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Democrats’ Stealthy Saturday Strategy: Another weekend vote on Obamacare

Having used creative bribery (with our tax dollars), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apparently has all sixty Democrats on board for a cloture vote to begin debate on his 2,074-page health care bill.  While this vote will bring the legislation one step closer to passage, we still have a ways to go before Democrats succeed in increasing federal control over our health care system.

The bill would create new federal bureaucracies and increase the power of existing ones.  It increases taxes, creates new fees and eliminates or otherwise limits the scope of deductions already in place.  It will make our health care system increasingly complex, adding to the paper work burden for businesses.  This could become particularly burdensome for small businesses. To avoid running afoul with the law, entrepreneurs will have to divert resources from improving the quality of their product and increasing the efficiency with which they bring that product to market to consulting with lawyers and filling out forms.

Hardly a productive use of their time.

Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson contends the costs of compliance could be “in the thousands of dollars even for a small employer“:

Under Reid’s bill, and the House version, employers of all sizes will have to hire someone — either on staff for larger companies or third party vendors for small employers — to navigate the new health care regulations, reporting requirements, and tax provisions. This bill will create jobs, but in the least productive sectors of our economy.

Already, so much of our economy is devoted to satisfying federal paperwork requirements. This is unproductive work which adds nothing to our economic competitiveness. Every dollar spent on a tax lawyer or accountant is a dollar not spent creating economic opportunities for the business.

Decreasing economic opportunities for businesses at a time when they are shedding jobs?  No wonder Harry Reid has scheduled this vote for a Saturday night. (more…)

Sarah Palin’s Real Record; Katie Couric’s Real Ignorance

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:14 pm - November 21, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obamania,Sarah Palin

As Sarah Palin once again finds herself in the national limelight, largely due to the publicity surrounding the release this week of her bestselling book Going Rogue: an American Life, many of us have been reviewing the events of last fall’s campaign as well as contrasting her record to the biased media coverage of that strong Republican woman.

Yesterday, I noted that something Sarah Palin said in her interview with Bill O’Reilly had caused me to “review the tape,” as it were, of her interviews with CBS Anchor Katie Couric.  Palin claimed the newswoman “didn’t know anything about Alaska, about my job as governor, about my accomplishments as a mayor or a governor, my record.”  Today, I decided to take my investigation of Palin’s claim one step further.  I printed out the transcripts of the CBS Interview and highlighted everything Couric said.

This review confirmed my initial evaluation. Not once did Couric manifest any knowledge of Palin’s record in Alaska, save the media scuttlebutt about her church and her views of social issue.  But, that does not go to her record as a public official.  Nothing about Palin’s work on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) where she took on a fellow Republican and ally of the Governor who had appointed her.  Nothing about her work with a Democrat to bring down the corrrupt Republican Attorney General of her state.  Nothing about the reforms she achieved as Governor by working across party lines.

Katie Couric, like many of her colleague in the mainstream media, ignored Sarah Palin’s record, perhaps to better portray as a clueless neophyte, chosen for her gender (so the GOP ticket could exploit divisions in the Democratic Party) and her “extreme” social views (so she could rally a dispirited GOP base).

It’s funny, they were as indifferent to Palin’s record in office as they were that of Barack Obama.  By disregarding her record, they could dismiss her credentials as a real reformer, at odds with her party establishment.  By turning a blind eye to his, they could portray him as a new kind of politician, ignoring that he had been a team player for the Chicago Democratic machine.

No nanny-stater she; Sarah Palin understands meaning of freedom

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:46 pm - November 21, 2009.
Filed under: Freedom,Sarah Palin

This morning, I read the first 100 pages (about one-quarter) of Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue:  An American Life.  And despite the “narrative” that this book is whiny, with the former Alaska Governor portraying herself as a victim trying to settle scores, there is no trace of that in the book’s first two chapters.

Indeed, on a number of occasions, this charismatic woman acknowledges her own mistakes, particularly in her 2002 bid for the Republican nomination for Lietenant Governor of the Last Frontier where she fell short by just 2% of the votes cast.  Her style is a little breezy for my taste, but the book is very readable.  And like Barack Obama, she does use a lot of clichés.  She seems to talk more about common sense conservative principles than actually articulate those principles and show how they work in the real world.

But, there are times, when she does provide examples which illustrate the meaning of those principles. My favorite such example was when she explained why she stopped frequently a local café in Wasilla that she used to visit regularly when she first become mayor of that booming Alaskan metropolis:

I finally slowed down on that Friday-morning routine when I was pregnant with Piper.  Nearly every pregnant woman has something that can make her instantly ill, and the cigarette smoke inside the café kind of nauseated me.  Instead of supporting a much-talked-about citywide smoking ban at the time, though I just stopped going to that restaurant.  It eventually went smoke-free on its own, which is the way things like that should work.

No nanny-stater she.  Sarah Palin shows exactly how one should react if a business doesn’t cater to her particular needs.  Instead of running whining to the government, she takes action on her own.  She doesn’t go to the offending establishment and notes how it, without the heavy hand of the state, changes its smoking policies on its own.

Palin is right, that’s the way things like that should work.

Sorry, David, Sarah’s Appeal is More than Sexual

If, in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 election, you had asked me to put together a broad-based panel on reviving the right, I would surely have chosen to include David Frum.  Yeah, I know he had been strongly critical of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, but, at the time, he seemed to have based his objections on rational arguments, notably her lack of experience on the national stage.

But, lately amidst the many good ideas he has offered for GOP rebuilding and strong arguments he has made against the policies of the Obama Administration, he has manifested a peculiar animus toward certain figures, not just Mrs. Palin, who have found an enthusiastic following among conservatives outside the intellectual enclaves in coastal (and near-coastal cities).

This week, he offered a rather strange comment about her appeal:

This is a woman who has got into a position of leadership by sending very powerful sexual signals. And we see that in the way that men like her much more than women do.

Dan Riehl (whose post alerted me to the comment) contends that “Frum is obviously reacting to Paln as a homosexual would.”  And while I do grant some gay men have strange reactions to strong and capable women, many of us appreciate such ladies. At the Log Cabin luncheon in St. Paul last summer, the gay men there were most enthusiastic about the GOP Vice-Presidential nominee.

Indeed, McCain’s choice of the then-Alaska Governor increased the esteem in which one of our readers, a gay man who supported Hillary for the Democratic nomination, held the Arizona Senator.

As to Frum’s contention that men like Palin more than women do, I suggest he take a look at footage of the lines to see that reformer on her book tour.  In Michigan, it appeared to be at least 60% female.  When Mark Steyn saw her campaign in New Hampshire “he was surrounded by moms with strollers.

Frankly, I don’t see her sending out sexual signals.  When certain female celebrities do that, it turns me off.  Yet, if Palin gives off any particularly feminine signals, they’re more maternal or sororal than sexual.  And maybe that’s why women like her so much.  Most have warm feelings for their mother and sisters, but bristle a rival for the affection of their man. (more…)