I was in a foul mood last week. I think I was on the edge of coming down with a cold, and I was teaching a class, so I had to be bright and chipper through the workday, only to come home and want to just drop into bed.
But beyond that:
- It seems inevitable that Bill deBlasio will be our next Mayor: so inevitable, in fact, that I didn’t bother to cast an absentee ballot (more on that later). He promises ‘a break from the Bloomberg years.’ I take that to mean a break from low crime and competent city administration (except for the snowstorm a couple of years ago). Meanwhile, he promises to fight the good fight to reinstate the ban on large sodas. I remember the ‘bad old days’ of the 1980s. It didn’t bother me so much back then, as I was in my 20s and felt pretty much indestructible, but now I’m worried. Moreover, deBlasio is a community activist, with no experience running either public or private enterprises, other than his own office as Public Advocate. And we all know what happened the last time we elected a community activist to executive power….
- Across the nation, the reality of Obamacare is seeping in: that if you’re not covered by your employer, you’re required to pay out of your own pocket for health insurance. In NY, many of the requirements of Obamacare were already state law, so premiums in fact may be going down a few ticks. But elsewhere, premiums are skyrocketing. And then there’s the thought that, if you live in one of the states without a state insurance exchange, you’ll have to go to healthcare.gov, and tell it all your personal secrets.
- One of the items on the ballot this year is a state Constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling. I used to think that casinos were cool, until my wife and I went to Las Vegas and got bored with it after about an hour. (I also can’t bring myself to wager more than about $10 at a clip on a game I know is rigged in favor of the house.) The modern casino is a factory performing the industrial process of separating patrons from their money. The particularly galling thing, though, is that the state wrote up the description to play up the benefits of casino gaming (more money for schools! whoopee!), rather than a more neutral description, as that way people would be more likely to vote ‘yes.’
I attend a professional conference the first week of November. For the last couple of years, I made it a point to cast an absentee ballot, but was just too busy over the past few weeks. But the election seems a lost cause anyway. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the first day of the conference. I was going to be a tourist today with my wife, but we’re both feeling rotten. At least I can catch up on some paperwork.