Making the Patient Comfortable

Some patients, when the writing is on the wall, demand to know the hard, ugly truth. "Don't beat around the bush, Doc. I can handle it." Others slip into resignation and hope, neither needing nor wanting the hard, ugly truth. Yr Editor sees that now in N'awlins, where the hard, ugly truth is that Americans neither desire nor are able to rebuild the city as it was. Oh, "promises" were made, but they were only political promises. Slowly, among those without the wherewithal to rebuild on their own, hope has dissipated, and resignation has set in. The dream is gone; they have to move on. The leaders who made the promises after Katrina are the equivalent of doctors content to let the patients settle into reality as serenely as possible. [Hey, man, what the hell does any of this have to do with Florida?] The writing is on the wall, also, regarding the casualty insurance and property tax madness now gripping the F state. The voters who hysterically demand relief might be made a little bit more comfortable (but maybe not), but they won't get relief, because relief is not possible. The realities of the insurance marketplace and the realities of the cost of government are largely fixed. Whack-a-mole here, it comes up over there. The realities are that Florida has grown wildly; that more people demand more services from gov't; that we're approaching the limits of coaxing tourists and builders into helping us pay for everything; that our lack of personal income tax is a rapidly-expiring luxury; that Gov. Bush's privatization jag helped a bit but not much. The reality is that no fool will insure all this property against hurricanes unless you pay him tons of money upfront. Nobody, but nobody knows which ways the winds will blow. The voters may clamor, and thus their surrogates, the politicians, may reverb-clamor. But alone in the shower, in their cars, lying in bed at night, Yr Editor bets the politicians are just hoping for a way to make the patient comfortable so that the hard, ugly truths of the insurance marketplace and the demands on gov't just kinda settle in quietly.

More Things to Worry About Today

A Broward widow was convicted of killing her husband, even though she just wanted to talk to him that day, "to get his attention," and that's why she brought along the gun, the box cutter, and the aluminum bat [Miami Herald] . . . . . Central Middle School in Melbourne apparently has a problem with girls cutting themselves ("It feels like my anger is gone," one said, when the blood flows) [WKMG-TV (Orlando)] . . . . . Retired U.S. Rep. Joseph McDade of Scranton, Pa., was arrested on Sanibel last week for, er, exposing himself and pretty blatantly following a woman around while masturbating (but, since he is said to have Parkinson's, perhaps his hand movements were involuntary) [Naples Daily News] . . . . . Can't Possibly Be True: A woman who lives alone south of Miami said her electricity was restored last week for the first time since, er, Hurricane Andrew knocked it out in 1992 [WFOR-TV (Miami)] . . . . . Former Broward elections supervisor Miriam Oliphant, who royally screwed up local elections in 2002 and then played the race card to keep her job (but was replaced anyway) was finally absolved of criminal misconduct, which pretty much leaves "incompetence" as the

explanation [South Florida Sun-Sentinel] . . . . . Beauty shop owner Hayssam Ghoneim of Pembroke Pines said he's already planning paying off his mortgage with the money he's gonna get after rapper Foxy Brown jumped bad on him last week, spitting, and squirting glue at him, and wrecking some shelves [South Florida Sun-Sentinel] . . . . . We License Fishing But Not Parenting? You don't want to miss taking a look at cute little Austin Eichelberger, age 4, spawn of NASCAR-oriented parents [Florida Today] . . . . . Gainesville police are mulling whether to charge Erik Chu with anything after he called to report a home invasion and the theft of $1,000 and, er, 4 ounces of his marijuana [Gainesville Sun] . . . . . A Naples city garbage truck was wheel-jacked, with workers arriving to find the truck up on blocks and all 14 wheels missing [WBBH-TV (Fort Myers)] . . . . . Never Give Up: Christine Jennings is still hanging around the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, 100 days after she lost the Sarasota race to Vern Buchanan (even though no one knows why there were so many undervotes in her race) (And former Citrus county commissioner Nancy Robinson just appealed her November defeat by Rose Rocco, which didn't involve undervotes but did involve Rocco's apparently violating the residency requirements for the job, even though the first judge to hear the case said Rocco's unique interpretation of the law was fine with him [St. Petersburg Times Jennings] [St. Petersburg Times Robinson]

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