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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Reading List

Reading List

As the House Republicans read the Constitution, they dodge a few issues:
"They're going to read the founding document, as amended... without the spectacle of repeating passages such as 'Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.'
Thus softening the history lesson, much in the manner of the new censored edition of Huck Finn.

Rumors that the Iowa City Council and UI administration had volunteered to read the 18th Amendment are not yet proven as of press time.

Still, the GOP has a couple problems:
But I'm wondering if, amid all the comity, we'll hear some booing from the House floor during the reading of some of the less sacred parts of the sacred text — say, when someone intones the words from the 14th Amendment about how, according to the Constitution, so-called anchor babies are actually American citizen babies.
I nominate Steve King for that one...
Or how about the 16th? Do you want to be the Republican who's stuck reading, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration"?
In other House action, Leonard Boswell passes the first test of Blue Dog vs. Actual Democrat by backing Nancy Pelosi for speaker; 19 fellow "Democrats" fail that test.

Here's a thought:
No matter how aggressive the policy, we are not going to find 11 million new jobs soon. So common sense suggests we should make some decisions about who should have the first crack: older people, who have already worked three or four decades at hard jobs? Or younger people, many just out of school, with fresh skills and ambitions?

As a rough cut, why not enact a three-year window during which the age for receiving full Social Security benefits would drop to 62 -- providing a voluntary, one-time, grab-it-now bonus for leaving work? Let them go home! With a secure pension and medical care, they will be happier. Young people who need work will be happier. And there will also be more jobs. With pension security, older people will consume services until the end of their lives. They will become, each and every one, an employer.

A proposal like this could transform a miserable jobs picture into a tolerable one, at a single stroke.
And a massive time sink: a map of North American accents. With Sarah Palin literally as an archetype. I never did think she talked funny: That lime-green blob in Alaska's Mat-Su Valley matches the North Central region stretching from Da UP to Nort' Dakota and including my paternal ancestral roots in northern WisCONsin, where my relatives talk like Fargo characters. You betcha. Also.

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