ObamaCare, Congress Plots Exit
Below is a wonderfully written article from The Miami Herald by Glenn Garvin. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I personally, I believe that elected officials and their staffs should have the same healthcare as the rest of us. And, for that matter, be governed exactly like the rest of us in all matters. I mean if Martha Stewart can go to jail, why shouldn’t………. Enjoy the article, great job Glenn.
Congress plots exit
IN MY OPINION GLENN GARVIN GGARVIN@MIAMIHERALD.COM
Congress is not as stupid as you think. I realize that is not a high bar; but still, credit must be given when credit is due. Quite often when our duly-elected political representatives get together in Washing-ton to pass some ill-designed, over-intrusive and brutally expensive law, they recognize the difficulties it will create — and so they exempt themselves.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration?
The National Labor Relations Act?
Minimum wage laws?
None of them govern Congress.
The much-lauded Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which sends corporate executives to prison for falsifying financial data, would decimate Congress if it were applied to the federal budgeting process. Which is exactly why it doesn’t.
Once in a while, even Congress gets embarrassed by the legal loopholes it writes itself.
When 60 Minutes reported a couple of years ago that it wasn’t illegal for members of Congress or their staffs to engage in insider stock trading, they scurried to outlaw the practice. For a year, anyway. In April, Congress quietly gutted the public-disclosure measures that were at the heart of the new law.
So it should come as no surprise that, as implementation of major provisions of the Obamacare law approaches, Congress is stealthily plotting its exit.
The website Politico revealed last week that talks are underway on Capitol Hill to toss out part of the law that would strip Congress and its staffers of their sweetheart healthcare package.
Lawmakers and their aides
— like many federal workers — have been covered for years by the lucrative (for them; not so much for us) Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which pays 75 percent and up of the premiums.
But when the Obamacare law was being debated, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a long-time opponent of the legal loopholes lawmakers write for themselves, argued that if Obamacare was so great, Congress and its staff should be subject to the thing.
When Grassley’s criticism started to win popular support, Democrats quickly moved to shut him up by approving his amendment that required Congress and its staffers to enter the new government healthcare exchanges created by the law. They even bragged about how they had called Grassley’s bluff.
Now that the moment for joining the exchanges is at hand, though, members of Congress have discovered that the murky law they passed may prohibit the heavy federal subsidies required to support the benefits they’ve granted themselves all these years.
Buying insurance on those new exchanges, like (gasp!) regular people, will be expensive.
That’s especially true for congressional staffers, who tend to be young people — the major victims of Obamacare.
Young adults, who are healthier and use healthcare less, have always been cheaper to insure than older people. But their rates are going to skyrocket, 75 percent or more, under Obamacare, which will charge them more to subsidize the insurance of older people.
That’s OK for the rest of us. But it won’t do for Congress and its minions, who are now in search of relief from the mess they’ve created for themselves.
The preferred solution is what Congress calls “administrative” — that is, getting some captive government agency to rule that the law doesn’t really say what it says. That way, Congress doesn’t have to take the political heat.
The preferred candidate in this case is the Office of Personnel Management, which administers federal employee benefits. Lawmakers hope the office will declare that Congress has the legal authority to continue subsidizing its own insurance even when purchased through the exchanges. But if that doesn’t work out, the pols will try to remove the Grassley amendment or even go to court to extract themselves from the clutches of Obamacare. “I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’ ” said Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat who helped steer Obamacare through Congress. “They are federal employees.” As he is. And as we are not.
Steven Strauss: Why Let a Bank Write U.S. Financial Reform Legislation?
Rally why are banks writing laws?
