Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Graph on the state of the newspaper industry

My NB post on the circ numbers

My NB post on why newspaper bailouts would be bad for freedom of the press

Framing the debate on the results of next Tuesday's elections

In four days, voters in Virginia and New Jersey will elect a governor. Soon afterwards, political analysts will seek to interpret the deeper meaning of the results, looking for clues about what may lay ahead for next year's mid-term elections.

And for the POLITICAL grumpy vegans...

This video was part of a campaign for Prop 2 in California (which worked to get better conditions for livestock in factory farms). I think it represents the switch to new media for grassroots lobbying in elections, campaigns, and ballot initiatives...Using facebook/twitter/email in addition to airing commercials like this on TV gives the cause much more exposure at a fraction of the cost. It's also pretty well done, and i promise you'll be humming the song for the rest of the day!

For all the "Grumpy Vegans" in the room...

This may make you re-think your next hunting outing....and make you laugh...

Rep. Paul Ryan, voice of fiscal sanity

Ryan would be my first choice for President. When it comes to fiscal sustainability, he walks the walk. I don't know the details of his plan, but I'm sure it would run up against heated opposition (hands off my Medicare!). Anyway, here's an overview of his plan for balancing the budget, sans tax increases.

Public Option: A disaster in disguise?

When you construct a lousy public option, you get results like this.

Happy Birthday Chris

Tonight at midnight Mr. Chris turns 21. Hope its a crazy one.

Free speech and international law

$894 Billion or $1.274 Trillion?

7 members of Congress under investigation for ethics violations

Some Democrats, some Republicans, a little something for everybody.

Happy Halloween!



For those of us in D.C. for the weekend, does anyone have any fun Halloween things planned? What has everyone heard of going on in the area?

Time at Guantanamo Considered at Sentencing

An al-Qaeda agent was sentenced to an 8 year imprisonment, as opposed to the maximum 15 years, because the judge took into account the 6+ years he had spent while captive on a Navy brig without charges. I think the judge was absolutely correct in his decision; if someone is found guilty of a crime that would put them in prison for X years, why shouldn't we subtract the number of years already served (in Guantanamo or elsewhere) before they were charged with the crime?

Tough stuff from Peggy Noonan

"We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wow. A slim (but increasing, compared to earlier today) majority of NPR listeners are siding with FNC against White House attacks

Poll results, as of now:

White House: 152,282
Fox: 154,506
Neither: 5,927

UPDATE (8 PM) - noticing a trend

White House: 157,110
Fox: 194,993
Neither: 6,563

Fun facts about the House health bill in this Politico article

Page Count is 1,990.
Word Count: approx. 400,000.

To put that in perspective, the bill is longer than War and Peace and has five times as many words as the Torah.

NC Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, 34-years-old and 5-feet-tall, said a print-out of the bill could act as a ”booster seat" for him.

Top 10 Reasons Why Republicans Should Support the House Health Bill

Paranormal Taxivity

More on Lieberman

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Joe Lieberman Is a True Independent
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorReligion

Wed College Girls- from the NYT a hundred years ago

"They make men the best wives and have the most children..."

"President of Bryn Mawr denies they stay in the drawing room and neglect the kitchen..."

Skip Gates and Sgt. Crowley spotted together in a Cambridge bar

The conversation-Self Image and Party Politics

New York Times columnists David Brooks and Bob Herbert discuss the future of the Democratic and Republican parties.

"If conservatives won’t accept moderate candidates in the Northeast, then they are sentencing themselves to permanent minority status."


"Folks are not opposed to a health care overhaul, but they’re understandably wary. They fear it will drive the deficits higher and they’re not sure that this big, complicated, very difficult to understand system is the best thing for their families. There is genuine worry about what might happen if the new system — whatever its final contours — turns out to be unaffordable."

List of PelosiCare's taxes

Article about Reid's Senate Leadership Ties in Well with Baker

Groundhog Day: Ten Articles that Keep Appearing in the News, But Don't Happen

Revolution in a Box: Read this article about why television will save the world

Affordable Health Care for America Act

Boehner: Let America Read the Bill

Transcripts of Defeat

Describes the paralells of the Soviets struggle in Afghanistan with that of the United State's

Who said it, French environmentalist or terrorist mastermind?

“You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.”

Google it, see if you can find out.

Obama makes early morning visit to Dover AFB to honor soldiers

Philly visitors and residents don't have good things to say about the city

Ratings from residents and visitors make the City of Brotherly Love the least attractive, least stylish, least active, least friendly, and least worldly city of the 31 studied in the Travel and Leisure survey.

The URL wasn't working in the Link bar for some reason, so here it is.

Ah, the Published Life

Op-ed I wrote for Jurist this past week.

Cash for clunkers cost $24,000 per car

$8000 housing credit costs $43,000 per house

The Old Hat People?


WSJ op-ed suggesting that as the rest of society is moving toward smarter, smaller, more nimble organizations and solutions, we may be on the verge of a monstrous, one size fits all takeover of one sixth of American economy reminiscent of the irrational exuberance of the 1960's.

Singing in the rain

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lawrence Halprin, architect of the FDR Memorial, dies at 93



Click on the image to enlarge it.
Read the first letter of each line in this veto statement, starting with the third line, to see an obscene message from the Governator to the CA State Assembly.


Schwarzenegger Statement Contains Not-so-Secret Message
By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: October 28, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/us/29arnold.html?_r=2&hpw

The Hill "World Series could be game-changer for New Jersey governor’s race"

"Will voters be distracted by their teams being in the Fall Classic? Will one team win by Monday’s Game 5, spurring turnout in certain areas, while the loser’s fans stay home and sulk? Will people watching the games on TV expose themselves to even more campaign ads, and how will that affect turnout?"

...

"A Public Policy Polling survey found Christie leading Corzine 46-36 among Yankees fans, while the two tied at 40 among Phillies fans. So if the Yankees win early, maybe Christie gets a bump."

"Of course, both men profess to be Yankees fans (there are far more Yankees fans than Phillies fans in the state), so allegiance to their team shouldn’t be much of a campaign issue."

History of Arlington Cemetary

Obama Is Right About Fox News

The erroneousness of the 'net neutrality' corporate profit vs. public interest dichotomy

Tim Carney, coming through again

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Post-graciousism?

List of America's Safest Cities

For all of you who fear D.C. in the dark, this list may do something to change your mind.

"The only thing we have to fear is FOX itself"

What FDR can teach Obama about battling Fox News

Chrysler to unveil product roadmap on November 4th




"Four months after exiting a U.S.-funded bankruptcy reorganization, Chrysler Group is about to unveil a product roadmap that relies heavily on vehicles from Italian partner Fiat (FIATY) while abandoning many of the U.S. carmaker's own models.

The plan, due to be unveiled Nov. 4, involves the reintroduction of Fiat's premium, sporty Alfa Romeo brand to the U.S. starting in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon."

Lieberman says he'll support a GOP fillibuster of HarryCare

Today's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing on s.1733

Links to the Senate Committee's homepage where you can find a webcast of the hearing (it was over 3 hours long though...) and the majority and minority statements. I attended the hearing this morning, and since there was so much media presence, they only let in 9 people. I sat there for 2 hours starting at 7:30 only to view it from an overflow room (bahh!). Most Senators attended, though, so it's interesting to take a look at. Looks like our cap & trade debators did a pretty good job, as most of the same topics were debated today! Boxer dominated the room and took advantage of her power by refuting points made by the Republican Senators and fielding a first panel filled with EPA administrators and cabinet members. Very reminiscient of the reading for tomorrow in terms of how committee meetings operate, however I saw much less bipartisanship, consensus, and "unitary government" than the reading promised....

