A nuanced critique of Nancy

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

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.”

The Pro Life Driven Life

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.

Reapportionment in Iowa

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.”

Alcee Hastings

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?

Help Murtha Police!

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.