Friday, April 16, 2010

The unbearable lightness of Henry Waxman

Since Henry Waxman saw the light and realized it would be a very bad idea to call in companies and grill them over fulfilling their legal requirements about announcing that they would have to cut drug benefits for retired workers or have a huge new expense, the California Democrat has some time on his hands to meddle in things that are none of Congress's business.

First Waxman was mad at businesses for honestly reporting the effect of ObamaCare on their bottom line. But it was probably pointed out to him that the companies were required by law to report such things, he canceled the threatening hearing he had called to have the CEOs come in be browbeaten by the Democrats.
House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) late yesterday canceled a hearing scheduled for next week designed to intimidate businesses for following the law and immediately reporting the devastating impact of Obamacare to their bottom line.

It appears Democrats don’t understand the implications of the legislation they’re passing. It would probably help if they read the massive bills before passing them.

The last thing Democrats need to do right now is call more attention to the disastrous consequences of Obamacare -- intended or otherwise. Looks like Waxman’s figured at least that part out.
So what is Waxman getting busy with now? He's worried about baseball players who chew tobacco.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is calling on Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman cited statistics from a 2004 study by Harvard University showing how in one game of the 2004 World Series, chewing tobacco received $6.4 million worth of free advertising. Waxman said that kind of advertising leads to to many teenagers becoming addicted to nicotine.
Well, Waxman's efforts to insert government into every aspect of life is running up against another Democratic cause - that of supporting labor. Apparently, Major League Baseball can't ban the use of smokeless tobacco without the agreement of the players' union.
Robert Manfred, an executive vice president for the MLB, said that banning smokeless tobacco would require negotiations with the players union.

Manfred said, “Like drug testing, the regulation of player use of tobacco products is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining with the players association. Not even the most ardent critics of smokeless tobacco use as a public health matter would argue that it compromises the competitive integrity of the game in a manner analogous to perfomance-enhancing substances."
Let's see - in a conflict between the Democrats' desire to be the government nanny for everyone and their support for unions, who will win?