It’s been an interesting week and some long-standing things look like they may have finally been resolved — although this is politics, so there are no guarantees.
First, the House of Representatives passed and President Obama signed an historic health insurance reform act. Sunday was a long day clicking between the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and C-SPAN. We finally got to see the difference between being outnumbered and being outshouted, as raucous protestors did their best to intimidate members of Congress into believing they’re a majority. They’re not. The number of seats the GOP holds in the House and Senate shows it. Polls show that between those who support the health care reform legislation and those who don’t think it goes far enough, more than half of the people in this country who are asked favor sweeping action. This is pretty incredible, considering the misinformation that has been dished out over many months by people who want you to believe that the solution is worse than the problem or that this is some kind of constitutional crisis. It’s not. Whether you like the present system — (and how could you?) — or not, it is unsustainable and it leaves too many people out, while it is bankrupting people and organizations all along the way.
The GOP is in a state of denial and promises are being made to repeal the bill, despite the fact that they would not have enough seats in the Senate to override a Presidential veto even if they won every contested race for that house of the legislature in November (which they will not.)
“We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat,” said former speechwriter for President George W. Bush of the GOP. Well said.
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At the Marathon County Board, a grant application was sent forward that, if approved, would provide some major institutions in the Wausau area including local government, education and health care institutions with a broadband “backbone” that will enable high-speed, high-volume electronic data transmission. It’s not that easy to follow this high tech stuff, but what I’m convinced of is that we need infrastructure like this in our community in the same way that we need state of the art transportation and utility infrastructure if we expect to have an opportunity to compete in tomorrow’s ecomony. And tomorrow’s economy is right now.
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At the Wausau City Council, we approved moving forward with a significant riverfront area development project on the east side, near bridge street. There haven’t been many projects of any kind to move forward with during the past couple of years. This $7.2 million residential development will go a long way toward advancing the environment for future developments and it will help clean up a neighborhood that has needed it for a long time. Just watch.
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After tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills that began at the city’s ethics board and ended with a ruling by a federal court, perhaps the multi-year adventure with the Christine Van De Yacht case will finally be over. (Apparently there was some e-mail floating around trying to pull the item from last night’s agenda. I never saw that e-mail and I just looked for it again, but I’m not all that surprised.)
Without making any judgement beyond what the venues with jurisdiction have already said, my opinion is that most of what went on in this case was unnecessary. I never advocated for censure. Early on, the opportunity was there to handle things with little or no cost or damage to reputations on either side. That it didn’t work out that way is unfortunate and it was literally made into a federal case.
With all the water that’s gone over the dam now, nothing can be done to change what has already happened. Everyone involved has already paid too much — especially the taxpayers. The last thing we need now is to buy another expensive ticket to sit through what has been a consistently bad show because somebody wants to rewrite the ending.