Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's clips

Your Non-Presidential Update

  • Sales tax election is official.

  • Journalism's Great Depression claims more victims as the Gazette "restructures." 13 reporters out of jobs.

  • National Popular Vote moves forward on an 8-7 Senate committee vote, with the GOP and two Democrats (Wally Horn and Dennis Black) in opposition.

    The only two offices where the person with the most votes can lose are President of the United States and Johnson County Soil and Water Commissioner. And that's just not defensible in the modern world.

    This isn't really an end-around on the Constitution--that document allows states to choose electors however they want. That said, I'd still rather do it by amending the Constitution, because I'd really like our highest law to say "the person with the most votes wins." What's partisan about that?

    I don't get why this is breaking out on partisan lines (my suspicion is it's Republicans reflexively defending the Bush 2000 "win.") The Republican rhetoric of calling this the "Iowa Voter Irrelevance Act" ignores that it doesn't take effect until 270 electoral votes worth of states approve it. It isn't unilateral disarmament. Conversely, if the large states want it, we'll have it whether we want it or not.

  • Besides, our real importance isn't our measly seven (soon six) electoral votes. It's the caucuses. Elesha Gayman has a bill to address one of the big criticisms of the caucuses: the exclusion of night shift workers. Gayman's bill would require unpaid time off to caucus, with some emergency workers excluded. (How many of Chris Dodd's firefighters couldn't get Caucus Night off?)

    There's a difference between the right to get the time off and the ability. That three hours' pay might be too much to give up, or the boss might have a way of letting you know better than to ask. Still, it's a good step forward.

  • The Seminal:
    All 50 Republican Senators voted against the Clinton plan in 1993. Of these 50, 11 are still United States Senators. 10 of these 11 voted against Obama’s economic recovery package. Here are the 10 big winners:

    Bennett (R-UT)
    Bond (R-MO)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Gregg (R-NH)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hutchison (R-TX)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Shelby (D-AL, note: Shelby was supposedly a Democrat at the time. He switched parties shortly thereafter.)

    These people have literally been fighting for the same failed economic theories for more than 16 years.

  • The one who didn't was Arlen Specter, but new GOP Chair Michael Steele says primary him. “My retribution is the retribution of the voters in their states.” Club For Growth... of the Senate Democratic Caucus, that is.

  • The other Republican they want to primary is Jim Bunning of Kentucky, who's so over the hill that he's embarrassing even to Mitch McConnell. But Bunning won't go without a fight; he's even talking lawsuit. When you're talking about suing your own party, you know it's bad (ask calendar cheating Florida Democrats for details)

  • Bunning is in a tough race for Stubbornest Senator with Roland Burris. Conflicting reports on whether he's pledged to not run... or not. Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times:
    Scoop: Burris will also be sending, directly or indirectly (maybe this is it) two messages: he will not resign in the wake of the controversy surrounding his appointment by the ousted Gov. Blagojevich and he will not run for the seat in 2010. Burris has finally realized that not seeking election next year is the least price he will pay.
  • 1 comment:

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