Now Hear This. I’m Published!!



A photo of teeth and trees.



A miracle occurred today.  Happily.  The stars aligned themselves in such a way as to make this happen.  Or did they?  Doesn’t matter.  It happened and I could not be happier.

Last week I read an article published in the Wall Street Journal that was penned by Jim DeMint, the leader of the Heritage Foundation, a right leaning think tank.  It actually wasn’t an article.  It was an opinion piece.  Here it is.




Oct. 17, 2013 6:27 p.m. ET
Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it’s worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.I spent a good part of my summer traveling around the country with the Heritage Foundation’s sister organization, Heritage Action, and I heard firsthand from many Americans being harmed by ObamaCare. More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away as a result of this new law.Supporters of ObamaCare usually defend the law by insisting that they want to help people. I won’t question their motives. I do wonder, however, if they understand what they’re doing to the country.We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare—Americans are getting notices in their mailboxes every day. On Wednesday, Drew Gonshorowski of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation published research that shows exchange premiums are going up in all but five states. In North Carolina, for example, many consumers will find their premiums almost double when shopping on the government exchanges. The hardest-hit states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Vermont and North Dakota, will see premium increases of up to 150%.Mr. Gonshorowski’s research shows that the hardest hit by the increases will be young adults. “A state that exhibits this clearly is Vermont,” he writes, “where the increase for 27-year-olds is 144 percent and the increase for 50-year-olds is still 60 percent, but far less. All states exhibit this relationship.”

Sen. Ted Cruz Getty Images

We also know that, once established, the cost of ObamaCare’s new entitlements will not fall. Historical evidence suggests the opposite. Nearly 50 years ago, at the time of Medicare’s enactment, it was projected that the federal government would spend $9 billion on Part A hospital services in 1990. Actual spending in that year totaled $67 billion—an increase of 644% compared with initial estimates.

Likewise, government officials originally projected that Medicare Part B physician services would require “federal appropriations of about $500 million a year from general tax revenues.” Last year, the federal outlay for that program was $163.8 billion—overshooting the original estimate by more than 4,400%.

Given this track record, the Congressional Budget Office’s projection that ObamaCare will cost “only” $250 billion (you read that right: a quarter-trillion dollars) a decade from now seems far-fetched.

There’s a reason Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently claimed that ObamaCare will lead to a single-payer health-care system: It happens to be true. Once employers drop health coverage for their low and middle-wage workers, the majority of Americans will be dumped into tightly regulated health exchanges and granted a “choice” of plans that will be more alike than different. The quality of care will suffer, access to doctors and plans you once had and liked will be reduced, and America will deteriorate into a two-tier health system—one in which the well-off can still buy quality coverage, but most Americans are consigned to poor care through the exchanges and Medicaid.

Yes, I can hear many conservative friends saying to me right around this point: “Jim, we agree with you that ObamaCare is going to wreck the country, but elections have consequences.” I have three responses.

The first is that ObamaCare was not the central fight in 2012, much to the disappointment of conservatives. Republicans hoped that negative economic news would sweep them to victory, and exit polls confirmed that the economy, not health care, was the top issue. The best thing is to declare last year’s election a mistrial on ObamaCare.

Second, the lives of most Americans are not dominated by the electoral cycle. They shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law, especially when the president has so frequently given waivers to his friends. Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight.

There’s a third reason not to stop fighting. Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months ObamaCare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate. Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, ObamaCare will now be the issue for the next few years.

These are the reasons we fought so hard to get Washington to listen to the American people and take action to stop ObamaCare, and it is why so many are thankful for the courageous leadership of people like Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and conservatives in the House of Representatives. The law is economically unstable, financially irresponsible and harmful to hardworking Americans.

Mr. DeMint, a former senator from South Carolina, is president of the Heritage Foundation.

When I read this op-ed piece, I welled up in anger and so I wrote a letter to the editor.  This is what I said.

“So, Mr. DeMint, what is your solution for my 58-year old brother who cannot get insurance because of pre-existing cancer?  You want to defund and repeal a lifeline to him with no replacement or improvement?  What do you say to him?  This is specifically why your position is so untenable for most Americans.  Your ideology blinds you to the human suffering caused by lack of insurance.”

Yippee.  I got published in the Wall St. Journal.  It is unbelievable to me.  Little old me.  It is the first time I have written the Wall St. Journal.  It’s only my second letter to an editor ever.  The other one was regarding round-a-bouts or rotaries.  I suggested they put one in on highway 46 at Vineyard.  It’s a main thoroughfare with a two way stop for wine tasting people to cross when safe.  What could possibly go wrong?

Not that I don’t comment.  Anyone that knows me knows that I have opinions and don’t mind sharing.  My task the last few years has been to tone down my thoughts.  Opinions are worth zero.  They don’t cost anything so they have no real worth except to to the speaker.  Can you change opinions?  Sure.  But I think it does take listening and empathy.  Of course there are some opinions that I will never change no matter what.  You all know what those are for yourself, I’m sure.

