Thursday, August 04, 2005


The cult of Ronald Reagan is too wierd for me. Before he was even dead, the House of Representatives were tripping over themselves to name stuff after him. Now Rep. Bonilla wants to renaming 16th St. in Northwest DC after him.

Did Democrats back in the day trip over themselves to name stuff after JFK and RFK? If so, at least they waited until the body was cold.

(Hat tip to AmericaBlog)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sub-urban America

Channeling my favorite bit from Billmon:
I try to remind myself that not all Americans live in Clermont County [OH, county that gave GOPer Jean Schmidt her suspiciously late and recount proof margin over Democrat and Major Paul Hackett]or its vanilla wafer clones in the great suburban outback of GOP America. Maybe some of them still care about trivial things like lost wars and dead soldiers. Or maybe not. Maybe it takes something like $10-a-gallon gas -- or the mass abduction of young, pretty white women -- to get anybody's attention in this bizarre post-industrial shopping mall we now live in. Because at the moment, death, destruction and imperial humiliation a third of the way around the world still don't seem to be cutting through the fog.

Whisky Bar is always a joy to read. To me, he seems like Ed Kilgore's separated-at-birth twin. Only Billmon became a cursing liberal Democrat, and Ed became a witty Third Way-er. Both can write brilliant lines with ease and have personalities to match their prose.

Somedays I wake up and wish it was all a dream, that our President wasn't George W. Bush, and he hadn't been reelected and John Kerry hadn't been the nominee. It is just amazing to think of how different things would be if Al Gore or Wesley Clark were president instead. I guess it wouldn't fix suburban America though, with its miles and miles of strip malls filled with oversized portions of food, people, and vehicles.

Needless to say, I am still searching for a place in the city.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

redistricting reform

Why is this important?

Did you realize that over 95% of Members of Congress are reelected with ease every year? I can tell you right now, it is not because over 95% Members of Congress are great Representatives, it is because the system is rigged.

Fewer than 30 districts out of 435, about 6 percent of the entire House of Representative will be competitive (i.e. the winner will capture 55-60% of the vote). Although the US Constitution sets out 2 year terms for Members of the House, in reality the terms of office for most members is at least 10 years.

Why? Because every ten years, local politicians in every state decide how to divide up their state into Congressional districts. The results are either incumbent/party protection-- like California and New York-- or purely partisan gain-- like North Carolina and Texas. The result is the elections of extremists, increased partisanship and decreased voter turnout.

There are only a few constraints with redistricting-- the districts must be equal in population size, and the districts can't be based on the race of the residents/voters. The courts have no problem with creating districts based on partisanship, leading Republicans in Texas to re-redistrict in 2003 after they made won some more seats in the state house. And now the source of the funding for those Republicans is under criminal investigation. Despite this, Democrats in states like Illinois and New Mexico contemplated re-redistricting their states.

Enough is enough. We can stop politicians from picking their voters by pushing through common sense reforms state by state. Ballot initiatives have already started in California and Ohio. Add your state to the list and bring representation back to the House of Representatives. Let the voters pick their politicans, not the other way around.

(cross-posted on Let The People Choose)

Close but...

Sorry for the long absense from posting. We have subsequently had several close calls on getting a condo but for one reason or another they fell through. This Saturday we moved out of our apartment and into my parent's basement with the help of my great friend Evan.

It is a bit sad to be back to the place where I lived in since 4th grade with no hope of our own place anytime soon. There appears to be almost nothing in our price range that is halfway decent near downtown/the law school.

Meanwhile, my summer job is winding down even though I will be staying on for the school year. I wonder if it will change a lot when the out of state clerks go back to school or when the graduated and bar examed law clerks get shoved out the door.