Astroturf?

Humane Society Legislative Fund Fundraiser

More amo for all of you who enjoy making fun of my internship....I'll have you know that everyone had a fantastic time, and I was complimented more than once on my outfit. More interestingly, HSLF (Humane Society Legislative Fund) is our PAC (political action committee) which only just recieved this recognition, which is very exciting due to its new set of rules regarding contributions in elections and to elected officials. The Hill Office has been really excited about this new development, and has i believe issued its first endorsements for the races in both NY and NJ, although I'm not sure if they've gone public just yet!

HSLF and the grassroots team for HSUS (Humane Society of the US) engage in large amounts of grassroots lobbying and even employ thier own version of lobbyists, so the new PAC status is very exciting for everyone involved. If anyone else is interested in animal rights, this links to the HSLF homepage/President of the Fund Mike Markarian's blog...

WSJ: TARP shouldn't be extended

The Swine is Here!

Well...there! Guess it is a good thing we are not on campus right now.

Scalia Would Have Voted to Keep School Segregation

UK gives ~$200,000 grant to radical Islamist group to set up 3 schools

More public options?

"It’s no coincidence that the cable company is always a go-to liberal example of private sector dysfunction. I would ditch Comcast in favor of a rival cable company except...there isn’t a rival cable company that served by neighborhood. Nor does my window face the right direction for DirectTV. So it’s Comcast or nobody, and thus the quality of Comcast’s offerings and customer service tends to be extremely bad. Appropriate regulation and public investment have a big role to play in this field."

WSJ op-ed arguing that we legalize insider trading

"Far from being so injurious to the economy that its practice must be criminalized, insiders buying and selling stocks based on their knowledge play a critical role in keeping asset prices honest—in keeping prices from lying to the public about corporate realities.

Prohibitions on insider trading prevent the market from adjusting as quickly as possible to changes in the demand for, and supply of, corporate assets. The result is prices that lie."

What if Bush Did it?

President Obama and President Bush, apparently not as different as President Obama and Candidate Obama.

Stay classy, Alan

“Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?” asked Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).

CNN Drops to Last Place Among Cable News Networks

U.S. News & World Report: America's Best Places to Live, Work, and Retire

Thought this might be interesting to those who may be looking for a career or place to settle in the near future, or just want to see where they would enjoy living someday. Answer survey questions about your preferences with regard to population, climate, employment, crime, and career fields, then get a look at your personalized results with detailed information for each city including median home price, average income, cost of living, commute times, even nearby schools and hospitals.
(My top results were mostly in northern VA, NC, and TX)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apparently we are a bilingual nation - we speak English and Bad English

Someone emailed this to me as a 'story tip.' It's certainly a story, but not in the sense he imagined.

"TO RICK SANCHEZ : I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR SAYING THE RIGHT THING TO DAY ON HOW A FELLOW AMERICAN WAS TREATED BY THE TWO SPANISH SPEAKING NEWS LADY ON THE HOTEL INCCIDENT. PEOPLE DO NOT RELIZE WHAT MAKES US GREAT.IT IS WE SPEAK ONE LANGUAGE. THIS IS WHAT KEEPS US TOGETHER GOOD OR BAD.THE SEPERTIVES ARE TRYING TO DEVIDE US BY THE POWER OF HAVING TWO LANGUAGE. THIS WILL GIVE ONE GROUP MORE CONTROL AND POWER ON OUR SYSTEM THREW STATE,GOV.,CITY, AND POLICTICAL POWER. THIS ONE GROUP OVER THE OTHER WILL END THE AMERICA THAT WE LOVE. THE STEP TO BECOME AMERICAN IS TO LEARN ENGLISH. AND TO HAVE THE LOVE AND WILL TO LEARN THIS LANGUAGE. I'M AMERICAN IRISH NOT A IRISH AMERICAN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE THANK YOU FOR BEING A REAL AMERICAN. ONE LANGUAGE,ONE HEART,ONE COUNTRY. JUST LOOK AT CANADA TO SEE WHAT TWO LANGUAGE CAN DO TO A COUNTRY."

Afghan Election Rests on the Backs of Donkeys

Christie Vilsack Not Challenging Iowa Sen. Grassley

We could have had an alum in the Senate.

Myths of our Afghanistan debate

Although this article was published in the NY Post, not exactly a paper that represents excellence in journalism, I thought this article was excellent. It was recommended by Chris Isham, the CBS Washington Bureau Chief, and an Afghanistan expert.

CHEESESTEAKS FOR CHEESECAKES: NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA SENATORS WAGER ON YANKEES-PHILLIES WORLD SERIES

World Series Begins Wednesday Night-If Yankees
Win Series, NY Sens Will Get Supply of Philly Cheesesteaks, If Phillies Win Series, PA Sens Will Get Supply of Junior's Cheesecakes


With the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies set to begin the World Series Wednesday night in New York, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today announced that they have made a bet on the outcome of the series. The winners of the bet will receive a supply of delicacies from the loser’s home state, cheesesteaks from Philadelphia or Junior’s cheesecakes from New York.



“I give Senators Specter and Casey credit for sticking with their team but I can already taste those delicious Philly cheesesteaks,” Schumer said. “And even though the Phillies won the World Series last year, there’s no comparing the Yankees’ 26 World Series victories to the Phillies’ two. When the dust settles, I am confident that the Yankees will be victorious and Senator Gillibrand and I will be enjoying our Philly cheesesteaks.”



“It’s great to see the Bronx Bombers back in the World Series with so many familiar faces from their storied run in the 1990’s,” Specter said. “Unfortunately for the Yankees, tradition alone will do them little good against Charlie Manuel’s fearsome lineup. I look forward to enjoying the New York cheesecakes, although nothing will be as sweet as the Phillies’ back-to-back titles.”



"After impressive performances in both the National League Division and Championship series, I am confident that the Phillies are well on their way to becoming back-to-back World Series Champions,” said Senator Casey. “If the Phillies keep up their extraordinary efforts at the plate, on the mound and in the field, it is only a matter of time until Senator Specter and I are able to enjoy some delicious cheesecake.”



“I look forward to a great World Series and enjoying a cheese steak to celebrate the Yankee victory with my friends Senators Casey and Specter,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It should be a terrific matchup between two great organizations, but I give the edge to the Bronx Bombers. The last team to win back-to-back World Series championships was our Yankees – that record will hold strong this year. Their lineup and pitching is superb and New York does have the best fans in the world. Go Yankees!”



This is the Yankees first trip to the World Series since 2003. The Phillies won the World Series in 2008. The Yankees and Phillies played the World Series in 1950, and the Yanks swept in 4 games.

Editorial: Region needs U.S. attorney

Biulding on Evan's article on Republican obstructionism.

Anyone dressing up as Barakula for Halloween?



Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill" also tweeted about this spooky new mask being sold on HalloweenExpress.com for $34.99!

Barack the Barbarian

A must-have on your holiday shopping list, ladies and gents! Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill" tweeted about this new Obama Comic book series...



"From a far away land rises a mighty hero. The son of peasants from two different realms, the one known only as Barack protects the people of Hope Kingdom at all costs. Watch as he takes on the likes of Boosh the Dim, Red Sarah and Cha-nee the Grim in this hilarious first issue!"



