was talking to a friend of mine for the first time in a couple of years yesterday. We used to work together and engage in lively discussions on the topics of the day.
My friend now finds himself involved in a small business. We talked of the differences between our old existence at a major corporation and how we thought about employee benefits versus his current thinking as a buyer of those services (and not simply as a consumer of whatever the HR department already purchased) and someone charged with watching every corporate penny.
The subject turned to health care.
My friend talked of an “almost universal hatred of Obama and the health care law” within the small business community that he knows. “The cost to hire new employees has gone through the roof and on top of that is all the uncertainty associated with health care.”
“Uncertainty?” I asked. “There’s no uncertainty. The health care law has been enacted and is in effect. The only ‘uncertainty’ about the law is from Republicans talking about undoing it and repealing it,” I told him.
“Oh,” he said. “I guess you’re right. I hadn’t thought of it that way.”
Well maybe you should from now on and stop complaining about problems that don’t exist, I did not add.
“It was good talking to you,” I said. “I’ve missed our little chats.” And my chance to set you straight on what’s really happening.
May 20, 2011
I’m still processing President Obama’s speech yesterday outlining his thoughts on obtaining long-term stability and peace in the Middle East. I’ve thought that a two-state solution would be in Israel’s best interest for a while.
Ron Brownstein of National Journal recently pointed out that the “browning of America” will inevitably force Republicans to deal with the issue of immigration differently than they now do, if only to maintain their presidential election viability. Growing Hispanic populations in what are now “red states” will change the electoral landscape, as Hispanics (with the possible exception of Cuban exiles in South Florida) have traditionally voted for the Democrats. Thanks to supporters of California’s Prop 187 in 1994 and to, among others, Tom Tancredo, the 2008 presidential candidate for about as long as it takes to drink a cup of coffee, the Republican Party finds itself in an untenable situation on the immigration issue, if only due to the demographics. The Hispanic population is growing, and growing in places that are currently Republican strongholds. Absent a change, that control is unlikely to continue.
Now look at Israel. The demographic trend shows faster non-Jewish population growth than Jewish population growth–the so-called demographic time bomb. It doesn’t take much math to figure out that at some point down the road (perhaps way, way down the road) there will be more “others” than Jews to vote in Israeli elections. The extreme of that argument is that, ceteris paribus, there is a point in the future where Israel is no longer a Jewish state.
Depending on how seriously Israel’s leaders take this “threat” and how seriously they desire to ensure Israel’s status as a Jewish State, movement toward creating long-term peace with the Palestinians would be in their long-term interest. I suspect that the Arab community realizes that time is on their side. Israel’s leaders probably also know that the sand in their hourglass is finite, too.
History rarely moves in straight lines; present trends rarely continue unabated for long periods. The question is: Are Republicans and Israeli leaders willing to bet the ranch on that.
December 9, 2010
The news of the day reminded me of my love for words that end with “ulate”.
Headlines of “President Capitulates”, blog posts of “President emasculated” revived my memory.
Seeing the President gesticulate at his press conference furthered the cause.
His detractors accumulate even though he can calculate the votes in Congress and postulate the likelihood of success.
Democrats speculate at what might have been.
Republicans ululate at the chance to stimulate their base. They self-congratulate. Do they miscalculate?
What will happen when the bills actually circulate; when they tabulate the votes?
Did Obama stipulate that tax cuts drive economic growth? Has he followed the Clinton strategy to triangulate?
The President postulates that this agreement will inoculate or insulate him from criticism.
Democrats think that the Republicans only want to manipulate, deregulate and discombobulate.
(What of “combobulate”? I’m sure that things can be combobulated, yet we never speak of them as such. I think this is an oversight. Similar to being merely “whelmed” as opposed to overwhelmed, we owe it to ourselves to combobulate and be combobulated.)
I postulate that these matters are vital to our nation and its future, yet large sections of the population (bank shot!)–those viewers of Entertainment Tonight and TMZ and those readers of People and US Weekly–simply want to focus on celebrities and whether they ejaculate and with whom they copulate.