It's been great political drama these past few days as the Health Care vote comes down to the wire on Sunday. I'm predicting it will pass the House. Of course, I'm biased -- I support this bill, which is a long overdue reform.
I don't know why the Democrats couldn't get it passed last summer. The extended process has been maddening and I stopped paying attention lest I tear at my hair.
But now I'm at the edge of my seat -- go team! pass that bill!
The Dismal New York Times. These people depress me. Nothing good ever gets done without an uplifting spirit, but the New York Times is a newspaper that has lost its soul.
This week, David Brooks, the conservative in the house, wrote a column titled The Broken Society -- I was assaulted by this headline over my morning coffee. Sure, Brooks made a few good points about disturbing social trends, but it left me feeling down. We don't live in a "broken society." The NYTimes staff needs to take a walk in the park.
The Problem of Unemployment is Easily Solved. Congress can create tens of thousands of new jobs with a simple change in the law, a law that could be written double-spaced on one side of a page. Ban self-service gas pumping nationwide, like they do in Oregon.
Dramatically simple, completely fair and the cost of the extra service is neatly spread across all consumers of gasoline.
But it's too easy -- won't happen.
Funderemployment. Eugene Owens of Venice, California, may be credited with a new concept, "funderemployment."
He is an academic librarian, the job he is qualified for, but, there being no work in that field for him right now, he toils at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the Promenade in Santa Monica. It's fun working there he says, hence "funderemployment."
Toyota is a Bum
I'm not talking about the recall of cars with faulty gas pedals. That is just a bunch of bad publicity. Toyota makes a pretty good car. But this factory closing in California is really mean. Toyota has sold millions of cars in the Golden State, and California drivers were among the first to be willing to try a "Japanese" car back when most people thought they were only cheap imports.
So how does Toyota repay this loyal support -- by closing their California factory and laying off more than 4,000 workers. Toyota is a bum.
No Need for a Bike Lane on Maple Street. What is this, free money? The town of LaConner can build a bike lane on the eastside of Maple Street and the federal government will pay for most of it. This is not free. This is a wasteful project. Maple Street has a perfectly good sidewalk on the west side, which cyclists can use. Besides that, the cars should drive slowly and be watching out for bike riders and pedestrians, and sheriff has ways to remind people of that.
But there's no need to waste government dollars on more pavement, even for something as noble as a bike lane. Pavement is forever, as the farm preservationists say, and Frog Hospital strongly opposes the extension of concrete or asphalt on the precious earth of the Skagit Valley.
No Need for Dredging Swinomish Channel in LaConner. Swinomish Channel, a tidal slough, has been dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers on a regular basis since 1892. But I think it's time for the government to stop spending so much money on something that isn't necessary. All you have to do is wait for high tide.
Besides that, who needs big boats? LaConner could make itself the small boat capital of Puget Sound -- building and selling rowboats, canoes and kayaks, staging races, leading maritime tours, teaching classes, carving oars, designing better boats, and publishing books and magazines on the value and utility of small boats.
Don't dredge the channel. Save Money. Wait for High Tide.
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