Spoelstra Learned many values from Dad
Spoelstra Learned many values from Dad
Many thanks to LINDA ROBERTSON LROBERTSON@MIAMIHERALD.COM for a great article today in the Miami Herald Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Jon Spoelstra never pictured his son as a professional basketball coach. He was acquainted with coaches in his job as an NBA marketing executive and always regarded them as competition junkies, high when winning, strung out when losing, jittery between games. âObsessed and possessed,â he said. It was impossible to imagine his boy Erik ever being like Chuck Daly, who once ranted to Spoelstra with total conviction that his 6-13 New Jersey Nets would not win another game for the remainder of the season, or Jack Ramsay, who walked the streets past midnight after a defeat. Maybe Spoelstra missed the signs, like the summer 14-year-old Erik took 30,000 jump shots, logging his 500 makes per day in a notebook. Or the way Erik studied Isiah Thomasâ crossover dribble on a videotape, rewinding and replaying it frame by frame, then practicing in the driveway or, when it rained, which it does often in Portland, Ore., in the garage. Or 24-year-old Erikâs decision to leave Germany, where he was playing ball and enjoying Europeâs finest Biergartens, to become a film editing mole for the Miami Heat in a converted storage room called âthe dungeon.â PURSUE PASSION The father was too close to the child, attached by devotion and DNA, to project his future. But whatever you do, he counseled Erik, pursue your passion, and donât be content to collect a paycheck. Erik Spoelstra followed his dadâs advice all the way to the pinnacle of his passion, the NBA Finals, where he is coaching the Heat as the team chases a second championship in a row. The best-of-7 series against San Antonio is tied 2-2 with Game 5 set to tipoff at 8 p.m. Sunday. When the series returns to Miami for Game 6 on Tuesday, Jon Spoelstra plans to be at AmericanAirlines Arena watching his son â no longer a boy but still boyish at 42, and already a winner of more postseason games than any coach in Heat history. Jon will fly in from Portland, where he and Erikâs mother, Elisa, still reside in the house where Erik and sister, Monica, grew up. When Erik first told his father he was going to be head coach of the Heat, Jon said, â âWhere did I go wrong? Isnât there anything else you could do?â â Erik said, laughing. âHeâs been around lots of coaches, and to him, they are crazy.â Jon, 70, feels pride watching his son perform in the crucible of the NBA Finals. And when the TV lights shut off and the season ends, he looks forward to the day Erik comes home, where he decompresses with family and the same friends he used to play with in the driveway. Thatâs where it all started for Erik, in fifth grade, when his father coached his Port-land youth league team. Erik was a fan of Star Wars and pizza, âjust a normal neighborhood kid,â Jon said. When he took up basketball, he found his true love. âThis was the B team, the leftovers, and Erik was undersized,â Jon said. âThe one thing I taught him was the half-court trap. We took 100 shots per game. I wanted every boy to get his share of shots, so we ran the ball, and ran and ran.â Jon worked for the Port-land Trail Blazers, who were in the midst of an 11-year sellout streak. One season, Jon took Erik to every home game. âIt was a way for me to bond with Erik the same way my dad bonded with me by taking me to Detroit Tigers games and University of Michigan football games,â Jon said of his father, Watson Spoelstra, a Detroit News sportswriter for 40 years. Jon and his sister used to race up and down the field at the Big House while waiting for their father to finish writing. He recalled how his father was once doused in the clubhouse by Denny McLain. And how he never revealed his sources on a scoop about a managerâs firing, ânot even years later, on his death bed in Florida. He was very competitive about his job.â Erik met Portland guard Terry Porter at a game, and from then on wore 30 as his jersey number. He got Air Jordans for Christmas. He attended Ramsayâs summer camps. At Jesuit High in Beaverton, he started as a 98-pound freshman at point guard and went on to be the consummate selfless leader for the University of Port-land Pilots. At home, Jon was strict about reading. He gave his kids reading lists. He would pay Erik and Monica 10 cents for each newspaper story they read and annotated. He paid them $100 to read all 1,100 pages of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. He devised a schedule for them to listen to 12 audiotapes by motivational speaker and âDean of Personal Developmentâ Earl Nightingale entitled âLead the Field.â âI wanted them to learn the fundamentals of how to stand on your own two feet, but without lecturing and harping from their old man,â Jon said. BIG WORK ETHIC Jon wanted to pass down the work ethic he had learned from his mother, who was of Irish descent, and his father, whose parents were part of the Dutch community in Holland, Mich. As a kid, Jon delivered newspapers, and he figured out how to double his customer base without increasing delivery time by typing notes to the home owners on his route who were not subscribers. âThat was my first direct response campaign,â he said. âI was rich! I had an extra $5 in my pocket.