Business News Update

In this update we’ve got musings about the administration’s fiscal stimulus package, jobless claims, existing home sales, Starbucks, the Democrats’ failed attempt at creating a federally-socialized medicine program for children, an anti-illegal immigrant state law, TV sports ratings and indirect connections with electoral politics, and business law, i.e., medical malpractice reforms.

Click the below link if you’re interested in reading more.

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Ohio Medical Malpractice Claims Drop
21% decrease in claims filed against physicians

A new report from the Ohio Department of Insurance says that medical malpractice lawsuits dropped 21 percent from 2005 to 2006.

Did doctors in Ohio suddenly get really, really careful?

Um, no, not necessarily:

The department attributed the drop in claims to changes made several years ago to medical malpractice laws by Republican lawmakers in charge of the former GOP state legislature. Some of those changes included caps on so-called ‘pain and suffering’ damages and restrictions on frivolous lawsuits against physicians.

Go figure.

Here’s a link to the AP’s report.

P.S. — California is way ahead of the curve on that issue. The Golden State enacted its medical malpractice lawsuit reforms — the so-called “MICRA” statute — over 25 years ago.

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Vox Populi

Last Sunday 54 million people watched the NFC Championship Game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers.

Fifty…four…million.

Why am I mentioning that?

Well, let’s put those 54 million football viewers into a bit of political perspective:

Most conservative Internet blogs have audiences under 0.02 million. The “big” conservative blogs, in fact, on a good day, will draw around 0.1 million readers. Many of whom are young liberal students.

In other words, cocoons are not merely for caterpillars and bubbles are not merely for chewing gum.

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Indiana Senate Panel Advances Bill to Punish Employers of Illegal Immigrants

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Here’s a link to the AP’s report, which for obvious reasons is couched in terms of its agenda, but still is worth a close perusal. There are some interesting quotes from supporters of the bill and from business leaders opposed to it.

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House GOP Defeats Socialized Medicine Program,
2nd time in three months presidential veto upheld

For the second time in three months House Republicans upheld the president’s veto of the Democrats’ desired expansion of the SCHIP program:

99% — 218 / 219 — Democrats in favor of socialized medicine for children
22% — 42 / 193 — Republicans in favor of socialized medicine for children

1% — 1 / 219 — Democrats opposed
78% — 151 / 193 — Republicans opposed

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A Dollar For Your Thoughts

Starbucks Tests $1 Cup of Coffee

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Mmmm, Starbucks.

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Existing Home Sales

Existing homes sold in December were 4.89 million units (annualized). That was below expectations and well below November’s sales figure of 5.0 million units.

The real estate markets might not bottom out until 2009. Ironically enough, the administration’s misguided deal with mortgage lenders to freeze ARM loans only will exacerbate the problem, not solve it.

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Jobless Claims

Fewer people today are being laid off from their jobs when compared to the halcyon days of the late-1990’s:

315,000 — four-week avg. of initial claims for jobless benefits, January 19, 2008
322,000 — four-week avg. of initial claims for jobless benefits, January 17, 1998

That’s despite the fact total employment is higher today by upwards of 16 million net jobs.

For obvious reasons the media will report those numbers to the general public when pigs fly over hell’s frozen pond.

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Tax Cut Plan

Here’s a link to the AP’s version of events regarding that tentative tax cut deal in Congress.

Some of you might be thinking to yourselves: “Hey, wait a minute. Why are liberal Democrats agreeing to tax cuts? What gives?”

Hello, it’s an election year. There’s a vast chasm between “Democrat” and “liberal.” Quite unlike their elected brethren, most Democrats out there on Main Street are not anywhere near liberal. In fact, a material percentage of people who reflexively vote for the label of Democrat — or against the label of Republican — are as conservative on the issues as Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich. That’s one of the sheer ironies of American politics: the left relies on subterfuge and party labels to get elected and tries to impose their agenda by stealth; but when the lights are on and people actually are paying attention liberal politicians have no choice but to sign onto the conservative agenda. Whereas the general public wouldn’t know SCHIP from the old TV show CHIPS, they most certainly pay attention to taxes.

Ironic Liberal Media Headlines of the Day
The Border