Well, that’s enough.  I digress.

I got published in the Wall St. Journal.  Murdock’s daily.  The evil Murdock.  I’m utterly amazed.  I congratulate them in recognizing my argument.

So.  I’m going to frame my Journal entry.  And perhaps I should finish my book.  I got stalled on Z is for Zebra.  Remember, I am not writing it in sequence.   I can’t remember all the letters of the alphabet I’ve completed.  But I need to jump on it while I”m flying high.  You’d all buy it, right?  I’ll autograph it.  Need to call my publisher tomorrow.  Oh, I failed to mention my publisher?  Well.  More on that later.

Today I had one of those rare days where everything goes as planned!!  The pinnacle of the day occurred on more than one occasion.   Yesterday my pedicurist called to tell me she was signing the papers for her new house and afterward could she please come by to look at the mirror in my garage.  Well, of course she could.  Agreement was reached.  Then she never came.  And what makes this so delicious is that she is always calling me to remind me of my appointment because I committed the cardinal sin of being late, really late for appointments.  Really, she thinks I’m getting senile and being 50 years old, I must appear ancient.  I’m her mother’s age for heaven’s sakes.  And I’ve been going to her for years now.  She refers to me as her aunt.  Perhaps patronizing but still somehow sweet.  She is a hard working person with a high voice that almost sounds disingenuous unless you know her and realize she is sincere.  Small town nice.  But I digress.

So, she never came by to the see the mirrors.  And she didn’t call.  I was atwitter.  So, I dialed up as I walked Beau this a.m. and she answered her phone knowing why I called by saying, “I was so excited about the signing the papers I completely forgot to come by and look at the mirrors…yada yada yada.  I laughed and told her how happy I was that I got to call her because she forgot me!!  She didn’t answer the phone with “hello.”  She answered by saying “I was so excited etc.(see above)”  What a hoot.

The other thing is visiting the dentist today.  Okay, that doesn’t sound like “where everything goes as planned”.  However, in my defense, he just peered into my mouth and pronounced my progress as “looking good”.  It was harmless, I didn’t have to even open wide.  Having spent so much time with this dentist, much of under the influence of drugs, we have become fast friends.  I accused him of wanting to put me under because he was afraid I’d bite him.  Then I accused him of putting me under so I would forget the pain and suffering he was inflicting.  At first he didn’t know how to take me which was funny in and of itself.  Then he started understanding my warped sense of humor.  And our wavelengths have become closer, shall I say?  Today we discussed the numbness in my chin that persists since the procedure a couple of weeks ago.  He thinks it will take 6 months to fully recover, if, in fact, I do recover.  And then his assistant mentioned the rain yesterday for what reason I cannot remember since it was completely off message.  Then the dentist said that he was worried about his well.  “Oh, you must live on the east side?” I inquired.  “Yes.  I’m in the Red Zone.”  This is the area of Paso Robles that is running it’s aquifer dry because the whole place is one big vineyard.  “Oh., I said.   “How deep is your well?”  My well is 138 feet”.  “So you can drill deeper.”, I suggested without any sense that I was uttering a pun.  He replied, “Yes, but then it is sulphur water.”  “OH, in that case you’ll have to open a spa.” and as soon as I said that he really laughed.  I mean really, people.  Dentists laugh.  This is great relief to me.  They always look for deadly serious with that needle in their hand or the drill coming at you.  They can’t feel good about hurting us…unless…

So, my day was pretty darn good. How was yours?  I often wonder about my friends.  Did you have a good day?  Have you spent the time to reflect on the day and your enjoyment of it?  I think we sometimes zoom into the hardship and worry rather than the happiness and successes.  So much better for us if we look at the positive.  Which brings me back to forgetting things.  I know I am somewhat daffy.  I can feel age creeping up on me and forgetting things of part of the process.  However, I’m not as far gone as some people think.  Hell, I got published in the Wall St. Journal.  And here’s the deal, I know when people are thinking, “By George, she needs help”.  And generally, they may be right.  But what the hell.  I’m having a great time and some of my forgetting is drug related.  It was all that LSD…just kidding.  The side affects from my happy pill includes memory loss and part of the memory lost includes bad memories that screwed me up in the first place.   So, there you have it.   What a hoot.

And did I mention that after the dental appointment, Rayman and I went to the sweet shop and each enjoyed a scoop of motor oil chocolate ice cream on a sugar cone to reward and recognize the achievement of even going to the dentist again.  Each time is a mirale after all the pain and suffering incurred.  Dentist loom large in my life.  The hours and dollars I have spent in a dentist’s chair is staggering and that’s all I have to say about that.  Other than the ice cream was well deserved.  Well.

Good night and good luck.



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