I walked over to the SE corner of the Capitol Grounds today to lend my support to the Progressive Caucus's call for single payer health care. I got as far as the Library of Congress where I - and everyone else out for the same reason - was stopped.
Why? I was informed brusquely by a police officer that there was a 'suspicious package'
[Note: This diary has nothing to do with Unitary Moonbat's excellent series]
A week from today, the District of Columbia will be celebrating Emancipation Day, 147 years ago, Abraham Lincoln signed "An Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia." It was the first time that the federal government had freed any slaves, and the only time that the slaveowners were compensated for their slaves thus freed.
Having just spent the last year researching the topic, and just self-published a book about the matter, I figure this would be a good opportunity to outline the whole story, as it does have interesting parallels in todays battles over the District.
Follow me over the fold.
John Reilly, MIT professor and author of a study that has been misrepresented by John Boehner, has sent the minority leader a letter telling him to stop giving the wrong figures.
He begins his letter thus:
It has come to my attention that an analysis we conducted examining proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Report No., 146, Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals, has been misrepresented in recent press releases distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee. The press release claims our report estimates an average cost per family of a carbon cap and trade program that would meet targets now being discussed in Congress to be over $3,000, but that is nearly 10 times the correct estimate which is approximately $340. Since the issue of legislation to control greenhouse gases is now under consideration, I wanted to take an opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding created by this press release and to avoid further confusion.
More below the jump
On my way to the P St. Whole Foods this morning, I drove (as I always do) through the Washington Convention Center (well, the street that cuts through it) and saw a car I had never seen before in person – it was the new Honda Insight. You know, the one that looks almost exactly like a Prius.
And right behind it? A whole series of other green cars, from plug-in hybrids to turbo diesels.
I had to stop and check this out. Parking my 7 year old Honda Civic Hybrid around the corner, I ran back cursing myself for not having my camera along. Follow me over the jump for more car geekery.
OK, everybody, sneak those trailers over against the side of Bill's Big Top. Jury-rig the power. We need lights here. Get everyone awake and ready for action. Look sharp, lots of people will be stopping by because they think this is where the action is, let's get 'em before they realize we're just skimming off of Bill's fame. My microphone, where's my
Microphone whoops, guess it was on already. OK. Places, everyone
Welcome, folks, welcome to mecki's fabulous sideshow, right here next to Bill's Big Top <sotto voce> not affiliated in any way with Bill, Portland, Maine, Michael or Molly</sotto voce> Roll up and see what we've got for you! We've got a world of freaks, a universe of geeks. Borrow and spend policies writ small! And so much more: See! Pastors who use God as their engineer! See! The high nine in a greenhouse! We even have a brace of real reporters! You can see them all in just a moment, they're all eager to display their deformities for your pleasure and amusement. Roll up!
...and all for just a quarter of a dollar, and a click on the 'there's more' link!
Much was made of the handover by the British of Hong Kong to the Chinese, saying that this meant the end of the British Empire, that the sun had now finally set on it.
I didn't realize how important this was until it suddenly occurred to me that with the invasion and occupation of Iraq, that the US empire was now truly globe-straddling and that the sun, now, did not set on the US empire. Calculations proving this - and showing how Iraq is a keystone to this, below.
I've always been a big fan of fairness. Whether the idea that the law
should apply equally to everyone, or that the rungs of the ladder of success shouldn't be tougher to climb
for the poor than for the rich or that everyone should have access to healthcare
are all pretty obvious. What I didn't realise, until I read well down in an article entitled Advantage: The Brits
that a lack of fairness is not only harmful to the poor and underprivileged, but that it harms everyone in the system.
In other words, fairness isn't just a good idea for some Christian/liberal/feel-good reasons, it's important for the health of the society at large.
Follow me across the flip for the important excerpts from Post article and more comments.
Rep. Randy ''Duke'' Cunningham, whose exploits in real estate you can read up over at Talking Points Memo
(Short form: a contractor bought a house from Cunningham for twice its worth; thereafter the contractor's business took off) has been suboenaed. According to this
AP article, he's been served and Cunningham promises to follow it.
Amazingly enough, the subpoena has nothing to do with the house or MZM. So. The question is: how much longer will he sully the reputation of California?
Oh, and a grand jury is looking into the real estate sale.
A few excerpts after the jump.
It has become ever more clear of late that the unholy coalition of social conservatives and business interests is starting to unravel. Reuters has an article about it today:
Senate Battle Over Judges Concerns Business
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Paul Miller and other business lobbyists are worried that a battle over President Bush's judicial nominees may tie the Senate into knots, endangering legislation they want turned into law.
Rest of article.
More of the article and my thoughts on the flip.
I went to my local ANC meeting yesterday, partly to talk to my commissioner about the houses next door and what's been done about them, but mainly to see what's roiling the community.
And there's lots roiling. A little about that after the jump, but more about a single incident, where a commissioner entered a resolution in a way that many felt was jumping the gun on the issue. And this raised a very fundamental question in me: When is it right to go ahead and introduce legislation, and when should you go ahead and carefully prepare the ground.
My impression is that this question doesn't exist on the right. Cosgrove and co introduce whatever pops into their heads, and Rush and co elbow each other out of the way to be the first to praise it. On the left, there seems to be a much more circumspect attitude.
My question to you: Which is the right way?
More details about this, plus a poll, after the jump.
Bush spent much of the SOTU address yesterday crowing about the achievements of the Iraqis in having an election on Sunday. His toadies in the Republican party (which means pretty much all of them - they may soon rename themselves the Georgedubyabushican party) celebrated by waving around purple fingers (to go with the purple-heart bandaids they wore at the RNC, no doubt)
To listen to Bush speak these days, you'd think that democracy for Iraq was the only reason he started the invasion. And given that it's the last remaining reason, this'll have to do.
But, once again, this is simply Bush finding a parade and getting in front of it. Just like education reform in Texas and the Department of Homeland Security, when Bush found that the idea was unstoppable, he simply claimed it for his own.
Joe Conason explains it after the jump
A couple of posters have castigated those Democrats who voted for C. Rice as SoS. Now, I know all the arguments against her, prinicipally that she's completely incompetent, but let's face it: trying to find competence in the Bush administration is like trying to find virginity at a hooker convention; even if it's there, it won't last long.
So, we have another useless cabinet secretary, another SoS who will be rolled by every other foreign minister on the planet (Hello, Joschka) but it won't really much matter. It's hardly a change from before. In the end, I can't hold the votes of Democrats who voted for her against them; all I can do is praise those 13 who did vote against her. And to them I say: Thank you, you're a credit to your party and your country.
Gonzales, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish.
More after the jump.