OCTOBER 17, 2011
BRUCE A. BRENNAN BLOG FROM THE WORLD AND MY MIND
The news as I see it and the views as I want them.
October 17 is … Gaudy Day
Good morning Glenn. Today is just for you.
RIP Dan Wheldon. I am not a huge Indy racing fan but I do watch it quite often. Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after his car became ensnarled in a fiery 15-car pileup on Lap 13, flew over another vehicle and landed in a catch fence just outside Turn 2.
Wheldon, 33, was a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, including this year’s race. Motor sports are dangerous. Deaths occur but not as often as they used to. It is unfortunate when it happens as well as shocking.
Did the Detroit Lions bubble burst Sunday?
Death by a thousand cuts takes longer and often hurts more than one killing stab. Hopefully, this is what is happening to Obamacare. For the President to shelve a major portion of his only real domestic accomplishment a year before he is up for reelection is a sure sign he does not think his whole plan is going to survive a legal Constitutional challenge and economic reality.
The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president's signature health overhaul law – a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.
Targeted by congressional Republicans for repeal, the program became the first casualty in the political and policy wars over the health care law. It had been expected to launch in 2013. "This is a victory for the American taxpayer and future generations," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., spearheading opposition in the Senate. "The administration is finally admitting (the long-term care plan) is unsustainable and cannot be implemented."
Proponents, including many groups that fought to pass the health care law, have vowed a vigorous effort to rescue the program, insisting that Congress gave the administration broad authority to make changes. Long-term care includes not only nursing homes, but such services as home health aides for disabled people. Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a longstanding priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home, or to help with nursing home bills.
But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.
After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, finally admitted Friday she doesn't see how. "Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time," Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place.
Finally, a little common sense from the White House.
Everybody thought the Celtics were playing even though the NBA is on strike/lockout. An endangered female zebra and her foal that escaped from their exhibit and forced the evacuation of a Boston zoo have returned to their enclosure.
The zebras at the Franklin Park Zoo escaped late Saturday morning. No injuries to animals or humans were reported. Operator Zoo New England says the baby broke through the exhibit's electrical fencing and its mother followed.
The foal returned to the enclosure about 40 minutes later. Its mother was led back to the zebra barn at mid-afternoon. The zoo then reopened.
Zoo New England says the fencing was tested and working before the zebras escaped. The zoo needs new testers or testing equipment. I will offer this to the zoo, just grab the fence, if your get a tingling sensation, it is working, if you don’t, fix it. Hire a livestock farmer or a rancher; they know how to keep an electrical fence operating.
The animals are Grevy's zebras, a species found primarily in Kenya that numbers only 2,500 worldwide. It was the baby's first day in the exhibit. Sometimes it is in you and it has to come out.
Just a couple of thoughts I had and you should too or at least think about.
BRUCE A. BRENNAN
DEKALB, IL 60115
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Holmes the Ripper
A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction
"A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular." - Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.