ENGLISH

Shouldn’t it be the Western semisphere? The Southern semisphere? Think about it.

HEALTH CARE

Dave N.:Nicoletta’s dilemma was heartbreaking. Almost all of us have or will have ‘preexisting conditions.’ I have had skin cancers and my wife has leaky heart valves and small foramen (causing pinched nerves). Luckily for us we have health insurance through her former employer. However, I can relate this anecdote. We were in New Zealand in 2003, I think it was, and she developed bronchitis (another of her chronic problems, she has it right now, in fact!). Not only did the clinic treat her for free, even though we were just tourists, but the medication they gave her (unavailable in the US even now) was the best she ever has had for the condition before or since. She was back on her feet in a day. We even tried to pay, but there was no mechanism for us to do so! Although I think that the current healthcare bills are deeply flawed, and the political process is even worse, I think something needs to be done. The current system is a disaster for many people, and ‘merely’ a pain and/or painful for the rest of us. You will love this quote by Bill Gates: ‘Governments will always play a huge part in solving big problems. They set public policy and are uniquely able to provide the resources to make sure solutions reach everyone who needs them. Markets don’t serve the poor in some important sectors, like health, because the poor can’t afford to pay.’”

TALL POLITICS

Craig Daniger: “I voted for Bush – twice. I know the Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. The lawyer in New Zealand has too much time on his hands. And the taller candidate theory is garbage. Roosevelt won 4 times in a wheelchair.”

☞ Well, then, that’s that. But for what it’s worth . . . Roosevelt was 6’2” and didn’t campaign in a wheel chair; and my point, in any event, was more general. I guess I should have said “the more attractive candidate” or “the more likable candidate” instead of “the taller candidate.” Still – being annoyingly argumentative – I note that the taller candidate apparently does more often win: 27 to 18. (I’ve adjusted for Gore, who won the popular vote. I’m not suggesting that Scalia, Thomas, et al, base their votes on height.)

David Morrison.: “You write: I’m angry that Wyoming’s half a million residents have as many Senators as California’s 36 million – what idiot came up with that?’ It was James Madison, actually.”

☞ Our shortest president, by far.

SOTU

It’s 9pm Eastern time on all the major networks. Be there or be square.

 

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