"Barack begins his assault on the Elephant Tower by entering the dreaded Labyrinth of Right Turns guarded by the Screeching Enchantress and her many-headed dogs. Meanwhile his other enemies plot and scheme and work their dire magicks."

State of Distress

Re: Corzine and the NJ gubernatorial race.

The kicker: "NJ could raise up its own army and invade Pennsylvania, and all the state voters would want to talk about, still, would be their PROPERTY TAXES."

Tea Party Ready to Hit the Road

Don't these people have jobs?

New rules due on defense outsources

More Republican obstructionism

Hotel Owners Changes Employee's Names

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yuppie 911


"Tired from a hike? Now, with the Yuppie 911, you send a message to a satellite and the government pulls your butt out of something you shouldn't have been in in the first place." Hooray!

The Left vs. The Right

A really cool picture. Thoughts?

UN investigating human rights abuses in the US, but they have nothing to do with war, torture, or terrorism

"Health Insurance" company doesn't provide insurance, leaves customers out in the cold

This sort of thing is unbelievable. It's really a consumer protection issue, but we need more of that, too.

Scientology Spokesman Walks Out of Interview

the Bros on the Hill



"At Home With George Miller, Richard J. Durbin, Charles E. Schumer and Bill Delahunt:
Taking Power, Sharing Cereal"
NY Times
Jan. 18 2007


Sen. Durbin kills rats with his bare hands. Sen. Schumer doesn't make the bed.


An oldie, but a goodie. The article goes along with the "Living in Washington" unit of our program.

Is Bam too much of a Bro?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Schumer-Big John Showdown on health care (Round 2), Meet the Press tomorrow! 10:30am Ch 4



I spent all of yesterday researching for Chuck, so I'm emotionally invested in this show now.

Wish I could afford that...

Mayor Bloomberg of New York has recently broken the record for personal spending on his political campaigns. He spent $85 million on his last campaign and, after his upcoming campaign, is likely to have spent a total of $250 million on his political campaigns. Crazy.

More on Obama vs. Fox

"This White House has demonstrated our willingness to exclude Fox News from newsmaking interviews, but yesterday we did not," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Will Schumer amendment doom health care?

The Schumer Snowe Adverse Selection Guarantee Amendment.

Noonan on Obama

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spanish versus English

I have attached a link about cops being investigate for ticketing drivers for not speaking English.

"Under the Dallas City Code, taxi drivers must be able to communicate in English. Mitchell said there is also a federal statute that says commercial drivers must speak English, but it would not have applied in this case."

I fail to see how the latter part does not apply in this situation. And shouldn't English be a law for drivers considering all the street signs and warnings are in English? (If someone says we should make them bilangual...)



This is the second time Spanish has come up at work today. Today we had two callers who demanded to speak to someone who could speak Spanish because they did not know enough English for their complaint. Anyone else find this a little ridiculous?

Outfoxed

For some reason, it is only recently that we are all talking about and debating Fox News' credibility. The White House's refusal to endorse and work with the most biased "legit" news organization has been met with tons of criticism and whiplash. Having not said anything about this stuff for a while, I feel like finally giving my amazingly awesome 2 cents.

What Fox News is doing is not new and I think people are forgetting this. Fox News has been known to have a skewed perspective on politics for years now and just because the left is in power and fighting back does not mean Fox News was not just as bad before. I once took a political journalism class many years ago and we watched an enlightening and interesting movie called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004). This movie highlights (with evidence!!!!!!) how Fox News is run and how this bias goes way behind the camera and all the way to the top. Any self respecting journalist should watch this movie and make judgements for themselves. Obviously it may be a little bias on what evidence it shows, but its not like the makers make anything up.

Before we continue arguing about and debating whether Fox News is biased or whether MSNBC is more biased, we should all see this movie. I await the upcoming feature film Outpeacocked: General Electric's War on Red Refridgerators ...

Surge against Fox out of Alinsky playbook?

The bible of community organizers.

It all makes sense now

Wondering how the American public could hold such an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, yet express agreement with the GOP on virtually all major electoral issues? Here's Gov. Pawlenty to explain:

GOP favorable rating lowest in a decade

"The Republican Party's favorable rating among Americans is at lowest level in at least a decade, according to a new national poll.

Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 54 percent viewing the GOP negatively.

According to the poll, 53 percent have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, with 41 percent holding an unfavorable view. The survey indicates that favorable ratings for the Democrats have dropped 5 points since February, with the Republican number slipping 3 points."

Of Climate Change and Nuclear Power

NYT: "Nuclear power should play an essential role in our efforts to mitigate climate change, argues Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and longtime environmental activist."

GOP takes the lead on all 10 major issues, according to Rasmussen

"For the first time in recent years, voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 key electoral issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The GOP holds double-digit advantages on five of them."

Obama graces NJ with his presence


The NJ and VA gubernatorial elections will arguably set a tone for 2010 elections. This is how Obama weighs in:
"'Jon Corzine was one of the best colleagues I had in the Senate, and he is one of the best partners I have in the White House,' Obama told a roaring crowd at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Rothman Center."
-Spare me, Mr. President, please. You were were in the Senate together for a few months.

"'You've had a leader who has fought for what matters most to the people of New Jersey,' Obama said."

-Last time I checked, what matters most is property taxes, and we have the highest in the nation!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The article goes on to note that, "Republican candidate Christopher J. Christie has, by contrast, spent the week meeting voters in small settings to discuss property taxes, which polls consistently rank as the top issue in the state."

-Now that's what I'm talking about!

YES! THIS IS AWESOME!

Leave it to a jarhead...

Rise of the Mob Economy

How's Kenneth Feinberg's Brando impression?

The Left takes on The Left

Who says I can't treat both sides equally? I may not like Dick Cheney, but he isn't, er, a vampire. Grayson is certainly providing good entertainment value, though.

Some Dems worry about surge against Fox News

The Chicago Way

The Chamber of Commerce is only the latest target of the Chicago Gang in the White House.

Effing Canadians (sorry Soni)

Citizens of Montreal are protesting Dubya's visit in a very mature and respectful manner.

'The Week' quotes my latest NewsBusters post in story on Anderson Cooper

MediaMatters takes on Fox



I enjoyed watching this; it's like the best of FOX crazy over the past 10 months.

Senator Byrd stands up for safety of elementary school students


This is why I do not, cannot, support Obama - UPDATE: I was duped

This was a hoax. Obama never wrote this. I apologize and offer my retraction. Glad it spurred some discussion though.

Firefighter v. New Haven, again

It'll be interesting to see if this makes it to the Supreme Court, and if it does, how they handle it.

Senate GOP campaign chief Cornyn turns his attention to New York race

Cornyn thinks the GOP can beat Gillibrand in 2010. Do I detect the potential for a little roommate rivalry?

The Aryan Sisterhood


A few years old, but blondes still rule on Fox. And Megyn Kelly is a great newswoman!

The Hammer on the War on Fox

Intrigue behind the war

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Okay, so I just saw the picture link for this on the huffington post, but really...

I don't know why anyone would actually worry about these people's influence as 'global warming deniers.'  Instead, they should worry about the developing nations where even fewer people acknowledge, or care about, global warming.  Also, read this article about why the Copenhagen summit will not lead to real change in energy...
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/10/16/recipe_for_failure

Did Dede commit a class A misdemeanor?

National Review, the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, RedState, BigGovernment.com, Ace of Spades, and RedCounty have all called on her to step down from the race. Smacks of desperation. Then again, it appears she may have committed a crime.

The Nation preps book mocking Palin

Dede in deep doo doo?

