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Monday Morning News Roundup

Lots of people continue to fret over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. In my opinion, David Brooks sums up the frustration of conservatives in a column he wrote a couple of days ago. Basically, he thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and then replaced with a bunch of laws that are already in the Affordable Aare Act. Kind of confusing, isn’t it?

The Google I/O conference may not be as well-known or as eagerly anticipated as Apple’s yearly lovefest. In spite of this, there was plenty of fun and technology to be enjoyed by all.

Continued power outages in the Washington DC area is highly frustrating.

Back to the dysfunction of the conservative movement over healthcare reform. In essence, conservatives have nothing for the American people should they be able to repeal The Affordable Care Act. Senator Mitch McConnell stated that covering uninsured Americans was not the issue. I can only smile. There are several major issues that the Affordable Care Act tries to address. First, try to cover the majority of uninsured Americans. Secondly, try to curb some of the abuses of insurance companies, including inventing lifetime limits on health insurance, dropping people with pre-existing conditions and simply making up reasons not to cover certain treatments or procedures. For the most part, The Affordable Care Act covers all those issues.

New poll shows growing support for ObamaCare?

One of the craziest decisions to come out of the Supreme Court during this term was their overturning Montana’s 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act. Basically, Montana had set up a law which capped the amount of money that could be spent in state races. This seemed to work very well for everyone… except for those who wanted to game the system.

Finally, Tiger Woods won the AT&T National golf tournament yesterday. It is his 74th tournament victory on the PGA, pulling him in front of some guy named Jack Nicklaus. All I can tell you is that Tiger seems to be in complete control of his game, including his putting, which seemed to let him down at the U.S. Open two weeks ago. On 18, with a one-stroke lead, he pulled out the driver and drove the ball 340 yards. The ball landed in the middle of the fairway. Impressive. Bo Van Pelt really played some solid golf. He held up to the pressure of being tied with Tiger Woods down the stretch until the 16th hole. Mistakes on 16 and 17 cost him the tournament.

Tiger, Phil and the Masters

This was a great weekend of golf. The Masters at Augusta. The weather was perfect. Sure, on Thursday there were some sprinkles and there was some wind on Friday, but for the most part the temperatures were mild and the greens were fast. Everyone, including myself, wanted to know about Tiger Woods. Well, Tiger played great for somebody who has had all of the distractions that he’s had. I describe his final round as up and down. I’m not sure how you play a round of golf, end up with a score of 69 and have people say that it’s disappointing. Those are the kind of expectations that Tiger Woods has set up. Back to Tiger in a minute… Phil Mickelson.

Fewer than 10 years ago, those television pundits were talking about how Phil Mickelson might go down as the greatest golfer never to win a major. He actually has 37 PGA Tour wins and three major titles. Now, he has a fourth major title. His third Masters. They’re even pundits, probably those same pundits, who are saying that it’s highly likely that Phil Mickelson will surpass Jack Nicklaus’ six green jackets. All I know is Phil Mickelson played consistently good golf for four days in a row. He played a bogey-free final round. I thought his back-to-back eagles on Saturday gave him the confidence to know that he could win. You know there’s a time when you’re playing a contest when you simply know you’re going to win and it doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says. You know that you’re going to play well enough to win. I think on Saturday, Phil Mickelson hit that spot. Now, the shop that everyone is talking about was on 13. He was in the pine straw. He hit a six iron over 200 yards to land on the green. From my standpoint, the amazing part of the shot was that he was able to get the ball up and over the sand trap.

There are three other short stories that I’d like to tell you about the Masters. The first is about Fred Couples. He is 50 years old and still one of the best ball strikers on the tour. His opening round was a 66. He was playing great on Friday until the last three holes. He reportedly had back spasms. You really can’t play golf with back spasms. (I’m not sure what sport you can play with back spasms.) Hell, he’s 50 years old. He’s allowed to have back spasms. He shot a 75. That’s kind of sad because he shot a 68 on Saturday and a 70 on Sunday. He played well enough to win… except for that three hole stretch on Friday. Isn’t it amazing that you can play 72 holes of gold and have three holes blew it for you? These guys are that close in talent. He came in sixth place at nine under par.

Anthony Kim is a 24-year-old American who is playing some absolutely fabulous golf. He reminds me a little of Tiger Woods when he was younger. There’s no shot that Anthony Kim seems to be afraid to try. He had an amazing stretch on Sunday where he had two birdies, followed by an eagle and then another birdie. That really skyrocketed him into the top of the leaderboard. He had the lowest round of the tournament — 65. This is a guy to watch.

Lee Westwood led going into Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, he played his worst golf on Sunday. Normally, you would like to play your best golf on Sunday. He got into trouble early with a bogey on the first hole. He remedied that bogey with a birdie on the next hole. He got in trouble again on four and again on nine. He shot bogeys on both of them. On the back nine he really settled down. He eliminated the bogeys and added two birdies. He really showed grace under pressure. I would like to see him win a major.

Finally, there’s all the psychoanalysis about Phil Mickelson and his wife, who had cancer. There’s the same $.25 analysis of Tiger Woods. Basically, these guys have proven that they can put adversity aside and play some amazing golf. I suspect the next 5-10 years we’ll see more great golf and both of these golfers. In the meantime, stop with the overanalyzing and I need to take more golf lessons.

US Open – Day #3, part 2

Tiger Woods started today’s round with a double bogey. He was just struggling. Not making up any ground. As a matter of fact, he was losing ground. He was 5 strokes begin the leader when he was on 13. Then out of nowhere, magic.

From ESPN:

Tiger Woods is looking to win the U.S. Open for a third time, giving him the career grand slam three times over (and matching Jack Nicklaus).

Englishman Lee Westwood is seeking to become the first man from Europe to win the U.S. Open in nearly 40 years.

And they’ll be head-to-head in the final group Sunday at Torrey Pines.

Woods, with two back-nine eagles, leads the U.S. Open by a shot over Westwood heading into the final round. (more…)