Procrastination (But I Digress)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Biased View

I was thinking about it and I realized that I do actually own a hoodie.  Ok, it is light blue and I bought it because it was the only thing I could find to buy and I was cold, but I could join the protest if I wanted to.  My nephew lives in hoodies.  And he looks suspicious.  His passport photo could be a poster for a criminal.  And he is the sweetest, most gentle person on the planet.  I'm just saying.  Skittles.  Really.  Peace be with you, Trevon.

In other news, the Supreme Court is hearing the constitutional challenge to the Health Care Law.  The liberal press calls it Obama Care--wait, that can't be right.  Anyhoo, I am slightly gratified that there are protesters at the Supreme Court who actually agree with the law--there's a pleasant twist. 

The first day of hearings was about the threashold jurisdictional issue.  Is it a tax?  If so, then the litigants have to wait until after they are "taxed", they pay the tax and then they can challenge it.  Very old law to help government impliment unpopular taxes.  When I first heard of this provision of the health care law, I immediately balked at having to pay another tax.  They can't force me to buy insurance I yelled in my head.  I hate the insurance companies.  Why would my wonderful Obama make me do such a terrible thing?  Never mind that I already have insurance.  Never mind that when I turn 65, I get medicare and it doesn't apply any longer.  Never mind that the state already makes me buy car insurance (which burns my buns everytime I write that check).  Never mind that I am in favor of universal health care which means taxes would necesarily go up to pay for that extreme buracracy.  But I digress.  My first reaction was that it was a tax.  Therefore, no brainer, the Supreme court will find that it is a tax and kick the case out as moot.  This is easy.

But wait.  If this case is not decided now, the states and the federal government will spend billions of dollars setting up the health care exchanges that would then be dismantled one month after they are implimented when some enterprising person pays the penalty and then sues to overturn the law.  Very bad result.  My pragmatic soul is deeply offended.  The liberal press (I just wouldn't listen to anything else) says none of the justices will vote to hold that the penalty is a tax.  Hmmmm.  Bad facts make bad laws.  Oh well, result it will be easier to challenge a tax? I'm soo sad for taxes.  Not.

Next the court is hearing arguments that the individual mandate--forcing me to buy insurance from the evil and maniacle insurance company--is a violation of my liberty under the constitution.  Huh?  Which provision?  The liberal press is a bit sketchy on this one.  Interstate commerce?  Really?  Sure, I had the same knee jerk reaction--don't tread on me--I state emphatically in my brain.  [Kind of mild mannered on the outside, but I digress.]  Brighter folks than me are fashioning this complex constitutional argument, but let's do the math.  I went to the statute and figured out that if I cancel my health insurance ($564 per month, every month and going up each year because I am sooo lucky to be over the age of 50, but not yet 65), if I cancel my health insurance and have to pay the penalty, how much will it be?  $91.  A year.  Right now I pay $6,768 per year for health insurance and if I cancel my health insurance I will be forced to pay a penalty of $91.  It hardly seems like a penalty at all.  Heck, I might have that in my purse (well not today--I don't really like to carry too much cash around, unless I need gas).

So the threashold argument balancing a law against the constitution is whether there is a rational basis for the burden as opposed to the benefit.  There are seven million uninsured people in this country (I made that up, but it sounds right, doesn't it?).  Seven million (even as a made up number, it is impressive).  So seven million people get health insurance for the price to me of $91 a year.  I've got to say, that seems pretty reasonable.  I sat with Megan at the free clinic a year or so ago--16 hours.  I would have gladly paid $91 to cut that short by even a couple hours--it was brutal.

Constitutionally, there is definitely a rational basis for this law.  That was easy.  Wait.  I'm not a United States Supreme Court Justice.  There's guys like Scalia, Alito and Roberts, yuck.  They think two plus two equals a duck.  I have to tell you that I really believed in the institution, until the Gore case.  States rights was a central, central theme to the Conservative court's adgenda.  I was positive that they would uphold the Florida State Supreme Court's decision.  Positive.  And they didn't.  Worse, the opinion made no logical sense at all.  Oye.