From Gitmo to Amherst?

Conservatives roar; Republicans tremble

Giant Seagull Interrupts News Anchor



Just saw this clip on MSNBC...

Prices vs. costs in the House health care bill

Algae Key to Climate Change Reform?

Market-friendly health care

Gillibrand's Op-Ed in WSJ about Cap and Trade

Good for New York? Sounds good to me.

The Racialization (is that a word?) of the Justice Department

"The department ruled that white voters in Kinston [N.C.] will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters' right to elect the candidates they want."

Umm...what? So much for post-racial.

Did You Know: WJ Hosts Wear Pants

Anthony Weiner brightens my day:
(this is pretty exciting stuff around here)

A World Without Cars

Take a look at these two new versions of the segway, PUMA and the U3-X

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY4msj5Q05Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCSQPnGkt78

Are we someday going to live in a world without cars? God, I hope not.

An Open Letter to Bill Maher

More on microtargeting

What is microtargeting?

What a good looking group!

Text of Cheney speech

Is it a Balloon Boy world?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Congress Agrees on Moving Guantanamo Inmates

"The compromise passed by both chambers of Congress," and now heading to Obama to sign, "would allow the government to bring Guantanamo inmates to U.S. soil only if they are going to face trial in American courts."

Under the bus over Gitmo?

Obama and the Chamber

Competition in health care

Gov. Corzine's use of vast wealth is 'corrosive' to N.J. public

"Money is [Corzine's] go-to solution. He used it to get rid of Carla Katz, the union leader and his former lover, and to buy silence from her brother-in-law. He used it to bail out a woman who was stalking a political ally. And he’s using it today to make sure everyone in the state remembers that Chris Christie, the Republican candidate, is indeed fat."

Restaurant Czar


Thoughts on this place for lunch in Old Town next week?

a Capitol idea

Reminder: email me by midnight tonight (or comment on this post) if you are interested in taking a tour of the Capitol on Wednesday, November 11th. Tour is about an hour long and will probably take place between 2pm and 4pm.

Fred disses Dede

Public opinion on closing Gitmo

A polarizing issue.

J Street

Tea partiers and Perotistas

WSJ on Dede

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Painful Mideast Truth: Force Trumps Diplomacy

Brings to mind a Heinlein quote: "Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and thoroughly immoral — doctrine that 'violence never solves anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."

Many feel that Bill Clinton deserves the Nobel Peace prize more than Obama

Another hoax: Fake U.S. Chamber of Commerce Press Conference

More Scozzafava

This was mainly posted so I could type Scozzafava a few more times today, but also because it's a pretty weird race that's getting weirder.

Scozzafava!

Edit: This is sort of a follow-up to Lachlan's earlier post.
Scozzafava Name Meaning and History
Italian: phrasal nickname or occupational name for someone who removed beans from their pods, from scozzare ‘to shell’ + fava ‘bean’.

Man behind 'Green Acres' and 'The Addams Family' theme songs dies

These shows were hilarious...still are.

Oprah nabs exclusive interview with Palin

This should be interesting:

"Harpo Productions [Winfrey's production company] announced Tuesday that the former governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential candidate will appear on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' on Monday, Nov. 16.

According to Harpo, the interview will be Palin’s first about her new book, 'Going Rogue: An American Life,' and it will be the first time Palin and Winfrey will meet."

Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains this Wednesday Afternoon?

It is less than an hour and a half drive from our apartments to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Shenendoah Valley. People say that the Blue Ridge mountains when the foliage is in full color is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The October specials menu at Open City includes the quote- that in October "every leaf is a flower in full bloom."

Just How Relevant Is Political Science?

Political scientists are "vigorously debat[ing] the field’s direction, what sort of questions it pursues, even how useful the research is."

...

Jeffrey C. Isaac: " 'We’re kidding ourselves if we think this research typically has the obvious public benefit we claim for it,' he said. 'We political scientists can and should do a better job of making the public relevance of our work clearer and of doing more relevant work.' "

...

"In [Joseph Nye's] view statistical techniques too often determine what kind of research political scientists do, pushing them further into narrow specializations cut off from real-world concerns. The motivation to be precise, Mr. Nye warned, has overtaken the impulse to be relevant."


And more!

Death Penalty

Apparently the Death Penalty is more expensive than life without parole.

Temple Univeristy's David Horowitz Freedom Center responds to the Muslim Students Association's calls for the cancellation of speech by Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders is perhaps one of the most prominent critics of radical Islam. The Temple DHFC invited him to speak on the dangers of 'Islamofascism', and were met, unsurprisingly by intense resistance from the MSA, who called on the University to cancel the event. This is the respsonse from the DHFC.

Only 34 percent of Californians approve of Pelosi's performance

Because I know we all love polls!

Scozzafava campaign calls the cops on a Weekly Standard reporter

Got this email from a NewsBusters reader

I don't think it says anything dramatic about the health care bill specifically, but more about the legislative process and the system of federal regulations we have in place.

"
After browsing the 1502 page "America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009"

I did some simple word counts.

The following words appear in the bill
Offense 10 times
Regulation 34 times
Failure 48 times
Penalty 79 times
Tax 123 times
Committee 130 times
Fee 136 times
Rules 166 times
Require 784 times
However, the word "help" only appears 5 times, and "affordable" appears 25
times.



The following entries serve to make the document incomprehensible and
relate to directing the reader to either a different part of the document
or another document entirely.

Clause 449 times
Paragraph 1102 times
Subsection 1165 times
Section 2589 times"

Monday, October 19, 2009

House Oversight Committee Democrats Walk Out

Faced with a promised vote to subpoena documents on Countrywide Financial's "Friends of Angelo" program, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee fled a scheduled 2 p.m. markup on Thursday. There were complications with Chris Dodd and his relationship to Countrywide, amongst other Dems, that prompted the walkout. And, of course, in this age of technology a Republican Staffer was their to film it and put it on youtube. If you look below the portrait on the white wall you might see a strapping young gentleman from this program (hint: its me!).

World's first underwater cabinet meeting




Discovery Channel, Oct. 19, 2009 -- Hoping to draw attention to his country's unique challenges in the face of climate change, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, held the world's first underwater cabinet meeting.

Amongst the fish and coral in a blue lagoon off Girifushi Island, President Nasheed, his vice president and 11 cabinet ministers used the occasion to sign a document calling for an international effort to halt global warming.

...

Each member of the president's team donned scuba gear and sat at a desk equipped with nameplates and waterproof pencils. They all employed hand signals to communicate with one another.

Save the Pigs!

First pig gets the H1N1. Do we call it swine flu again?

Opportunities missed in fatal Texas arson case

This article contains a more detailed account of what happened. It's been in the papers at home for weeks but has not turned into a campaign issue and probably never will. You just can't politically defend a convicted murderer in Texas, no matter how innocent they appear to be.

Analysis shows Perry rarely halts or delays executions

Basic Guantanamo Information

This NPR Q&A is really good for basic information about Guantanamo.

Public Opinion on Guantanamo Issue

Rasmussen polling found that "seventy-five percent (75%) of U.S. voters are at least somewhat concerned that dangerous terrorists will be set free if the Guantanamo prison camp is closed and some prisoners are transferred to other countries. Fifty-six percent (56%) are very concerned."

Also interesting is that apparently 57% of Americans feel that closing Guantanamo will not improve American-Muslim relations.

Lawmakers Battle on Census Citizenship Question

Should we be determining how many people or how many citizens (and resident aliens, etc.) live in the country? In other words, should the number of legal residents of a given area determine the allocation of federal funds, political representation, and everything else the census determines? I certainly think so.

