Migratory birds are headed South for the winter, but the lame ducks are headed to Washington D.C. This year, the lame ducks should just limp off and leave the heavy lifting for the next Congress.
Migratory birds are headed South for the winter, but the lame ducks are headed to Washington D.C.
More than 60 representatives who recently got their pink slips will go back to do one last bit of damage before giving way to the new kids on the block in January.
Some things on the agenda include risking an escalation in the trade war with China, the infamous "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gay people in the armed forces and a possible treaty that would cut our nuclear arsenal.
None of these are timely items that need the attention of these laid off legislators.
All of them could have been handled before the election.
They've waited this long, shouldn't we just let the people that the voters actually want to represent them cast the votes? This year, the lame ducks should just limp off and leave the heavy lifting for the next Congress.
Health care bill's unintended consequences
The problems most people have with the national health care bill center around its cost or the fact that all Americans are now required to have both health and auto insurance.
One item that hasn't gotten much press is the new set of restrictions placed on physician-owned hospitals.
The huge, not-for-profit hospitals have buckets of money to spend on lobbyists, who in turn spent buckets of money getting a provision in the bill to eliminate new physician-owned hospitals and specialty hospitals. The bill also restricts what current facilities can do to grow or expand.
I see the point with specialty hospitals. Some of them only take patients with good insurance and only high-profit margin cases.
But a physician-owned, full-service hospital has a 24-hour emergency room and takes on the big hospitals on a level playing field. They do it with less overhead and the physicians are movtivated to provide excellent care for patients because when the hospital profits, they profit.
It is a good model and one that you would expect the new crop of free market legislators to appreciate.
Hopefully, the new Congress can get something done to modify this provision.
Deep thoughts only last so long
I enjoy my son on many levels. He is always trying to find a way to have fun.
Driving down the road, he is always trying to get me to quiz him, or he will test my knowledge on a topic. Other times, we look for Volkswagens so we can play "slugbug" to fill the time. He cheats, but we still have fun trying to be the first to spot the Beetles and give a friendly punch.
He even keeps a running total of points to show his slugbug dominance.
But sometimes, he slows down and really dives deep into an idea.
We had time together last week and he and I were really having a nice little chat about school and sports, and then he took us into some pretty deep spiritual questions.
I was surprised at how much he knew and how his mind worked. I was really enjoying the mental calisthenics that he was putting me through.
But all good things do come to an end.
After one particularly pointed question about what Heaven might be like, he suffered through a pretty lengthy discussion on the issue before he politely interrupted.
"Excuse me dad," he said.
"Yeah, buddy, what is it?" I asked.
"Don't forget, I have two slugbug points," he said.
"I guess I really got through to you," I said. "Did I talk too long?"
"No, I was listening," he said convincingly. "You can finish if you want to."
"Thanks, pal," I said, realizing the conversation was over. "I think I'm finished."
"Good," he said.
I don't know who said honesty is the best policy, but it wasn't a dad whose son had just finished being honest with him.
OK, readers, I think I'm finished.