There are other aguements tomorrow, but I forgot what they are.  That $91 is such a little gnat, and let's face it, Obama had me at hello.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Dusting

It is the middle of March and it is only 50 degrees California...Sunny March.  There is a dusting of snow on the mountain outside my window.  There is never snow on that mountain.  Ok maybe twice in the past 20 years, there has been snow on that mountain.  It's not even very high.  But it is March.  This is supposed to be spring, not the coldest winter day that I can remember...

My house is a mess.  I got very industrious this weekend and even though I babysat all of the kids, I vowed to make some headway at cleaning my house.  I made a list.  Caitlyn loves lists and she quickly got on board.  First was dishes.  Check.  (Caitlyn's checks involve a lot of hearts).   Then take out garbage, check. Then was Toys.  I had forgotten that I put toys on the list and I was starting to pick them up and apoligize to Caitlyn for going off list, but she spelled out toys as the next item on the list and I was still on target.  Then came vacuum.  I was going to let Caitlyn vacuum.  I have one of those dyson vacuum cleaners and they are kindof nifty to operate.  She tried for a second, but then it was my turn.  I have used it so infrequently (never, now that I think about it) that I wasn't sure how to make it turn on, or release the handle to manuver or anything.  I have now got it down, but I only got as far as the bedroom and then I was stopped by...Dusting.

For some reason, I don't notice any dust in the living room.  I guess that the dust is even on the piano and tv and there are just no other surfaces that are not full of stuff.  But the bedroom has nice large dressers and the dust is very noticable.  I can't vacuum and then dust and dusting will take a long time.  [Ok, I've seen that commercial where the dusting is done quickly and then you have time to read a book, but dusting involves doing something with the thirty dollars in pennys laying all over the place and all the little nick nacks that haven't found their real home yet and moving furniture--I don't know how to explain that one--suffice it to say, you'd agree with me if you saw it.  But I digress.]  By the time I got to the bedroom, it was nap time.  I thought--three kids take a nap, Kathy has lots of free time to dust (and empty cups for all those pennys).  But alas, it was three kids noisily fighting sleep and frequently coming out of the guest room to find Aunt Kathy (Matthew was very clingie) and drag her into the room with them over and over and no spare moment for dusting.

My new plan, was to take my nice Sunday evening and dust before my shows came on.  [Somehow I am adicted to Amazing Race.  I don't even like any of the teams this time, but I have to watch that dumb show anyway.  But I digress.]  So the prospect of a free Sunday evening had me stopping at the grocery store to pick up something for dinner.  It was only a little after 6 when I dropped the kids off, so I had plenty of time.  The grocery store could be it's very own blog post, but long story short, it took me over an hour in the grocery store and then I missed the freeway connection going home forming the blog post in my head on the way home.  I got home at 7:45.  That's 15 minutes before my show starts. 

But still I was very industrious.  I cooked my dinner (set off the smoke detector because I like my meat burnt--query is there anything short of having every door and window open in 50 degree weather to keep that darn alarm from going off??  I got the exhaust fan fixed, but I still live in fear of that darn shrill alarm every time I turn on the stove.  Big digression) and started spagettii sauce for dinners for the next couple of weeks.  Believe me, very industrious.  And I was in my seat at 8 for my show.  I paused the show at the first commercial and continue to cook and straighten the kitchen as I went.  I was back to the show in real time (man, they show a lot of commercials).  So all in all a very busy and industrious evening, BUT no dusting got done.  I am afraid that the vacuum cleaner is going to live in my room for several weeks.  At least that is what over 50 years of experience of being me leads me to believe.

[As an aside, I put out the money to hire the housekeeper which is obviously called for in this situation.   The fact that I didn't know how to turn on the vacuum cleaner was very telling.  Then I was driving to work and realized that I am going to have to buy gas this week.  I use cash for both and I don't like to go to the cash machine (it costs $3--what a rip off).  The conflict and drama in my life...]