Small businesses struggle to stay afloat under the weight of NYC's regulatory and taxation regimes

Creative Policy for Prisons (near Hamilton in CNY!)

Despite the funneling painkillers to thier volunteers, this seems like a very effective policy. Also interesting -- Hamilton has a English class on prison literature and the professor teaches a book club for a prison nearby. Students have had the opportunity to sit in on these book clubs for inmates. Both of these stories about new prison policies raise your awareness of how inmates do perhaps change in prison, or are at least willing to do some very constructive things in order to pass the time. Perhaps there's more than just a chain gang model for having inmates be constructive, and we can better THEM and work towards thier own rehibilitation more directly as well as bettering the outside world?

Texas may have executed an innocent man

Really interesting/weird story. This article's a bit old, but lately it seems that Rick Perry has been axing people investigating the issue.

I'm not actually sure where I fall on the overarching issue of the death penalty, but I think it's in our best interests for the state to not kill innocent people.

Opinion Pieces on the Challenges with Closing Gitmo

Catholics may halt healthcare reform

Apparently healthcare is a right but the choice for an abortion is not.

Obama DOJ says it won't prosecute patients legally (under state law) prescribed medicinal marijuana

'Bout time. This issue has been a terrible stain on the records of Republicans who claim to be for States' Rights yet allow federal drug laws to supersede those of the 11 (13?) states in which medicinal marijuana is legal. How you can justify imprisoning cancer patients who find relief from their suffering by smoking pot (legally!) is absolutely beyond me.

Thank God! New Rasmussen poll: Both Romney and Huckabee would crush Palin head-to-head

NYT reporter talks about being held captive by the Taliban

Really, really interesting article. Part of a series, so it's worth keeping up with.

Decision on Afghan Troops May Wait

Perfect strategy from the Whitehouse. Do not overshadow the healthcare debate by making a big decision that would fundamentally change American foreign policy. Emanuel cites a somewhat legitimate reason that is hard to debate, unless you actually care about winning the war instead of advancing your political agenda.

Closing Gitmo to salvage "moral authority"?

Obama claims Gitmo has damaged America's "moral authority" by holding inmates ["enemy combatants"] without charge or trial and that it actually "weakens" our national security by spuring the enemy's rallying calls against America and what it stands for....

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Sen. Kent Conrad (Left) and his dog, Dakota, in the Senate elevator.

The intern sitting right next to you could be an undercover Muslim spy

Roll Call: Heard on the Hill 10.15.09

Intern 007. Until now, we thought the worst offenses that interns were capable of were crimes against fashion (no, ID badges do NOT go with everything) and underage drinking.

But according to Rep. Sue Myrick, those clueless-looking interns might actually be undercover secret agents.

The North Carolina Republican, along with Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), on Wednesday accused the Muslim advocacy nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations of trying to plant lowly interns in Congressional offices in an effort to sway U.S. policies.

The Members pointed to revelations in a new book, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” In that book, authors P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry cite a 2007 internal CAIR strategy memo stating that the group would “develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices” and accused the group of having ties to Hamas.

CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper told HOH that Gaubatz stole documents from CAIR but could not confirm or deny the authenticity of the memo.

“It’s really ridiculous that elected officials want to attack a group for doing something that every American has the right to do — and merely because we’re Muslim,” Hooper said.

Left unexplained by either side is how mail-sorting, coffee-fetching interns actually, ah, influence policy.

'1968' - A catchy musical number from 'An American Carol'

The Truth Behind the Franken Amendment

After year without, family finds middle ground

"Along with his wife and young daughter, Colin Beavan had just spent a year trying to reduce their net environmental impact to almost zero. With a flip of a switch, they had cut their Manhattan apartment off from the electrical grid. They had stopped using anything disposable or buying anything new. In a city of skyscrapers, they had given up elevators. They went everywhere by
bicycle, bought food directly from local farmers, had even sworn off toilet paper.

It had been a year of rules, a year in which nearly every aspect of their lives had been shaped by what they were not allowed to do. And now it was over."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wall Street: It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp

Goldman Sachs makes money without government help and plans to pay its employees well...cue the outrage?

Really?

Not saying this isn't a good cause, but are acts like these really deserving of congressional time? You know, because its not like there are any other issues out there that should be taken care of before the senate goes out of session in upcoming weeks.

And yes, I got to espn.com for my political research, it has great links.

NFL Owners Who Use the N-Word and Wet Their Pants On Stage

Official EIB Obama criticizer Bo Snerdley speaks to the 'hood

Not Political But Still Awesome

They should have thought of this years ago.

DC Voting Measure Could be Added to Defense Spending Bill

"House Democratic leaders are considering floor action on a proposal to give the District of Columbia a full voting member in the House of Representatives. The provision would be attached to the conference report on the fiscal 2010 Defense appropriations bill, which is expected on the floor within the next few weeks. The Democrats would be reprising a strategy they used Oct. 8 when they attached legislation expanding the definition of federal hate crimes to the conference report on the defense authorization bill. Republicans generally opposed that maneuver and are poised to oppose any other move to grant the nation’s capital full representation in the House. The D.C. voting measure has long been a Democratic priority. A clue to House Democrats’ thinking came Thursday afternoon on the floor during the weekly colloquy about upcoming schedules. Republican Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy of California asked Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer if rumors were true that the Defense spending bill would include the D.C. vote bill. “I’ve heard discussion,” replied Hoyer, D-Md. “I will continue to fight to find any way to bring that to the floor.” The District’s non-voting House delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton , said the idea originated with Appropriations Committee members. She cautioned, however, that no decision has been made and that she has identified a number of ways that the language could come up for a vote."

From Congressional Quarterly

Stimulating jobs in NYC for $9 million apiece

D.C. Voting Measure Could Be Added to Defense Spending Bill

GOP hopefuls for 2012 (Rasmussen)

Huckabee 29%
Romney 24%
Palin 18%
Gingrich 14%
Pawlenty 4%
Other 6%
Undecided 7%

Chamber: They Just Hate Us Because We're Awesome

U.S. Chamber of Commerce's response to recent departures and attacks.

What Conservatives Think

A study from a Democratic polling outfit. Probably the most interesting quote:

One thing that the firm makes clear, though, is that this is not about racism, but about ideology: "Instead of focusing on these intense ideological divisions, the press and elites continue to look for a racial element that drives these voters' beliefs - but they need to get over it. Conducted on the heels of Joe Wilson's incendiary comments at the president's joint session address, we gave these groups of older, white Republican base voters in Georgia full opportunity to bring race into their discussion - but it did not ever become a central element, and indeed, was almost beside the point."

The voters in these focus groups saw Obama as being deliberately out to destroy the American economy in order to undermine personal freedoms, and that the speed of his agenda was a part of this strategy:

Superfreakonomics research not so super

Long, but worth it.

Obama Reaching Across the Aisle...and Back in Time

Health-Care Grudge Match

"There are a couple of things you have to have in this town, and your good name is one of them." Just like we learned on Wednesday night, you can't flat-out lie as a lobbyist in Washington. Apparently, Karen Ignagni did not get the memo.

4th grader to Obama: "Why does everyone hate you?"

From an interview with John Mayer in The Vulture (sorry about the profanity)

What do you think about health care? Would you take the public option?

