Archive for November, 2006

Medical marijuana – yes

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Testimony in Michigan.

Will spanks Webb

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Is Virginia’s new Senator-elect and the Democrat’s edge in their new majority a self important boor? George Will makes the case.

I agree with the majority of economists

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Except on the minimum wage.

Drug Tsar – Milton Friedman

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I used to read Milton Friedman’s columns in Newsweek religiously. He was a pretty strict believer in the invisable hand and argued against our trillion dollar war on drugs. Here’s an appreciation.

A nuanced critique of Nancy

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

The GOP portayed Nancy Pelosi cartoonishly as a “San Francisco Liberal.” It wasn’t a very nuanced description. This political reporter doesn’t much care for her but at least he reports what he saw of her as she rose to power in the Democratic House caucus eight years ago. It suggests to me that her ego might interfere with Democratic hopes.

I should note that Jim Oberstar supported Steny Hoyer for the whip position over Jack Murtha who was Pelosi’s candidate for the Democrat’s whip. According to the article, Pelosi keeps grudges and was angry that once Hoyer challenged her for the assistant minority leader’s position. Perhaps Oberstar and the other Hoyer supporters who chose Hoyer over Murtha are keen to keep Pelosi on something of a leash.

Swearing on the Bible

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Article VI, clause 3 of the United State’s Constitution:

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Morris on the new Democrat majority

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

According to Dick Morris, who was there to see the last Democratic House majority, the Pelosi reign will accomplish very little because of the nature of their caucus. Morris’s long vendetta against the Clintonistas and his pooh poohing of the new rise of the Democrats aren’t so apparant in this analysis. Its too early to say if his grim predictions will pan out but they sound credible to me.

The Pro Life Driven Life

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

So, Barak Obama is a notorious child killer. Maybe the Pro life movement can get traction with this and revive in time for 2008.

The point that has always bothered me about pro-life zealots is their belief that contraception is an even greater evil than abortion despite the fact that it prevents abortion. In their world chastity trumps partial birth abortions. Its a wonder that they don’t put chastity belts on their billboards instead of babies.

What do Jewish Congressman swear on?

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

This columnist at says Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s and the Nation’s first Muslim Congressman, shouldn’t be permited to swear his oath of office on the Koran. Is there a New Testament in the Bible that Jewish Congressmen swear on and, if not, does the Torah count as a Bible?

When the Dems were as bad as the GOP

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

George Will reminds readers that the GOP sins outlined by Norm Ornstein were once the sins of the Democrats. Will Nancy Pelosi repeat them?

Oberstar’s transportation agenda

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

In an interview with the New Chairman of the transportation committee Jim outlines his priorities.

Is Oberstar a threat to space tourism?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Well is he?

When doubt trumps science in the Bush Adm

Friday, November 17th, 2006

But can you prove it?

Reapportionment in Iowa

Friday, November 17th, 2006

This website explains how the Iowans reaportion their legislative and congressional districts. It concludes:

Gerrymandering is having a profound impact on the political process.  The practice sharply reduces the number of competitive elections to the US House of Representatives.  For example, in 2002, only four challengers were able to defeat incumbent members of Congress, the lowest number in modern American history, according to political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.Non-competitive districts lead to entrenched, polarized legislatures.  Incumbents fear primary challenges from even-more-extreme partisans, not the other party, as a result of their “safe” districts.

By contrast, the non-partisan redistricting process has helped move politics in Iowa back toward the center.  Most Iowa politicians know they must appeal not only to their party, but also to independent voters and voters affiliated with the other party.  This inevitably leads to an emphasis on bipartisan cooperation and the public’s best interest.”

2008 Matchups

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Here’s a fun site which allows you to see the currently likely electoral results in contests between any Democrat and Republican challenger.  Currently the best Republicans seem to be McCain and Giuliani and the best Democrat is Hillary Clinton.

Alcee Hastings

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Pelosi has been knocked for supporting John Murtha over Steny Hoyer. Until I was reminded about ABSCAM I wasn’t sure this was a problem. Now the New Republic is writing about another major decision Pelosi is making which will give Rep. Alcee Hastings important oversight over national security. I recall the convictions of Hastings years ago over corruption when he was a Federal judge and his subsequent election to Congress which was seen as a vindication. I also have a recollection of seeing some program, perhaps 60 Minutes which seemed to suggest that his convictions were bogus.

Now the question is: what are Nancy Pelosi’s convictions and is she removing someone else from power because she’s wants payback?

Republican Gerrymandering

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
This congressional map of North Carolina shows the lengths to which Republicans in North Carolina went to create the most propitious districts from which to elect Republicans to Congress. Andrew Sullivan comments.

Could the Democrats have done better?

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

James Carville thinks so.

Help Murtha Police!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Congressman Murtha, ex marine and anti-Iraq War leader, was given the nod by Nancy Pelosi to vie with Steny Hoyer for a Democratic leadership position in the Congress. It looks to me as though someone is attempting to sabotage his campaign. A previously confidential videotape of Murtha sniffing around for a bribe has appeared on the Internet. Its sure to take some of the gloss off Murtha’s reputation and could undermine his campaign.

I wrote a column a year ago supportive of Murtha over his criticisms of the War in Iraq. This does not absolve him from any earlier misdeeds.

Here’s the story. Here’s the videotape. Its 57 minutes long and Jack starts bragging about his clout in Congress about 15 minutes into it. He wasn’t ultimately indicted but the video is not flattering.

Senator Webb – a conservative in liberal’s clothing?

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

That’s what this former Geo HW Bush speech writer thinks.