Tuesday, October 6, 2009

David Letterman, Roman Polanski, health care reform, taxes

I've got a lot on my mind, but since brevity is the soul of wit (to quote Shakespeare's Polonius, who also said "neither a borrower nor a lender be," though I prefer the Skipper's version), I shall be brief.

David Letterman. The head of the company -- the boss -- likes to sleep with interns, personal assistants, and production assistants. Shocking. Not. Did we learn NOTHING from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, people?! I'm not condoning Letterman having sex with people who report to him -- co-workers, fine, but direct reports? Not such a bright idea, for either party. Granted, screwing staff members isn't a crime (unless it was sexual harassment, which is doubtful -- the ladies love Dave) and supposedly all of Letterman's canoodling took place before he was married (uh huh). And what company hasn't had its share of office romances? But Letterman's inability to keep his hands off the merchandise (even when the merchandise, no doubt, like Monica Lewinsky, did its best to get into Dave's World Wide Pants on a regular basis) is a problem, albeit mostly for the employees who did not reap the benefits of sleeping with Dave, which apparently carried all sort of perks, including higher pay. Bottom line: Letterman thought with this dick. Like millions (billions) of other guys. And he got caught. This is not news. Except that it's David Letterman, darling of the media. Next.

Roman Polanski. The guy drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, thought he was going to get a soft sentence (probation -- though I would have opted for castration), then fled the country when he felt the judge was going to renege and send him to prison. Instead of paying for his crime -- and make no mistake, it was a crime -- he's been free and living it up in Europe for over 30 years. Now he's been arrested, awaiting extradition to the U.S. in Switzerland, and a lot of people think he should be set free. WTF?! If this guy was Roman Plumberski, his ass would have been incarcerated YEARS ago. Disgusting. Polanski should be sent back to the United States, in economy (if not the cargo hold), and tried before a judge. NO ONE is above the law. Next. [UPDATED: Just read that Polanski lost his bid to be released -- via the Associated Press/NYT. Progress.]

Health care. What the heck is wrong with providing or ensuring that all Americans have decent health care? I don't get it. I don't know about you but my private health insurance is mediocre at best, i.e., costs my family a small fortune, doesn't cover much, and doesn't give me access to a lot of doctors. (Also, someone please explain to me why my healthy little family of three pays the same as a family of six.) And this is not an HMO but a much more expensive, more "open" option. Also, it is disgusting that our current system does not pay for or encourage or reward prevention (i.e., being healthy), which is much less expensive than the alternative. Btw, I am not necessarily advocating a single-payer public option, though wouldn't it be a lot simpler/more cost effective? Anyway, instead of me rambling on (brevity, brevity), please to be reading Roger Cohen's short Op-Ed on the topic, which I found to be quite thought provoking. [UPDATED: And now a word from Canada, via the Denver Post.]

Taxes. And while we are fixing things that are broken, can someone please fix our tax system? I just received our tax return, and it was, like, 150 pages. WTF?! We like our accountants, but seriously, there has got to be a better, less expensive, less arduous way to pay taxes.

That is all.

Got a gripe, about any of the above or something else? Leave me a comment. (NOTE: Inappropriate comments will be deleted.)


Moishie said...

Brevity here, too: An excellent post.

Betty Cracker said...

I haven't followed the Letterman flap all that closely, but from what I understand, although he hasn't been married all that long, he's been with his now-wife for a many years, and they had a child together before they were married. What a cad. Not unusual, as you pointed out. But what a cad.

And if it's true the staffers he boinked were compensated or promoted above non-boinkee colleagues, he's something worse than a cad.

RE: Polanski, well, cad doesn't begin to cover it. Ignoring the better angels of my nature (and I have some), I hope he gets a very large, hairy roommate.

J. said...

@Betty Cracker: FYI, his wife is a former staffer, as was his former long-term girlfriend. Re compensation, I don't believe he handed them cash, but from reports I've heard/read, they were given opportunities to make more money (either via salaries or bonuses or from being on air) and received lovely pre-parting gifts.

@Moishie: Thank you! : )

EMM said...

J, I'm with you on Letterman and Polanski. As the owner of the company, everyone is a subordinate of Dave. Meh.

I agree that everyone deserves decent/affordable HC. I love my insurance and my carrier offers a discount for non-smokers. Added bonus, my comany offers incentives for wellness. I don't want this taken away. Plenty of people ARE satisfied w/ their coverage. I think there is way to cover those who are not insured (or not fine those who decide not to be covered) without taking away from what others have worked for or earned.

But "ay, there's the rub". Obama's administration, IMHO, wants to redistribute wealth & power and decide who stays and goes in the corporate world. Why wouldn't people be concerned that their benefits will be altered?

J. said...

@EMM: Glad to hear someone I know has really good healthcare! I am still sick from having to pay $1500 out of pocket for a visit to the Emergency Room and an overnight stay at our local hospital -- despite us paying around $12K/year for supposedly top of the line coverage. Re the health care plans the Obama administration has floated NO ONE (except certain on-air personalities and rabblerousers in Congress) has suggested that ANYONE would be deprived of their current policy. The original thought was to ADD (NOT replace anything) with a public option, to simply cover those who are not insured. Give the Obama administration a little credit: No administration would be so stupid to advocate totally scrapping the existing health insurance system and replace it with a government one. It would never get through the House and Senate. Speaking of which, there is a a great Op-Ed on this topic in today's NYT.