"Have you ever heard me play guitar? I’m really fucking good. You know what I’m bad at? Answering questions about public health care. This is not in my wheelhouse. Do you have any questions about music? I almost got a mad need to lighten up. You need to lighten up, because the questions you asked me were all troublemaking questions. If someone gave me the Nobel Peace Prize, and I didn’t deserve it, I would just shut my mouth and enjoy the hell out of it."

A story emailed to me by a coworker

John the farmer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called pullets and eight or ten roosters, whose job was to fertilize the eggs.

The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn't perform went into the soup pot and was replaced.
That took an awful lot of his time so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so John could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing.

Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.

The farmer's favorite rooster was old Butch, a very fine specimen he was, too. But on this particular morning John noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

John went to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

But to Farmer John's amazement, Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

John was so proud of Butch, he entered him in the county fair and Butch became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result....The judges not only awarded Butch the "No Bell Piece Prize" but they also awarded him the "Pulletsurprise" as well.

Clearly Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention?

Before Holly could get to it....

Putting health care debate in context

Louisiana Priest doesn't Marry Interracial Couple

Thoughts?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

BBC piece about alcoholic monkeys

Not sure if anyone's posted this, but very interesting synopsis of our moment in the War in Afghanistan

The Company Town

The company town
friendship's reassurance, but
won't last forever

What's Brinkley Talking About?

The housing sucks here?
Fortune must favor the bold,
Or just Hamilton.

Haiku

Rain falls, wet and cold
I sink deeper into bed
Far away from here

My Haiku

The cold, the dark, and
New Arrivals remind us
of what was missing

DC Housing History

Every city has had to go through a development boom, usually prompted by WWII, but I find it almost impossible to imagine what Washington was like without the scores of apartment buildings it has today (much less with shoddy temporary housing on the mall). Some of my favorite historic photographs are of cities then and now, with the "then" photos having small, spread-out buildings, unpaved streets, and fields still scattered here and there. Now, American cities couldn't function without towering skyscrapers and socioeconomically defined (and redefined) neighborhoods. Still, though, the common theme between then and now is that housing in the city is still costly, and the best housing can be hard to come by if you don't have the money or enough roommates.

Protocol

Protocol

The protocol, here at the ball
Is different from at home.
The chattering, here in the ring
is not what you'd expect?

From medicare to energy
from DC vote to guns
The chattering, here in the ring
is JUST what you'd expect.

What dress to wear? To wear your hair?
These questions still come up....
But when in doubt an expert see
Can really help you out!

A toga here, a toga there
it matters less and less
But protocol, here on the hill
Will never just fade out.

So talk the talk, and walk the walk,
and never miss a step
The atmosphere, here in DC
Will never excuse mistake.

Weeks

Rain Making Me Sad
Retinas Burnt from P Fever
Week Almost Done Now

Did you say "half over?" already?

newcomers fly in
where is all the time going
back to the hill soon

David Brinkley on affordable housing

In David Brinkley's article on affordable housing, he talks about how hard it was to procure housing in Washington during World War II. The government rapidly expanded during that period, and the housing market wasn't able to keep up with the massive influx of workers. Brinkley talks about high ranking officials; congressmen and agency department heads, who were living with roommates in hotel rooms.
Housing is still scarce in the district. Many young professionals are forced by financial constraints to live in the suburbs and commute to work every day. While suburban living can be ideal for family life, it is not as optimal for a social young professional who works long hours. Maybe employers should build dorm like buildings for there young employees?

Ways and Means puts nuclear option on the launchpad

Advice from Bayh

D.C. “smorgasbord”
Always accept the invites
Talk is politics

It still applies over 40 years later!

Can Corzine win by veering left?

Differences over health care

Burst of creativity inspired by Marvella Bayh's essay

What is for dinner?
Health care reform on a bed
of hot partisans.

AMA going wobbly

Power Dynamics

Influential man
Indistinguishable from
A hard-working mom

Do I really have to go back to Sangertown Mall?

Economy bad
D.C. full of young and rich
Three months way too short

The Cult of Exclusivity

An observation on the second to last day of my internship in Minority Leader John Boehner's office- When I first began in August I received a red identification badge. I was told it basically grants me access to run around The Capital building and Senate/House office building. Cool. Little did I know, this red staffer I.D. would actually open a number of unexpected doors. This token of entitlement allowed me to enter the floor galleries at my own convenience, sit in on hearings and other legislative meetings, observe press conferences (and consequently appear on C-SPAN), and most the most lucrative opportunity of all, to shmooze and wine & dine with lobbyists during receptions who don't know your an intern, and take you for a staffer. All in all, great ways to spend your day as an intern.

But on the eve of the revocation of my little red badge, I come to realize all these opportunities I have been so hungrily taking advantage of, have left me with some pervasive sense of entitlement. After all, the majority of the things I attended, the average citizen could attend as well after passing through a simple security check. Until one becomes a member, they really aren't being exposed to anything exceptionally special and for the most part, this "cult of exclusivity" exists only in the minds of staffers eager to sustain a hefty ego. So long Capital hill, I look forward to further encounters in the future.

The Constituent

Eagerly waiting
Serious concerns addressed
Gossiping upstairs

ACORN is now a punchline

For those of you who missed last night's South Park

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on 'Conscious Capitalism'

Terrible interviewers, but Mackey is the man.

CBO on climate bill

Building off of my last reflective post on the Washingtonian

"Springtime in Washington made the connection: This was my home, and I loved it..."

I've wanted to live and work in Washington since I first read 1984 in the tenth grade. I am only now realizing that I am very close to fulfilling that dream. Come December, Washington will truly be my home, and I can't wait. It's an exhilarating feeling.

Bayh articulates, in detail, the sophisticated culture of Washington that I so enjoy and that I clumsily expounded upon in my last reflective blog post. D.C. is the city of the upscale, pragmatic professionals, who dine like kings, converse like statesmen, and work their hands to the bone (so to speak). I cannot wait to be part of this culture. As my roommates will attest, I love to dress formally, I enjoy upscale company, and I can't help but talk politics at the dinner table.

I just hope that my memoir of my time in this city does not end the way Mrs. Bayh's did.

Ariana to Biden: Resign!

Animal Advocate to Retire

The Humane Society mourns the loss of Wexler who was a strong advocate for animals with a 100% score on the Humane Scorecard.

It's also interesting that he will leave mid-term to take on this job for the Middle East...I hope he makes enough of a difference to justify leaving before he finishes up at least?

A Rush to Ruin: the Left's Character Assasination Campaign Against Rush Limbaugh

How the public option links in

One reason for including it.

Meet the Nobel nominees who were passed over for Obama

More Health Problems for Justice Ginsburg

This is not the Ruth Gisburg I saw. Stay strong Ruth.

Administration fights to protect secret propaganda budget

We Are All Rush Limbaugh

New DC?

What not to wear

Ten worst dressed world leaders.

NJ animal rights activists case has S.C. potential

"A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld the convictions of six activists, including a Hamilton resident, found guilty of using their internet website to incite threats and harassment against a company that tests products on animals.

Employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences found themselves besieged with attacks by animal rights activists after the postings. One Montgomery woman, Carol Auletta, who worked at the company’s offices in Franklin Township, had testified the harassment continued for at least a year, from 2002 to 2003, at her home and in downtown Princeton Borough.

Robert Obler, a Lawrenceville attorney representing former Hamilton resident Darius Fulmer, said the ruling will be appealed.

'I’m fairly sure we will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court,' he said. 'We knew all along we would.'

