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Where are the Democratic Grownups (in the Health Care Debate)?

It has been more than a week since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid together with a team of his fellow partisans cobbled together a deal to replace a controversial “government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan“. In announcing the “broad agreement,” however, the Nevada Democrat refused “to provide details of the healthcare proposals to be sent to the Congressional Budget Office.”

More days have passed since he announced that deal than the number of days left before Christmas and as Michelle reports:

We still haven’t seen Harry Reid’s Demcare legislation or the CBO scoring of said vapor bill or the language on how illegal aliens would be handled or the text of the so-called “compromise” on abortion coverage/subsidies.

In short, Harry still hasn’t provided those details.  A google search for “harry reid health care bill text” (without quotation marks) gives no hits dated after November 23 (at least not on the first six pages of the search–and I couldn’t find any text in the posts (on subsequent pages) with more recent dates).

So, we’ve get the Senate Democrats in a mad rush to pass a bill which their own leaders have not yet seen, a bill which will remake one-sixth of our economy, creating numerous new government panels and regulating some of the most personal matters of our lives and they’re criticizing Republicans for their delaying tactics!

Doesn’t it bother any of the senior Democrats, indeed, any of their junior colleagues, many elected last fall on the ticket of a man promising greater transparency in government, that they’re rushing to pass a bill they haven’t even seen?  Shouldn’t they wait to debate a bill until they have the actual text before them — and have had time to consider its contents, perhaps in consultation with their constituents?

Where are the Democratic grownups, asking that their fellow partisans proceed with greater deliberation on a matter of this magnitude?

Mrs. Feinstein?  Mr. Lautenberg?  Miss Mikulski?  Mr. Wyden?  Mr. Feingold?  Mr. Warner?

How Should Public School Teachers Handle Gay Kids?

Sometimes the best questions our readers ask are the most basic ones. In response to my post calling “abstinence only” sex education anachronistic, DRH asked, “Now for a real tough question. How should sex ed. handle gay & lesbian students?

It is a great question.  And the answer is not as simple as partisans on either side of the debate would like.  It’s why I’m willing to cut Kevin Jennings a little slack on the Brewster incident.  If he had shown some remorse in the years since the incident (before his appointment to the Department of Education), we would know he appreciated the complexity of the situation.

That leads to the question, how should a teacher handle a gay student, particularly when said student is a minor who approaches him (the teacher) in confidence, fearful his parents will find out?

Should he teach him about safe sex?  Tell him that his feelings don’t render him a pariah or deviant, but instead are, while perhaps an aberration or anomaly, in the great scheme of things, natural?  Should he discourage that boy from having sex until he finds someone with whom he can share something more than just physical stimulation and release?  Or at least teach him about the emptiness and remorse that often follow casual sex and the potential that our sexuality offers for emotional intimacy?

As to the first two questions above, the answer is clearly, “yes.”  As to the second two, the answer is not so clear.  That education seems to better belong with the child’s family and place of worship.  But, what if that place of worship teaches them that homosexuality is not just an aberration, but an abomination?  Should it be the public school’s job to contradict that teaching? (more…)

How Ben Nelson Saved Christmas

The senior Senator from the great state of Nebraska, Ben Nelson, “won’t vote to advance the Senate healthcare bill unless it is changed“:

Nelson said more stringent restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion must be included in the billl if it is to win his vote.

“If it’s not at the point where I think it needs to be with the improvements that I’m pushing — and they’ve made a lot of them — then I will not vote for cloture on the motion to end debate,” Nelson said in an interview on KLIN radio in Nebraska.

Looks like Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid won’t get that vote on his bill before Christmas.  Ol’ Harry needs Ben’s vote for cloture.

Wonder if lefties will now organize a boycott of Nebraska.  Maybe it’s time to take that trip I always wanted to Omaha.

Oh, by the way, does anyone have a copy of the legislation ol’ Harry had scraped together a week or so ago, you know, the one whose contents remained unknown (as of this past weekend) to own Democratic deputy?

(H/t:  Dan Riehl.)

In honor of Ben Nelson:

So Many (Blogress) Divas, So Little Ballot Space

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:45 pm - December 17, 2009.
Filed under: Blogress Divas,Strong Women

While only one blogress can be the Grande Conservative Blogress Diva (also known as the Ethel in honor of the Republican woman most beloved by gay men), this year, as last, we will also be choosing a Conservative Blogress Diva Regent (also known as the Endora in honor that “staunch conservative” Agnes Moorehead).

With nominations now complete, Bruce and I are reviewing the submissions and their seconds to determine which lucky blogresses get to compete for the coveted crown.

One of the great things about this competition is that it helps us learn about all the talented conservative, libertarian as well as centrist and iconoclastic liberal women who are blogging.  And even each of the various conservatives on the list offers a unique point of view, from mainstream Reagan conservatives who warmly embrace their gay and lesbian peers to social conservatives who begrudgingly tolerate us.

Some women who didn’t make the list, but whose names came to mind in the course of the competition, include National Review’s Lisa Schiffren, Dr. Melissa Clouthier*, Cathy Young, Rachel Abrams at the Weekly Standard, and Lorie Byrd.  There are a lot of smart woman out there, expressing their opinions (nearly) every day and not subscribing to left-wing feminist claptrap.  As our reader Lori G wrote, “So many conservative lovelies“.  Indeed.

As we review the submissions, obviously we will not be able to acknowledge all this incredible talent (with a nomination).   If we did that, the list would be incredible unwieldy.  But, by speaking her mind and challenging the conventional wisdom of how a smart woman should think, each of these “lovelies” is truly a diva.  But, only one can become the Grande Conservative Blogress Diva.


*Her latest, Passing Obamacare Will Hurt Democrats, Not Passing Obamacare Will Hurt Democrats, is particularly insightful, the title alone spot on.

What’s the Matter with the Golden State?

It didn’t take the former Governor of the largest state (in terms of physical size) long to respond to the current Governor of the largest state (in terms of population) after he criticized her “stance on global warming“. Seems kind of strange when a politician whose popularity is waning takes on one who’s popularity is waxing.  Maybe Arnold is playing to the sentiments of the politically correct set in the Golden State.

Also seems Schwarzenegger, just like those in the media, got that good woman’s stance wrong.  In her response on Facebook, Sarah Palin pointed out:

While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can’t primarily blame man’s activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn’t do was hamstring Alaska’s job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act “greener than thou” when talking to reporters.

Emphasis added.  And there you have it.  In just nineteen words, she gets at the biggest problem in the Golden State.  Our elected elites want to regulate our way to perfection, to show how much better they are than the rest of the country.

And the unelected bureaucrats are helping out as well.  Just last month,

the California Energy Commission approved a groundbreaking series of efficiency standards for televisions, the first time government at any level in the United States has meddled in the details of how our boob tubes are made. The new rules set maximum power-consumption standards for TVs of up to 58 inches, starting in 2011 and becoming considerably tighter in 2013, and prohibit California retailers from selling sets that break the rules. Only a quarter of all televisions currently on the market would comply with the new regulations.

Emphasis added.  Greener than other state, California may be, but less free than others we increasingly are.  No wonder employers and individuals are fleeing the state, with one in eight of those who remain out of work.