In a recent MSNBC interview, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., argued for preserving Obamacare in spite of its many problems. “I've got a 1-year-old granddaughter, and on Thanksgiving Day she had a number of little glitches, but we're not ready to throw her away because of a glitch here and there,” Cleaver said. “Most things in the beginning stages are going to be difficult to pull off.” Seriously? Obamacare has deprived cancer patients of their currently affordable insurance policies, increased costs for millions, forced people to subsidize abortion-inducing drugs in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs, and more. And no one seriously expects things to get better as more of the law takes effect in the coming year. The worst you'll get from a 1-year-old is a temper tantrum. Cleaver should apologize to his granddaughter. Even the worst-behaved child is a dream compared with Obamacare.
Politics and religion
State lawmakers' efforts to emphasize religious influence may generate some unintended consequences. House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, has suggested installing a chapel in the Capitol building, an idea criticized for pragmatic reasons (the money could be better spent elsewhere) and constitutional ones (potential violation of state neutrality toward religion). We doubt Shannon expected Adam Soltani, head of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to tell The Associated Press he supports a chapel and his organization would seek to use it for Islamic prayers. On another front, lawmakers authorized installation of a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds. In a publicity stunt, New York-based Satanic Temple now wants to install a monument to Satan next to it. In both cases, it appears lawmakers' efforts to embrace religion could actually generate increased religious confrontation and division, not broader contemplation of a higher power.
Trolling for dollars
U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, 69, a pack-a-day smoker most of her life, was diagnosed in May with lung cancer. Now she is seeking legal relief from asbestos companies. As New York Times columnist Joe Nocera pointed out, it's difficult to sue tobacco companies because of the well-known dangers of smoking. So more and more lung cancer victims are joining the tort bar's decades-old class-action assault on asbestos, which has bankrupted more than 100 companies and generated billions in damages. McCarthy, D-N.Y., claims that as a youngster, she was exposed to asbestos because her father and brother worked as boiler makers and they all lived in the same home. In addition, she “visited and picked up my father and brother at various work sites, including Navy Yards, Bridges, Hospitals, Schools, Powerhouses, and other sites where I breathed the asbestos dust.” Nocera expects her lawsuit to be cobbled together with other cases in an effort to force a company with no tie to her disease to fork over some cash. While wishing her well in her fight against an awful disease, he says the right thing to do is drop the lawsuit. “All it has really accomplished,” Nocera wrote, “is showing how asbestos litigation is a giant scam.”
Have cause, will file