Monday, July 14, 2008

Belated Happy Birthday, World Series, Petitions

I think I forgot over the weekend to give a public Happy Birthday to Wife Gator. She’s a year older now, but that detracts from nothing. I have noticed that she is having a little more difficulty getting moving after sitting for a while. That doesn’t bother me too much as I am in the same condition. Possibly a little worse. The affliction is called “Age.” Our daughter came over yesterday and brought a cake and some garden additions. The plants were not planted yesterday because they were not planted. WG will put them into the ground sometime this week, but probably not today because of the weather activity.

We do have a confused little pup this morning. WG is on vacation for most of this week so she didn’t have to get up early. As I’ve said before the dog knows days of weeks but I don’t know how she does it. What she does know is WG goes to her part time job on Mondays. Today she’s home and the dog is having a tough time understanding it. She did her usual job of trying to be sure WG was up in time to head out this morning, but all that happened was the dog was told to lay down and be quiet. That started the confusion. Now she makes periodic trips to WG, stares at her like she is asking, “What are you doing here?” Then throws herself down in her corner to think about it.

The Red Sox for the fourth year in a row reach the halfway mark in the season in first place in the American League East. Just one week ago they trailed by five games, but went on a winning streak while the previous leader, Tampa Bay which plays in my old (50 years ago) stomping ground St. Petersburg, went on a wild losing streak so the Red Sox jumped over them yesterday.

The so-called All-Star game is tomorrow night. Even though Major League Baseball found a way to add just a little excitement to the game, I won’t be watching it. I rarely if ever watch so-called All-Star games, just like a rarely if ever watch inter-league games. But by giving the winner of this game the home field advantage in the World Series, MLB has at least forced me to read the outcome Wednesday morning.

My definition of “all-star” is the designation should represent the best of the best. It doesn’t in baseball but only represents the fans’ favorites through fan voting. Now this sounds like a great idea, but the larger markets can control the elections. And fans choose as many, if not more, sentimental favorites as they do true best of the best. I must admit that nearly everyone I know who likes baseball likes these games and I’m almost alone in my feelings. That’s O.K. It’s simply the way it is.

This is the week we’ll find out if enough signatures were collected to force a referendum on that huge tax on beverages and insurance claims the Legislature passed in the final moments of the last session. A “People’s Veto” was started almost as soon as the session ended and the organizers had to collect more than 55-thousand signatures by July 17th to force a delay in the law and send the measure out to vote by all Mainers.

July 17th is Thursday and most of the petitions are now in local election offices for signature verification. I read in yesterday’s Maine Sunday Telegram that organizers of the effort are confident they have the number of signatures. If they are correct, then the Secretary of State will place the question on the November General Election ballot for consideration by all Maine’s voting citizens.

The petition drive was the result of the Democrat controlled Legislature’s last minute midnight passage of the tax increase on most beverages and insurance claims to pay for the state’s failed Dirigo health program. There was no public hearing or input into the tax designed to raise about 70-million dollars a year. It’s easy to call the Dirigo program a failure because after its supporters said it would be self-sustaining and would insure more than 35 thousand Mainers who previously had no insurance within five years, the program has fewer than 15-thousand enrollees, most of whom were previously insured on private plans, and is now not accepting new members. It certainly, as the need for the new taxes shows, is not self-sustaining.

Thursday could be an interesting day as we learn if enough signatures were collected. We’ll then have to wait a while for the Secretary of State to certify the required number.


1 comment:

Sheepish Annie said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Wife Gator! And enjoy your well-deserved break as well!