Convicted in a 2006 trial were Fullmer, Conroy, Joshua Harper of Seattle, Andrew Stepanian of Huntington, N.Y., and Lauren Gazzola and Kevin Kjonaas, who lived with Conroy in Pinole, Calif."

30 Republican senators refuse to vote for anti-rape provision.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rape-Nuts
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview


I really wish this was a joke. Unfortunately, it isn't.

Huge deficits loom.....

so let's ignore the law and give social security recipients $250 at a cost of $13 billion.

No such thing as free lunch-- or health care

North Korea Party


Which fraternity will boldly go where a party has never been. Cognac, lobster, running suits-- what could be better.

George Will is doing the wave.

Losing Joementom

Rove on health care end game

In praise of lobbyists


Perfect timing, after our meeting last night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dems undermine free speech in hate crimes ploy

Gay people march on DC

And nobody really cares.

Estimates are in the tens of thousands - similar to what was estimated for tea parties - but it isn't exactly dominating the next-day news cycle.

The "liberal media:" not actually all that liberal. But very willing to put a mic to the mouth of people spouting right-wing hissy fits. Not so much with liberals who do the same.

Russia Gas Pipeline Heightens East Europe’s Fears

This doesn't have much at all to do with American politics, but it is a great article on oil politics, so I thought I'd share the link.

while were on the talk of the partisan era, an interesting NYT debate about olympia snowe

Are State Constitutions Necessary?

Tom Emmer (R-MN) has been pushing for an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution that would "allow the state government to reject any federal effort to create a universal health care program or individuals to reject any federal mandate to buy insurance" (quote taken from video summary for the below clip). Below I posted a short section of Emmer on the Washington Journal where he responds to the feasibility of a state constituion overruling a national law by asking, "are state constitutions even necessary if federal law trumps the state constitution every time?"

I personally like his first counter argument that the dissenters are "experts on the United States Constitution and...federal legal experts," which apparently means they aren't reliable sources. Also, apparently his proposed amendment has caused a bunch of 10th Amendment arguments, but I'm not sure how supporters can appeal to the 10th Amendment if federal legislation passes and establishes a national law.

Utica area college professor charged with DWI twice in same night

They sure are classy down at MVCC!

The Redskins making history

For all those people who do not follow football or our hometown team the Redskins, the team will be making history this Sunday when they face the Kansas City Chiefs. That game will mark the 6th straight time the Redskins play a winless team. By the way, the 'Skins are 2-3 in those previous five. Poor Washington sports.

Republicans Need a Leader

Who can play Newt Gingrich's role from 1994 in the 2010 election?

MRC's Bozell Demands CNN, MSNBC Source Racist Charges Against Limbaugh

Dupont Circle and non-neutered dogs

Not quite sure how to introduce this article; simply life will soon be quite unfortunate for some government employees.

Neil Cavuto tears Anita Dunn a new one

Deeds withheld an attack on McDonnell's thesis during debate

Deed's attack campaign is drawing criticism from his own supporters, and his actions in this debate may signal a change in the course of the campaign. If he can turn the campaign around to talk more about the issues and what he is going to do for VA, we might see a more competitive race.

Al-Qaeda 'faces funding crisis'

Americans Are Just Unhappy

Harvey Milk Day May 22nd

Insurers face blowback after report

One insurance industry group delivered a scathing report of the Baucus bill, claiming premiums will be higher after passage than the present day. Last minute revisions to the bill are to blame. Will Baucus risk soaring healthcare costs by simply rushing the bill through to have something to show for democrats and the whitehouse? It looks like it.

Obama advisor Robert Reich being brutally honest about health care 'reform'

Let me be clear

More on interest group politics

Crunch time on K Street

Monday, October 12, 2009

Six-year-old Delaware student suspended for bringing a spork to school

Is Kevin Jennings the next Van Jones?

What happened to bending the cost curve II

Commissioner Sharpton says no to Limbaugh


Too divisive, the Reverend says.

What happened to global warming?

N.J. Environmental Federation endorses Christie

" 'We believe that the environment has once again been ill-served by one party rule in this state,' said David Tykulsker, another NJEF and VEC board member. 'As a result, we have the worst (anti-environmental) state Legislature in recent memory. The governor, as leader of the majority, had a responsibility to work hard to turn this around, a responsibility he shrank away from. This was a major part of why he did not earn our endorsement.'

Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Corzine's lieutenant governor candidate, reacted to the endorsement by strongly criticizing Christie's proposed environmental policies.

'Over the last several years under the governor's leadership, working with members of the Legislature, New Jersey has become a national leader in environmental policy,' Weinberg said. 'Christie continues to be wrong when it matters most and would turn back the clock on the common sense environmental initiatives that we have fought for over the last four years. We are committed to making sure our kids will have clean water and fresh air for generations to come, while Christie is committed to the same failed environmental policies of the Bush Republicans.'"

Corzine’s Weight Attacks on Christie Demonstrate Media, Democrat Hypocrisy

Corzine is trying really, really hard to deter people's attention to the fact that he has no solid plan for New Jersey's financial future. His brilliant "plan" includes a $1 billion property tax hike on homeowners who already pay the highest property taxes in the nation. We have an over $30 billion state budget deficit, so I'm sure there are more tax hikes that he's not telling the public about.

I feel as though Corzine shouldn't be criticizing Christie, who he claims has "no plan", when his own plan just plain sucks.

CNBC's John Harwood claims the White House is ripping on gay rights bloggers

Couldn't resize for some reason

Is transparency bad?

So writes Laurence Lessig, godfather of the copy left. Long but very interesting essay.

Want peace? Give a nuke the Nobel

"Instead of fantasies about a nuke-free planet where formerly bloodthirsty humans live together in peace, what the world needs is a safer, more stable nuclear umbrella. That probably means fewer nukes in fewer hands — when President Obama talks about strengthening the non-proliferation regime and stepping up efforts to secure loose nukes, he is on the right track. Nuclear weapons are only helpful if they are never used.

"But zero weapons is a terrible idea. As bad as they are, nukes have been instrumental in reversing the long, seemingly inexorable trend in modernity toward deadlier and deadlier conflicts. If the Nobel committee wants someday to honor the force that has done the most over the past 60 years to end industrial-scale war, they will award a peace prize to the bomb."

The 'Women's Issues' Deeds Doesn't Get

"Virginia women have plenty of reason to feel offended by their state's gubernatorial race, though not because the Republican candidate once wrote a dissertation observing that the American family had suffered as a result of women joining the workforce.

"Who didn't know that? The fact that we've worked hard to juggle jobs and kids doesn't change the reality that families, especially children, have suffered from the strain.

"No, the greater offense is being perpetrated by the Democratic contender, Creigh Deeds, who can't stop talking about the dissertation that Robert McDonnell wrote 20 years ago. This, and the fact that McDonnell is pro-life."

40% of 2009 income taxes will go towards paying the *interest* on the national debt

Wash your mouth with soap!

What teapartiers should have protested!

I hate these.

Is the best defense a good offense?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

WAPO writer on Nobel

NewsBusters to premeiere a new comedy show on Oct. 12 - EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

Not really. Just got this from the site.


#105 - Unpaid Internships

"White people view the [unpaid] internship as their foot into the door to such high-profile, low-paying career fields as journalism, film, politics, art, non-profits, and anything associated with a museum. Any white person who takes an internship outside of these industries is either the wrong type of white person or a law student. There are no exceptions.

If all goes according to plan, an internship will end with an offer of a job that pays $24,000 per year and will consist entirely of the same tasks they were recently doing for free. In fact, the transition to full time status results in the addition of only one new responsibility: feeling superior to the new interns."

