Thursday, September 24, 2009

Short Takes

Lobby Reform Obama Style
The Obama Administration announced that they are going to appoint the head of the Maryland Motor Truck Association to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA is by most accounts a troubled organization, so having someone head it who might actually know something about the industry is a good idea. But the head of the Maryland Motor Truck Association means you are a lobbyist, the despised class in the Obama White House. In fact, at the very same time they were announcing this appointment, they were also informing the press of a new anti-lobbyist initiative by the Administration to keep lobbyists off of Federal advisory panels where they might also have the necessary knowledge to actually provide good advice. Strange, very strange.

Cokes and Charmin
Two issues are big with nanny state advocates these days. They are attacking soft drinks and plush toilet paper. One has to guess that when the public gets wind of the fact that the liberals want to take away their Cokes and Charmin the tea parties will look like high school proms compared to the anger that will take to the streets on these subjects. And how does the left explain these anti personal choice campaigns? The Director of San Francisco's Department of Public Health said it this way about big new taxes on soft drinks, "It makes sense for the government to help people to make the right choices..." Funny, some of us still think that the proper role of government is to protect the people's right to make choices for themselves. It's called freedom.

Polls and Pelosi
It is hard to figure why Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to abandon her party's moderates on health care reform. Clearly the moderates do not want to accept all the the government run aspects to health care that Speaker Pelosi and her liberal allies feel are essential. That makes them a pain inside the caucus, but they are also the votes that make the caucus a majority. So why would you risk their seats but telling them that their views are irrelevant? Perhaps because the polling done by the Democratic Party is showing the same things as national polls and those conducted by Republicans. The Democrats are in real jeopardy of losing significant numbers of congressional seats in 2010. Independents are abandoning them. The generic vote for Congress has moved steadily toward the GOP. The country no longer agrees with liberal policies on most of the big issues facing us. So perhaps the Speaker has decided to risk her moderate seats to do what she really wants to do and that is to create a health care reform agenda that assures a government run health care system within the foreseeable future. Does she have the votes? It will depend on how many moderates they can buy off with promises of earmarks, campaign contributions and goodies for their districts.

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