Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Colorado, Dog Shit is Free Speech

From the Rocky Mountain News:

A former Democratic Party activist who left dog feces on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave's Greeley office during last year's 4th Congressional District campaign was found not guilty Wednesday of criminal use of a noxious substance.

A Weld County jury deliberated about two hours before acquitting Kathleen Ensz of the misdemeanor count. Her trial began Tuesday.

Ensz's lawyers never denied that their client left a Musgrave campaign brochure full of feces at the front door of the congresswoman's office. But they argued that Ensz was making a statement protected by free speech...

Ensz had served as vice chairwoman of her party's state Senate District 13. Don Hoff, district chairman, said Ensz resigned from the post last fall.

Hoff defended Ensz's actions as protected free speech...

I think it's obvious what Ensz should receive every day on her doorstep and every day in the mail.

The Do-Nothing Democrats

Ronald A. Cass writes:

After 140 days, however, congressional Democrats left town with no significant accomplishments, one long-delayed bill finally enacted into law, and lots to make fun of. There was no increase in morality, no magically bipartisan era, no sweeping enactment of a coherent agenda for change, akin to what Republicans promised in their Contract With America in 1994. Instead, the 110th Congress has been a combination of "now I'll get mine" and "now you'll get yours!"

It hasn't been pretty. And it isn't likely to get better. Only those who were paying very careful attention last fall saw this coming.


In place of legislation, we've had investigations. Lots of them. Into everything the Administration is doing - not so Congress can do something about it, but to make the point that Republicans are doing it wrong.


Just after the elections last fall, Senator Schumer warned that the Democrats' victory was less a mandate than a protest. He cautioned that if Democrats were merely obstructionist, opposing the President without actually trying to enact a positive legislative agenda, they would lose power quickly - and deservedly so.

The Democrats' leadership should have listened. President Bush, suffering abysmal poll numbers after six years in office, now has company - a Democratic Congress that in less than six months earned even lower poll numbers by showing more interest in posturing, payback, and pork than in coming to grips with real problems.

If Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, and their colleagues decide to stay on the sidelines, second-guessing, shouting directions, and calling players over for a dressing down, they may well find themselves out of a job. After all, even Monday morning quarterbacks can be replaced.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Edwards Charged $55k to Talk About Poverty

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who as a Democratic presidential candidate recently proposed an educational policy that urged "every financial barrier" be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show.

The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus' Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

That amount -- which comes to about $31 a person in the audience -- included Edwards' travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records.

The earnings -- though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate -- could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate -- who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina -- chose to speak on "Poverty, the great moral issue facing America," as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.

That could cause both parents and students to note some irony here: UC Davis -- like the rest of the public University of California system -- will get hit this year by a 7 percent tuition increase that likely hits many of the kids his speeches are aimed at helping.


In 2006, records show Edwards made more than $285,000 speaking to nine colleges and universities, charging between $16,000 and Davis' $55,000 for his talks...

Not only is this a great demonstration of Edwards' well-known hypocrisy, it also is a reminder of the waste that drives up college costs. UC Davis could never have raised the $55,000 by asking for donations from attendees, so they taxed the rest of the student body to pay for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Approval of Congress Continues to Decline

From Gallup:
A new Gallup Poll finds continued low levels of public support for both Congress and President George W. Bush. Twenty-nine percent of Americans approve of Congress, down [four points] from last month's reading... while Bush's approval rating is holding steady at 33%.
Yet the "news" media won't be obsessively reminding us of the massive and increasing disapproval of the do-nothing Democrat Congress. It doesn't fit the agenda.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Congressional Approval Rating Remains Abysmal

The Macaca Post reports:

People think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as President Bush, following four months of bitter political standoffs that have seen little progress on [anything of substance].


The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month.


Congress' reduced appeal was evident in several categories of people. Only 48 percent of Democrats said they approved of Congress, down from 55 percent last month. That included a 12 percentage point drop among Democratic women, though support from Democratic men remained steady.

Approval by minorities also fell a dozen points to 39 percent, with a similar reduction among people whose family incomes exceed $75,000.

By region, the steepest drop was in the Midwest, where approval fell by 10 percentage points to 28 percent. Congress' highest approval was in the Northeast, where four in ten gave it a positive rating.

The unpopularity of Congress isn't new news, but it certainly is underreported.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Senate Considers Price Controls

The Macaca Post reports:

Ignoring a White House veto threat, [Senate] lawmakers voted 63 to 28 to move to a final vote on adding the drug importation provision to a larger bill on the operations of the Food and Drug Administration.

"There is a pricing problem with prescription drugs," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), who co-sponsored the amendment with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). "The identical drug, FDA-approved, the same pill, put in the same bottle, made by the same company, is set virtually every other place in the world at a lower price. And the American consumer is told, 'You know what, we have a special deal for you: You get to pay the highest price in the world.'"

"The rest of the world" imposes price controls that the Senators are too cowardly to directly consider.

Earlier this week, the White House issued a statement saying that Bush's advisers would recommend that he veto any importation provision that did not address safety concerns around imported drugs that were identified by a Department of Health and Human Services task force in 2004.


"The administration believes that allowing the importation of drugs outside the current safety system established by the FDA without addressing these serious safety concerns would threaten public health and result in unsafe, unapproved and counterfeit drugs being imported into the United States," the White House statement said.

Despite support in the House and Senate, the White House for years has blocked legislation opening the borders to the reimportation of U.S.-made pharmaceuticals, arguing that their safety cannot be assured. During the Clinton administration, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala similarly concluded that she could not guarantee a safe system for drug imports.

For related background on how Congress and the Democrats want to mismanage American health care, check out Democrats Want Old People to Die.

The President's Veto Pen

The Macaca Post has an unusually good story of the pen the President used for his second veto. Click here for the story.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Senator Hatch Sells Out for a Short-Lived Seat

The Macaca Post reports on the unconstitutional effort to legislate a seat for DC in the House of Representatives:

A prominent Republican senator, Orrin G. Hatch, threw his weight behind the D.C. voting-rights bill yesterday in what supporters called a possible breakthrough in getting the legislation approved by that chamber.


The legislation is a political compromise that would pair a new House seat for the heavily Democratic District with another seat for Republican-leaning Utah. Hatch's state just missed getting a fourth representative after the last census.

The next census is a mere 3 years away, which will cause any new Utah seat to be moot by 2012 - after a mere two terms. The unconstitutional DC seat, however, would continue to exist.
Even if the legislation passes the Senate, the White House has threatened a veto.
Rightly so.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated his opposition to the measure, however. Asked whether Hatch's move would change Republican minds, McConnell said: "Well, it doesn't change the Constitution. And the Constitution's really quite clear on it."

Critics of the D.C. vote legislation say it violates the constitutional requirement that House members come from states. The bill's supporters argue that the Constitution gives Congress sweeping powers over the District, which would allow for giving it full representation in the House.

By the supporters' logic, Congress can unilaterally amend the Constitution in any situation. After all, it is in the District.

Background: Congressional Research Service: DC Vote Plan Unconstitutional

Metro Union Hack Channels Joycelyn Elders

Confronted with video of multiple overt traffic violations by Metro bus drivers, their union representative had this response:
Jackie Lynn Jeter/Transit Union President: "I would hope even if you see someone doing an unsafe act they would do so as safely as they can."
Kind of like how we need "safer guns" and "safer bullets."