I see some pretty funny (stupid) tweets, but this one might top the list

"Hey liberal bitches-youre all racists 4 not wanting the USA 2 reap the benefits of offshore drilling while filling Soros' pockets in Brazil"

What?

This just in...

At the risk of ruining your weekend....

Is Obama's Nobel prize unconstitutional?

Ok, now the right is really stretching.

McChrystal and MacArthurism

DNC Communications Director: Republicans are siding with 'the terrorists'

"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize."

Top 10 Jobs in America

I found number 3 to be the most interesting

Trivia

Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were the first two sitting Presidents to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

Baucus Bill Turns to Politics to Decide Which States Will Bear The Brunt of Health Care Reform

This is politics in action. Baucus plans to put an unequal burden on states based on political favorability and potential election results.

Obama Nobel Prize not that Absurd

According to this article, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is not always given for achievement but more often for encouraging the continuation of peaceful actions. Whether or not that is true, I don't know but I'm just going to put it out there.

More Marks Against Speaker Pelosi

Cell Service in Metro Stations

Exciting news for everyone who can't live without having some sort of connection with the outside world for the 1/2 hour metro ride home...

Times (UK): Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace prize

Freakonomics sequel dismantles Al Gore, climate alarmism

Two weeks. I can't wait.

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

I think the Nobel committee did this just to make American conservatives mad.

Obama advisor: Sharia Law is just misunderstood

Dalia Mogahed, who sits on the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, appeared on a British television show hosted by Ibtihal Bsis, a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party, which advocates non-violent imposition of an Islamic Caliphate, and rails on the West's "lethal cocktail of liberty and capitalism."

Mr. Bsis called for Sharia Law to be "the source of legislation" and said that women should not be "permitted to hold a position of leadership in government." All of these assertions went unchallenged by Ms. Mogahed.

Supreme Court Justice Interviews

I posted last week about C-SPAN's Supreme Court Week programming. The most interesting parts, in my opinion, are the interviews with all nine sitting justices and Sandra Day O'Connor. I have been able to see a few clips from these interviews and the justices have all been pretty engaging and open about their jobs. I'll also post a link to the videos next week when they are put online. Schedule below:

Friday, 9pm: Kennedy, Ginsburg, Scalia, O'Connor
Saturday, 9pm: Sotomayor, Thomas, Breyer, Alito
Sunday, 9pm: Roberts, Stevens

Washington AWOL on Afghanistan?

Will these deals withstand public scrutiny?

Voodoo accounting for BaucusCare

One of our own

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/289369-1

Skip to 14:30 for a glimpse of one of our esteemed colleagues doing real government stuff...like standing up.

Go C-SPAN.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grumbling from the left

Obama: Socialist, Facist, Sexist?

CBO arithmetic

The Commonwealth Fund State Healthcare Scorecard

An interactive map that can generate statistics comparing different aspects of access to health care in different states. Interesting to play around with.

Key health care vote set for next Tuesday

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who sits on the committee, said Wednesday night she must "thoroughly review and evaluate this analysis before deciding how to proceed."

The measure was initially drafted by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, after months of negotiations with five other panel members -- three Republicans and two Democrats. It represents the only proposal so far with the potential to attract any Republican support.

Over the past two weeks, the Finance Committee has considered several hundred amendments to the sweeping bill. Committee members boosted the bill's overall price tag in part by voting to exempt senior citizens from higher taxes on medical expenses.

Before the amendments, the Budget Office projected that the committee's version of the bill would cost $774 billion; Baucus estimated that it would cost $856 billion.

None of the Republicans in what was dubbed the "Gang of Six," however, has backed the proposal so far.

Supreme Court and Civil Rights

Andre and I went today to a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on the Supreme Court and Civil Rights. I have attached the Chairmans opening address. What struck me about the hearing really just a reminder of how complicated our system of checks and balances. A lot of what the chairman said, and the hearing discussed, was how Congress could influence the direction of the Court and vic versa how the Court could influence Congress. It was my impression that the Roberts court has been one of the most defiant toward Congress in recent memory. Having watched the Court just yesterday, I thought it was an interesting insight.

D.C.'s New Place for Power-Brokering and Playing

Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour Than Thomas Has In Years

You go, girl!

Rep. Paul Broun thinks Nancy Pelosi is an enemy of the constitution

"When I was sworn into the Marine Corps, I was sworn to uphold the Constitution against every enemy, foreign and domestic. We've got a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution and one of those sits in the speaker's chair of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi." -- Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)

At what point do we say that we expect better from our elected officials?

Could you imagine this being said about any of the previous (Republican) Speakers? Republicans would throw such a hissy fit, the country wouldn't know what hit it.

Remember, an anonymous liberal blogger compared Bush to Hitler and it was national news for a few days. This same Representative has compared Obama to Hitler and he just keeps on talkin'.

Not entirely sure if this is "humane" but the penguin looks happy enough....

You're welcome. This will make anyone's day...

Most annoying words in the English Language

Apparently, whatever is the most annoying word in the English language. My reaction...whatever.

A skeptic about CBO scoring

Chin, Princeton ’75 postpones Google Books settlement

I'm working on finding unlawfully digitized works put online by Google Books published by my organization for this case.

Free Roman

Note the description of the rape as a "morals" charge.

Gun-toting soccer mom found shot dead

Perhaps something to discuss after tonight's debate:

"Meleanie Hain, 31, and Scott Hain, 33, had been having marital problems for about a week, neighbor Mark Long said. Scott Hain had left the couple's home on Tuesday, and Meleanie Hain didn't know where he was, but he returned Wednesday, Long said.

Autopsies on the Hains were to be conducted Thursday, coroner Dr. Jeffrey Yocum said.

Meleanie Hain made headlines after she attended a children's soccer game in a park on Sept. 11, 2008, with a handgun in plain view holstered on her hip, upsetting other parents.

The county sheriff, Michael DeLeo, revoked her gun-carrying permit nine days later.

Hain successfully appealed the permit revocation, although the judge who restored the permit questioned her judgment and said she had "scared the devil" out of other people at the game."

Progressivism? Not so fast, folks

Rep. John Linder's (R-GA) take on Obama and Progressivism. A little extremist if you as me, but applies to our discussion yesterday (references Schambra's article).

Muchnick's take on case we heard yesterday

Baucus scores big with CBO

Fighting Among Democrats?

Reid versus Pelosi, who you got?

Gun Show Loophole

Gun Show: Underground, a New York City initiative, produced the below video that examines the aspects of federal gun laws which allow private dealers and collecters to sell firearms without a background check. The video is only a few minutes long and does a pretty good job of explaining both the current laws and how they allow the sale of firearms to those who would not pass even a basic background check.

Rove on health care politics

WAPO on Biden's Pakistan First Strategy

Better health care reform?

Can Lachlan and Evan agree on this? A kumbaya moment?

This man calls President Obama a socialist!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Under Baucus plan, top marginal tax rate could reach 70%

What issue as joined today in SCOTUS

The lawyers we heard today

Does DE now lean toward GOP?

With yesterday's announcement by Congressman and former Governor Mike
Castle (DE), the 2010 outlook for Senate Republicans continues to
improve.

In response to Castle's announcement, the highly-respected political
pundit Stuart Rothenberg immediately shifted the Delaware Senate race
from "currently safe" for Democrats to "lean takeover" for the GOP. A
Rasmussen survey released just last week showed Castle leading his
potential Democrat opponent, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, 47 to
42 percent.