Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Utah's 4th, Iraq, and 2008

This will be a random collection of thoughts, as always. Sorry for not posting yesterday. I was writing an appellate brief and wanted to get a draft out.

  • Utah and DC's seat deal remains valid in theory. The New York Times picked up the story, which makes it seem more likely this is going to happen after all. But the local papers are the ones with the actual news. Buried in the first couple paragraphs of the Deseret News' article yesterday was this gem on the "bipartisan" bill:
    The map passed the 23-4 in the Senate without any amendments, even though several changes were discussed during a nearly three-hour, closed- door GOP caucus.
    Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City, said there was interest in the proposed changes, but no one wanted to jeopardize the bill's passage by tinkering.

    Did you catch that part about GOP only amendments in a closed door three hour caucus? Somehow, I have a feeling that Sen. Waddoups got what he wished for during that meeting [final passed map in PDF]. Meanwhile, Democrats and the rest of the public had no input on this process, let alone a record of what traded what for what, or how much support there was for various changes. This is why Jim Matheson and Roz McGee is right redistricting, especially of state legislative seats, needs to be done by an independent commission, not self-interested politicians who are salivating at the chance at running in the new 4th and fancy themselves a member of Congress. I sure hope Jim rains on their little parade.

  • Can you honestly tell me that you thoroughly read all the articles and books coming out daily about how messed up Iraq is? I wrote two papers in college about the Kurds and yet I can't stomach more than "X people died today in ___ when a ___ exploded" or "___ found ___ bodies ___ killed execution style" I can imagine that most Americans can't manage to read those articles or listen to the news in much detail about it either. Every day we are reminded how horrible life must be over there. Knowing the details just makes it all the more overwhelming and impossible to deal with in my book.
    That is not to say that we should whitewash the reporting. But don't expect everyone to read through all the extremely gory and depressing details.

  • We are mere weeks away from candidates announcing their candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. What's that you say, Gravel, Biden, and Vilsack have already announced? Don't worry, they will reannounce in D.C. events (Sunday talk shows, the National Press Club, etc.) over and over again before they drop out in a few months. Here's how it looks to me for the GOP side in order: McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Brownback, Huckabee. On the Democratic side, it is very fluid. I expect that if Obama is one of the first out of the box announcing (and has some serious staff/implied endorsements on his side) Hillary will NOT RUN. I still think everyone in Hillaryland but Hillary wants to run for president. Maybe she would like to be President, but she knows better than anyone of the candidates what it takes to win and how tough it is to run. She has lots of money (13.5 M) but money only buys you name recognition and maybe improves your image. Everyone who votes already knows who she is and already has a strong opinion about her. I see the race like this: Obama/Hillary, Gore?, Edwards, Clark, Richardson, Vilsack, Dodd, Biden, Gravel. On the Veepstakes, I see Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee for the GOP and Warner, Obama, Clark, Vilsack, and Richardson for the Democrats. As always, my dream ticket is Clark-Warner, with Obama as AG and maybe as a Supreme Court Justice for the next opening.

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