â As a Notre Dame student, he sold Encyclopedia Britannicas door to door. âI was very, very shy and I forced myself to call on strangers to overcome my shyness,â he said. He overcame it enough to introduce himself to a beautiful young woman in the Philippines, when he had stopped in Manila on his way to Australia, where he thought he would become a sheep farmer. But Elisa Celino changed his direction, he returned to Notre Dame to finish his degree, and they married two years later. Jon got a job with the NBAâs Buffalo Braves, dreamed up a tribute to Elvis Presley to draw fans and has been selling tickets ever since. He wrote the books Ice to Eskimos: How to Sell a Product Nobody Wants and Marketing Outrageously and is writing a manual for teams, The Ultimate Tool Kit to Sell the Last Seat in the House. Jonâs influence is evident in the coaching style of Erik, who sold the Big 3 on the idea of team defense when superstar egos could have obstructed the plan. His motivational notes and talks about âtrustâ and âidentityâ stand out from the usual NBA coaching jargon with their mix of Nightingale can-do spirit and Portland weird earnestness. Erik also learned from Pat Rileyâs storytelling. âErik used to tell me Riley would give 10-minute speeches at every practice, and Erik took notes,â Jon said. âRiley is his Yoda. He got 98 percent of his knowledge from Pat and from Stan Van Gundy, too.â The will to work was reinforced by Riley but originated with Jon. âWork ethic isnât something you inherit like blue eyes,â Jon said. âI used to tell my kids there will always be people more skilled or talented than you in this world, but if you want to compete, you can outwork them.â Erik recalled how Jon was always home for dinner at 6:30 p.m. The greatest gift he received from his father? âDiscipline,â Erik said. It can be a curse as well, Jon said, and sometimes he sees it in the fatigue in Erikâs face. âHe gets so focused Iâm not sure he knew Osama Bin Laden was dead,â Jon said. âI know he knows [Barack] Obama is president but only because he visited the White House.â If Erik hadnât chosen coaching, Jon believes he would be an entrepreneur, âfacing failure multiple times but breathing life into something.â Heâs gratified that Erik found his calling in an intense culture âwhere you are measured every day.â Erik is the first coach of Asian descent to win an NBA title and first Filipino-American head coach in any major North American sports league. WATCHING AT HOME Jon will be watching Game 5 on Sunday and in Miami for Game 6 on Tuesday. Erikâs mother will not. She doesnât watch Heat games, and she doesnât fly. She felt she jinxed Erik by attending the 2011 Finals, when the Heat lost to Dallas. âWhen I watch games on TV at home, sheâs at the other end of the house, doing laundry or something, and I text her when itâs safe to watch,â Jon said. âThat usually means the Heat has a 20-point lead with two minutes to go, so sheâs seen more of Joel Anthony than LeBron James.â Jon wonât see much of Erik as the Finals reach their climax. He doesnât want to intrude. He never has even met any Heat players. But Jonâs presence will be felt â in every detail of Erikâs preparation, during his persuasive huddle pep talks. Erik will be working and selling as much as heâll be coaching. The example set in Portland will be followed in Miami. Like father, like son. Read more at the Miami Herald.
Work Ethic, You can out work everyone in site
“Work ethic isn’t something you inherit like blue eyes,” Jon said. “I used to tell my kids there will always be people more skilled or talented than you in this world, but if you want to compete, you can outwork them.”
Great advice from as father to his son….
@sonusz_itsnasty The father was too close to the child, attached by devotion and DNA, to project his future. But whatever you do, he counseled Erik, pursue your passion, and don’t be content to collect a paycheck.
The S0s - Your Mind is Your Weapon
I watch this YouTube channel every morning I get up. Not smart enough to figure it all out but am fascinated by it and the realism of what happens during the day after watching. This is their website, if you care to follow.
Google Launches Internet Balloons
What is a Father
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Pete Rose Hall of Famer
“What it all comes down to in my situation is giving somebody a second chance. You get second chances if you do drugs. Nowadays you do drugs and you get a 50-game suspension. I’m suspended going on 25 years, 24 years right now, so all you look for is a second chance. You won’t need a third and if you get that second chance you jump on it.” — Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, imploring commissioner Bud Selig to lift his lifetime suspension.